Relationship hang-ups are issues that prevent the relationship from growing and progressing. They are usually borne out of immaturity and certain insecurities that one or both people in the relationship are dealing with.
Being in a relationship can be difficult at times, but holding on to these relationship hang-ups can make it even harder. By constantly letting these issues run rampant in your love life, you are inadvertently damaging your relationship.
Why do people have relationship hang-ups?
The reason why most people have hang-ups in a relationship is because they have been through a traumatic ordeal with a past relationship. If they haven’t, their issues usually stem from a different experience that is not related to romantic relationships. This can be a rocky relationship with a family member or friend or something deeper like a behavioral disorder.
Other times, your hang-ups may have come from a different source like seeing a friend get over a bad relationship. You could be projecting other people’s fears into your own relationship, because you are afraid that something similar might happen to you and your partner.
The point being that relationship hang-ups shouldn’t exist, if it wasn’t put in your head in the first place. The only way to get over it is to acknowledge your fears and find a way to solve it before anything worse happens.
What are the common relationship hang-ups?
Different couples experience different hang-ups, depending on their individual issues, and how those issues collide with each other. Here are hang-ups that many couples experience.
#1 The ex. If you and your partner are not each other’s first relationship, you can expect the subject of the ex to pop up now and then. One of the most common hang-ups that couples have is wondering whether the ex is still in the picture and whether or not they should be threatened. [Read: 10 signs your past relationship is holding you back]
#2 Affection. People show their love in different ways, but some people tend to make a bigger deal out of it. They misinterpret the fact that their partner shows less affection than they do as a sign of dislike or loss of love. This can make a person in a relationship more insecure than they already are. [Read: 16 non-sexual touches to help you feel connected]
#3 Frequency of communication. If you are not an adult with a career, not being able to text your partner round the clock would not be much of a problem. For couples who have busy lives, not being able to talk frequently gets thrown out of context. Some clingy people will take it as a slight, while others may perceive it as a sign that their partner isn’t doing enough to reach out to them.
#4 Money. When someone is richer or earns more in a relationship, the balance of power is perceived to tip in that person’s favor. Generally, when a man earns more than a woman, it’s not much of an issue, unless she’s too dependent on him. But if a woman earns more than a man, it can develop into deeper insecurities on the man’s part, because they are often expected to be the providers in a relationship.
#5 Cheating. Even though it hasn’t happened yet or never will, some people are paranoid about getting cheated on. This usually stems from a deeper insecurity, or it may be caused by a similar incident in a past relationship. Being jealous for no apparent reason can ruin relationships before they even get a chance to grow.
#6 Physical appearance. Some people can’t get used to the difference in attractiveness within a relationship, while some are too hung up on changing their partner’s appearance. When someone feels judged or is being judged for their appearance, it can create problems that aren’t just limited to the relationship. [Read: Why is physical attraction important in a relationship?]
#7 Secrecy. If you ask someone whether you should tell your partner everything, more often than not they will answer “no.” Some couples tend to fight over the secrets that they can’t divulge to each other. Yes, couples should always be open and honest with each other, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pester them for information whenever you feel like they’re hiding something.
#8 Family matters. When two people are in a relationship, they should decide then and there that any decision they make involving each other should not include their family’s opinions. It’s okay to ask, but it’s not okay to force it on your partner, if they don’t agree to it. This usually happens when a major decision needs to be made in terms of career and money.
#9 Friends of the opposite sex. This often becomes a problem because of trust issues. It could be that your partner doesn’t trust you enough to allow you to have friends from the opposite sex, or they don’t trust your friends at all.
#10 Sex. When the subject comes up, it’s usually about past lovers: how many, when was the last, how often? Another problem is when a person feels like they’re not satisfying their partner. It’s a touchy subject that can be the source of many fights, especially when in bed.
How can you let go of these hang-ups?
It’s easy once you realize that it’s doing more harm than good in your relationship. Holding on to these issues can prevent you from enjoying the moments you have together. Instead of being happy, you’re constantly looking for ways to be miserable.
You can deny it by saying that you’re just protecting your relationship, but the truth is that you don’t need to protect something that’s not under threat. Hang-ups exist, because you gave them more significance than they are owed.
If you seriously think that these things matter and that you have undeniable proof that they will inevitably affect your relationship, don’t be mildly satisfied and say, “I told you so.” Fix your problems by communicating with your partner. Tell them your fears, and make them see that you are visibly terrified of these things.
Once your fears have been dispelled, these hang-ups will turn out to be no more than far-off possibilities. Your partner won’t leave you. They won’t cheat on you. Their friends are just friends. If you really want to believe these things, here are some tips to help you deal with them.
#1 Trust your partner. Unless they did something really bad in the past, you can rest knowing that your partner loves you enough to not let anything ruin what you have together.
#2 Be more confident. Don’t let your insecurities get the best of you. If your partner found something to love about you, why shouldn’t you be able to see the same things in yourself?
#3 Learn to let things go. Some things aren’t worth fighting over. You need to pick your battles and prevent petty fights from breaking out. Be the bigger person, and you’ll see that your partner will soon follow suit.
#4 Remember that your partner chose you. Don’t immediately consider that they like someone else without checking your facts. Don’t turn a blind eye if your partner is visibly cheating on you, but don’t suffocate them or hound them with probing questions, if they haven’t done anything wrong.
#5 Enjoy your sex life. Don’t ruin it with visions of past lovers and scorecards of past experiences. Just make the most of what you have and explore each other’s needs, without considering any other people. [Read: 13 untold sex secrets you absolutely must know]
#6 Respect each other’s privacy. Just because you’re in a relationship does not mean that you’re not allowed to have secrets. When both of you are involved, you can discuss the terms of telling each other everything.
If it doesn’t concern your partner or if the issue doesn’t require their immediate input, you do not have to feel guilty about not telling them. The same goes for your partner, if they want to deal with something privately as well.
#7 Be kind. Don’t let physical hang-ups destroy your respect for each other. Don’t be bothered by the issue of appearances, unless it’s absolutely unbearable. If your partner dresses inappropriately, has bad manners or is living an unhealthy lifestyle, you can voice your opinion. But if they are simply being themselves without really harming anyone, remember that this is the same person you fell for the first time that you saw them.
#8 Don’t involve other people in your issues. Before you let anyone put their two cents in, you and your partner need to discuss your problems privately. That’s why it’s a relationship problem. If you have a personal problem, do your partner the courtesy of telling them about it, before you tell anybody else. If you arrive at a point where you can’t handle dealing with your problem alone, then you can ask for help from your family or friends.
[Read: 10 solutions to the most common relationship problems]
It’s not easy to handle certain relationship hang-ups, but you have the power to not let it consume you. If it’s not a big deal, don’t make it an issue. If you have a cause for concern, don’t bottle it up. Tell your partner about it, and fix the problem together. That’s what relationships are for.
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