May 24, 2019 Don’t Exhaust Your Partner
“A doomed fate, living with who you’d soon hate. Ex-life partners trying to co-exist as roommates.”
What does love owe us? What do the people we love, owe us? Why do we put people we love thru so much? What I’ve observed recently is, the most poisonous thing in love, and in a relationship, is entitlement. We’re all guilty of it. We get involved with people and our hope covers our scars in the beginning; that’s the Honeymoon Phase. Unlike the actual honeymoon, it normally takes a week for the vacation to be over, but eventually, it comes. That’s when the work starts, and even more so when the expectations start. Expectations have become taboo in pop culture but I think they are needed. The absence of expectations will not lead to the absence of disappointment. The reason being, it’s impossible to not have expectations. Human nature automatically develops expectations for everything in our lives. Of course, we have to manage expectations and focus on what’s realistic and what’s fair, but I don’t want a woman that doesn’t expect things from me. I’m going to always have expectations of anyone I consistently give time to. However, with expectations, comes mutual accountability.
Is there a such thing as too much reassurance?
In the generation of healing, the most common unrealistic expectation is that people go into relationships expecting the new partner to help them heal from the pain of their past. Directly and indirectly. When it’s direct, it’s communicated, and it at least gives the potential new partner the chance to run. Indirectly, we expect our partners to overcompensate for our voids. Sometimes that overcompensation comes in the form of money spent, time spent, reassurance required, and/or toxic behavior excused.
- Money Spent: From both parties, money has become a driving part of the way we date each other. A man who makes good money and has been exploited by people he loved, is normally extremely against paying for anything he deems to be too much. He’s in constant paranoia that every woman is after his money when that’s not the case. There are women who have those motivations but to walk around with the preconceived notion of that is true pain. It’s insecurity that materializes in an unrealistic manner.On the other hand, there are women who think money spent, or the willingness to spend it equates to his love or her worth. It’s an unhealthy interpretation that in turn, produces unrealistic expectations. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account you can see the unrealistic expectations, in this lane, displayed daily. Being a traditionalist in my relationship views, I’m never against the role of being a provider if I’m in a relationship, but there’s a nuance there. How much I spend on a date or a gift isn’t going to heal insecurity for a woman that needs that much reassurance. It also isn’t in direct correlation with my “love”, maybe it speaks to how much I’m currently enjoying our time but my love doesn’t have a price too high for me to pay for something or too high for me to turn down paying. It’s really about discernment on a case-by-case basis and based on how little the expectation is for me to spend certain amounts of money.
- Time spent is an interesting one for me. Being heavily career motivated, I’m big on QUALITY time. I’ve noticed that most of the time, no pun intended, people confuse QUALITY time with QUANTITY of time. Wanting to spend a lot of time with your partner isn’t wrong, let me be clear about that. Things normally get lost in translation when you’re assessing emotional topics so I felt that disclaimer was needed. The unrealistic expectations come in when you expect your partner to make more time than their schedule reasonably allows and/or when you guilt your partner into not wanting to do things without you, that they want to do without you. Compatibility definitely plays a part in this because even when it’s overbearing, some people just deal with overbearing partners better than others so it’s not a problem for them. I need the room to move around without feeling like I’m in a box, generally speaking, and it’s not something I deal with well when I feel it’s being taken away from me for reasons I had nothing to do with. This irrational thought that if you take up as much of your partner’s time and space that means you love them more or that you’ll keep them from cheating, is a relationship nightmare. That energy transfers. You’ll push people away who wanted to love you freely by trying to control how they love and live every step of the way.
- Is there a such thing as too much reassurance? Should you demand regular compliments? Regular “how much I like/love you” comments? In a space of healing, we all need reassurance, in a space of building there’s a reasonable amount of assurances needed, but in a space of true insecurity there will never be enough reassurances. Actions speak louder than words, or so I’ve been told, so how much weight should be held in reassuring acts vs reassuring words. Compatibility, the ever-present common denominator, normally makes that judgment. I do know too much reassurance being required is rooted in doubt. Constant doubt of a dedicated person will poison that dedication. Exhaustion sets in soon after if the poison is never met with the antidote.
- Exhausting toxic behaviors can be so broad of a subject that I wouldn’t dare try to fit it all here. However, in contrast to the last couple of examples where the sentiment is demanding “too much”… being too dismissive is a toxic and exhausting trait in itself. As your partner lives, loves, and hurts they will require more than usual of all of these things for periods of time. Being too dismissive of what triggers these periods and what’s required during these periods is exhausting too. Sometimes what our partner needs isn’t “fair” to us, but if it’s not something that’s always abused, compromise should be the first choice before dismissing the emotions. I’m guilty of that in points of my love life, I don’t want to appear perfect at all because a lot of my wrongs taught me the right lessons. Communication styles can be toxic too. If you’re the kind of communicator that can’t control your tone or speaks harshly to your partner “because you’re mad”, you’re exhausting. If you can’t respect that your partner needs a “cool down” period when topics get heated so you continue to press to have the conversation on “your time” every time, you’re exhausting. Also if you “can’t let it go”, meaning you have to argue until you feel your partner says or accepts that “you’re right”, you’re exhausting. Another toxic trait that’s common is when one partner is the giver and the other one is consistently the taker, that’s the most common way I know of to exhaust your partner.
In relationships that most commonly become exhausting, there’s always The Needer and The Appeaser. Dominant and submissive energy are both beneficial until the abuse of the dominant energy begins. This doesn’t have to be physical acts, dominant energy is felt in all ways. Are you the one in your relationship always trying to keep the peace? Are you the one who always goes above and beyond to get things done for your partner without gratitude ever being shown? Are you constantly trying to do everything perfectly so you won’t “have to hear their mouth”? It’s all exhausting.
When you exhaust your partner the frustration blinds them so much that they can’t see you clearly anymore. Their frustration becomes so thick that it stops them from even seeing the best parts of you. It’s a domino effect that leads to them being a version of themselves that leads to your exhaustion and your frustration. The only way to grow apart is if frustration is in the middle of a couple. When the frustration isn’t there, you can both grow in your own individual rights but you will constantly and continuously invite each other into the new chapters of your journey. To exhaust your partner doesn’t mean you don’t love them, it’s just sometimes we get caught up in ourselves and our own bad habits. Not to mention, it’s hard to hold people you love accountable because you care as much about their response to their critique as you care about your own happiness. Over time your happiness becomes a group project. It’s really hard to be happy personally when your partner is unhappy, so don’t feel bad about the consideration. But like everything else, even too much consideration is a liability. Learning to communicate when your partner’s habits have become exhausting and abusive is important. If it’s real love there, you can communicate and have discourse, with love.
Just my thoughts