A heart in love is extremely stupid. Sometimes one is in a painful and unhealthy relationship but we fail to realize that. There are some pretty obvious symptoms such as violence or abuse that are inexcusable and have absolutely no place in society. But there are some other subtle things that are quite easy to overlook. Here are six symptoms that should watch out for. Trust me, I’m a doctor.
- Your relationship is such a big secret that even you don’t know what it is like – I understand that in India telling your friends and parents about your relationship is a complicated issue. But if your partner is abnormally secretive about your relationship, it is likely that the reasons are not good. They could either be embarrassed about it because their friends would think less of them or could be hoping that with fewer people involved the impending break up will be cleaner with less explaining to do. All this implies that they have little hope for this to succeed in the long term.
- Booty calls and drunk texts are the cornerstone of your relationship – If you find that your partner seems to be calling you mostly when they are drunk or lonely and horny at night, alarm bells should start ringing. It does not bode well if the expression of love happens in bipolar fashion where your partner treats you poorly or ignores you for long periods of time, followed by overly passionate and desperately romantic gestures. Being with someone who only thinks of you when they need you can’t possibly be fulfilling. A stable relationship should be reflected by a stable expression of love.
- There are too many one way streets that lead nowhere – Our cinemas have taught us that love is an intangible, inexplicable, emotional experience, where a person in true “one-sided” love can sacrifice everything with little or no returns. While that makes for a great Bollywood narrative, in reality a relationship has to be a two way street. Break ups in real life often happen for petty reasons such as money, or who has to travel longer to meet, or who puts in more thought into gift giving. There has to be some sort of fairness in the trade-off else things tend to sour quickly.
- You relationship is a Ross-Rachel cycle of on-again, off-again, break up, make up, make out, blame, shame madness – It is sort of fancy to tell others that your relationship is “complicated” but it doesn’t have to be that way. In my observation, when someone claims that their relationship is complicated, it is often a code for when at least one person in the relationship is getting hurt badly. Most of us are not emotionally built to handle an “open” or polygamous relationship. For that to work favourably, both partners have to clearly understand exactly what is going on. And if you understand something clearly, by definition it is not complicated any more.
- Your partner is in a relationship with themselves and you’ve just joined in for a threesome – Some people are just self-centred egomaniacs that are incapable of thinking about the happiness of other people. It has been my long standing contention that these people will never find true love. While they may find a compatible relationship, I feel that the essence of romance is finding vicarious pleasure in the happiness of your loved one. If you find happiness in your life and in the life of your partner, you can literally be twice as happy.
- You prefer the “principle of least effort” approach – i.e., whenever a difficult conversation comes up, the default response is “Let us not think about all that, let us just enjoy this moment that we are in”. To be successful in the long run, important topics such as your feelings, the status of the relationship and other issues in your individual lives have to be talked about and worked on even though they are a lot less fun than some of the other things you could be doing at that time. Reluctance from your partner to talk about these things only reflects a lack of interest in getting into a serious relationship.
If you find that your relationship checks one of these six boxes, it is cause for concern but definitely not cause for despair. Thankfully all these issues can be worked upon and fixed, but that requires effort from both partners.
Finding a partner who’s ready to walk the mile with you is not as hard as it may seem. Take a step. Download Woo from the Google Play Store or the iPhone App Store to meet some interesting people. But don’t forget. It takes talking and work!