Good old Valentines day just passed by. Couples expressing their love on social media, changing the profile pic with some weird valentines day graphics etc. It is all love and joy all around. When we think of love we think of all the goodness associated with it. All that our movies glorify and make us dream. But is it all sugar and honey? No, it is not. With love comes much more in life.

“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.”
― Joan Crawford

Okay wait! Look I am not a relationship expert. These are just my thoughts from what I have seen in the world. Though most of these are things that work in the real world, I cannot guarantee a perfect relationship out of all this. So with that disclaimer, read on…

Human beings need love. Ever since we evolved into social beings, falling in love has become an essential ingredient in ensuring the sustenance of mankind. The whole world revolves around love. Literature, art, music - you can find love everywhere.

While most of us are lucky to fall in love with a person who shares similar characteristics, there are cases where love does not guarantee respect, affection or compatibility. One can fall in love with someone who doesn’t care about you the way you do about them.

If your love reaches a point where you have to sacrifice a lot beyond what is reasonable, it might probably time to rethink the relationship. Yes, sacrificing your time, your plans and your desires are at times essential for love. But when you have to give up your personality or your liberty, it takes an ugly turn.

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
― André Gide

But truth be told, as beautiful as love can be, there are certain things which if not careful can ruin a relationship and suck your life out of yourself. Here are few things that drive you to exactly that:

1. Unrealistic expectations

Since the time we first understood the meaning of what love is, we always had an expectation of how our partner had to be. At one point it might have been in the form of some movie star. But as we grew, we become more matured and have very specific expectations from our partner. While it is good to have expectations, the level of expectations should not be so high that your partner finds it difficult to fulfil them.

Accept your partner for who they are. Talk about your expectations and if they feel some of them are unreasonable, try to understand why. Similarly, they might have some unrealistic expectations from you. Make it clear to them that those expectations cannot be fulfilled.

2. Jealousy

While in small amount jealousy makes your partner feel cared, excessive jealousy will ruin it for both of you. The moment it reaches a point when you feel a need to control your partner and put unreasonable restrictions, it brings the relationship to a very unpleasant turn.

Insecurity is the reason for jealousy. It can be out of any previous experiences as well. But once you feel it, try to understand why you feel it and is it reasonable. You cannot ask your partner to stop talking to a co-worker just because you feel jealous. That has a direct impact on their careers. Grow out of your insecurities and trust your partner. After all, they are ultimately yours.

3. Lack of time and conversations

Being in a relationship requires constant time and energy put to it. You need to have quality time together and have open conversations. It is hard to maintain the affection is there is no time spent between the partners. Being together gives you time to talk to each other, make memories that you cherish and feel each other’s affection.

“Two people in love, alone, isolated from the world, that’s beautiful.”
― Milan Kundera

It does not mean that you constantly spend time together keeping everything aside. Like everything else takes a priority in your life, ensure that time with your partner fits in somewhere. Take this time to have meaningful conversations with them. Let them know what you feel and listen to them and their side of the story. Sometimes the things that bother you can cease to be an issue once you have an open communication with your partner.

With all the technology today, distance is not that much of an issue, but do take time out of your schedule to be intimate. Being intimate reinforces your bonding and brings you closer.

4. Lack of appreciation

Being grateful is a quality that we must develop in order to be happy in life. This applies to relationships as well. Spending a lot of time finding faults in your partner is not going to take you anywhere. Instead, try to appreciate the small things. It might be as simple as they waking you up in the morning on time or cooking a small dinner for you.

Make use of the chances where you can thank them. A hug or a kiss as a “thank you” goes a long way. Being appreciative also increases affection. Affection keeps the relationship going. Share some intimate time together. Make it a point to say that you appreciate what they do.

5. Being obstinate

Every relationship has its ups and downs. It is quite natural to feel sad, angry or frustrated. But it is important to fix these issues by understanding the problems. This might even require you to accept your mistakes. But many times, we just want to be right and don’t want to admit that we are wrong.

So, stop being kiddish and go out and accept you are wrong if you are. Most of the times, just the acceptance of your mistake will just dissolve the tension of the situation. Go ahead, do it.

Acceptance and trust

People talk about partners being best friends. It is easy to just say “my partner is my best friend”, the question is, would you accept your partner’s traits as you might do with your best friend? Are you okay with your partner being themselves?

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Being needy and always looking for validation for your partner’s love can lead to an unhappy relationship. Feeling insecure about whether the partner still cares, looking for clues to see if they are still affectionate all the time and wondering if they are being faithful all the time, asking them about their whereabouts all the time, calling their friends to check if they told you the truth - all these make your partner frustrated in a long run how much ever understanding they are.

“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
― Oscar Wilde

Do not make your partner always be looking out for ways to make you happy. Once you know they care for you, there need not be a reminder every minute to prove it. Try to be a someone who does not need anyone’s opinion or validation to lead a happy life. This can be done only if you respect and love yourself first.

When you do love and respect yourself, it doesn’t matter if your partner is away from you or is absent for some amount of time. You don’t need them to keep showering praises and wrap their arms around you every minute to make you feel loved. You know they love you and that keeps you satisfied. You need to feel secure enough to let your partner have their freedom and in turn, they should respect your freedom.

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
― Jodi Picoult

Falling in love and being in love are wonderful feelings. But that should not be at the expense of one’s personality and the very essence that makes them what they are. The moment we are forced to be someone we are not, love ceases to exist. If you want love, let it be unconditional. At least to a reasonable extent.

Be yourself and be loved for what you are. That stays on for a long time.