Do you suffer from “relationship envy”?

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Why is it that the grass is always greener on the other side, or in this case, the couple next door have such a perfect relationship with perfect hair and perfect kids and perfect smiles, hell even their fights are perfect!? It’s enough to make you want to move house, yet you grit your teeth and force out a smile all the while plotting locusts and fire on them in the inside. Don’t look at me like that, we’ve all done it, sometimes even the best of us can’t help but compare ourselves to our friends, family or neighbours, at some point we have all experienced relationship envy. But as we all know, nothing is ever as it seems, sometimes what you see on the surface is just the tip of the iceberg to the mountain of issues below.

Comparing

It’s an easy habit to get into; it usually starts with material goods or status and then moves to circumstances and more personal traits. As we get older we start to place higher expectations on ourselves due to pressure from family, friends, the media and well…age. As the great Tony Robbins once said, “happiness is progression”. This might not be so for everyone, but I know that for myself a significant portion of my happiness is moving forward and achieving goals in every aspect of my life, especially my relationship. Women call it a “biological clock” which doesn’t just include babies but also the ring, wedding and dream house before that! Men like to know they are a great provider, have a secure income and are properly “set-up” before they feel like they can move into those things. And so the race to become bigger, better, happier, prettier, richer and more secure than the next begins to become a daily thought and action. It can become detrimental to yourself and every relationship in your life of not kept in check.

Shifting focus

It’s time to take your thoughts and eyes off Mr and Mrs Perfect and refocus back on your own relationship. Make a mental list of all the amazing things you do have, not so you can compare notes with your friends but so you can remind yourself and your partner about the good stuff. It’s so easy to focus on the crap, mainly because it usually hits us a lot more and takes more energy than the good. Remember whatever you focus on, you manifest into your life, so if you want to see positive things then think positive constructive thoughts.

Be realistic

Life is different for everyone, circumstances and people will vary and so will the dynamics of a relationship. Whilst you may want the little golden-princess-Mills-and-Boon fairytale in your head, this is not necessarily how life works and while we are at it, no unicorns don’t really exist! As women we have this built in desire to be romanced and swept off our feet into the dreams of our heart, but in reality men are only capable of so much and we need to learn a little lesson in compromise. In no way am I suggesting you should have to compromise the fundamentals, your dreams or your happiness, but instead just your expectations of what a relationship really is: consistent hard work with great rewards.  You will go through different seasons , everyone does, so rest assured just because you don't see hardship in other people's relationship does not mean it doesn't exist for them . As the saying goes, you never know goes on behind closed doors; conflict is usually a healthier sign than indifference

Re-evaluate.

If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others personally or their situation then it’s usually a good indication that something needs to change or be addressed. This might not even have anything to do with your partner, but rather a root of unhappiness within yourself. Whilst comparison can help keep us accountable and give us a benchmark to achieve or guidelines for what is healthy, it can also be a joy thief. Look at what you do have, not what you don’t and see if it lines up with not necessarily what you want, but what you need. No one is perfect and perhaps if you took a step back you’d be able to start to re- appreciate the people in your world, the man by your side and the simple pleasures in life.

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