Do you ever get into a relationship and then all of a sudden start acting like a crazy person to the point that you barely recognize yourself or your behavior? This is what happens to me when I’m no longer single. I feel perfectly sane when I’m on my own, then I get a partner and my character flaws all make themselves known. I’m working on keeping them under control but that’s easier said than done.
My actions come from a place of fear. There’s a motivator for every behavior, right? Well, my character defects get larger because I’m terrified. I have a ton of fear about the relationship failing, hurting someone, getting hurt, doing the wrong thing, and on and on. I act out on my character flaws because I’m scared. Knowing that the craziness is coming from a place of fear makes me want to be more gentle with myself but I also know that it’s not fair to the person I’m dating.
I get more irritable. I have my days where everything upsets me. At the beginning of the relationship, I’m all playing it cool, but when it starts to get more real, I begin to freak out a bit. The person starts to annoy me more and their little quirks get under my skin. This is normal except my irritability is dramatic and can sometimes result in blowouts.
I get more impatient. I like to consider myself a pretty patient person on a good day. I have enough patience to get me through without it being too much of a struggle. When it comes to relationships, though, my patience is tested. I end up having a shorter fuse than I’d like rather than just being calm and collected. Instead of this behavior, I’m really trying to take deep breaths and know that my impatience will pass.
I’m more paranoid. Instead of trusting that my partner has the best of intentions, I end up thinking that they’re going to break my heart for sure. I get suspicious of any girl that they’re friends with and even more so if one of them comments on my boyfriend’s social media or vice versa. I’m not totally crazy—I know when to chill out—but it becomes bothersome nonetheless. I have to do a lot to calm my paranoid nerves.
It affects my self-confidence. I end up having a hard time trusting myself because my character flaws can get all kooky. When I act like a jerk, it certainly puts a damper on my self-confidence. I feel like I’m not as good of a partner and then I spiral into thinking I’m not a very good person. I’d like for my self-confidence not to take such a hard hit because it’s all natural that this is happening.
I have to have compassion for myself. I’m talking about all of these really negative things, but the reality is that I’m just a human. I’m doing OK. I have to breathe compassion into my life, otherwise, the character flaws will run rampant. Beating myself up only exacerbates the problem. When something like jealousy comes up, I have to make room for it in my life and give it space. Then I can act from a more reasonable place.
Character flaws aren’t a death sentence. Saying that relationships are Miracle-Gro for my character defects doesn’t mean that they’re going to grow and grow until they ruin everything. Instead, it just means that I have to keep trimming by being mindful of what’s coming up and act in the kindest way possible. I can still have healthy relationships and I know that I will. They may just not be perfect.
I’m sure I do the same for my partners. I think that I’m the only one getting irritable, jealous, or impatient, but I’m guessing that my partners are having similar experiences. Maybe their character flaws are even growing like tumbleweed in our relationship—who knows? Keeping this in mind helps me to increase my patience a bit with them.
I’m doing the best I can. Ultimately, awareness of this behavior is the first step in being able to fix the problem. I may never get over it completely, but the more mindful I am when these issues crop up, the more I can work on correcting them so they don’t affect my relationships.
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