Keeping up with the Jones’ marriage

It’s amazing how often I hear people comparing their own relationship with that of their parents, friends, or even strangers. They seem so happy. Why can’t we be more like them? And for those who do split, people comment on whether they saw it coming or not. I never thought that they would split. Such comparisons are really unhealthy and destructive because they help to create unrealistic expectations.

When our own relationship is going through a tricky patch, we can’t help but look on with envy at other couples – especially when they are showing affection in public. Wishing that we were as happy as other people can lower our confidence in our relationship. We can start thinking about greener grass: Would I be happier with someone else?

The fact is we don’t know what’s going on for anyone else. Even as someone who sees hundreds of couples every year, I can’t pick who will make it and who won’t. And while I don’t want you to start assuming that everyone is miserable, don’t waste your energy envying anyone else and don’t compare your level of contentment with what you see on the street.

The only comparison you need to be making is the one between how much attention you’re giving your relationship and how much attention is still needed.

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