“Yeah, I don’t think this is going to work out,” she said. “But please! I’ll change! I promise,” he replied with a tear dripping down his face. “I’m Sorry. It’s too late, but we can still be friends,” she says. Whether you are the one being broken up with, or the one doing the breaking up, unfortunately, many of us have either already had this kind of conversation in the past, or will eventually have it in the future. Sadly, it is almost inevitable in a relationship. This is usually the case, unless you are extremely lucky. Or is it luck? Maybe it isn’t luck. Maybe it is a little more than luck. Perhaps it has something to do with just simply knowing what to watch out for when it comes to relationships. Maintaining a healthy long lasting romantic relationship is extremely difficult, and if they aren’t taken seriously; chances are it will end much easier and faster than it started. Romantic relationships are arguably one of the most valuable things in life that a person can have. There are several contributing factors to why relationships most commonly fail. Many people often think they have their relationship under control. Little do they know, relationships are a working progress. Although one can realize the importance of having a healthy relationship, and do as much as he or she possibly can to work towards a healthy relationship, sometimes break ups are inevitable.
Many people argue that a romantic relationship is one of the most prized possessions that anyone can have. According to Amy Canevello and Jennifer Crocker, in “Creating Good Relationships: Responsiveness, Relationship Quality, and Interpersonal Goals,” Close and High quality relationships contribute towards a physical and mental well-being like no other. Quite oppositely, close and poor quality relationships contribute towards stress and weakened health and well-being (Canevello, A., & Crocker, J., 2010). Relationships are responsible for so many joys in life. Some people will go their entire lives without ever experiencing these joys. Many people in relationships take this for granted every day. Having a relationship allows two people to have life companionship. Having a life companion allows two people to be able to share all of the good and bad experiences in life and not have to go through them alone. Some people would call this a soul mate. Either way, no matter what you want to call it, life companions or soul mates are important. Although happiness can be found in many places, the happiness that comes from a relationship is a different kind of happiness. It is a type of happiness that no man or woman can completely describe. It is something you have to experience to truly understand. One thing about relationships that many people tend to overlook is the fact that without relationships, we would not have families. Without families, we would not have children. The list could go on forever. Although relationships can have many benefits, if not careful, a relationship can come to a crashing end before even realizing it.
Relationships are very sensitive. At any given time, a number of things can cause a relationship to fail. It is important to be aware of these things in order to know what to look out for and how to protect your relationship. According to “Human Sexuality,” by Roger R. Hock, the most common reasons why relationships fail are: lack of self knowledge, acceptance of sexual myths and stereotypes, ineffective communication, imbalances of decision-making power, low self-esteem, insecurity, lack of self-confidence, isolation, failing to keep promises, lying, cheating, excessive jealousy, controlling behaviors, and violence (Hock, R.R., 2010). Lack of self knowledge occurs in a relationship when someone does not truly know them self. A person in a relationship cannot be expected to completely know their partner if their partner does not know them self (Hock, 2010). Sexual myths and stereotypes may be accepted in a relationship. Usually common: stereotypes about men, woman, sex, and relationships have been accepted by at least one of the partners. A person with the impression that men are always in charge and woman should stick to household things is obviously doomed when it comes to having a healthy relationship (Hock, 2010). Ineffective communication is a big problem in relationships. Many people tend to hold things in without realizing the damage that it causes. People hold in things like their feelings, needs, concerns, and frustrations. This in turn builds up and eventually builds up to a point where something is said or done that is impossible to come back from (Hock, 2010). When an imbalance of decision-making power occurs, usually one partner has control of most of the decisions in the relationship. Control of decisions for things like daily activities, money matters, disputes, and many other things are pretty customary in these types of situations. This not only leads to animosity by one of the partners, but almost always leads to a very unhealthy relationship (Hock, 2010). Having a low self-esteem, insecurities, or a lack of self-confidence is usually trouble when it comes to a relationship. Partners with a low self esteem usually tend to destroy the relationship little by little. The partner with the low self esteem always looks to the other partner for comfort and reassurance. This, in return, adds pressure to the stronger partner. In many cases, the stronger partner will feel almost like a parent in the relationship. They feel as if they are getting no support in return, which is usually the case. This may lead to an eventual failure in the relationship (Hock, 2010). When a couple begins to isolate themselves from the rest of the world, a red flag is usually drawn. This is usually done for various reasons, but most cases are caused due to: fear, insecurity, and possibly a lack of true love. Isolation is sometimes confused as a positive thing in a relationship due to the fact that one might think that it is sweet that their partner is willing to dedicate their every minute to the relationship. This in most cases is a misconception and can lead to a devastating impact on the relationship (Hock, 2010). When two partners in a relationship find them self or their partner failing to keep promises, lying, or cheating: adjustments need to be made as fast as possible before it is too late and the relationship is over. Unfortunately, it is a very common thing for couples to lie to each other. These lies can be anywhere from big to lies that one might think, are not a big deal. Lies can and eventually will ruin a relationship no matter how small the lies may be (Hock, 2010). Jealousy is a major issue in many relationships. Many jealous partners often find out too late that their jealousy caused their relationship to fail. Whether it is normal or delusional jealousy, this is not healthy. When a partner is overly jealous, the other partner is forced to be on “defense” all the time. In most cases, this is unjustified, which only leads to unhappiness in the relationship, and eventually failure (Hock, 2010). If a partner in a relationship is overly controlling of the other, issues will also arise. Controlling behavior by one partner usually leads to anger from the other. Similar to jealousy, controlling behavior is often a result of low self confidence and the belief that the partner needs to be controlled and monitored in order to prevent this partner from meeting someone else (Hock, 2010). Unfortunately, violence is common in relationships. One of the biggest problems with violence in relationships is that usually the victim of a violent relationship becomes trapped in the unhealthy and violent situation. Victims of violent relationships commonly have fear of leaving the relationship due to threats from the violent partner. Although many people in a violent relationship often portray their relationship as “normal,” violent relationships always end in disaster in one form or another (Hock, 2010).
Many people often think that their relationship is fine and it needs no extra attention. Unfortunately, break-ups happen all the time, and a lot of the time, the partner that is being broken up with has no idea why the other partner wants to break up. They went through their whole relationship thinking that everything was fine and that they did not need to worry about anything. According to Relationships explained, a relationship can be described as a dance between two people that are listening to different songs, and the songs they are listening to require different steps (Rich, A., 2009). One may not easily realize how much work is involved in a relationship. This knowledge of the work that is needed in a relationship is learned information. Unfortunately, many people have to learn the hard way. People get better and better in relationships. The more relationships one has, the more he or she learns about them. This makes it easier to improve in each relationship as time goes on. Although one might be getting better in certain aspects of relationships, perhaps they are still unknowledgeable in other aspects of relationships. There is no such thing as an easy relationship.
Relationships require a tremendous amount of work. It is important to know the common reasons why relationships fail so that precautions can be taken or made in order to ensure a healthy relationship. There are many things that can be learned to improve the probability of having a successful relationship. Before getting into a relationship, it is recommended to first take some self discovery time. Being aware of your likes and dislikes will help in the selection of a good partner. It will also allow for proper communication of expectations in the relationship to determine if the relationship is right for both partners (Hock, 2010). Taking note of one’s inner personal beliefs is no easy task; however, it is incredibly important if one wants to eventually have a healthy relationship. Taking note of these beliefs and stereotypes will allow one to drill down and analyze these beliefs and work towards perhaps changing or modifying their point of views (Hock, 2010). According to Ted L. Huston, in “What’s love got to do with it? Why some marriages succeed and others fail,” change is extremely important in the early stages of a relationship (Huston, T.L., 2009). This could be applied to many things; however, change towards good communication between partners is extremely important. People in relationships need to constantly work on their communication with their partners. Although still good, it is not enough to just tell your partner how you feel when something negative comes up. An initial conversation has to take place. This conversation needs to involve concerns and expectations of both partners on how they plan to properly communicate. Things need to be said in advance in order to make sure both partners are comfortable enough to come to each other about anything (Hock, 2010). In a relationship, partners need to work towards an even balance in decision-making power. Both partners should have an even say when it comes to making decisions, and especially in important ones. Also, when one partner has all of the money in a relationship, this is usually a red flag. Uneven money situations lead to an uneven purchasing power between the partners. This can easily cause animosity to build up in the partner with lower purchasing power leading to an unhealthy situation. Money is a tricky issue in relationships, however; careful consideration needs to take place if an unhealthy balance is foreseen (Hock, 2010). A person with a low self esteem needs to carefully analyze his or her self feelings. Many people have this problem. They look at others and think maybe that they are not as good as someone else. This ends up boiling inside and eating at their self esteem. It is important to note that nobody is perfect. Everyone has good and bad things about them. Although easier said than done, in order to eventually become capable of being in a healthy relationship, one needs to work on his or her self esteem. This needs to be done to realize that there is nothing wrong with them and that their partner should feel lucky to have them as a partner (Hock, 2010). Having a connection to the outside world is extremely important in a relationship. It is healthy to have outside connections whether you are single or in a relationship. A person that notices that their relationship is being isolated needs to take a moment to analyze their situation. Careful consideration needs to be taken to distinguish why this isolation is occurring. If this isolation is occurring for the wrong reasons, it might be a red flag that the towel might need to be thrown in. If isolation is occurring unintentionally, things need to be adjusted in order to have a healthy flow of the outside world into the relationship (Hock, 2010). Partners should not have to lie to each other, and they definitely should not be cheating on each other. If a partner finds that he or she has to lie to or cheat on their partner, this should be a clear indication that the relationship should not exist. If the lies are a result of minor issues that a partner believes are unnecessary, it is important that proper measures are taken to eliminate the lying from the relationship. Going back to proper communication between partners, two people in a relationship should have a healthy and honest communication channel between them, or it will never work (Hock, 2010). Trust is the blood in a relationship, without it, the relationship cannot exist. People need to carefully analyze if they can trust their partner. If found that there cannot be trust, the relationship will be bound for disaster and could be considered a waste of time if continued. In order for a relationship to work, a partner needs to be confident in themselves as well as in their partner. Confidence is crucial due to the fact that one should rest assure that their partner is with the right person and therefore has no reason to be jealous (Hock, 2010). In a relationship, self confidence is extremely important. Similar to overcoming jealousy issues, one should focus on their self confidence issues in order to trust that their partner can be trusted without the need for control. People with this controlling tendency need to really focus on this problem in order to eliminate this behavior. If not eliminated, the relationship will suffer, and the partner that is being controlled will eventually be very unhappy leading to another failed attempt in a relationship (Hock, 2010). It is extremely important for people with violent tendencies to get help with their problems. Although any and all attempts should be made to eliminate violent behavior, sometimes it is too difficult for a person with a violent nature to handle this problem on their own. It is recommended to get professional help if one has violent tendencies in relationships. For those that are not violent, sometimes people get stuck in violent situations. It is important to pay attention to red flags when it comes to violent tendencies in a partner. If the violent tendencies cannot be foreseen and violence eventually occurs, it is extremely important to talk to someone about this to get the help that is needed for these types of situations (Hock, 2010). No matter what the problem is, there are always resources available to help. Relationship Counselors have an incredible amount of expertise when it comes to problems in relationships. No matter the simplicity or complexity of the issues, Relationship Counselors are trained to help people work through them. If there is a way to save a relationship, a relationship counselor can help find that path.
Many times, people eventually realize that they need to do some work on their relationship. When this is realized, two people can work extremely hard and try several things to help save their relationship. Unfortunately, many of these times, the relationship will still fail. Sometimes, relationships are not meant to be and failure is inevitable. In these cases, what can be done? According to Perilloux, Carin in “Breaking up romantic relationships: Costs experienced and coping strategies deployed,” many different people have different coping strategies for dealing with breakups. For example, many woman cope with their break ups by doing things like shopping and often times changing their appearance before getting back into the dating market (Perilloux, C., & Buss, D.M., 2008). Everyone has different ways of dealing with these kinds of issues. Although there are many different coping methods, there is one important thing that should be done in the event of a break up. First thing, one should respect the others wishes to move on from the relationship. Second, it is extremely important to take note of what was learned from that relationship. This important information should be applied to future relationships, and especially when the decision is made to settle down. One cannot, and should not dwell on the past, or a past relationship. Instead, one should look to the future and see how that person can apply all of the things that he or she has learned from all of their previous relationships. It is also important to look beyond what was learned in the previous relationships to what experts know about the matter. Measures should be taken to be aware of all the things that it takes to have a healthy relationship. With this important information on how to make a relationship work, one should be able to eventually move on to a new relationship with the confidence of knowing what it takes to make a relationship last.
Although it is not necessarily recognized by everyone, relationships are no walk in the park. Relationships take a tremendous amount of effort to maintain. If certain aspects of relationships are not carefully considered and taken seriously, a relationship can abruptly come to a crashing end. Relationships are arguably one of the most important things in life. People in relationships need to be extremely careful. There are a number of things that can cause a relationship to easily fall apart. Regardless of the many obstacles in maintaining a healthy relationship, many people often believe that relationships are easy and that there is nothing to work at. Unfortunately, many of these people are later disappointed when their relationships eventually fail, and they find that maybe the failure could have been avoided had some preventative measures been taken. This topic relates to college students due to the fact that college students are usually in their early stages of their dating lives. Often times, college students are still pretty new when it comes to relationships. Many of them haven’t learned all of the valuable things that there are to learn about relationships. It’s extremely important for all people to understand what goes into a relationship and what can be done to properly maintain a relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes, no matter how hard two people work towards saving a relationship, the end result cannot be avoided. Some relationships are destined to fail. Too many people end up alone in their older days. Nobody wants to end up alone. Relationships are extremely important in order to live a happy life. It is up to us to take the time to learn more about what it takes to maintain a healthy relationship and use that information to work towards reaching the ultimate goal of achieving a long lasting, and healthy relationship.
Canevello, A., & Crocker, J. (2010). Creating Good Relationships: Responsiveness, Relationship Quality, and Interpersonal Goals. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 99(1), 78-106. doi:10.1037/a0018186
Hock, R. R. (2010). Human Sexuality. Upper Saddle River: Pearson.
Huston, T. L. (2009). What’s love got to do with it? Why some marriages succeed and others fail. Personal Relationships, 16(3), 301-327. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2009.01225.x
Perilloux, C., & Buss, D. M. (2008). Breaking up romantic relationships: Costs experienced and coping strategies deployed. Evolutionary Psychology, 6(1), 164-181. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Rich, A. (2009, July 23). Relationships Explained. Retrieved February 10, 2011, from Relationships-Explained: http://www.relationships-explained.com/