Navigating through any relationship takes strength, wisdom, patience and love, among other things. As humans, we naturally look to those around us for advice, perspective and knowledge. While viewing other relationships outside of our own can offer some insight into our own, it is often damaging to compare your partnership to those of other couples. The-grass-is-always-greener viewpoint is often irrelevant, since you don’t have all the facts required to properly assess the relationship. Here are a few reasons why comparing your relationship to others can be ineffective at best and destructive at worst.
Behind Closed Doors
The problem with comparing yourself to other people is that you never have all of the information. You’re making assumptions based only on part of the facts, but the reality is that unless you’re in the relationship, you’ll never fully grasp its delicate dynamic. This truth, coupled with the fact that people tend to present their best face to the public, exemplifies why your comparisons cannot be based in complete accuracy. You then judge the quality of your relationship by something which essentially doesn’t exist.
No Two Relationships Are Alike
As relationships are comprised of two unique individuals, bringing different life experiences to the relationship, no two couples are alike. To judge the quality of your relationship on whether the two of you have the same dynamic as other couples is a waste of time. No one can tell you how your relationship should be, especially since what works for some people definitely doesn’t work for others. All you need to be sure of is if the two of you work, with your individual and distinct personalities that make your relationship uniquely yours.
Keeping the Focus Outside of the Relationship
By constantly comparing your relationship to others, you are cheating yourselves out of time and energy better spent focusing on the two of you. Considering the amount of effort and work that goes into a relationship, busying yourself worrying about others will only take away from what you as a couple have. Don’t worry so much about what the neighbors are doing; instead work on strengthening the bond between the two of you.
While it is easy to fall into comparing ourselves to others, it rarely benefits us unless other lifestyles inspire us. In this sense, it’s good to appreciate what others have worked hard to achieve—and to use that as inspiration—as we work towards our own relationship goals. But use your wisdom in assessing the quality of your relationship, and appreciate the uniqueness that the two of you bring into the partnership. It’s good to remember the flipside of the adage “The grass is always greener”: ”You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
By Alina Mikos