Couples fall into the trap of insecurity when they compare their relationships with other people. By doing so, they’re setting themselves up to fail. Most couples will always appear perfect while looking in because that’s how people want to be seen.
There’s a possibility that a lot of couples have more problems than you’re aware of, perhaps more than you have with your own couplehood. In fact, no relationship is without its share of issues, but most people don’t talk about these except with close friends and family.
The vital thing to recognize is that one pair’s version of perfection can be different from some other’s. Whether spending every moment together or engaging otherwise and having minimal time as a couple, if it makes each partner happy and satisfied, that is as close to idyllic as you can get.
No one should engage in comparing relationships because what makes you happy is unique and individual from those in other partnerships. Stay focused on yourself since relationships are hard enough work without bringing other people into it.
Let’s read more about why you should never compare your relationship.
What does it mean to compare relationships?
Comparing relationships means looking at a couple or more of them and seeing what’s similar and different or maybe, what’s better and what’s worse.
It helps you figure out if they’re a good match or how to make your relationship better through your findings. But keep in mind that every relationship is different, hence such comparisons can be totally irrelevant at times.
You need to think about the people involved and what they’ve been through when comparing relationships.
Why do people make relationship comparisons?
Relationship comparisons are genuinely a normal part of human nature in the same context as establishing healthy “competitions” for lack of a better word throughout developmental stages from childhood up to adulthood in varied ways.
The comparisons aren’t meant to ensure that you supersede everyone else. These act in the sense of clarification for yourself as to what you want, helping to incorporate self-image and encouraging personal growth.
It can be a healthy part of development at each stage of life, a form of self-measurement and motivation to keep you moving towards personal goals.
If used positively, seeinga healthy relationship should motivate you to either continue on your current path if you’re doing well or make changes where they’re needed to enhance the partnership.
Why is it not healthy to compare your relationship to others?
The current digital landscape disallows realistic comparisons among couples that can genuinely motivate or encourage and instead cause toxicity. There are ways how to maneuver social sites without making comparisons.
The references you see on social media are explicitly for the audience. There is no consideration for the sincerity others might place on the posts and how couples might use these as a relationship comparison causing rifts between some mates because their partnership doesn’t come close.
First,no relationship is perfect. So, when some people post continuously how amazing their life together is – perhaps it is; but where’s the growth or passion?
Passionate people will have differences and arguments. The problem is if the two of you have what should be a healthy, dynamic relationship, you’ll still feel it’s imperfect because these unrealistic examples on social media have set the standard for how you believe your relationship should now be measured.
Since it doesn’t, there must be problems. Irrational thought processes like these have individuals attempting to reach unattainable goals and compare their partners unfairly away from the traits that initially drew them to this person.
The perspective you initially had regarding love is skewed detrimentally, and there is nothing that can fully satisfy you at this point, leaving your partnership in danger of a break.
5 tips to stop comparing your relationship with others
Comparing your relationship with others can be harmful to both your mental and emotional health, and put unnecessary strain on your relationship. Here are five practical tips to stop comparing your relationship with others:
1. Focus on your own relationship
Instead of looking at other couples, focus on building a strong and healthy relationship with your partner. Set goals and work towards them together. Never compare your relationship instead of celebrating its uniqueness.
2. Avoid social media
Social media can be a breeding ground for comparison; never compare your relationship based on what you see online. Unfollow accounts that make you feel inadequate, and limit your time on social media.
3. Practice gratitude
Focus on the things you appreciate about your relationship and your partner as it will help you to never compare your relationship. Write down or tell your partner what you’re grateful for in your relationship.
4. Communicate with your partner
Talk to your partner about your feelings and concerns. If you’re feeling insecure, talking about it can help ease your worries and motivate you to never compare your relationship.
Never compare your relationship just because it’s different from what you expect. Every relationship is unique, and that’s what makes them special. Instead of comparing, celebrate what makes your relationship different.
15 reasons you should never compare your relationship
In all fairness, to a spouse or a partner to compare relationships is wrong on many levels but primarily because we’re all unique.
When you set out searching for the partner that was ideal for you, it wasn’t the partner that your friend on social media is posting about, was it?
There’s a reason that person is the perfect match for your friend; they share compatibility. You should never compare your partner to another person’s partner because you’ll probably never be satisfied. You will always find that your partner is lacking since the traits you’re looking for belong to someone else.
Again, everyone’s different. Sadly, if you feel your significant other is not adding up when you compare relationships, you might need to let that person go so they can find someone who doesn’t see the need to compare them while you also find someone up to the standards.
Let’s check out some reasons why you never want to compare relationships.
When you met your partner, you found this person to be an unusual character, someone who specifically answered your needs in only the way they could. You probably thought you would never compare your relationship with anyone.
There was no one like them when you compared them to all the other people you were looking at to date. But now, you’re looking at this person as part of a couplehood and somehow sensing the comparison is different, and you’re not sure you’re satisfied.
Instead of accepting individuality, do you want this person to “equate” to the previous few you dated before? Why would you? It would be best if you never compare your past relationships.
Turn the tables for a reaction when your partner compares you to others and consider how you would respond. This partner is different, and you like that. Accept the positive changes and move forward. Learn how to stop comparing your relationship to others.
When you begin comparing your girlfriend to others or your boyfriend to another, it sparks a nagging sensation that perhaps something is missing in you.
You can start to developlow self-esteem or a lack of confidence in your own judgment. That can create problems not only in the relationship but with your mental health.
Comparisons become obsessive and not worth the effort since you’ll always find something you believe is more gratifying than what you have that you need to try for that you’ll never achieve. No one will ever satisfy you because these ideals are unrealistic.
Never compare your girlfriend to your ex or someone on social media or your boyfriend to another because it will ultimately leave you sad and alone.
3. Missing what’s great
Never compare your relationship as it can divert you from what’s worth appreciating.
While you’re fretting over what you’re lacking from this person because you’re trying to compare relationships, you could be missing out on the great parts.
You could be out experiencing what you’re seeing all these other couples “talking” about in real-time but, instead, you’re dwelling that you don’t have what they do – you could.
Whatever happened to being happy for other people’s successes? If he makes the issue a challenge, that’s his own insecurities, not yours, and you shouldn’t dwell on those.
It’s better to express an appreciation for her work ethic, or whatever may be the celebration, and move forward feeling great about your personal achievement and attributes even if he’s stuck amid comparisons.
5. Sometimes it’s okay to let it pinch
Probably most of us have fantasies of traveling the world, fine dining, and an elaborate lifestyle.
When you see someone living some of these dreams, it can sometimes send a ping of jealousy, ultimately leading to you looking at your partner to compare relationships, and wondering why you can’t have some of what that person has.
Perhaps your friend is in a hot tub at a five-star hotel in Paris, or another friend is dining at a posh restaurant in the big city. Maybe they’re celebrating a special anniversary, and it was a gift from a family member.
Undoubtedly you know your partner would give you the world and will when it’s feasible; never compare your husband with another and in that same vein, never compare your wife with others – it’s unfair.
Check out this insightful video to understand how you can let go of envy:
6. Unattainable expectation
Comparisons are challenging because you create expectations not only that a partner is unable to meet but instances when it comes down to comparing yourself to your partner.
That becomes a competition where no one wins because ultimately, each person feels alienated, whether it’s who makes more money, has the better job, or possesses more assets, whatever your basis for the comparison is.
In this scenario, a third party would be a welcome impartial mediator to guide you to a smooth resolution if the two of you hope to repair the relationship.
Relationship counseling or even individual therapy can help each partner see the other’s attributes where they might have lost sight. It might otherwise be challenging to maneuver through this unhealthy pattern the couple developed with comparisons.
7. Why wouldn’t you merely leave
Rather than comparing relationships, if you’re unsatisfied with the partner you have, why wouldn’t you merely leave the partnership and find someone with whom you can genuinely be content instead of complaining about this person?
If your heart is truly not in the partnership and you feel something much better might be out there for you, you owe it to yourself to continue searching for that. It’s only fair to you and the person you’re with.
Despite your best effort, you can’t mold someone into youridea of the perfect partner. They’re either suitable for you or not and vice versa. No one should ever chance to suit someone’s expectations either.
8. It’s rude and demeaning
When you’re in love with someone but find it necessary to continually criticize and complain because they are not like someone or don’t do the same things as another person does for a friend, that’s ill-treatment of your partner. It demeans and diminishes self-esteem.
If you truly love your partner, there should be no comparatives. You should appreciate all the eccentricities, uniqueness, quirks, and flaws, with no anticipation that this person will in any way mimic the behavior of anyone else and sadness if someone were to copy what you have.
9. How would you feel
It would be best never to compare relationships because the tables could easily be switched. It wouldn’t be nice to be caught on the other end of someone showing dissatisfaction in the partnership or a desire for characteristics that don’t come naturally to you.
If you find yourself about to compare relationships, think back to why you chose this person, remember why you love them, and why your relationship works, and let the comparisons go.
A primary reason why you don’t compare your relationship to others is that the relationships you’re comparing to are less than perfect, as you might have yourself believe.
Any healthy partnership has its share of issues, but no one will share publicly or tell their friends about the major arguments or when their spouse doesn’t fold the laundry or stack the dishes.
We want everyone to see our partner as the perfect person we feel in our hearts they are, and that’s how it should be. Here is astudy comparing relationships to those on popular social sites and how these can make you feel.
11. Unnecessary stress
Comparisons can cause unnecessary stress. Comparing your relationship to others can add up to your stress levels, as you may feel like you need to constantly be doing more to keep up with other couples.
12. It can be unfair to your partner
Comparing your relationship to others can be unfair to your spouse, as you’re essentially saying that they’re not good enough and their uniqueness is faulty. This can be hurtful and damaging to the relationship.
13. It can create competition
Competition is only good when it’s done in a healthy state. Comparing your relationship to others can create a negative sense of competition, where you’re constantly trying to one-up other couples. This can be exhausting and take away from the joy of being in a relationship.
14. It can damage trust
When you compare your partner to others, you’re essentially saying that you don’t trust them to be themselves. This can damage trust in the relationship, as your partner may feel like they’re constantly being measured against other people.
15. It can be damaging to your mental health
Last, but not the least, this point is really really important. Constantly comparing your partnership, your marriage, and your partner to what other people have can take a toll on your mental health, as it can lead to constant feelings of inadequacy and jealousy.
Some more questions
Now that we have discussed topics like cover topics such as why we compare, how it affects relationships, and practical tips to stop comparing, it’s time to take some frequently asked questions about comparisons within relationships.
Is it normal to compare yourself to your partner?
Is it normal to compare relationships? Well, it is.
It’s common to compare yourself to your partner, but excessive comparison can cause feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and resentment, which can harm the relationship.
Is it healthy to compare your partner to others?
Comparing your partner to others can be unhealthy and detrimental to the relationship. It can lead to feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and resentment and cause damage to the relationship.
Embrace the uniqueness of your relationship
How to stop comparing your partner to others? Practice acceptance!
Comparing your relationship to others can be a slippery slope that leads to negative emotions and dissatisfaction. Instead, embrace the uniqueness of your relationship and focus on cultivating a strong, healthy bond with your partner. By giving up comparisons, you can find greater happiness and fulfillment in your relationship.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships Read more and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.
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