Once a relationship is in full swing, it can be easy to succumb to jealousy and start being threatened by your partner. It’s counterintuitive, but sometimes you can’t help but feel threatened by this person you’re supposed to love. While I was completely in awe of this remarkable boy I had fallen for, I never thought to tell myself “stop comparing yourself to him!”
You might be asking yourself how and why I let myself feel so threatened while in a relationship. But I was just so shellshocked by the kind of man I had found myself dating that I couldn’t help but be in awe of him. The way he went about his day was so different than what I was used to seeing!
Read on to find out how comparing myself to others taught me a valuable lesson and how the relationship that seemed perfect was actually far from it.
Do Yourself A Favour And Don’t Compare Yourself To Your Partner
I thought I had found the perfect guy for me. I thought I had found someone who had everything I was looking for. But, I have a confession to make. I’ve betrayed myself and the person I claim to love the most. I didn’t love him even though I really wanted to. Even though that was the only thing I wanted to do.
Three years of wretched confusion later, here I sit one lonely Sunday afternoon, a realization slowly dawning over me. No, I didn’t love him. I despised him. I despised every single minute of it. Every moment I spent with him. Every dialogue we ever shared. Everything he did for me and I did for him in return. All of it marred, all of it scarred by the jealousy in our relationship.
I had heard of self-comparison with your colleagues, your friends even, but I never thought I’d have to figure out how to stop comparing myself to the man I thought I loved. Let’s get into why I loved him in the first place.
Finding the perfect guy for me
He was everything I wanted. He was the love of my life. I thought I loved him since the moment I set my eyes on him. He was so perfect for me that I didn’t even realize when I secretly started to aspire to be more like him. The way he walked. He even knew so clearly what kind of scent he wanted to wear or which type of clothes would look the best on him. The way he talked about his job and his friends. And the feelings he evoked in me. It felt as though I had found ‘the one’.
I had a hard time understanding him. People in general complain. It becomes a great source of bonding. Boyfriends mostly are bumbling blunders and women get much sense of purpose in tutoring them to act more civil. But here he already knew what needed to be done and it seemed to me that nothing really seemed to put him down.
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I was constantly in awe of him. “He is perfect, ” I thought to myself as I saw him wake up at 6:30 AM while I was struggling to find my phone to put it on snooze. He had discipline I’d only ever heard about. He displayed a zest for life that made me consider if he even needed me. I was convinced he was the perfect guy for me. I couldn’t stop admiring him. Perhaps I should’ve screamed at myself saying “stop comparing yourself to him!” right then and there.
How self comparison dented the relationship
Did I make him feel the same way? Did he also look up to me the way I looked up to him? Me, plain Jane? With big round eyes that seem to stare more than look? I was so jealous. I wanted to be as special to him as he was to me. Not for once did it occur to me that I was special and that he loved me too. All I could see was his perfection and his involvement with himself. He couldn’t possibly have time for me. Turns out, he really was too immersed in his own life. I was in a relationship with a narcissist.
Each day he woke up with enthusiasm which he summoned from god knows where and went about his routine terribly sincerely. He laughed at the same jokes in the evening with such honesty that the conversations flowed without awkwardness. He genuinely cared about the deadlines that had to be met at work. “The work would get stalled if I don’t finish this today.” And he wouldn’t complain! Ever.
Instead of mending him, the only thing that was left for me to focus on was improving my ways. I felt really purposeless back then. Nothing seemed to be worth investing my time in. I could already do everything else. But how do I match up to him? I started to compare. And then it went downhill one painful step at a time.
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The ‘perfect guy’ turned into my biggest nemesis
Every conversation led to a fight. Anything he did that didn’t involve me felt like a threat. Conflict resolution did not exist in our relationship. It made me feel like he was leaving me behind to find someone who was more like him. I stopped considering myself his friend first. Then I stopped feeling equal to him. And then he seemed more and more like a stranger who wanted to ridicule me and harm me.
Now that I look back, I realize that this was just paranoid behavior. I wish I had asked a friend who would have yelled at me saying “stop comparing yourself to anyone but yourself.” I indulged in everything the internet told me not to do. Things like comparing myself to him, being clingy, etc became second nature. But sometimes when you are in the moment, it’s hard to observe yourself. I was infatuated, not in love. I wish life would have a moment-to-moment replay so you know how lamely you had acted. And how selfish you can be, at times.
It’s only now when I have gained some distance that I realize how out of tune I was with myself this whole time. I gave myself a very hard time and was overly self-critical. I doubt if he was anything as perfect as I had presumed him to be; putting him up on a pedestal like that. But it wasn’t as though I appreciated or went gaga over him. I did the opposite. I picked out all kinds of mistakes and blamed him for all kinds of things. Just like I did to myself.
I write of him in the past because that’s the best way for me to think of him now. He’s mad enough to still want to be with me. And I’m mad enough to still have faith that we will find a way out of this mayhem and work everything out. Who knows, maybe we will. But, as of now, I must do what I need to do. Love myself and look up to myself. And remember that he’s just a boy who wants to please his girl.
It’s absolutely normal to compare yourself to your partner, especially if they tend to achieve the things you wish you could. As humans, we tend to be envious of people doing better than us but such jealousy should be avoided in a relationship.
Comparing your partner or your relationship to someone else’s is unhealthy, and should be avoided. If you compare your partner to others, you may end up developing unrealistic expectations from your partner. Everyone is different and it’s not fair to compare your partner to other people. It could make your partner feel inadequate and unloved.
If you have an issue with something in the relationship, consider communicating it with your partner instead of comparing them to others.