Cosmopolitan August 2018 - Page 92

love & lust Do they reject activities you do together as not fun Love Quiz or fulfilling your partner enough? Is holding your relationship to unrealistic standards? Do they often blame you for a lack of excitement in your one- on-one time? Do you always feel the need to entertain them when they’re around? Yes Yes Yes No No No IF YOU ANSWERED MOSTLY YES, your mate may be unfairly judging your connection. Use humour (Guess that date last week was kind of boring!) to call out their distorted view, and remind them of the real connection you share. IF YOU ANSWERED MOSTLY NO , your SO seems to be evaluating your relationship based on its own merits. Continue celebrating what you love about each other by expressing your feelings and gratitude. To feel more confident, fight the urge to let other couples’ romantic benchmarks dictate your own. still dating, it can make you question the progress of your relationship. To feel more confident, fight the urge to let other couples’ romantic benchmarks dictate your own. Instead, remind yourself of the various desires you have besides romance, and celebrate the areas in which you’re finding fulfillment, such as school, work, or time spent with friends and family. open and honest conversations with them. Share your own love challenges, and ask them if they’ve ever had a similar experience. Listening to a pal talk about her personal strife (such as how she coped when her partner began acting odd) can help normalise the way you feel about your current situation. It shifts your inner dialogue from a sense of defeat (Ugh, no- one else is going through this) to relief that you’re not alone. And once you reveal more, your friends can offer advice and support. AVOID THE BLAME GAME When said aloud, feelings of inferiority often sound like, Why aren’t we more like Kriti and Rahul? or If I was with someone like him or her, everything would be great! But these sentiments place blame on your lover without taking any responsibility for yourself, which can chip away at the positives of—and trust in—your bond. It’s also unrealistic to believe that acting like or being with different people will suddenly solve your relationship problems. Rather than employing blame or shame, focus on what you like about your connection: how much your mate makes you laugh, or the way they care for you. Then, actively do more things to please each other (like playing golf, even if that’s not your favourite thing to do), and voice your appreciation when they do the same (as in, I like doing this with you). TURN JEALOUSY INTO ACTION Esther Perel is a relationship therapist, New York Times best-selling author, popular TED speaker, and the host of the podcast Where Should We Begin? Her next project, an e-course for couples looking to keep their spark alive, launches later in 2018. Learn more at estherperel.com or following @EstherPerelOfficial on Instagram. Shatter the assumption that your friends are in ecstatic relationships by having more COSMOPOLITAN AUGUST 2018 TAKE A BREAK FROM SCROLLING If all else fails, get off social media for a few days...or weeks. The time away will help you re alise that striving to be someone else is a frustrating experience. Instead, focus on being the very best version of you and staying grounded in the n here and now of your own life. GET REAL WITH FRIENDS 92 Your first reaction may be jealousy when you see a couple on Instagram hiking a beautiful trail while you and your love are riding the couch. But remember: you have the power to change! So if you can’t help but compare, use a duo you respect as inspiration. Envious of their recent date night? Plan one with your mate. Frustrated that you and your partner are at a bar again while another pair is perusing a cool museum? Ask your partner to go to one with you. FOR MORE GREAT STORIES, VISIT COSMO.IN