Partners should never do THIS to one another

I've seen, heard about, and been in relationships where one partner smothers the other, leaving the latter feeling as if he or she has no breathing room. Nothing good comes of such circumstances.

Unfortunately, I was the clingy one in each of my ill-fated relationships, none of which lasted very long. I was much younger at the time. I lacked self-esteem and loathed being single, especially when so many of my friends were hooking up. I thought I could compensate for my low self-esteem by being overly romantic and demanding of my girlfriends' time, attention, and affections. I thought this would ensure that they wouldn't break up with me, and that I wouldn't find myself wrestling feelings of loneliness ever again. Boy, was I misinformed.

While the girls acknowledged that my heart was in the right place, it all felt too suffocating for them. Hurt and confused, I naturally questioned their feelings at the time and reasoned that they just couldn't appreciate a guy who was willing to put them on a pedestal.

But therein lay the problem. No one should exalt his partner to that extent. The girls were justified in wanting to run for the hills.

No one wants to feel worshiped, let alone like a piece of property. As I've stated before, a person enters into a relationship so that another person can enhance, not seize control of, their life. Indeed, relationships are for creating memories together while still leading separate lives.

From constantly one's partner to seeing to it that they spend every moment of their spare time with you, such behaviors only serve to weaken the relationship. Your partner will feel so constricted that he or she will feel like a prisoner, and there's only so much of that a person can take.

Spending all your time together isn't a requisite for happiness. On the contrary, a relationship is made stronger when partners maintain fulfilling lives outside of their relationship -- with friends, co-workers, fellow charity members, and so on. That way, you each have something to contribute to the relationship beyond yourselves.

But spending all your time together does little to enhance the relationship. Not only does it increase the likelihood of arguments, but you're much more likely to grow bored of another. There's no mystery, no spontaneity.

Give each other the opportunity to miss each other. Arrange a girls or boys night every so often. Head to the gym for a workout sans partner. Even if you're in the same house, spend a few hours doing your own thing. You can read in the office while your partner watches TV, for example.

Smothering your partner is a surefire way to aggravate him or her. It sends the wrong signals -- that you're needy, distrustful, and seriously in need of new hobbies to occupy your time.

Don't make your partner your world. Instead, make each other a huge part of each other's world. There's a difference.

Please comment on and reshare the post. And be sure to check out today's earlier entry: Forget the small stuff -- be positive and proactive.

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