By Anduena Hajdari

Relationships are the very essence of our social lives. One would assume that we by now would know how to care for our heart bound connections in a healthy way. It seems though like we have forgotten – maybe even never learned – how to balance true and meaningful relationships with ourselves and others. There are different kinds of relationships. The first relationships are the ones we create with our family. These are more or less imprinted in our consciousness from our very beginning. The second kind of relationship depends on our social environment; the relationship with our friends, who eventually become our second family. The older you get, the more complicated a relationship seems to us due to miscommunication and lack of honesty. Not being able to be true to our relations nor our selves can have consequences on our next kind of relationship; our relationship with the person we choose to live our life with. There may have been a number of sexual relationships throughout the years, but as soon as the mind is ready for the real deal, many tend to hit a brick-build wall of disappointment and heartbreak.

WHEN LONELINESS KILLS

The number of singles around the world has sky-rocked throughout the years. Some experts claim that the majority of singles today choose to be single, as it makes them feel independent and free to sleep with whomever they want, whenever they want to. But there are other sides to the story as well: Reports from the World Health Organization show that close to 800.000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. The suicides are the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds globally. The New Yorker calls the suicide epidemy a crime of loneliness, which is a terrifying vulnerability everyone is prone to. The constant confusion on how to be in a relationship can seem exhausting and can create a disbelieve in our own future. There is no shame in choosing to be single, but it is a shame that we, according to statistics, don’t know how to be alone without getting swallowed into the darkest and most corrosive corners of ourselves.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  – Rumi

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On a TEDx Talk, Tracy McMillan performed a popular speech about the perks of marrying yourself first, before committing to any serious relationship. The actual purpose with self-love is that you don’t suck attention and love out of your partner to feel complete – you need to be complete even without your partner. The bottom line with McMillan’s presentation was that your healthiest relationships will only be as healthy as your relationship with yourself. How can we expect someone else to love us, when we don’t even love ourselves?

This is where the strings break in many relationships: The expectation that we become complete by being loved and noticed as soon as we have a partner or a big group of friends. However, no matter whom you are dating, or how many friends you are surrounded with at a gathering – they will never fill out the dark space inside your chest that only you can fill up with love and affection.

“We have to create mechanisms where we allow for those little innocuous interactions to happen”

Author Simon Sinek addresses the same issue and explains that there is a simple pattern which we automatically create in our consciousness – even if we have all of the relationships that we need to “complete” ourselves. Unhappy people show various signs of unhappiness: they are written all over our social media profiles, they can be spotted on our behavior when we socialize physically, and they show when we express our opinions on our work and our plans about the future. Sinek lists the following statements as signs of unhappy behavior:

  • If you are texting someone that is not there physically, while you are with another person that is right beside you, then that sends a subconscious message that the person you are with is not important enough – you are not happy enough in this company.
  • If the first thing you do when you wake up, and the last thing you do when you go to bed is checking your phone while your spouse if beside you – then you might want to be somewhere else.
  • Promoting your life on social media as was it perfect can seem very desperate. Job satisfaction and deep meaningful relationships are not something you can fake/ put a filter on.
  • Constant nagging and complaining over the same things, but never doing anything about them.

In an interview with Tom Bilyeu, Sinek explains that the lack of confidence in both private and professional life can create an addiction to social media because it is on these platforms that we live the life that we truly want. However, like all addictions, it will destroy relationships and in the end, the relationship we have with ourselves. We, therefore, have to create new forms of education and working strategies that can help us develop mechanisms that allow us to connect on a more intimate level.

FILTERS

Living our lives through our digital profiles affects our physical relationships more than we think. The push notifications are a constant reminder that someone might be interested in us – someone has noticed us and wanted to get in touch, and we automatically check our device – even if we are with someone else at the moment. But as notifications become more and more meaningless, our brain starts to find other ways to get the dopamine pumping in our mind. Whatever the ways might be, they might be procrastination on a real issue that is the true cause of the lack of happiness. The constant disappointment that repeats itself when we don’t get the job or relationship that we think we deserve. Even though we do not understand what went wrong in our failed relationships, the failure can quickly end up becoming a constant self-blame. Public and media relations manager Annie Drinkard from SPSP also thinks, that deep and meaningful relationships play a vital role in a person’s health:“Past research has shown that individuals with supportive and rewarding relationships have better mental health, higher levels of subjective well-being and lower rates of morbidity and mortality” 

To become a part of our relationships, and thrive as a social human being, we need to take good care of our connection to ourselves, by learning self-love. If not, we end up becoming unsure of our identity and develop a lack of confidence, which can end up resulting in laziness, unhealthy lifestyles, depression and even worse – suicide.

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