Let me not take you to one of the Feb 14s in 3rdcentury to explain how St. Valentine’s Day became our regular red-rose giving day because the origin is really dark. But, let me throw some in with all honesty that it’s hard to find healthy relationships now-a-days. Arguments after arguments, fights after fights – here, I will break it to all for why all these are happening between young to old couples. Let me break it to 7-zones and see if I can cover some to most.
First, deep down inside we have a tendency to self-sabotage ourselves. So, we hurt others in order to hurt ourselves. When we hurt those one who are close to us, ultimately we hurt ourselves - because guilt, regret and shame can torment us long after the hurt is done. This tendency is founded on core beliefs of inadequacy. When you believe you are actually unworthy of love, undeserving to be happy, unlovable, or that you are bound to ruin anything that is good for you, it is likely that you will end up acting in ways to confirm these core beliefs- that you can’t really be happy or don’t deserve love. So, you start barking to anyone close to you.
Second, deep down we have a tendency of gaining control as protection or reciprocation. Especially in intimate relationships, we may hurt the other before they hurt us first, so that we have the upper hand in control. Indeed, all forms of betrayal and hurting others have a common fundamental motivation: to gain a momentary feeling of empowerment from the adrenaline rush of violating deeper values, like respecting the boundaries and caring about the emotional well-being of loved ones. This is nothing but an attempt to protect yourself before you are at the mercy of the other.
Third, comes the trust and safety paradox. The more intimacy, love and trust is developed between two partners, the more freedom you feel to just be yourself and not censor your words and actions. Instead, you may feel inclined to behave and speak openly and authentically to your partner. You feel safe enough to be yourself fully. However, this lack of inhibitions and boundaries makes it easier to unintentionally hurt the other person.
Fourth, comes the asserting independence. Intimacy is definitely a scary thing.It means emotionally approaching another individual too closely, even merging with them in a way. It can happen that you may unwillingly hurt the other when the emotional distance between you seems a bit too close for your liking. This is an unconscious way to assert your own space and independence by pushing the other person away. It can be very harmful at times or all the time.
Fifth, it’s the testing of the boundaries. We aim to test the boundaries and see how far we can go before they draw the line. Our behaviour is shaped not only by our own thoughts and feelings, but by the boundaries others set to us. Often the person who pushes the boundaries of their partner desperately yearns for some clear and firm boundaries. Because boundaries increase our sense of safety, bring structure and also show us that the other person cares enough about the relationship in order to be able to express their limits, since this ultimately promotes its quality, too.
Six, one of the most important points of all - Idealization and High Expectations. The closer we get to someone emotionally, the more roles we attribute to them in our mind, the higher expectations we have of them, and the more they ultimately mean to us. In a way, we idealize them- we think quite highly of them, thus any small sign that may not be in accordance with this idealized image we have of them, may be perceived more sensitively and hurt us. So, don’t take things too personally.
Lastly, it’s spending more time together and displacement issues. You may hurt the one you love the most simply because they are the ones that are mostly around. If there is someone else who is usually there, we are likely to project our feelings to them by acting them out. Displacement means projecting feelings connected to one person or situation, onto another person. Think of the guy that had a long and frustrating day at work and then goes home and yells to his partner; this guy displaces his anger and frustration to someone else. Well! Solution? Just don’t yell. Funny but true.
Well! Happy belated valentine’s day, please love with less conditions.
The writer is a major in International Business Marketing from Algonquin College, Ottawa, Canada. He can be reached at [email protected]