I’ve been asking around, and there seems to be more than a few people who believe that the relationship battle is won once you make your way through the awkward early stages of dating. But those people are sadly mistaken. In actuality, the real challenges don’t begin until you officially decide to become a couple. That’s when all types of obstacles begin to surface; all of which are uniquely designed to derail your blossoming love. Whether you allow these issues to tear your relationship apart or not is totally up to you and your mate. In the meantime, it’s my job to highlight some of the major obstacles that you may encounter along the way. While I can’t provide you with every single trapping that could potentially throw a monkey wrench into your relationship, I can share with you my “Top 5 Relationship Killers.”
1. Family and Friends
For the majority of us, the importance of our significant other successfully co-existing with our family and friends cannot be understated. But, for a variety of reasons, things don’t always go as smoothly as we would hope. For instance, maybe his friends constantly give him a hard time for always ditching them to go compare decorative pillows and throws with you at the Pottery Barn. Or maybe it’s the other way around, and your mother is always rude to him because she’d rather see you with Rev. Washington’s oldest son Bobby … you know, so she can finally claim the good pew at church.
This type of interference isn’t uncommon in relationships, and if left unchecked can oftentimes transform happy lovebirds into a pair of resentful malcontents. (The Mike Tyson Translation: “Her get mad. Him get mad 2.”)
2. Becoming Too Comfortable
On the surface, a high comfort level with your mate is what every couple strives for. Unfortunately, the very same comfort level that you long for may also wind up being a relationship killer. I’ve often found that too much comfort can eventually lead to boredom within the relationship. Want some early warning signs of dangerous comfort levels? Then ask yourself the following questions.
**Do you always have movie night only on Friday nights?
**Is your “special meal of the week,” i.e. Sunday morning pancakes always served like clockwork?
**Do you always buy her those same flowers every Valentine’s Day?
**Do you only give him oral sex on holidays like New Years Eve, Thanksgiving, and Martin Luther King’s birthday? (Thank God almighty, he’s free at last…)
Such monotonous patterns often serve as the fuel which ignites your loved one‘s desire to find stimulation from other places—but we’ll touch more on that later.
3. Different Goals
When you were kids, it didn’t matter that you wanted to be the first female President, while he longed to be a Thundercat. Everyone knew that the relationship would only last 3 days anyway … well 5 days if you were really in love. But now that you’re an adult, the goals that you set for yourself should play a major role when sifting through potential mates.
It makes absolutely no sense to tie yourself to someone whose goals don’t compliment the things that you hope to accomplish in your own life. That’s not to say you have to marry someone with a background in finance if your life is tied to Wall Street. But, if education is something that’s important to you, then your loved one should at least be able to pass a basic reading test. And if you long to have a family one day, then they should probably want kids as well. Even if you’re one of those carefree types who cringe at the thought of responsibility, then you should only seek those individuals that live by that same creed. Anything to the contrary is bound to contribute to an early relational grave. (R.I.P. random person that I shouldn’t have been with in the first place.)
4. The Past
I have an uncle named Cornelius who somehow got stuck in a time warp. I kid you not; the man still walks around wearing his “snug” Class of ’72 high school letterman jacket, telling any and everyone that he was and still is the “coldest cat at Jefferson High.” It’s sad if you ask me … not to mention embarrassing.
That same type of “Cornelius” mentality can infiltrate your relationship if you allow it. Those who constantly live in the past don’t give their existing relationship a fair shot. Maybe you’re still comparing your current mate to an ex lover. Or perhaps you’re still coming to grips with the fact that your man was once arrested for cruelty to midgets long before he met you. Whatever the case may be, when the past continues to resurface, don’t be surprised if your relationship becomes a casualty as a result of it.
An obvious addition to the list, cheating is the not-so-silent killer of the bunch. Some couples try to rebound after a mate violates the integrity of the relationship, and some actually succeed in repairing the damage. But it’s a difficult obstacle to overcome, and will undoubtedly be an issue that will continue to haunt you throughout the duration of the relationship.
Case in point, I once caught my girlfriend in the bed getting it on with both Milli and Vanilli (tragic, I know.) I have to admit that I was so blinded by my love for her, that I actually accepted her apology. Although we stayed together for a few months following the incident, it was never quite the same, as we always fought every time “Blame It on the Rain” came on the radio. That’s when I knew that I could never fully get over her cheating on me. The relationship killer had struck again.
The Relationship Killers- Honorable Mentions:
Moving Too Fast