None of us is always wise in relationships. Our hopes, fears, dreams, past conditioning and a host of other emotions enter the picture, meaning we don’t act rationally. And why should we? Relationships are about the heart and they don’t always make sense. However, there are several relationship follies that we can fall into, that can cause great unhappiness, and we might not even see what’s happening.
Here we look at:
So don’t be a relationship fool. Check out the major traps, and be sure to avoid them.
Projection is a very common psychological pattern. Put simply, it means seeing what you want to see. However, it’s the subconscious that takes control here, so often it’s hard to spot what’s happening. Deep within, we all have an image of the ideal romantic partner, and when we meet someone who comes close to that image, we ‘project’ the ideal onto them, and fall in love.
Falling in love always involves a certain amount of illusion. Everyone has faults, secrets and hidden parts, but when you’re in love you don’t see them. All you see is the Prince or Princess Charming that you’ve projected.
Projections can feel very real and compellingly powerful, giving that person you adore a special magic. But that ‘magic’ comes from your subconscious. It’s something you ‘project’ – if it wasn’t everyone would be in love with your special one.
Being in love is great when your feelings are returned and everything is going along fine. In time that ‘in love’ feeling changes to a more realistic form of love and deeper bonds. But that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the relationship doesn’t survive the end of being ‘in love’, perhaps because there’s not much real substance.
However, one damaging thing that can happen is that you carry on being ‘in love’ and projecting onto someone who is hurting you or letting you down. Someone who keeps you guessing, who makes promises, who’s often absent or who comes and goes can keep you in a state of emotional tension. You may see this person as something special and enchanting, believing you can’t live without them, or that they are irreplaceable.
Don’t be a projection fool. If you’re projecting your ideal onto someone unsatisfactory, you’re giving your power and self-esteem away. Tell yourself firmly that this lover is not what they appear to be, that they do not deserve your love and stop imagining a perfect life with them. What you love is a figment of your imagination. Practice imagining something better, and although it may take a while, soon you’ll have some real magic in your life.
Are you in a relationship where you are regularly guilt-tripped and controlled by guilt? Maybe you chose the relationship in the first place because you felt guilty – perhaps at the thought of hurting someone who loves you, even though you don’t really return the feelings. If so, that’s foolish.
Guilt is very destructive. Not only do you feel bad about what you do, want to do or have done. You also feel bad about yourself. You live life on the naughty step, afraid to be yourself. It usually means that you put the needs and feelings of your partner well before your own, and totally beyond the bounds of what’s reasonable.
Don’t be a guilty fool. Whatever you feel ‘bad’ about, respect yourself and love yourself. Why feel sorry for someone else when you are going through hell? In the nicest possible way, start to feel a little sorry for yourself, and talk to yourself the way a best friend would. Stop feeling guilty and starting living – for you.
Do you regularly pick partners that you know aren’t quite good enough, or who don’t truly come up to the standard you want? Maybe you do this because you feel safer, or because it makes life easier, or because you like the feeling of power and being ‘one up’ – but is this making you happy?
Don’t be a ‘B team’ fool. If your self-esteem needs building get some counseling or other therapy so you feel able to play with your ‘A’ team. Maybe there is more risk of rejection and disappointment, but if you feel good about yourself deep within you will bounce back, and join the winners.
Are you with someone who keeps on making empty promises? Do you often hear ‘I promise I’ll stop drinking,’ ‘I promise I’ll lose weight,’ ‘I promise I’ll not stay out late,’ ‘I promise I’ll be faithful,’ etc. etc. etc.?
Everyone deserves a second, or even a third chance, but after that you’d be a fool to believe them, even for a minute. Falling for the same old line can go with ‘Projection’ – see above – where you want to believe your lover is special and wonderful even when they are far from this.
Don’t be a fool who falls for the same old line, time and time again, living on promises. If your lover is going to make a change it’s their journey. You can’t make it for them, and if it’s an important change like stopping drinking, there has to be an inner commitment from them. So live your life and find fulfillment elsewhere if you have to. If they pull their socks up, maybe the relationship can be reinstated. More likely that you’ll come to your senses and be happy with someone you can trust.
In this article we’ve looked at four ways you can be a fool in relationships. Projection, guilt, the ‘B’ team and falling for the same old line can make fools of us all. But now you know, you can be on the look-out. Remember that if you’re in a partnership that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, you may be a relationship fool – and it could be time to wise up and move on.
PUBLISHED: 17 March 2016