You know what they say, love is blind. We all know somebody who has been in a less than ideal relationship situation but has struggled to realise that things are simply not right. Because there are a whole bunch of warm, fuzzy chemicals that are activated in your brain when you are falling in love, it’s easy to have slightly impaired judgement when it comes to making good relationship decisions. In fact, many of us have probably even been there.
In a recent article published on Psychology Today, therapist and life coach John Kim shared his ideas on what a wrong relationship looks like. “The purpose of this post isn’t to make you feel regretful about your past or panicked about your current relationship,” he explains. “It’s just a reminder to sharpen your radar and consider your options. The result could be having honest conversations with your partner or shifting your behaviour.”
Overall, Kim says that if you find yourself forgetting who you are while in a relationship or if you find yourself changing beyond recognition, this could be a sign that you may be in the wrong relationship. “Everything you’ve liked about yourself, who you are, or what makes you uniquely you, is gone or faded,” he writes.
As Kim explains, this sometimes happens in relationships when one partner is very controlling and tries to make the other partner into somebody they are not. “Sometimes partners try to control us and call this behavior as love,” he says. “Over time, this strips away at who we are or want to be. Then, one day, we wake up, look in the mirror, and don’t recognise ourselves. This is a sign, a bad one.”
Kim also clarifies that more often than not, this is not solely the fault of the more controlling partner. “You may find this to be a pattern in all your relationships, which means the common denominator is you; it’s easy to lose ourselves in our relationships,” he says. “This usually happens due to a distorted understanding of love as self-sacrifice, rather than thinking about it in terms of healthy compromises and growing together.”
If this sounds familiar to you, the good news is that it is possible to change things and get yourself into a space where you are ready to be in a healthy relationship. Kim says that more than anything, it’s important to begin focusing on yourself again and rediscover who you truly are – sometimes this may even mean taking a beak from dating for a period of time. “If you don’t, you’re not bringing you to the relationship. You’re bringing your conditioning,” he concludes.