Ultimately, the strength and longevity of any relationship is built on two things; respect and affection. From those two pillars, beautiful relationships can be built, but it takes strength, time and patience to get to that point.
Destructive, violent behaviour in relationships is never acceptable, but a curious thing happens as we get older – we expect our partners to have grown out of it. We also expect ourselves to be able to notice the patterns of behaviour and intervene before they poison our relationships for good. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
If you’re mature dating and recognise any of the following destructive signs, it’s time to make a choice.
- If there’s no trust in a relationship, there might as well be no relationship. Confidence that your partner won’t hurt you or stop loving you (and vice versa) is essential. The moment the trust leaves a relationship, it’s a ticking time-bomb until the breakup.
- If you can’t listen to your partner, then who can you listen to? Whether they are telling you about their day or addressing a serious issue; they deserve your full, undivided attention just as you would expect from them. If you can’t provide this, how will you be able to understand and support him/her?
- The foundation of any relationship is communication and if you neglect this essential aspect you are neglecting your partner. Biting your tongue to spare your partners feelings is one thing, but allowing small problems to develop into large issues because you don’t confront them will result in the end of your relationship.
- Trying to get the upper hand in a relationship is very dangerous; love is equal, not a competition. If there are things that your partner is unable to tell you, or vice versa, for fear of using the information against them/you, you should not be in this relationship.
- Relying on another person can be extremely draining for them whether it be emotional, physically, psychologically or financially. Support is vital, yes, but be wary of you or your partner becoming overly dependent.
- Either end of the spectrum, whether it’s picking arguments for the sake of them or avoiding them altogether can both be destructive. Arguments are important in a relationship as they allow you to discuss the little issues before they get out of hand and provide you both with a natural release. Just be aware of how often you are bickering and what the arguments are about.
- In a relationship, you can’t burn through your money like you would when you are single; especially in a serious long-term relationship. If all you or your partner ever does is spend money to treat yourself/themselves; it can be very selfish and frustrating.
- If you are your partner is afraid of being single, this is a huge warning sign that your relationship isn’t right. A lack of confidence or low self-esteem can be draining on a relationship and if it’s being forced it will inevitably crumble.
- If either you are your partner expects the relationship to make ‘everything better’ in life, you are heading for disaster. Nobody can make anyone else happy; it’s something you have to do for yourself. Furthermore, relationships aren’t always positive. You must deal with an array of emotions and situations and should be there to support one another in times of both happiness and sadness so having the expectation that your relationship will be rosy is unrealistic and unhealthy.
If you can see any of these patterns forming in your relationship, it’s time to make a choice. If you are damaging your relationship it’s up to you to face these issues and either make a change or end the relationship. If your partner is illustrating any of these negative behaviours, you must speak to them. By addressing the problems you may be able to fix your relationship, however, in some cases, the best thing you can do is part ways and learn from the mistakes.
Sometimes relationships just aren’t meant to be. If your relationship is a destructive one it’s time to get out and put yourself back on the over 50 dating market and find someone who you truly deserve and vice versa.