How to recognise what is wrong with a relationship?
Everyone wants warmth, intimacy, and reciprocity in relationships. At the same time, authentic intimacy as a positive self-developing process should be distinguished from pseudo-intimacy, in which there is more pretense than frankness and more manipulation than empathy.
The most common characteristics of pseudo-intimacy:
- One partner tends to pass most of the responsibilities to another partner instead of taking them over.
- A significant difference between what is being said and what is being done.
- The absence of mutual trust between partners, or a conscious and repeated breach of trust by one of them.
- Unilateral or incomprehensible obligations in the relationships.
- One partner's selfish behavior and disrespect to the interests of another one.
- One-sided communications (one partner either monopolizes all conversations or is not allowed to say anything).
- A commanding style of communication is where one or both partners give instructions and criticize each other for not following them.
- Permanent conflicts and arguments consume a lot of time and energy, without leading to any issues being resolved.
However, it does not mean that authentic intimacy is only possible if partners are completely calm and attached. Loyalty and care for one's partner do not necessarily guarantee permanent happiness or agreement on all issues. For instance, people who are very much in love may have moments when they hate each other, while people who feel tenderness towards each other are sometimes capable of being cruel. Such a variety of feelings does not indicate that there is no authentic intimacy between people; it simply shows that intimate relationships are very complicated. At the same time, this complexity gives intimacy its main significance — a unique relationship between two individuals based on absolute mutuality.