A couple argue while cooking

The wrong reasons to be in a relationship

by Eharmony Editorial Team - September 20, 2011

Being in love is one of the best feelings in the world but sadly not all relationships last even if they began really well. This is often because people get involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. Like a house with dodgy foundations, no matter how good a structure is built, the wrong motivation at the beginning of a relationship can lead to collapse later on. Below are some of the wrong reasons.

A relationship should be based on two people getting to know each other and ultimately planning to spend their lives together. In reality this isn’t always true. Here’s seven wrong reasons to be in a relationship

Because you are lonely or afraid to be on your own

This is the most common reason people get into unsuitable relationships. They are not being driven by a genuine desire to connect with another human being but by a need to alleviate their own feelings of loneliness or emptiness. Some people even say that they feel like less of a person without a partner and are afraid of that feeling, especially if they have been in a long-term marriage and have recently been bereaved or divorced.

Healthy relationships are those where we enjoy the company of a partner but are quite happy to be on our own too. There is a difference between wanting to be with someone and needing to be with them.

Needing sex and physical intimacy

They say we need twelve hugs a day to stay emotionally healthy and most of us aren’t getting anywhere near that amount even if we are in a relationship. There is a strong biological need in human beings to physically connect with others; we are social animals, and when we are single sometimes that physiological need can feel quite overwhelming. If you feel in need of love and affection start giving it whenever, and wherever, possible. Hug your parents, kiss your children, pat your mates on their back, tell the people you love and care about that you love and care about them. Give love and you will soon start to receive love.

For financial security

It can feel difficult and overwhelming to manage financially on your own if you have bills to pay and are used to sharing it with someone, but starting a new relationship is not the best way to resolve financial issues. If this is your motivation it is likely that you will move forward too quickly and create a dependency rather than a genuine partnership. Try to find other ways to create financial security for yourself e.g. taking in a lodger, downsizing, cutting back on bills, and get advice where needed. By taking responsibility you will learn that you can manage on your own which will boost your self-esteem and benefit any future relationships.

To boost your self esteem

If your ego has taken a bit of a battering after a break up or you just don’t feel great about yourself it can be tempting to want to get into a relationship so you have someone to make you feel confident, sexy, interesting and attractive. Relationships which begin in this way rarely work because if you don’t feel happy with yourself when you are single you may be so desperately in need of reassurance and affirmations from your partner that it drives them away. Even if they are your number one fan, over time you may lose respect for their opinion if you still suffer from low self-esteem and this can sabotage the relationship.

To fit in with friends

When you are single it can seem that everyone in your social circle is in a couple and unless you have a partner you simply don’t fit in. It is far better to try and develop new interests and hobbies rather than to take up a relationship simply to fit in.

Distraction from problems

Some people get into relationships because they have underlying issues that they simply don’t want to face. This is a futile delaying tactic because after the initial flush of romance has worn off they will find that the problems are still there, they were buried alive. It is far better to face problems rather than run from them and there are many places that can offer help and advice whatever it is you are trying to deal with.

He /She is a Challenge

Some people are irresistibly drawn to forbidden fruit and get most of the thrill from the relationship at the chasing stage but don’t really know what to do when they have their prize. Others are drawn to people who are difficult in the belief that they will be the one to change them. We can’t change other people and healthy relationships are those where we accept and treasure out partner ‘as they are’ rather than the ‘potential’ we see in them. The right reason to be in a relationship is because you are interested in connecting with another person rather than to fulfil some need in you.