Consciously or not, we are always evaluating our relationships. We are trying to make sure that we’re getting what we need, and that – together with our partners – we are evolving and growing at the same pace. Your partner plays a significant role in your life. These relationship evaluations are our way of making sure that their role is still the right fit.
Needs and Wishes in Relationships
These evaluations, however, can also lead to challenges, especially when we look at our relationships under the context of whether or not it’s meeting what we think we want most in the relationship. For many couples in Long Island, the perception of others is sometimes based on what we want to see in them – not an accurate assessment of who they are.
For example, they may remind us of someone we know, or fall into a category of a person we want to affiliate with, or fill a need that we have. Sometimes we choose mates because they are close to what we hoped to find in someone else (usually a rose colored glasses version of them), or we do the opposite and select mates based on what we think they have that we deserve, like money, power, beauty, or dependence.
What Happens When Our Relationships Are Evaluated Incorrectly?
When we start evaluating our relationships through these lenses, we often find that our verdict on the quality of the relationship is not realistic towards what the relationship actually is:
- Unhappy When Happy – If we expect things from our partner because we view them based on our needs and wants, and not on the actual connection and depth of the relationship, we may find ourselves always looking for something more – something that they cannot realistically give. This will make us feel unhappy, even when the relationship is objectively a success.
- Happy When Unhappy – Similarly, if we are in relationships that we believe to be successful because the partner has those wants/needs we are looking for, we may feel ourselves to be happy but frequently find ourselves upset over the actions of our partner.
For better or for worse, it is important to make sure that the relationship is being evaluated accurately, using the actual state of your relationship and not being viewed by the categories you place your partner in, or the needs and wants you have. Doing so will make you stronger as a couple, and help you gain more clarity on who you both are.
Couples therapy on Long Island can help you gain better perspective on your relationship, and strengthen you as a couple. For more information about couples counseling in Garden City and Lawrence, NY, please call me today at 516-732-0273.