Advertising
Advertising

Proof you have more positive relationship power than you think

Proof you have more positive relationship power than you think

Be honest. Do you feel like you have no control over whether your relationship soars or bottoms out? Do you think that cupid is in charge of your relationship’s happiness?

If so, you’re not alone.

The Destiny Theory of Relationship is characterized by the belief that relationships are either meant to be or doomed from the start. The problem with this theory, as the following relationship graph from Riskology.co shows, is that the results are rarely happily ever after.

destiny-theory-trend

    The destiny theory looks more like a roller coaster than happily ever after. Here are a few clues that you may be at this end of the spectrum:

    Advertising

    • You are looking for the perfect mate. Your friends have heard you say, “They’re perfect for me!” — likely on more than one occasion and, often, just before a dramatic end to the relationship.
    • You’re far more likely to say “They weren’t right for me,” than you are to say “We couldn’t make it work.”
    • You fall for people quickly and passionately, moving from the first date to planning your life together in a short time.
    • You will see any conflict as proof that you’re not right for each other. Even normal, relatively minor conflicts will cause you to rethink the relationship.
    • You’re hot and cold. Either they are “all in” with you, or they’re out.

    Here are a few lessons that explain why the people who live by the destiny theory often struggle to maintain healthy relationships.

    You need to embrace the struggle

    Destiny theorists are quick to think problems that arise are because they weren’t meant to be together in the first place, so they don’t look at what actually caused the problem.

    The truth is that life comes with circumstances. Even Jesus said, “In this life you will have trouble.” It stands to reason that, even in the very best relationships, you will have troubles. If you believe the destiny theory, though, you’ll take the normal challenges that are meant to strengthen your relationship and use them as a reason to trash it.

    Your struggles are meant to pull you together as a couple and grow you as a person. As Eric Thomas, former professional football player, said, “You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.”

    To paraphrase, if you’re going to have trouble anyway, you might as well get a payoff in the form of a better relationship on the other side.

    Advertising

    If you let the weeds grow, the flowers can’t

    People who believe relationships are based on destiny don’t feel the need for self-examination. And why would they? There is no need to look at their own behavior if the relationship just wasn’t meant to be.

    The real downside to this belief is that, often, destiny theorists are their own worst enemies.

    Everyone has room for improvement. We all have “behavior weeds” in our relationship gardens. If you don’t look at your own actions when things go wrong, you can never get better. If you look honestly at yourself, you can pull the weeds from your own garden and give a decent relationship room to become great.

    No one marries the right person

    People who hold the destiny theory often hold their partners to an unrealistic standard. They aren’t able to see that everyone has good and bad in them. Even the “perfect mate” is going to drive you nuts at times, but that doesn’t mean you should quit.

    There will never be someone who is perfect for you. Or me. We have to work at becoming the right people together. Very often, the way we learned to deal with conflict while growing up contributes to our believing in destiny.

    Advertising

    But there is beauty in the words “growing up.” We don’t have to stop growing just because we’re adults. In fact, if you’re tired of Destiny Theory relationships that don’t last, crashing and burning as passionately as they started, there is an alternative theory that is based on just that: growth.

    Thanks again to Riskology.co for providing us with a graph showing how relationships work if you hold the Growth Belief. With a growth belief, you know that great relationships take work. Check it out:

    growth-theory-trend

      While there’s no relationship guarantee in life, it’s obvious when you compare the two graphs that one way of thinking creates far more successful relationships than the other.

      Growth: Beauty and the beast

      What people who believe in destiny don’t know is that, though growth is hard, it’s so worth it.

      Advertising

      Growth takes a willingness to be objective when all you want to do is fall madly, senselessly in love. It means you have to own up to your feelings when your partner disappoints you and communicate when you have disagreements. And, perhaps the hardest part, it requires the humility to own up to your part in the problems you face as a couple.

      The upside?

      The results of self examination, better relationship skills, and putting childish ways of dealing with life away can make the difference between heartbreak and silver wedding anniversaries.

      It won’t happen overnight and there’s no magic pill. But, it’s not a matter of luck or destiny either. You have a huge amount of control over how your relationship flourishes or wilts. Use it to grow a beautiful garden for years to come.

      Featured photo credit: Eric’s Proposal to His Girlfriend/ via flickr.com

      More by this author

      Proof you have more positive relationship power than you think 3 Relationship “Truths” That Are Actually Dangerous Lies 4 Vital Ways Your Friends Make You a Better Spouse 10 Sympathy Cards That Don’t Suck

      Trending in Communication

      1 7 Ways To Deal With Negative People 2 How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward 3 What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships 4 How To Stop Negative Thoughts from Killing Your Confidence 5 This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on January 18, 2019

      7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

      7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

      Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

      But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

      If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

      1. Limit the time you spend with them.

      First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

      Advertising

      In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

      Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

      2. Speak up for yourself.

      Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

      3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

      This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

      Advertising

      But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

      4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

      Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

      This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

      Why else would they be sharing this with you?

      Advertising

      5. Change the subject.

      When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

      Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

      6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

      Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

      I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

      Advertising

      You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

      Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

      7. Leave them behind.

      Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

      If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

      That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

      You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

      Read Next