One Question To Ask In Your Relationships

Keeping relationships is important for most of us. But letting go of the ones that no longer benefit us can be difficult.

By: Jason Suerte Felipe

I was scrolling through the internet in a short panic trying to find something to write about before my own internal deadline (just an hour late. whoops!), and I came across another video that taught me an important lesson on relationships.

In “One thing to ask yourself while dating” by the brilliant Anna Akana, her therapist broke down a relationship into two parts: What we see on paper, and how the person makes us feel.

When we first start dating someone and a friend asks us how the date went, the initial response usually is always a vague characteristic of the person: they were charming, smart, creative, have similar goals as you. But we don’t stop to think how they make us feel: Do we feel safe around them? Do we feel comfortable? Cornered? 

It’s weird right? We don’t really stop to think how a person makes us feel. We instead just list their characteristics that convince us that they are good for us.

A while ago, I had left a very toxic relationship. And when asked in the initial relationship how things were going, I found myself using positive characteristics to describe my partner. Not to say they were invalid, but I saw I was using these positive characteristics as excuses to hang on to the relationship.

He was sweet, thoughtful and caring. But I also knew he was jealous, physical and had a temper. Looking back, I didn’t recognize how I was feeling. Throughout the relationship I felt anxious, angry, sad. Felt I wasn’t good enough; felt controlled. But as Akana puts it, “I was so enticed and blinded by all the shiny qualities of this person and the idea of them, that I completely ignored my feelings.”

We are usually so concerned about the other person and wanting the relationship to last, that we ignore how we are feeling. But it’s better to let go of someone that damages your well-being.

Be aware of your feelings and acknowledge them. We may forget what a person says to us, but we will always remember how a person makes us feel.

Do you find it difficult to end relationships? How do you do cope? Share in the comments!

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