Closer (UK)

WHY COMPARING IS BAD FOR ROMANCE

Couples who post a lot of selfies tend to be unhappier because, as Emma explains, social media isn’t reality

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Just because a couple seem happy when they are around you, or you see pictures of your colleague gloating about the flowers she’s received online, it doesn’t mean they have a fantastic relationsh­ip. In fact, research shows couples who post endless smitten pics online are unhappier than those who don’t. That highlights how unhealthy comparison­s can be. Lots of us put on a fake smile when we are around friends and family, and the flowers your colleague received could have been an apology after an almighty row. One of the main issues with comparing is that you are basing how you feel on something you have made up in your head. Comparison­s lead to unrealisti­c and unfair expectatio­ns, because you cherry pick the best bits of everything that you imagine makes the perfect relationsh­ip, leaving you resentful about all the things your partner fails to live up to, rather than concentrat­ing on the things they actually do. It’s really helpful to foster a climate of gratitude towards your partner, so start to notice all the little things they do for you daily. The more you focus on these, the happier you will be. Also, discuss what you would like to see more of. If you envy how your friend’s partner plans days out, ask your partner to plan something, for example. We are not psychic so we need direction as to what makes us happy. The more you communicat­e your needs and concentrat­e on your relationsh­ip as opposed to other people’s, the happier you’ll be.

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