Relationships are complicated; one day you are feeling secure, the next, not so much. You are constantly trying to find the sense of “home” within a person and sometimes you instead, start feeling estranged from familiar lands. So, what makes you feel safe in a relationship? What makes you feel alarmed, or cautious? And finally, what are the grey areas where you can only feel perplexed as to what to think? Where does the truth lie when the question is whether to trust or…not?
Grey is confusing; it is so powerfully unreadable and ambiguous. It is the epitome of 50/50 -being neither black nor white. This area in a relationship could be very exhausting when you do not realize that this is where you are: Grey…The Switzerland of -potentially alarming- deeds. This is where you feel like a certain action could be a bad omen or sign. But that is far from the truth; although all shadows are grey, not all grey areas “foreshadow” a potentially darker future.
Here are some of those grey areas:
1. Saying “No”:
“No” has been associated with being harsh for so long now that sometimes it feels like a weight on someone’s chest to refuse something. It is time to end this stigma. Saying no doesn’t stem out of indifference or the little care someone has for another. There are many sides to the reason why one may refuse something. One side for your partner refusing something could be that they simply generally dislike the idea. An example could be you suggesting an activity which you feel passionate about, only to have them refuse for it feeling uneasy or unnatural to them. You may like binge-watching YouTube videos while having a partner who loathes the idea of it! Additionally, you too should feel free to refuse things that you feel uncomfortable with, without it feeling like a burden.
2. Needing Time Apart:
As cold as it may sometimes seem to ask your partner to spend time apart, it is a very healthy dynamic. Zoning out and existing outside the relationship provides you with the time needed to connect with yourself without feeling pressured to be surrounded by anyone. Furthering into that, it gives you the space you need to spend time with your friends or family. So, always understand that whether you sometimes need time apart from your partner or they are the ones to ask for it, it shows signs of a healthy relationship: no unhealthy attachments.
Remember that those grey areas could turn into majorly alarming deeds if accompanied by some unforgivable mistakes that later turn into toxic patterns. What are examples of these “danger zones” that almost always show signs of a toxic pattern existing within the relationship?
1. Ties With Exes:
Unfortunately, there is no sugarcoating this one. Having your ex around in any way, shape or form is highly triggering; there is always residue. Whether the breakup was mutual and respectful or not, there is no denying that keeping your ex in your circle ought to cause a very painful love triangle one way or another. It does not matter how close you used to be with them, or if they feel like family; there is no room for a partner and an ex in the same period of your life. Hence, whether it is you who wants to keep in touch with your ex or your partner is the one trying to achieve that with their ex…there is no good behind such a naive/alarming mindset.
This does not refer to your favorite quote or your childhood favorite teacher; it is more about the kind of stuff that shaped you. Surely your favorite quote means a lot to you, but every phase in your life will provide you with a new quote/motto. “Forgetfulness” here refers to the things that touched your soul, and the details that you told your partner with glittery eyes -whether out of excitement or because certain details brought tears to your eyes. Such details vary from being excruciatingly painful -such as past traumas- to being breathtakingly touching -such as your very first happy memory. All in all, one who truly loves is one who truly remembers the pieces of you that weigh more than others.
Finally, the awaited, and beautifully assuring green flags that make your heart scream “Go!” instead of “run…”
1. Common Grounds
These vary from being some movies that you both like, to similarities within your mindsets that make your goals align. Of course, the latter weighs more than the former. The reason such quality is crucial, and very assuring when it exists, is that there is nothing more powerful than envisioning a future with someone who craves the same things as you. In elaboration, if you are someone who wants to marry young and have kids right away, being with someone who is as equally passionate as you are about creating a family would be an ideal scenario. However, being with someone who yearns for a life of freedom minus the daily diaper-changing? Not so ideal. Surely though, if your partner is a die-hard fan of your favorite movie/series it would be a bonus to your life.
2. Sharing the Uncommon Grounds:
This goes both ways. This is when you and your partner are total opposites when it comes to your tastes in almost everything -the “non-fundamental” stuff. This includes, but is not limited to, music, movies and even hobbies. An example would be you being an avid reader -which is likely since you are here- while dating a person who believes reading is not a hobby but only a means to attain knowledge. Although it is not a necessity -only it is assuring- that your partner tries to engage with that book you kept blabbering about; it shows a deep understanding of how important it is for you. And this does not only include dissimilar hobbies; musical tastes and favorite movies go under the same rule: if they try something out of their comfort zone for you, they care. In another way though, a great way to share uncommon grounds would be if your partner shares something with you knowing that your knowledge about lies within the shallow ends. Such a move only means that they want to include you in their details -even the tiniest bits- and they enjoy your input -small though it could be.
All in all, shall you overthink these bits and pieces of your relationship, you should be assured that these points are only some simple examples of guidelines that aid in you knowing where you are. If your partner ends up hating the movie marathon you suggested, it does not mean you two do not fit. And if they forget your birthday, maybe they just hit their head a little as a kid. Eventually, when it is right you will know it, and it will be deeply embedded in your head.