Comparing your relationship, or yourself for that matter, to others can be a good thing or a bad thing. If you use other couples relationships to see the dysfunction in yours, that can be very beneficial. It can help you recognize what you should already know is unacceptable behavior. Comparing your relationship to others who are being treated better than you are can also help to empower you to stand up for yourself.
Comparing your relationship to other couples can help you spot the abnormalities in your own. All those things can help you to identify what needs to change and/or improve in your relationship. You also may learn how to create that change successfully. The problem is though, comparing your relationship to others may give you an unrealistic view of your own relationship. Sure, you see all your friends and families relationships play out on social media. You see them all smiling in pictures and saying nice, loving things about one another. You think to yourself, I wish my relationship was as warm and loving as theirs. But do you know the reality of the relationship you are comparing yours too? Probably not.
Let’s be real. We should all know we can’t believe everything we read, but yet so many people believe everything they read on social media. Yes there are plenty of people who air their dirty laundry on social media, but most people won’t reveal the reality of their romantic relationships there. They put out what they want their relationships to look like, but not the darker side of it. So you are only getting a part of the story, not the full story.
Even with your friends, they may tell you some of the bad side of their relationship, but not it’s entirety. They could be embarrassed to tell you how bad it really is. So should you be comparing your relationship to others when you don’t know what is really going on behind closed doors? On the surface, or in public, other people’s relationships could be considered enviable. But if your knowledge is only superficial, doing comparisons can give you a false impression of your own relationship.
How many times have celebrity couples breaking up been a shock to the general public? You hear people say how they thought they were the perfect couple, didn’t see the break up coming, and how shocked they are to hear it. Well, it was only a shock because they didn’t know the full story of what was really going on. If they did, they wouldn’t be so shocked. Some of the people in the most dysfunctional relationships are almost professionals at hiding the truth of their relationships from everyone. It is a shock sometimes when we find out the truth, because we fell for the propaganda. When you compare your relationship to others, you may be comparing the truth of yours to the lies of theirs. What you hear is also only one side of the story. How can you completely assess anything without all the facts? 50% of them simply won’t do.
Comparing your relationship to other people’s relationships can sometimes do more harm than good. You could be single right now, and watching all the happy couples is making you envious. But do you know that the first woman you saw is being verbally abused? What about the second that is being cheated on? What about the third who is having an affair? Sure, there are happy couples out there. Instead of comparing your relationship to others, focus on what you need in a relationship to make you happy. When you know what your needs are, you can make better future relationship choices. When you know what your needs are, you can know if a relationship will be right for you. When you know what your needs are, you have a better chance of them being met.
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