Sex + Relationships

Finding Your Balance from A to Chi: Destructive Relationships

College is supposed to be the best four years of your life, so why not love every minute of it?

Once you are in college, it is not uncommon for people to enter into “serious” and long term relationships. While some individuals may have had a significant other in high school, the romantic relationships you establish in college tend to be more of a commitment. Even though being with someone you love is an incredible experience, some relationships unfortunately do more harm than good. Just like all of the different elements in your life, relationships require balance to be successful – they are about give and take, with both partners putting in an equal amount of work. But once relationships become unbalanced and one-sided, problems inevitably occur, creating a destructive relationship.

Relationships should always be more play than work. Even though all relationships do require work in order to maintain them, the good times should always outweigh the bad. But unfortunately, some relationships do not follow this idea. Once a relationship becomes unbalanced, it seems as though the weight of the world is resting solely on one partner. While you may think it’s “normal” for one person to put in more work, this isn’t the case. If one person is continuously putting in more effort than the other, this will only result in emotional distress and exhaustion, building friction between the pair. The only way to fix this problem is open communication, but sometimes some problems go unresolved.

One of the most common signs of a destructive relationship is the enabling of bad behavior. Especially when things start going downhill, it is easy to rationalize destructive patterns in order to salvage the relationship. Even though one little lie or an ignored phone call may seem minute, the behavioral patterns will only continue to get worse as time goes on. If there is something you are unhappy about, bring it up. By avoiding confrontation with the other person, you are only internalizing the problems. This will only lead to a catastrophic breakdown later on, which will have a more permanent effect than if you tackled the problem straight on once it happened.

If this article is something you can relate to, it may be time for you to reevaluate the relationship you are in. Even though friends and family may easily be able to point out the writing on the wall, it is always harder to recognize the destructive patterns when you are actually experiencing it yourself. In order to productively analyze your relationship, you must take a step back and think everything through. You only want to be with someone who makes you happy, and someone who contributes something positive to your life every day. If your significant other just isn’t doing that for you, it’s either time to address the issue or move on.

But remember, only you have the power to make that change in your life.

By Eva Zymaris