Brandon’s big list of relationship no-no’s (part 1)

One thing that is interesting about movies is that we often have unique pet peeves related to our field of expertise. For my dad (a programmer) it’s cringing every time somebody hacks a computer in a way that makes no sense and shouldn’t be possible– for military buffs it’s watching films like 300 where they show Spartans using ridiculous combat formations that should get them instantly slaughtered– for me, it’s watching movies idealize unhealthy relationships.

You can see this with the Twilight series. I’ve actually had the fortune of not watching/reading this series thankfully (I apologize to any fan of the series who is offended, but it is not my cup of tea).

Despite this, even at a glance I could tell that most of the relationships were incredibly dysfunctional or broken. Here‘s a breakdown that I think explains it far better than I could.

Anyway, since this a pet peeve of mine. I wanted to discuss some of the cringe-worthy relationship no-no’s that our society sometimes encourages.

Valuing jealousy in a partner

We tend to like it when our partner gets jealous. The reason for this is that it demonstrates how important we are to somebody else and how unwilling that person is to risk losing us. In other words, we feel valued and that’s awesome. Unfortunately, it can be easy to take this philosophy too far.

When you value jealousy in a relationship you’re asking your partner to be unconfident and emotionally insecure. Jealousy only happens when you don’t feel emotionally secure. It’s a knee-jerk response to get out there and actively protect a relationship that feels threatened.

This means that jealousy is an indicator of how unstable a relationship is. More jealousy means less emotionally secure people, and less secure people equals a dysfunctional relationship.

It’s important to know that almost all relationships will have some jealousy, and it’s okay to enjoy having your loved one being a little possessive. The important part is to not encourage jealousy or seek it out in your significant other. The less you can value jealousy, the more stable your relationship can be.

Keeping score

Sometimes when we argue, it becomes a game about who will win. We like keeping score because it makes us feel better about ourselves. We think “sure I made some mistakes, but they made more”, or “I am doing more to keep this relationship together than you are”. It’s very alluring to think this way because it shifts focus away from your own faults and issues.

The reason that this is bad is that relationships require teamwork. When you keep score, you shift the relationship to one where you work against each other. This dissolves emotional connections. You start seeing the other person as “the enemy” instead of your partner and then there’s nothing keeping the two of you together. If this is an issue for you, all you really need to do is change how you handle disputes. I recommend my article on how to have healthy arguments.

This article turned out to be much longer than I expected, so I am making it a two-parter. Check-in next week to see the other 3 habits are.

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