Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The 7 Deadly Sins of Love

Lately, I had a conversation with a pal on how I was worried about a friend who has been in a relationship that well... all of us frankly thought was just not good enough for her.

Don't get me wrong, we all want her to be happy, and at this point - they seem really happy.

But when it gets bad... I guess, she doesn't see it? Because she's all in love.

So, when I saw this by Michael Fiore, I thought, it might be good to share..
Don't know if she'll see this..

But, there are some things that I am guilty of as well. And some stuff that I've experienced before too, which, perhaps, I might have recognised, if I had read this too. So it's a good one to note.


#1: Criticism

Dr. John Gottman of the University of Washington (whos brilliant) says that criticism is the gateway drug of a toxic relationship. (OK, he didnt say it EXACTLY like that. But its what he meant.)
Whats a criticism?

Its when you drag your partner over the coals not just for their actions but for who they are.

Dammit, Mark. Youre so inconsiderate. You knew I was here alone and you didnt even call me. What kind of person are you?

Criticism is TOXIC and has absolutely no place in a good relationship. Ill teach you how to talk about things you arent happy about in a relationship without being critical in a future email.

#2: Control

I need you home by 9:30. I have to be up early tomorrow and you know I cant sleep if youre not there next to me.
Funny story;

A couple weeks ago I was out with a female friend.

We spotted a guy across the restaurant.

Hes about 40. Short. Successful. Forgettable. Having dinner with a light looking blonde with pneumatic bosoms.

My friend knows the guy from years back.

Oh, man. Look, its Kyle. You know he actually has a curfew for his girlfriend? Whoever hes dating has to be home by a certain time or he blows his lid. His ex girlfriend totally got him though. Turns out she had another sugar daddy in another state and when she was visiting her sick dad she was seeing him.

Anyway . . .

Control is when you subtly or overtly try to control your partners behavior.

This can mean telling them when to be home, telling them how to dress, saying who they can or cant hang out with (He says he cant handle me hanging out with male friends.), treating your partner like a child who needs permission to do things or . . . you get the idea.

Controlling behavior is particularly scary because its way too easy for CONTROL to lead to ABUSE.

#3: Emotional Dishonesty

When I talk about this one, certain folks always say stuff like Yeah, my girlfriend is totally dishonest. I told her I just want to look through her phone to make sure shes not lying to me and she freaked out.
But thats not what Im talking about at all. (In fact, thats another type of controlling behavior.)

Overt lying in a relationship is obviously unhealthy, but its actually GOOD to keep some things to yourself.

What Im talking about is lying about how you FEEL.

Its way too easy to keep parroting words like I love you long after they lose all their juice and meaning because you feel like you should still feel that way or you dont want to make waves.

#4: Prince Charming Syndrome

I see this a LOT more with women than I do with men . . .
So often Ill get an email from a woman saying I met this guy. Hes almost perfect! He fits 95% of whats on my list and if I can just get him to grow three inches I know well be SO happy. (OK, extreme example.)
And then they absolutely sabotage what could have been a great relationship by focusing all of their time and energy on whats WRONG with a guy (or girl) instead of whats RIGHT with them.

#5: Over-compromising

Dont get me wrong, compromising in a relationship is wonderful and necessary.
But too often folks compromise to the lowest common denominator and nobody ends up happy.
For instance, youre cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie . . .

He wants to watch Die Hard (because its awesome)

She wants to watch The Notebook (because its also awesome.)

After 20 minutes of back and forth looking for something well both like you end up watching a weird documentary on guys who love My Little Pony and nobodys happy. (The My Little Pony documentary is actually pretty fascinating and features that guy who played Q on Star Trek.)

(Over-compromising in the bedroom is particularly noxious and deadly to happy love and has bought houses for marriage counselors.)

#6: Misunderstanding Love

But if you LOVE me you'll do ANYTHING for me, right?
Love is a weird concept.
Actually, up until the middle ages when guys in silly hats started writing poems about heaving bosoms and plays about teenagers committing suicide because their families wouldnt let them be together, the whole concept of Romantic Love didnt even really exist.

And modern science has actually been able to pinpoint EXACTLY what happens in the human brain to make us feel that overwhelming, ravenous desire for a person where a halo blazes above their head and you just want to consume their skin.

That initial overwhelming love is easy.

And the big sin here is thinking its going to be easy forever.

The fact is, Love is work.

And love is a choice.


It shouldn't be work all the time (if it is, get out.)

But you need to wake up every day and DECIDE that you love the person next to you (warts and all.)

And finally . . .

#7: Resentment

To be successful in love you need to be your partners biggest cheerleader, their port of safety and the one person who will always forgive them for annoying you and pissing you off.
Which is HARD.

For most people, resentment builds up over month sand years and decades until you cant even look at the person you used to love without bile and angst and contempt.

The key to being able to actually be happy with somebody is to accept them for who they are, forgive them for not being who you want them to be and celebrating their flaws as much as you do their merits.

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