15 Dangers of Self-Preservation in a Relationship & How to Deal
In This Article
When you are in a relationship, it may seem like you have to exhibit self-preservation. While this is true to a certain extent, you may be sabotaging your bond at some point.
Here’s a look at some dangers of self preservation in a relationship that you may want to avoid.
What is self preservation in a relationship?
When it comes to the self preservation meaning in a relationship, it is simply a term that indicates that you are worried about your survival. For example, if it is cold outside, you may wear a jacket, so you don’t get too cold or become sick. This is a type of self preservation.
The meaning of self preservation in a relationship indicates that someone is trying to not lose any part of themselves in a relationship. While this is okay in some ways, it could alienate your partner and make your relationship fail if you are self-preserving too much. Try to find a balance to bond with your mate and keep parts of yourself separate.
You can achieve this by making sure you keep some autonomy throughout your relationship. It is fine for two people dating or married to do separate things sometimes.
15 dangers of self preservation in a relationship
When you are wondering whether being guarded in a relationship is okay, the answer is that it depends on the situation. Here’s a look at 15 ways self preservation in a relationship can be a bad idea.
1. You may hurt others
Anytime you are trying to self-preserve too much, it could lead to you hurting others. You may not allow someone to get close to you because you are trying to be too independent.
Think of how you would feel if you were interested in someone and thought they were also interested in you, but when you went out with them, they acted like they couldn’t care less. This may be how your partner is viewing your behavior.
Related Reading: 15 Ways to Feel Better When Someone Hurts You
2. You may be too independent
Another reason why self preservation in a relationship may be too much is that you may be acting too independently. In other words, your partner may feel like there isn’t a place for them in your life.
If you care about someone, do what you can to incorporate them into your life in any way you can. You can do things together, try new things, and share some of your favorite things with them.
3. You may be afraid for nothing
If you are defining self preservation psychology, you are trying to save your own life. While you may have a good reason for doing this in your day-to-day life, in a relationship, it may be for no reason.
Again, if a person has shown that they want to have a relationship with you and has given you no reason to doubt this, you may be afraid to put yourself out there for no reason. You owe it to yourself to start to open up more with another person when you care about them.
4. You aren’t allowing yourself to be vulnerable
It can be scary to be vulnerable, especially if it makes you feel uncomfortable, but the act of falling in love causes you to be vulnerable. When another person accepts you for who you are, you will know that you are in a healthy relationship.
If you care about someone, try to be a little vulnerable when this is possible. When you don’t see yourself being able to, you may want to stop and think about why this is the case. Is there something wrong you are ignoring or is it just difficult for you to relax in a relationship?
5. You might become resentful
When you are trying to be too independent in your relationship, this could lead to you becoming resentful of your partner. They may not have given you a reason to feel this way, but since you have walls between you and them, you may think they are acting coldly towards you and upset with you.
Consider if your partner is trying to meet you halfway when spending time with each other and bonding. This can let you know whether you have a legitimate reason to feel resentful.
6. You could be doing things just for you
You may need to consider the other person when you are trying to self-preserve too much. Perhaps you are only buying things to please yourself rather than taking your partner into account. When you buy your favorite dinner and don’t ever eat your mate’s favorite, they may be hurt and think that things aren’t fair.
Take the other person into account when you are in a relationship. It would help if you allowed them to be who they say they are.
7. You may be putting up walls
Anytime you have been hurt repeatedly, it may be hard to let anyone get to know you better. However, if someone is willing to and you think they may be someone you could have a meaningful relationship with, you should consider trying to take down some of the walls you have up.
You can begin trusting your mate, and when they continue to prove themselves as trustworthy, you may feel it is okay to tell them personal things you might not have shared with many people in the past.
Related Reading: 10 Signs You May Have Hit An Emotional Wall and What to Do
8. You may be looking for signs that aren’t there
Are you waiting for your partner to mess up, even if they haven’t in the past? It would help if you gave someone a chance to be who they are without worrying that you will leave the first time they make a mistake.
It is okay to make mistakes or have disagreements now and then. If you like someone, it is worth it to take the time to work these issues out, so you can grow together.
9. You might act unfairly
If you have ever noticed that you hold your partner to a higher standard than other people, this is something that you should try to change. You cannot expect anyone to be perfect since this is essentially an unattainable goal.
Instead, you should give them a clean slate and allow them to show their true character. If you like what you see, treat them like you would want to be treated.
10. You may not be acting like yourself
Besides just putting up walls, you may only be doing some of the things you normally do when you are with your partner. For instance, if you like to drink a lot of coffee when you are by yourself but when you are with them, you claim you don’t like it, this can be a fib that causes problems later in the relationship.
It is okay to act like your authentic self at all times. This is the only way another person can tell if they like the real you.
11. You might not be fully committed
Do you have one foot out of the relationship? This could make your mate feel like they will never be good enough for you. If you are in a relationship with someone, you owe it to both of you to be fully committed to them
Stop looking for your way out unless there is a reason why you may need one. You may be closing the door on a relationship that makes you happy.
Related Reading: 10 Undeniable Signs He is Committed to You for Real
12. You could be doing what you want
Yet another self preservation definition is that you are trying to make sure that you survive. This means you may be going through your entire relationship doing only things you want to do.
However, when you are with someone, you need to do things that they want to do as well. Think how you would feel if you were your partner. Try to incorporate things you both like into your quality time together.
13. You may be distrustful of your partner
There may have been events that happened in the past that have caused you to be distrustful of others. However, it would help to consider whether your partner has given you a reason to distrust them.
If they have been upfront with you about things, you need to try to change your behavior.
When someone shows you that they are trustworthy, it is a good idea to trust them. This can help you relax more around them and know that you can lean on them if you need to. It is also an important aspect of a healthy relationship.
Watch this video to learn more about the role of trust in a relationship:
14. You might not be spending time together
Yet another of the self preservation examples you may be exhibiting is that you are not spending enough time together. You may not allow your relationship to grow when you aren’t spending quality time with each other.
It is necessary to give your partner adequate time, so you can get to know one another and increase your bond. Plan a date or spend a night in and do something fun together.
Related Reading: 15 Reasons Why Quality Time Is So Important in a Relationship
15. You may be ready to leave
If you are trying to define self preservation in your life, you may be thinking that it allows you to be ready to leave if you have to. However, what if you don’t need to leave a relationship?
When you are enjoying a relationship with your partner, you may not need to keep yourself prepared if you break up. While you can have a plan in place if this happens, it may be more beneficial to see how the relationship plays out.
How to deal with self preservation in a relationship
Having a fair amount of self preservation in a relationship is okay, especially in the beginning stages. You may have been hurt in the past or had your heart broken. This could cause you to hold some of yourself back whenever you get to know another person.
However, if you still are holding back, you need to decide if you will be yourself around your partner or if you want to move on to another relationship. After all, if you are happy, you should be able to be yourself, but if you aren’t, it may be time to move on.
Some commonly asked questions
Self-preservation can be a means to save your mental and physical health. However, an extreme case can also hamper you from forming a true bond with your partner. Learn more about it through some frequently asked questions.
Can self preservation be negative?
While your self preservation instinct may be a good thing in many aspects of your life, once you are in a healthy and serious relationship, it is okay to let your guard down a bit. When an individual has proven that they aren’t out to hurt you or do anything untoward, you should consider lessening your self-preservation a bit, when possible.
One way to do this is to think about all your decisions. In some instances, you may be making decisions that lead you to make more bad decisions. Consider the rationale behind each of your decisions to ensure they are productive and the proper way to handle things.
How to strengthen and preserve relationships?
It can be useful to have a bit of emotional self-defense when you are in a relationship. While learning more about the other person and determining if you like them, protecting yourself from getting hurt is okay. After all, if it doesn’t work out, you don’t want to have been too emotionally invested in the relationship.
To strengthen and preserve relationships, you e have to let your guard down and be authentic. If your partner likes you for who you are, they will like you, even if you get out of your shell a little bit. Try to make small changes so you won’t become overwhelmed and you may find out that your mate is also vulnerable.
Moreover, you can consider relationship counseling if you want to know how to move past how serious your self preservation in a relationship is. A therapist may be able to help you learn how to lessen this trait when you need to and have advice on how to interact with your partner or potential partners.
Related Reading: 30 Couple Bonding Activities to Strengthen the Relationship
In a nutshell
While it is okay to have self-preservation in a relationship, you must let go of some of this once you find someone you can trust and want to be with. As you learn more about your partner and fall in love, you won’t need to protect yourself as much. You can be vulnerable at times and let them see the real you.
If you have trouble letting go of self preservation, you should think about working with a therapist, who may be able to help you further.
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