Feeling the constant need for approval in a relationship is toxic, alerts Ravi Mittal, CEO, Quack Quack, an online dating app.
Understanding the signs of an emotionally suffocating relationship and dealing with them as early as possible is essential for maintaining a healthy and happy relationship that does not end in an eventual breakup.
QuackQuack's Founder and CEO Ravi Mittal says, "Our surveys show 27% of people under 30 think the first sign of an emotionally draining relationship is the inability of one or both partners to be their authentic selves.
"Approximately 35 million chats were exchanged last month, and from those, we saw 2 in 15 daters feeling suffocated in their relationships for one reason or another."
Here are some ways to deal with feeling smothered in a relationship:
- Have Relationship Problems? Ask rediffGurus for Relationship Advice
1. Express Your Feelings
Emotionally overbearing partners often don't realise they are that way; it seems normal to them, partially because they have never been told otherwise and partly because you have been quietly tolerating all of it with a smile plastered on your face.
It is time to speak up.
If one partner does not respect boundaries or is overly intrusive, it is essential to voice negative feelings about their behavior. Ask them to back off politely.
Expressing love and smothering someone with affection is relative.
Speaking 24 hours a day might seem a bit excessive to one partner, while the other seems to think that is what love looks like.
Here is where communication comes into play. It's the only way for two people to learn about each other's expectations as well as what might be overwhelming.
2. Control Is Not Love
Being in a relationship with someone is not the same as controlling them.
36% of young daters complain of feeling smothered because their partner feels entitled to tell them how to live their lives just because they are in a relationship.
Over-policing in a relationship is a red flag never to be ignored.
It builds over time, and it only becomes a problem when one partner feels caged and suddenly decides to disregard the other's opinions.
Feeling the constant need for approval in a relationship is toxic. Making one small decision every day without consulting the other half can be the first step to breaking the habit.
3. Don't Agree To Everything
A relationship that feels suffocating has one common sign; the feeling of compulsion to agree with everything the partner says.
The reason often stems from the fear of rousing a conflict that can be easily avoided by being a Yes Man.
A healthy relationship is one where couples can fight fair and fight freely. Two people can love each other without agreeing on everything.
Disagreement does not have to result in conflicts.
Not one couple is so similar or compatible that they will always think alike and agree to everything at all times.
4. Take Care Of Yourself
Being in a toxic relationship can be emotionally draining, leaving you feeling empty. It is time to set boundaries.
Couples who last longer make time for themselves.
Being with a needy or pushy partner might leave little to no room for oneself in a relationship. But it is crucial to do individual activities even when two people are together.
It might seem selfish at first, but it is one of the best ways to stop feeling suffocated in a relationship.
Boundaries are not to keep love away; it is there to strengthen and help the relationship flourish without letting it get overwhelming.
5. Balance It Out
Love does not need to be proven constantly.
When one partner demands regular assurance of love, it doesn't take the other too long to start feeling suffocated.
The only way to deal with the overwhelming expectations in a relationship is to balance your acts.
Of course, you must come up to your partner's expectations, but not when it's unreasonable.
For instance, meeting every day might sound like a good idea, but people need some personal time too, especially after a long week at work.
And asking for that 'me time' should not be met with resistance or blame. It should neither be associated with a feeling of guilt.
If none of these measures work and things continue to be overwhelming, it might be time to reconsider the relationship.
Efforts can only take you so far.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com