couple fighting

Could Your Relationship be Stopping You From Growing?

 

woman sad

If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship, it can feel like you and your partner live completely separate lives.  Sometimes, it can feel like a joke to call them your “partner”.  Long distance relationships aren’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of strength and knowing who you are to thrive in that kind of environment.  You also need ot know what you can and can’t handle.  You may not be cut out for a long distance relationship in the end.  What you do need to make sure is that your partner isn’t stifling your growth.  As someone who is in an LDR, I use my time away from him to work on myself.  As an individual, I need to be able to grow.  It makes me a better person in general but makes me better in the relationship.  But at the same time, this can be difficult as you want to feel like you’re part of each other’s lives.  These are some signs that maybe your partner is stifling your personal growth.

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He is Competitive With You

If every conversation you have feels like a competition, then you won’t feel free to be yourself.  Or even do what you’re currently doing.  You’re going to feel dragged into whatever is going to get you ahead in the competition.  And that’s no way to have a relationship.  Who cares if he’s traveled more than you?  Your relationship shouldn’t be about that. And if it is, its likely time to say goodbye.

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He Finds Your Humor Juvenile

If you can’t laugh together, then what are you doing?  It’s that simple.  Your sense of humor is reflective of yourself, your intellect and your values.  If your partner doesn’t understand your sense of humor, then he doesn’t understand you and there’s no way that’s actually helping you grow.

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He Makes You Feel Bad About Career Talk

Does he roll his eyes when you talk about your work? If he only wants to talk about “fun” things, you should take note of this.  Why?  It’s telling.  Perhaps he doesn’t like his job, which is a problem and he’s not being open to you.  Maybe you need his assistance with a work issue.  Or maybe you just want to vent.  You can’t put your life on hold when the two of you are together.  LDR’s are nice in a sense because it is like a vacation when you’re together, but there is also that come back to reality.  And like I said, sometimes you just want your partner to feel part of your life even though you’re separated by distance.

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He Calls Your Cultured Friends Snooty/Pretentious

If your partner makes fun of your friends who like to go to foreign films and book readings, he is definitely stifling your growth.  This doesn’t make them snooty, it makes them appreciate culture.  That doesn’t mean that if you don’t like those things you’re not cultured, but it also doesn’t make you pretentious to like them.  Feeling like you can’t talk to your partner about these things can drive a wedge in your relationship.

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He Won’t Give You Any Alone Time

This one can be tricky.  I used to be in a relationship with a guy who was like this.  Needless to say it didn’t work out, and maybe this was a warning sign.  If he can’t be without you for a few hours, then there’s something wrong.  It suggests that he doesn’t see value in alone time, but it also suggests that maybe he has some self-esteem issues.  Why can’t you go out alone?  This is necessary in any relationship.  Plain and simple.

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Your Pursuits Embarrass Him

Maybe you’re into writing poetry or doing an open mic night at a coffee shop.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But if these things embarrass him, then you’re not going to feel comfortable telling him about your life.  Let alone, having him participate.  If the activity that feeds your soul, makes your partner embarrassed, then there’s a problem.

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He Insists You Tag Along Everywhere

He needs you to be his date to everything. He can’t go to one friend’s birthday party or even shop for pants without you. This, again, takes away from your alone time. It also implies a pretty high clinger status that can’t be good for your personal growth.

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He Won’t Try to Make New Friends with You

When you want your partner to have dinner with you and the new friends you made, he doesn’t want to go. He says things like, “We have enough friends” or “I don’t have room in my life for more friends.” This is a red flag that he doesn’t want to expand his social circle.  Therefore, he doesn’t want to grow and he definitely doesn’t want you to grow either.

friends talking

He’ll Barely Hang Out With Your Current Friends

Not only will your partner not make new friends with you, but he won’t hang out with your current friends.  He classifies them as “your” friends.  But this puts you in a position to constantly choose between your friends and your partner, which means you’re going to spend less time with your friends.  And I’ve been here before.  Your friends are an important part of your personal growth.  Don’t sacrifice that for your relationship.

woman

He Doesn’t Participate in Brainstorming Sessions

When you come home, and you’re full of ideas, does your partner participate in your brainstorming session?  If he will barely turn down the TV to listen. Or, if like my ex-used to do, he turns music on so he doesn’t have to hear you – there’s a problem.  This says he’s not invested in the relationship.  Which means you’re on your own with this one.

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Yoga and Meditation are Silly

He sees spiritual practices as empty and silly. He thinks they’re just a trend. There’s no way he’d ever try a yoga class with you or attempt meditation. Oh, and he sort of things therapy is a hoax, too.

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He Mansplains/Talks Over You

When you try to tell him something you’re excited about or interested in, he interrupts you and tells you everything he knows about it. He doesn’t understand that it’s good for your mind to just let your rant session go on for as long as it needs to.

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He’s Set in His Ways

This is never really a good sign.  But I will say that there is a big difference between being particular and set in your ways.  Knowing what you like, but still trying new things doesn’t make you set in your ways.  But if he likes to eat at the same restaurant every time you go out, he’s holding you back.  He isn’t interested in taking classes with you at the recreation center or trying anything new. He’s very much a believer of the saying, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

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He Thinks it’s Weird That You Travel Alone

He cannot wrap his mind around the fact that you want to travel alone. Are you angry with him? Are you cheating on him? Are you going to rethink this relationship? Are you having a breakdown? He assumes you must want to travel alone for some negative reason.

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He’s Not Working on His Own Personal Growth

Lastly, if he’s not working on his personal growth, then he’s not concerned about yours. In fact, he may actively try to interfere with yours because seeing you grow makes him feel bad about his