After all, we are not simple beings. As individuals, people are dynamic and ever-changing. This is what makes us interesting and leads us to be attracted to others.
But, it is important to remind ourselves that, without unique idiosyncrasies, what are we.
Reasons behind a complicated relationship
Interesting peculiarities are what make relationships complicated. As complex individuals, inevitably, relating to others will also become complicated at some point in any relationship.
As relationships progress, feelings between partners will usually change. It is normal to feel differently about a partner as the relationship develops. It is also as normal to fall out of love as it is to fall in love with another person.
Mixed signals are a confusing element of any complex relationship. When in a relationship, it becomes necessary to consider whether you want to change your partner and whether you are prepared to change for the partnership.
Is it fair to expect changes that will suit a partner and/or the relationship?
Commitment is another point of contention. One may be convinced of a lack of commitment because the proof is just not in the pudding.
When there is love, but it is not expressed in the same way by bother parties, a complication may rear its head.
What is a complicated relationship?
Well, simply put – it’s complicated. Let’s face it, though, love and emotion between a couple are rarely simple.
Any user of social media platforms will have seen the complicated relationship status on Facebook.
Have you ever thought about what that means? What does complicated mean in a relationship?
When a relationship becomes foggy, and the participants lose clarity, it can safely be assumed that it has become complicated. The causes of these muddied waters are many and varied, and it is worth touching on the most prevalent.
The reasons for a complicated relationship
Here are listed some of the reasons why a relationship gets the ‘complicated’ status. Knowing these reasons can help you to understand the common relationship mistakes and save your relationship.
Two’s a company; three’s a crowd.
It is common to hear couples admit, “Our relationship is complicated during couple counseling because there is more than just the two of us in it.”
More than just two people in a couple’s relationship will muddy the water. The influencing person could be a parent, a love interest, a crush, or even an ex.
It will often be required of a person in a committed relationship to make a concerted effort not to surrender to romance with someone who incites an undeniable attraction.
Of course, it takes two to tango, and this has never been more pertinent than in a romantic relationship. It is certainly not enough for the relationship to be important to only one-half of a couple-equation. Both parties must be more or less equally invested in making a go of it.
Confusion is a major factor when asking why relationships are so complicated. Admittedly, the reasons for falling in and out of love remain a perplexing mystery, probably destined never to be satisfactorily solved.
Love and relationships are confusing because we can never know another person’s perspective in its complex entirety.
While navigating this factor, changes in a once fulfilling romance will be undeniable. It is confusing when you face the realization: my relationship is complicated.
Suddenly it becomes clear that something has definitely affected your love life, but this realization only leads to confusion.
Change is good, it is said, but changes in communication, engagement, and romance can be unsettling, especially when you are blind-sided by the realization.
Fix it by clearing the fog of confusion. Step back and look at the changes from a position not clouded by emotion.
It is not unusual for discussions to become heated. Consider having your talks mediated if you find your discussions falling into this very common quandary.
People grow apart. This is a natural progression. In a long-term relationship, the person you fell in love with may eventually bear very little similarity to the person snoring in front of the television on a Saturday evening.
Grow together. It is not necessary for a couple to grow apart but conserving a loving relationship demands putting in the effort.
Jealousy is a destructive emotion that can suffocate a happy relationship, erode trust, and nurture feelings of rejection and fear. This becomes a fertile breeding place for anger and anxiety where insecurity and suspicion thrive.
If you ever had disturbingly irrational feelings suddenly erupt into full bloom, you may be at risk of sacrificing your once healthy relationship to this foul reaction.
It is incredibly disconcerting being the receiving partner in a jealousy-ridden relationship. Feeling suffocated and controlled will inevitably result in resentment and cause an overwhelming atmosphere of isolation and uncertainty.
Unreasonable jealousy can be addressed, though; never fear! Look at the reality of your position within the relationship. Jealousy is often not warranted in a current relationship and is often a throwback of unresolved issues stemming frompast relationships.
Talk to your partner and address possible underlying problems involving commitment, communication, or trust.
All too often, lessons learned in a previous partnership and scars suffered before are inadvertently and undeservedly dragged into a new and unsuspecting relationship.
No one needs an unwarranted complication that can easily be solved through transparency.
Actions speak louder than words. If a partner is hearing “I love you” but not seeing the love, a complication is soon to follow.
Here are listed ten tips to manage your relationship and get it back on track.
1.Identify the problem
To manage a complex relationship, begin with confronting it.
There may be more than one issue for you to iron out. Write them down. You might discover that you are the problem. Whatever the problems are, you should be willing to take ownership and tackle them as a couple.
When you know what it is, that is impeding the relationship, isolate it, deal with it, and then solve it if at all possible.
Obvious issues couples identify in a complex relationship include behavior or attitude, loving over a long-distance, commitment, and trust.
Misunderstandings are a major contributor to a complex relationship.
Make sure to talk about problems so that you and your partner are on the same page. No one can fix what they don’t know, while the other considers it broken.
–Are you as supportive of your partner as you can be?
–Do you focus more on your problems or insecurities than on your partner?
A relationship that is not equally yoked will fast prove to be complicated. Although the slide into problematic is slow, action should be immediate.
One partner investing more in a relationship than the other will lead to disaster.
The chances are that you won’t notice when a partner becomes too needy, is unhappy, or that you are spending more time together than is healthy. The first sign might be over-controlling behavior, jealousy, and arguments.
7.Seek support from your loved ones
Let those near and dear to you know about your problems if you are confident that you will get their support to remove any obstacles to improving your relationship. Choose confidants who will give you a helpful perspective and impartial advice.
Absence not only makes the heart grow fonder, but it also clears your perspective of a complicated relationship.
Make the time away long enough to miss each other and allow time to see the relationship from the outside without undue influence.
9.Do away with the obstacles in your relationship
Work with what you have. If you can work around or do away with obstacles to a better relationship, then go ahead and do it right now.
These might be interfering parents or family members, work issues, time constraints, or the decision to start a family.
10.Love is all you need
Never forget that a relationship needs to be nourished and fed. But, how?
By loving each other day in and day out!
Love each other, especially when loving one another, is not easy. It is not good enough to just say I love you; you have to show it.
To stay or not to stay
Now that you have answered your own version of what does complicated mean in a relationship take the next step.
Only you can make the decision whether a complex relationship is salvageable or not. Not every relationship is worth saving. People fall in love for all the wrong reasons all the time.
Do your best
It is by no means anything less than a challenge to navigate the emotional highs and lows of a complex relationship.
But if you are up to that challenge, you may well find success on the other side. Should you choose to stay rather than leave, you may well be in a far better place.
Discuss your relationship in therapy. You might want to consult a professional rather than to discuss the relationship only with your significant other.
You need not feel embarrassed or think you have failed your partner if you feel this would be the best way to figure things out.
It takes courage to talk about your relationship problems and face your feelings. Couple counseling helps for coming to terms with differences in the relationship that you probably did not know existed.
Talking with an expert will benefit a complicated relationship by empowering both partners and promoting informed decisions that will benefit everyone involved. Should you decide to leave rather than stay, therapy will go a long way to helping with the pain of a failed relationship.
It would be a mistake to stay in a complicated relationship in the hopes that it will mysteriously sort itself out. Often what is thought to be real love proves to be just an unrealistic, romantic ideal of love: a fantasy or a fairytale version.
People grow out of one another, and this is not a fault to be apportioned. It is quite simply a fact of life and part and parcel of growing up. No one should ever feel obliged to stay in a complicated or difficult relationship for the wrong reasons.
That is not to say that real love is not worth the effort if that is indeed what you have been fortunate enough to find. If both partners pledge to make it work, a complicated relationship can reasonably be turned around to become a committed relationship.
What remains steadfast in any knotty relationship is the need for understanding. Figure out what’s wrong and understand how best to handle it.
Never forfeit a sense of humor. If you can learn to let it go, enjoy one another more, enjoy the good, and roll with the bad, you’re halfway to never having to manage a complicated relationship at all.
Now you know what exactly is a complicated relationship and what all challenges it entails. Introspect if you are at fault and contributing to the complexity of your relationship.
You must be willing to make positive changes in your attitude if you wish to save your relationship. Relationships are hard work, and you mustn’t shy away from doing your bit.
At the same time, if you have done enough for the relationship, and if nothing has changed in your relationship despite seeking professional help, you might need to take a tough call.
Surviving a toxic relationship for too long might adversely affect your physical as well as mental health in the long run.
Eventually, you have to decide if your relationship has the potential to be salvaged. Good luck!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.