4 traits that can be both good and bad in love
Posted March 20
Updated 5:37 a.m. Tuesday
It’s easy to list the reasons we love someone. And if you’re loving, committed and work hard for your partner you’d definitely be a catch. But sometimes good traits can also bring trouble. Pay attention to these four traits that can be both good and bad in love.
Being loyal is an absolute must in a relationship. Standing beside your spouse in hard times and fighting for your relationship is a quality to be proud of. However, unflinching commitment in the face of constant disrespect, infidelity and abuse is not. Continuing to subject yourself or your children to emotional upset or physical harm is not worth the pride of staying loyal. Dedication is nothing to brag about when it hurts you or the ones you love.
Trust is also a foundation of a great relationship. In fact, no relationship can survive without trust. Friends, family, co-workers, employers and spouses alike need to be able to rely on the word and intentions of other people. However, trust should also have a limit. Letting your spouse convince you what you’ve seen, heard and know for yourself is false and convince you their version of reality is the truth is an abuse of this trust. This kind of manipulation often leaves you doubting your own feelings and confidence. Your understanding of reality soon becomes your partner’s version of the world — one that undoubtedly paints them as more innocent, correct and righteous than they truly are.
Compassion and empathy are cornerstones of healthy, supportive relationships. You need to feel that your partner understands you, and feel safe being vulnerable with them. But when empathy trumps logic, you may start making excuses for your partner’s bad behavior. An untreated trauma, difficult childhood or recent tragedy can make big waves in life and love. But sometimes tough love is the best medicine. Allowing your spouse to wallow in self-pity and continue to go untreated is not helping them or your relationship. Being compassionate can't blind you to the self-improvement your spouse needs.
Good people and good relationships are built on honesty. But people’s egos are fragile, and finding the line between encouragement and outright lying is difficult. Sometimes, protecting someone’s feelings may outweigh the instinct to be honest. People who are completely honest about everything tend to hurt feelings because most people are actually quite comfortable telling and hearing little white lies. Many of us have positively skewed visions of ourselves and it isn’t until a brutally honest “mirror” comes and shows us what we’re really like, that we get an unadulterated perspective on ourselves.
This can be an impossible pill to swallow in a relationship. If you are going to be unwaveringly honest, do your best to soften the blows by adding encouragement and support to what you say. If you don’t like something, suggest what you think would work better. If you don’t think a plan will work, bring up potential challenges and ask your partner for solutions. Divert the attention away from your opinions and the negative while still telling the truth.
Too much of anything can be bad, so be careful about overdoing it on the good stuff. The key to any great relationship is balance. Find a happy medium and keep your partnership full of love.
Georgia D. Lee is a University of Miami Alumna who seeks to empower, inspire, enrich and educate anyone with an open mind, heart and spirit through her most treasured medium - black and white!