Relationship: Can You Have Too Much of a Good Thing?

Have you wondered why the very traits that attracted you to your partner in the first place, can become the traits that later drive you crazy? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that often our biggest strengths are also our biggest weaknesses. Without balance, our strength may become our downfall.

I have a fondness for good quality chocolate. I thought that I would greatly enjoy an all you can eat chocolate buffet. What I discovered was that after the third delicious chocolate dessert, chocolate became less and less appealing. Soon I was searching for anything that was not chocolate. Having too much of a good thing is possible. Too much of even something wonderful can become off-putting.

In relationships, the wonderful quirkiness that drew your partner to you can become the irritant that drives you apart. Strengths pushed too far can become weaknesses as the attractive qualities morph into grating or irritating qualities.  

Having high standards and striving for excellence can start to feel like perfectionism and faultfinding. Your partner may feel that no matter what they will never get it right. The bar is set so high in your relationship that they are constantly disappointing you. To balance your amazing quality of striving for excellence, try being a little more accepting of your partner.

Being easy going may end up looking like an abdication of responsibility. Your partner may feel that you are unwilling to express your preferences. They may get tired of making all the decisions. To balance your accepting and agreeable nature, try adding a little assertiveness to your interactions in your relationship.

The desire to keep things fair may turn into obsessive scorekeeping. Your partner may feel your relationship is more a competition than a love affair. Try balancing the desire for fairness with being more collaborative.

A strong desire to be a team player may end up feeling like dependence and clinginess. Your partner may feel smothered or start pushing for time to themselves. Try balancing the desire for collaboration with time for independent thought and activities.

An independent nature may begin to feel like aloofness and distancing. Your partner may feel excluded and unappreciated. Try sharing more, including your partner more and allowing your partner to be generous to you. 

Being the life of the party, fun and talkative, may end up feeling impulsive and erratic. Your partner may have a difficult time feeling heard. Try pausing to make eye contact and listen to your partner more often.

Being quiet and thoughtful could begin to look like withdrawal and secrecy. Your partner may feel left out and that you take life too seriously. Try consciously choosing to share your thoughts and feelings with your partner.

To make the best of your strengths and keep them from turning into weaknesses requires courage. The courage to choose to stretch and grow. You can recognize where your strengths begin to work against rather than for you. Think in terms of moderation in your relationship. Just like sensible portions of chocolate each day, taste so much better than overdoing it at the all you can eat chocolate buffet. Balancing your strengths so that they do not become irritating will make your relationship healthier.