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Let Go of Being the Perfect Partner

Supportive, long-term relationships

To foster a long-term, supportive, solid relationships, it's important to recognize your flaws while still holding yourself and your partner in high regard.

Start by freeing yourself from the outdated notions of how an exemplary partner should behave.

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Let Go of Being the Perfect Partner

Let Go of Being the Perfect Partner

https://estherperel.com/blog/let-go-of-being-the-perfect-partner

estherperel.com

6

Key Ideas

There is no such thing as the ideal partner

Thus, you should give up the hope that you can be flawless and put together every day in a relationship.

That idea is not realistic, puts you in a continuous state of feeling that you're not good enough, and can stop you from developing real confidence in yourself.

Supportive, long-term relationships

To foster a long-term, supportive, solid relationships, it's important to recognize your flaws while still holding yourself and your partner in high regard.

Start by freeing yourself from the outdated notions of how an exemplary partner should behave.

Being “chill/cool”

These are not signs of emotional maturity or intelligence, because there are some things that you should get upset about (an unfaithful or neglectful partner, for example).

Specific situations demand certain reactions, and this idea of people being “too much” or “crazy” is destructive because it causes you to act fake and pretend that your partner’s hurtful actions don’t bother you.

Emotion regulation

Learn how to regulate your emotions: cry, scream, get angry, but then calm down.

This way you’re exposing your partner to the way you really are, to what upsets you, and how you handle and resolve your feelings. The right partner should still love you once you open up in this way.

Being supportive

In relationships, there is usually one partner designated as the emotional rock. The risk with this: always being there for others can sometimes make you forget to take care of you.

The challenge is figuring out how to encourage your partner while holding on to your own identity and individuality.

Having your life together

You are allowed to make mistakes, search for yourself, and not have all the answers about who you really are.

If you begin a relationship on the supposition that you have everything figured out, you are setting yourself up for failure later on: Your relationship will be developed on unrealistic expectations, and your partner may be resentful once you reveal your true self.

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  • Ghosting: Stopping communications suddenly and completely with someone you are dating, but no longer want to date. You cannot face the pain you will inflict, so you make it invisible by disappearing.
  • Icing: Making up a reason to prolong the relationship. "I'm too busy." You want the person to hang on and be there if you change your mind.
  • Simmering: Reducing the frequency of dates and communication. You know it isn't working, but you like the security of the relationship while you browse other options.
  • Power parting: You know it isn't working and end the relationship conclusively. "This isn't working for me. Thank you for sharing your world. I enjoyed our time together and wish you all my best."
Bringing back relationship accountability

Ghosting, icing, and simmering are manifesting the decline of empathy in our society. This encourages selfishness in one party without regard to the consequences of others.

Try to end relationships respectfully and conclusively, even when they were short in duration. Act with kindness and integrity. This allows both parties to enter another relationship with a clear head rather than with insecurity.

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It’s not necessarily a bad thing to fight

Certain lines should not be crossed, and it’s important to repair them.

For that, keep in mind you have to validate the other person’s feelings and acknowledge the fact they experience t...

The form fights take
  • The first dynamic of an argument: you gather the information that reinforces your beliefs and neglect information that challenges them.
  • The second dynamic: the negative attribution theoryIf I’m treating you poorly, it’s because I had a bad day.
  • The third dynamic: the negative escalation cycle. This is when we instigate from a person the very behavior we don’t want.
Mistakes during arguments
  • "Holding: the absolute truth: We think that when we say something during a conflict, it is an absolute truth rather than a reflection of an experience. If I feel it, then it must be a fact.
  • Using the words "always" and "never:" I always do all the work/You never help with the work. Nobody likes to be defined by someone else.
  • Chronic criticism: It happens when you criticize so much that you leave the other person feeling like he can never do anything right.

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The value of complaining
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As important and healing as gratitude is, we can't be grateful all the time. There is a time when we also have to make room for complaints.

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Complaining is better with others
  • Make space for other people to vent aloud. They know that they are powerless, and they have to accept the situation. Venting gives them the illusion that they are in control.
  • Have a little competition with your best complaints.
  • Create a house chart of complaints where your kids can let out their own.
  • Avoid complaining mistakes (such as: getting carried away by anger, firing too many complaints at a time or thinking that complaining alone will save us from our problems).
Loneliness And Loss Of Connection
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Loneliness is nothing new, but the last decade the feeling has expanded to alarming degrees. Loneliness used to mean being socially isolated, but now it means loss of connection, lack of trust, and...

Ambiguous Loss

It happens when your loved one is physically present but has gone absent in all other ways from any sort of relationship.

One can see it when a partner is half-listening to you, distracted on social media, or when during a phone conversation, you can feel that your partner is lost somewhere, and is lagging in his/her response.

Solitude In The Time Of Crisis

We used to love solitude when there was hustle-bustle on the streets, but now when the whole world is isolated and the streets are not as before, solitude feels stressful.

These times of crisis and loss have made our coping mechanism become extreme and unpredictable.

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The New Normal

... requires a new mindset. Our lives are being redefined in front of our eyes, and this an opportunity to rebuild, reprioritize, reconnect, and even let go of some of the things that were holding us back long before the global crisis happened.

Feel The Pain

Many of us have lost our loved ones, jobs, human touch, safety and security, and many milestones of life. It is important to feel this misery, to experience the grief, as from this sadness and grief are what will help us accept reality, and provide us with the drive and energy to move forward. We cannot be stuck in denial any longer.

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Tolerance and Broadening Our Mindsets
  • We need to find out how much tolerance we have of people that are different from us, whether it is their looks, background or belief patterns.
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Learning is necessary for our success and personal growth

But we can’t maximize the time we spend learning because our feelings about what we ‘should’ be doing get in the way.

When our brains equate learning and work

If we are learning for work, then in our brains learning equals work. So we think we have to do it during the day, at our workplace.

We think that walking is not learning. It’s ‘taking a break’. We instinctively believe that reading is learning. Having discussions about what you’ve read, however, is often not considered work, again it’s ‘taking a break’.

The focused and diffuse thinking modes

When mastering a subject, our brain has two general modes of thinking: focused and diffuse, both important in the learning process.

The focused mode is what we traditionally associate with learning. But we need time to process what we pick up, to get this new information integrated into our existing knowledge. We need time to make new connections. This is where the diffuse mode comes in.

“Done” is always better than “Perfect”
“Done” is always better than “Perfect”

“Perfect” and “productive” aren’t the same thing; perfectionism is actually counterproductive.

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3 types of perfectionism
  • Self-oriented: when people are highly critical of themselves.
  • Other-oriented: when people are highly critical of others.
  • Socially-prescribed: when people think others expect them to be perfect and then pressure themselves to be perfect in order to meet those expectations.
What causes perfectionism
  • Competitive work environments: If you work in a culture that demands perfection, you’ll probably start demanding perfection.
  • Pride and personality: Some persons have personalities that are naturally susceptible to perfectionism.
  • Fear of failure: People identify with their failure. They will strive for perfection as self-preservation.

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Understanding

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Feel and express your emotions

Until we fully release our emotions, they continue to affect our present mindset.

  • Do anger work. Allow yourself to be fully disappointed, sad or depressed. Talk about it.
  • Write a letter. Purging emotions out on paper give them a place to live outside of yourself.
  • Talk to the person (if possible). This is only helpful if it is safe for you to speak with the person. It is usually not effective when you are angry or until you have processed your emotions significantly on your own.
Rebuild safety

Create new boundaries for yourself within the relationship.

This may mean you no longer see the person, end the relationship or establish new guidelines.

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