Being taken to celebrity chef restaurants when you’re dating? Buying and creating a Homes & Garden standard house together? Taking happy couple-only holidays in chic destinations? Having designer-clad children attending the most prestigious schools?
Not that there’s anything wrong with these things. I love luxe as much as the next girl.
But be careful that there’s some content beneath the glamorous exterior, or you could be deluding yourself.
Here are 7 warning signs that there may be heartache ahead if you’re not careful:
1. It’s not okay to be yourself
In deluded relationships, there’s a pressure to be other than you are. To look different; to behave different; to want different things to the things you really want.
In good relationships, the real “you” is loved to bits. Quirks and all.
2. You have no shared vision of the future
You’re kidding yourself about how real your relationship is if there’s no long-term plan that you’ve both talked through at length.
Joined up couples talk often about their shared sense of purpose and direction. This enhances the depth of their bond.
3. Communication between you sucks
Couples who rarely talk, or do so just to disagree and argue, ain’t going to hack it in the long term.
On the other hand, those that talk to one another about pretty much anything do better. That’s not to say they won’t struggle to hear one another in more emotional conversations. But they will tend to stick with it and enable a deeper sense of intimacy with one another as a result.
4. Basic care and respect are missing
Sucky couples totally neglect the basics. They do things like plan business meetings on birthdays, and forget anniversaries. They take for granted things that are done for them by the other.
Those that pay attention to the everyday things of life tend to do better. Honoring an arrangement to be somewhere on time; saying thank you for treat of being brought Sunday morning breakfast in bed.
5. There’s no sex
In delusional relationships the sex was something that disappeared some time ago and now doesn’t ever get talked about, or if it does, it’s only with resentment.
Good relationships, even those of long-standing, understand the pivotal role that sex plays in expressing love. There’s always some kind of sexual banter going on. If sex hits a bit of a drought, it gets talked about because it’s an indicator of something that needs attention.
6. There’s only sex
Conversely, in some relationships going nowhere, sex is all there is. Take it away and there’s no big picture, no big common interests, no shared values or beliefs.
In which case, it’s possible you don’t have a relationship at all. What you do have is an addiction.
7. You’ve got a flaky concept of what love is
Many misinformed folks think that love is some gooey feeling that we just happen across and that, if we love someone else, the mushiness will survive regardless.
It doesn’t work that way. Yes, there’s attraction that draws us to another in the first place, but after that love is a choice. It’s a decision to extend part of ourselves, to another regardless. Love sometimes means being tough and saying things that are hard to hear. But it’s always supportive and nurturing.
No relationship is ever perfect. But the time to improve things is while there’s enough commitment on either side to make things work. Sadly, when things start to go wrong, it’s easy to put your head in sand and hang on to that picture you’ve got in your head of how perfect you guys actually are.
Don’t. If any of the things here give you cause for concern, sort them out now.