herself go” or “He’s not the man I fell in love with” following a breakup? Complacency may be a by-product of comfort and closeness, but it’s corrosive to passion. “Letting yourself go” doesn’t just mean you’ve taken to hanging around the house sporting three days’ worth of razor stubble and dirty sweatpants. It may mean you’ve allowed yourself to neglect a goal, habit or interest you prioritized at the start of the relationship. If so, you’re no longer nurturing a special part of you—part of what your mate fell in love with. “Often, couples focus on each other and lose sight of who they are. These relationships are co-dependent,” says psychotherapist Christine Gutierrez. “What you are striving for is an interdependent relationship. When you don’t have sacred alone time with yourself or time with your friends, you tend to suffocate each other. You lose the romance and connection between you, and sometimes, the respect.” What passion, dream, ambition, challenge, friendship, routine or talent have you let go of? What time-sucking activity on your schedule can you eliminate to reclaim it and get your needs met? A final thought: If you or your partner has lost interest in nearly everything, this may signal depression. Learn more at the National Institute of Mental Health (nihm.nih.gov).
Jealousy is the bitter feeling that others possess desired advantages—including the attention and adoration our mate—that we lack. It stems from insecurity. Frequently, we project those insecurities onto our partner’s behavior. So instead of admitting I’ve gained weight, we assume He thinks I’m fat, or He’s ogling that skinny girl. Instead of I’m disappointed that I don’t earn more, we think She’s out late helping that hotshot co-worker spend his bonus. And that one-down feeling can lead us to try to regain the advantage by behaving in ways that don’t show respect for our mate, ourselves or healthy boundaries. Spying on a partner, e.g., checking emails, browsing search engine history or cell phone logs; comments intended to cut a partner down to size; comparing or scorekeeping as well as unfounded accusations of mistreatment or cheating all cross that line. It doesn’t matter how well your partner treats you. You won’t feel good about your relationship until you feel good about yourself. Begin by keeping a journal to track your daily “wins” and positive attributes.