unhealthy relationships

Romance central; How to cultivate healthy intimate relationships and get the most out of your love life Part Three

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Last week we looked at the unhealthy relationship dynamic models and looked at several unhealthy relationship behaviors. This week we continue to examine the remaining unhealthy relationship behaviors which we can change with just a little effort.


Trying to change your partner


Girls, we all know this one. When we think we can change that bad boy or commitment phobe into the perfect boyfriend. Guys, I’m sure you’ve experienced this too. This never works for several reasons.


Usually the person doesn’t want to change because they perceive there to be distinct advantages to them being how they are. Also, when someone tries to change their partner, the person in question may feel trapped or begin to resent the partner who has tried to initiate change. Lastly, by trying to change someone it inadvertently (and often unintentionally) communicates the partner doesn’t unconditionally love the other, or that in some way they are viewed as unacceptable.


As you can see not only does this strategy often fail but it usually has a detrimental impact upon the relationship.


Carrying past hurt into the relationship (overreacting to things due to your past hurts)


I was very lucky in that I allowed myself ample time to heal from my past hurt before entering into another relationship. But love doesn’t know our timeframe and often hits when we least expect it.


If you still have past pain that is unresolved it is worth remembering that our memory is historical. By historical I mean that when a situation arises our brains look for a time in the past when something similar happened.


What tends to go awry is that when we have unresolved pain our current partner may do something relatively benign but it will trigger a painful memory which may cause us to react disproportionately to the current situation, or trigger.


If you keep this in mind it may well protect you from disproportionately reacting to things however what I would recommend is to seek out therapy, as in my experience, this is the best and by far the most constructive way to heal from pain.



Romance In Action: List Your Unhealthy Relationship Behaviors and If You Have Been in Any of the Unhealthy Relationship Models

It’s very easy to get into any of the unhealthy relationship dynamics shown in the models of Monday’s post. Honestly assess whether you have been in any and how you came to enter into them. How did you experience them as unhealthy? What impact did the dynamic have upon the relationship?


Equally it’s important to assess which of the unhealthy relationship behaviors you have exhibited in the past. Do you have a pattern of exhibiting the same unhealthy behaviors? What draws you to exhibit these behaviors? What advantages do you think at the time they will give you? Once you understand the answers to these questions ask yourself, what were the disadvantages and damaging effects upon the relationship as a result of these behaviors? How could you avoid them in future?


Romance central; How to cultivate healthy intimate relationships and get the most out of your love life Part Two

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Last week we explored why it is important to be happy and whole before entering into a relationship and looked at the warning signs of mentally and physically abusive relationships. This week we explore what an unhealthy relationship dynamic looks like and examine what unhealthy relationship behaviors there are and what we can do about them.


Unhealthy relationship dynamics


One of the first things I was taught in treatment was what an unhealthy relationship looks like. Although there are definite traits which contribute to a relationship being unhealthy (more on those later) there are several models which show unhealthy dynamics. Let’s look at each one and why they are so unhealthy.


Unhealthy Relationship Model 1

In this model we see two people who have so little contact that their shared life is very small. This is unhealthy for several reasons. We need a certain amount of quality time and inter-connectedness in our lives to romantically bond with someone. Without enough contact the people are unable to offer a healthy level of emotional and mental support to the other and if there is too little contact whether in person or by Skype, phone and text, the relationship is weaker as a consequence.



Romance In Action: What has been your most unhealthy / healthy relationship?

One of the first questions we should ask ourselves is what has been the most healthy relationship you have had? What made it healthy? If you haven’t ever really had a healthy relationship examine which of the unhealthy relationship behaviors were present in the relationship, how could you change this in future?


It’s also important to ask what has been the most unhealthy relationship you have ever had? What made it unhealthy? List what you could possibly do in future to make it more healthy and make a mental note of your answers of all your answers for next week’s series article, posted Monday.


August’s Hot Topic – Romance Central

Next month’s series is all about how to cultivate healthy intimate relationships and get the most out of your love life! I’ve designed the series so it’s just as applicable for singletons seeking relationships as for those already in relationships and I’m really excited to share some tips and tricks to keep the spark, deep connection and appreciation between you and your partner alive.


In this series we will explore:



  1. Warning signs to look out for that you are in a toxic or abusive relationship
  2. Unhealthy relationship models – the dynamics that foster unhealthy intimate relationships and why
  3. Unhealthy relationship behaviors and how to avoid them
  4. Healthy relationship model – the dynamic that fosters healthy fulfilling intimate relationships
  5. Healthy relationship behaviors; how and why they nurture your relationship (including the brownie points game)


I’m so excited to hear your thoughts on this series as they weeks pass by, please do comment! I have to say this was by far one of the most enjoyable series to write and I hope it will guide you towards a fun, loving and fulfilling intimate relationship or serve to strengthen your existing one.


Wishing you all a truly wonderful week!


x X x Jenny x X x