Anastasia Christidou
Counseling & Gestalt Therapy

Why do many relationships fail?

couple fighting

Many people believe that by being in a romantic relationship they are buying their ticket to happiness. Or that by finding “the one”, they automatically will live happily ever after in a problem-free relationship. Maybe it‘s just my skeptic nature and my tendency to question many things, but it seems to me unrealistic to believe that the purpose of a relationship is sheer happiness.

Somehow in our society there is the notion that happiness is found in the form of another person, thing or situation. It becomes a goal to achieve: “I will be happy if I have a relationship with the right person, if I manage to keep my relationship, if I get married, if I earn more money and buy a house, if I have kids etc”.             Many people expect that the achievement of certain goals will guarantee their longed-for happiness. No argue that achieving goals can be rewarding and satisfactory, but it doesn’t automatically bring happiness.

Often, we keep on running around in a vicious circle of finding happiness in a romantic relationship. We work hard to “get” someone, we put all our energy and effort to maintain the relationship and often the relationship “fails” and we are left to deal with a painful break-up.
Relationship is a hard path to follow, a path that one or both parties can abandon with the appearance of the first conflicts and difficulties. Maybe because people enter relationships with unrealistic expectations or for the wrong reasons, many relationships come to an end. People ignore that by using the experiences that arise within the context of a relationship (both happy and painful ones), we can learn more about ourselves, face our demons and grow not only in the relationships area but in every aspect of our life.

Usually people leave a relationship at a certain stage corresponding to the level of maturity that they have obtained so far (that doesn’t apply to abusive relationships
where someone has to walk away for his own good). Many people have a tendency to go in another relationship with the hope or dream of finding “the right person”, this pattern of behavior continues in some cases for life and many people end up without having any fulfilling relationships. That happens because they expect the other person to be a suitable partner for them, not accepting their own share of responsibility in the relationship and without considering how much of a suitable partner they are to others. The truth is that we can’t change anyone else; we can only change ourselves.
A relationship is a way of passing through a lonely type of I to a symbiotic WE and to conclude to a WE where both partners exist as independent and interconnected entities. If we are able to be self-sufficient and independent in a relationship while at the same time we are supported and nurtured by our partner, then those are blissful moments! With awareness, intention and conscious effort, we can benefit from our relationships and allow them to become a vehicle for our personal growth and development.

Giannakopoulou, L. & Papantriantafyllou, S. (2010), Relationships and Communication in Families (in greek language only)


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