Although the “relationship advice” blogsphere is filled with pseudo-experts who love to talk in absolutes, the older we...
By Lincoln Anthony Blades
Although the “relationship advice” blogsphere is filled with pseudo-experts who love to talk in absolutes, the older we all collectively get, the more we realize that the only real truth about ALL relationships is that sometimes things are good, and sometimes things are really bad.
No matter how happy a couple looks, and regardless of how many #RelationshipGoals hashtags are retweeted beneath their photos, relationships will always be comprised of an erratic and fluctuant element. What separates couples is how we each choose to deal with the not-so-good times.
Some people have been blessed with the capability of being incredibly self aware enough to diagnose, and hopefully fix, what ails their relationship. But for the rest of us, we look for advice, second opinions, and insight from those we trust.
And, more often than not, there seems to be almost a standard list of advice that we receive on how to “fix” our relationships.
Some is highly specific, while other “words of wisdom” is incredibly vague. Some advice is very practical, and some is mostly theoretical. Some is good, and some is just plain bad. Here’s a list of three common “fixes” people in unhealthy unions are given to repair their relationship that will mostly end up doing more harm than good.
1) Getting more serious in your relationship.
For some reason, far too many people believe in the idea that if they are struggling at their current stage in their relationship, the best fix is to move to a more serious stage. In their minds, a deeper commitment would force each person to “step their game up.” This idea is preceded by advice such as:
“Oh you guys fight all the time? Well maybe moving in together will help you see things eye-to-eye.”
“Maybe if you guys finally get married, she’ll act different?”
“Maybe having a kid with him will knock some sense into his head and he’ll stop being so damn immature.”
This is a terrible idea. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship, getting more serious as a method to overshadow the problems you’re too scared to address is a recipe for making your eventual breakup far messier and complex.
2) Increased monitoring of your mate’s activities.
Sometimes when trust and/or faith starts to wane in a relationship, couples are advised to monitor their significant other as a method of dispelling reasons to not trust them.
Unaware monitoring: “Just check through her texts and emails and confirm that she ain’t givin’ you no reason to suspect she’s out here making moves on the low.”
Aware monitoring: “Tell him to call you every hour on the hour and check in. Tell him not to lock his phone around you, and inform him that if he comes into the house after 1 AM, he’s getting the ‘Yvette in Baby Boy sniff test.'”
Both of these are nothing more than terrible methods that lead to not addressing the toxic mistrust that’s eroding your relationship.
3) More sex, less talk.
When couples are experiencing extreme emotional and mental disconnects, sometimes they are told that spicing up their relationship is the key to getting things back on track.
“Go book a private getaway to somewhere hot and lock yourselves in your hotel room all night long and get that old thing back!”
To listen to this advice is to actively court disaster. An effective relationship that’s going through good times is hitting on the four main cylinders of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical chemistry. If one of those cylinders starts misfiring, the key to fixing it is addressing that specific cylinder. It is more than possible to have a great sex life with someone you have a terrible emotional and mental connection with. If you try to avoid fixing what’s truly wrong between you and your significant other, you will end up doing little more than turning your mediocre relationship into a dysfunctional one.
Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, ThisIsYourConscious.com. He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.