Being comfortable in your relationship is the only way it can be sustainable for the long-term. You should be able to be yourself. All of you. The gross parts? Even that. The grumpy parts? Certainly. The parts you're embarrassed about? That too. Being in a relationship doesn't mean you get to take out every bad mood on your partner, but it does mean being 100 percent comfortable being yourself around them. Because the truth is, you're spending too much time with them not to. It takes a lot of effort to put out the squeaky clean image of yourself that you think shows you in the best light— you won't be able to keep it up.
You need to able to just be you. "Any time you are not authentically yourself it's a sign that you are not truly comfortable in a relationship," relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW tells Bustle. "If you are hiding things, embarrassed about things, faking things, it suggests that you don't feel that the guy will truly like you for yourself."
And that's a big problem — not only for your relationship, but because it also can do a huge amount of damage to your self-esteem. Not to mention how exhausting it will be to try to keep it up all the time.
Here are some signs to look out for, because you don't always have to be perfect:
1. You Don't Trust Them
When you really comfortable with someone, you trust them completely. If you find yourself unsure or feeling uncomfortable with them, you're not as relaxed as you deserve to be. "One sign that you don’t trust your partner can come in the form of second-guessing," Marina Sbrochi, IPPY award-winning author of Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life tells Bustle. "This is a sneaky one and you might not even know you are doing it — but your partner knows, and it translates to mistrust." You need to look at why you're not trusting them and what you or they can do to make you more comfortable.
2. You Try To Hide When You're Ill Or Down
Sometimes our stomachs explode and it's not very pleasant. Sometimes we're just really sniffly. Or really damned tired. But if you feel the need to be constantly the most showy version of yourself— the up-for-anything, queen of the world, life of the party, and always wears high heels— something may be wrong. Being in a relationship means also being there when you're just feeling a bit flat.
3. You Don't Want To Talk About The Relationship To Your Friends... Or Your Partner
You don't want to be that person who gushes to her friends non-stop about her relationship. I get that. But if you get uneasy when your friends ask for basic questions or updates, it may be time to look at why. Your relationship should make you relaxed and contented all at once — it shouldn't make you awkward. And the same holds true when talking to your partner. "Whether it’s pillow talk, dinner conversation or time on the couch while watching TV, give yourselves plenty of time to talk about what you think and how things are going," Tina B. Tessina, aka Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences, tells Bustle. If you're avoiding those spontaneous check-ins about your relationship with your partner, it means you don't want to face what's actually happening in the relationship.
4. You Haven't Pooped At Their Place Yet
The true test of comfort and relaxation. It's your body, people. Listen to it.
5. Make Up, All Day Every Day
I'm not one of those girls who loves makeup, but I get that some women do and it genuinely makes them happy and confident. That's great. But it also has to come off sometimes. If the idea of your partner seeing you without makeup makes you anxious— or if they make you feel insecure about your body in any way— it's not cool.
6. You Avoid Down Time With Them
It's great that you both love biking, the movies, parks, travel, and swimming. It's great to do things together, and that should be a happy and fulfilling part of your relationship, but sometimes moving all the time is to cover the fact that maybe you just don't have that much in common. If you can't enjoy being quiet and chill together, you need to look at why. I know it seems obvious, but you should just be able to be together. "This is so normal, it weirdly slips under the radar: You’re not looking forward to seeing them," New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle. And if it's not there? It's a sign something's off.
7. You've Thought About It Ending
A good way to know you're not happy in a relationship? You fantasize about not being in it. Although it might only be a tiny little bit of you hidden away from the rest that wants out — your mind has an amazing way of convincing you everything's OK sometimes— if you stop and think for a minute, you'll know it's there.
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