Relationships are like intricate patterns woven with patience, persistence, warmth, and love. As humans, we need relationships to bring us peace, whether they are romantic, familial, professional, or friendly. We yearn for someone who understands us, fulfils our needs, and makes us feel at home beyond the four walls we live in. Today let us focus on how romantic relationships impact our mental health.
Understanding why romantic relationships have such a profound impact on us is thought-provoking. Why do they leave us emotionally, physically, and mentally disturbed? Why does heartbreak leave us unfocused, and experiencing painful meltdowns?
As someone working in the field of mental health, I witness various mental health issues that arise from dysfunctional relationships. It pains me when I hear people say, ‘I don’t believe in love,’ ‘I can never trust again,’ or ‘I’m afraid of falling in love.’ How did we turn something we all crave into something so fear-inducing?
So, I take a trip back in time and think of all the beautiful folklores that we have all heard growing up – Laila-Majnu, Heer-Ranjha, Sohni-Mahiwal, Mirza-Sahiban. Sure, they’ve had tragic endings, but they are still remembered as legendary and magical. It makes me wonder, why do we say that love only exists in novels and movies when the truth is that they are based on our real lives? The beauty of a relationship is that it just requires basic efforts that we have made complicated.
There have been men who wrote letters to their lovers from war, which leads me to conclude that love requires communication and time. The key to a healthy relationship is having honest and transparent conversations with your partner. It is about discussing your needs, wants, desires, and expectations from your relationship. It is about making time for your partner, regardless of where you are or how busy you may be. It is about having the difficult conversations rather than avoiding them altogether.
I think of the times when men carried their love’s photograph in their wallet. Every time they glanced at the photograph, they realized the responsibility of being with someone, which leads us to the concept of ‘loyalty.’ To keep our relationship alive, we need to consciously realize the importance of being faithful and keeping our promises to our loved ones. It is essential that our partner trusts us and the responsibility of maintaining that trust falls on our shoulders.Lack of trust in a relationship can cause anxiety, fear, and stress provoking emotions.
I vividly remember this one day when, I was taking a stroll in my neighbourhood when I happened to come across a beautiful couple. I saw a very old couple sitting hand in hand on their balcony, and the freckled man was singing an old Bollywood song for his wife. It made me smile and made me realize that love is simply about waking up every day and making efforts for your partner, just like you did on the very first day of your relationship. If maximum efforts are coming from one partner, they are bound to feel burdened, overwhelmed and neglected.
In a world where physical relationships come easier than emotional ones, we must understand that the consent of both individuals involved is extremely important. As rightly quoted in the movie ‘Pink,’ ‘A no itself is a statement and does not require any justification.’ Mutual consent acts as a pillar of every healthy relationship. If you are not ready for it you are well within your rights to hold your ground without feeling obligated to justify it.
I think back to the time when Sohni crossed a river every day, regardless of the chilly weather, to meet Mahiwal. It made me realize that it is imperative for both partners to meet halfway. A relationship cannot solely rely on one person making all the efforts while the other puts themselves on a pedestal and feels they deserve to be on the receiving end. The failure of reciprocation causes the failure of a relationship. Both partners need to put in efforts and hard work to make it work.
One of my clients told me that what bothered her the most about her partner was the way he spoke to her when he was frustrated and angry. This reminds us that respect is the foundation of a relationship. Disrespect should never be tolerated. It is important to respect your partner’s choices, opinions, and decisions. It’s okay to disagree, but it should always be done respectfully. Remember, even when you are mad, actions speak louder than words, and anger is no excuse for disrespect.Another thing that leads to disrespect is ego. Ego has no place in a relationship. When couples get into disagreements, the ego of winning the argument can turn it into an ugly fight. We must realize that if love is the life of a relationship, ego will be its downfall.
To sum it up, it is the little things, the simple things, that keep a relationship going. These elements act as fuel in the fire, keeping the flame of your relationship burning. It requires loyalty, respect, effort, time, and communication to navigate through challenges. It is going to be a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs, but you need to choose to show up for your partner and overcome any obstacles that come your way.I hope my observations give yousome food for thought to consider in your relationship. And remember, that in an era of crumbling relationships a healthy relationship feels like a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter morning.
MIIND MY MIIND