Unrequited Love: How To Cope With It & Let Go

Most people have experienced unreciprocated romantic feelings at least once in their lives. It’s a perfectly normal part of everyone’s romantic history. However, it can be very difficult to deal with while you’re in the midst of it. Romantic longing coupled with the feelings of rejection can be very hurtful, emotionally draining, and embarrassing. It can drive you to take actions that appear desperate and confusing.  

Unrequited love can sometimes also feel confusing since its signs may not be easy to interpret. It’s also often difficult to get over. If you find yourself asking: “What is love avoidance?” or “Are my feelings unreciprocated?”, you can work through these questions in helpful relationship coaching sessions. It’s important to learn how to spot the signs of unrequited love, cope with the turmoil it may cause, and recover from it emotionally.

What Is An Example Of Unrequited Love?

Unrequited love means that one side in a relationship doesn’t feel the same romantic attraction as the other one. It can manifest itself in different ways, including:

  • Being in love with a person who doesn’t feel the same way
  • Being drawn to someone who isn’t available
  • Feeling attracted to someone while you’re both in relationships with other people
  • Still having feelings for your ex who has moved on
  • Pretending someone is not who they actually are – living in the fantasy of what they might become and trying harder to make that happen

What Are The Signs Of Unrequited Love?

While you may believe that spotting the signs of unrequited love is simple, they’re often not obvious. Sometimes, your romantic interest may send mixed signals, which could leave you feeling confused. These are a few things that could help you identify unreciprocated love:

What Are The Signs Of Unrequited Love
  • You’re the one reaching out: In a reciprocal relationship, both individuals put in effort and are interested in each other equally. If you feel like your love interest is pulling away from you and not showing interest in communicating, it could be a worrying sign.
  • There is no or little physical contact: When individuals are attracted to one another, they both initiate physical contact. In case a person is holding back when you’re attempting to touch them, it’s a clear sign that you have overstepped their boundaries.
  • You have an idealized image of them: Very often, in an unequal dynamic such as this one, one person only sees the other one’s qualities to the point of idealization. They’re quick to brush off the other’s character flaws and forgive their hurtful behavior. 
  • They don’t show interest in getting closer: A person who’s romantically interested in you will actively seek out opportunities to get to know you better. If they don’t eagerly encourage bonding as much as you do, the chances are they’re not interested.

Is Unrequited Love Really Love?

Although it is a kind of love, harboring unrequited feelings is painful and unhealthy because of its one-sided nature. Unlike healthy romantic relationships, which help a person to grow and thrive, it’s a deeply frustrating situation to be in. It can even lead to resentment, inability to move on with your life, and obsessive behavior.

What Does Unrequited Love Feel Like?

If your affection isn’t reciprocated, you probably feel heartbroken. You’ll likely feel intense longing for the other person and possibly even be ashamed of your feelings. However, this could be a chance for you to grow so you can develop into a Healthy Adult and establish healthier relationship patterns from that moment on. 

On the other hand, if you’re on the receiving end of unwanted affection, you may be feeling guilty that you can’t reciprocate, annoyed with the person’s advances, and generally uncomfortable about the situation. You may also not know how to reject them without hurting their feelings and self-esteem.

Why Do I Fall In Love With Someone I Can’t Have?

The tendency to pine for people who are unavailable typically stems from emotional wounds from your childhood. People are likely to go back to the things they’re used to even if they’re deeply hurtful. Your early experiences of rejection may have shaped your attachment style, so you could be unconsciously reliving them. 

If your parent figures were distant, you may be looking for a similarly detached and indifferent love interest. This childhood abandonment makes many people feel unlovable, and romantic rejection only reasserts this deep-seated, self-sabotaging belief they have.

How Do You Let Go Of Unrequited Love?

Although it may be extremely painful and seem impossible to shake off, you can get over the person and move on to establish a fulfilling relationship with another person. Here are some strategies to try:

Is Unrequited Love Really Love
  • Stop contacting the person, which will give you some distance and allow you to take your mind off them.
  • Nurture yourself by focusing on enjoyable activities that do you good, like hobbies and hanging out with friends.
  • Avoid seeking romantic relationships for a while. Instead, reflect on what you’re really looking for in a relationship from a whole perspective – spiritually, intellectually, financially, emotionally, and physically.
  • Don’t push your feelings under the rug because they could come back to haunt you. Acknowledge them and work through them instead.
  • Focus on other people in your life, who will give you much-needed support and keep you thinking about other things.
  • Work on changing some negative behavioral patterns. You can reach out to a professional who can help you identify the root cause of your attachment style and help you embrace change.

How To Get Over A Partner With Love Avoidant Traits?

PIVOT helps you achieve healthy relationships through helpful coaching sessions and a personalized, expertise-based curriculum. Our individual coaching program can be an essential step in your self-growth journey. For example, you can learn how to get your new relationship off the ground as well as how to recognize complacency in a relationship or how to preserve your individuality in love

If you join our 5-day Glass House recovery retreat, you can work through your unhealthy patterns in a small and comfortable group setting. You’ll be provided with individual, group, or experiential sessions along with healthful activities like meditation and yoga. You’ll also have plenty of time to engage in reflection and healing.

Learn more about attachment styles and how you can override your unhealthy patterns to establish successful romantic relationships. Get in touch with us today!

Reciprocity In Love: What It Is & Why It’s Important

Every individual needs and deserves to be on an equal footing with their romantic partner. This is when you can truly thrive as a person and feel confident in both yourself and your romantic bond. However, relationships often tip to one side, as this balance is very delicate and people’s past experiences play into their power dynamic with their current partner.

Find out what reciprocity is in love and how you can achieve a more equal balance of power within your relationship. You can also get a step closer to building trust in a relationship by attending an eye-opening couples workshop. 

What Is Reciprocity In Love?

Reciprocity can take many shapes and mean slightly different things in different spheres of life. For example, a business and a customer can be in a reciprocal relationship. If the business provides the quality of service the customer needs and the customer in turn pays for this service, reciprocity is established. As long as they keep their side of the bargain, this type of relationship is fulfilling for both parties.

The same principle can be applied to love. Being in a reciprocal romantic relationship means that you and your partner are equally supportive of one another and provide each other with the same level of trust, care, and affection. However, the need to maintain reciprocity can also create unhealthy patterns, such as if you engage in toxic tit-for-tat behavior.

What Is An Example Of Reciprocity In A Relationship?

The most basic example of reciprocity is requited love, when you and your partner feel the same about one another. It’s a two-sided relationship where both of you feel equally appreciated, safe, and understood. 

There are other examples, too, such as:

Is Reciprocity Important In A Relationship
  • Your partner will comfort you after a rough day at work and you’ll also empathize with them when their week is going badly.
  • You each make attempts to breathe new shared experiences into the relationship.
  • You’ll show respect to their family members and friends and you’ll expect them to do the same for you. Even if you don’t feel the same way about friend or family member.
  • Partners may split chores in half so one person is responsible for mopping and vacuuming while the other one’s in charge of cleaning the kitchen.
  • This “division of labor” can apply to responsibilities other than housework. For example, if one of you is picking up the kids from school, the other one will go grocery shopping and make dinner.

Reciprocity will ideally stem from a place of love and respect instead of being a manipulative strategy used to get what you want. It may mean compromising your comfort from time to time, and if your partner is willing to do the same for you, it is definitely worth it.

Is Reciprocity Important In A Relationship?

To an extent, the balance of reciprocity will depend on your and your partners’ particular personalities. Some people are naturally more nurturing than others. They could be perfectly happy to give more than they receive. It’s equally important to note that “giving” is more than just time and emotion.  It is also financial contributions and making good sound decisions.

If you’re overly focused on your partner’s needs to the point of losing yourself, it’s a problem.

A healthy relationship has to provide a comfortable, stimulating environment for you and your partner to thrive, and this typically includes a more-or-less equal balance between the two of you. Every person requires warmth, comfort, and help, so your partner needs to provide these in equal measure.

However, there are also negative instances of reciprocity in a relationship, when you act vengeful toward one another. For example, one of you may feel jealous and cheat on your partner to get back at them. This type of back-and-forth hurtful behavior may lead to a lot of emotional turmoil and the ultimate breakdown of your relationship.

How Do You Know If Your Relationship Is Non-Reciprocal?

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if you’re in a non-reciprocal relationship. Some signs of this may be:

  • One of you isn’t as dedicated to the relationship and willing to commit as the other one.
  • One partner does all the work around the house or handles all aspects of child rearing completely on their own.
  • Only one person is the breadwinner while the other one doesn’t show a willingness to contribute to the family’s budget and over spends.
  • Only one of you provides support and nurturing to the other partner. If you’re on the giving end, you may feel underappreciated as well as physically and emotionally drained.

Sometimes, special circumstances can skew the balance of reciprocity in your relationship and that can be healthy, as long as you both honestly are in agreement and acceptance. For example, if one partner becomes seriously ill, the other one will usually bear the brunt of caring for them and single-handedly take care of the responsibilities they previously shared.

How Do You Create A Reciprocal Relationship?

There are several things you can do to make sure your partner feels appreciated

  • Check in with them to see how they’re feeling and what they need
  • Do little, thoughtful things for your partner as often as you can, such as buying them a small gift, making them a meal, or helping them with chores. 
  • Let them know how they could meet your needs
  • Keep the lines of communication open and you’ll both have a better understanding of how you can make each other happy.

Where Can I Find A Helpful Couple Relationship Management Workshop? 

What Is An Example Of Reciprocity In A Relationshi

PIVOT can provide answers to all of your relationship dilemmas, such as how to keep your new relationship strong, finally let go of the painful sense of shame, or overcome the tendency to be complacent in a relationship. Both our healing 5-day retreats at the Glass House and our custom coaching sessions for individuals can uncover your deep-seated fears and needs as well as teach you how to go after them.

Through your journey of discovery and self-growth, you’ll learn how to have more successful relationships and feel fantastic in your own skin. Our relationship advocates are experienced in helping individuals pivot toward self-improvement. Thanks to our holistic approach, you’ll heal your childhood wounds and become a confident, Healthy Adult, capable of building lasting bonds. Get in touch with us to schedule your session!

New Relationships: How To Make Them Work

Starting a new relationship is thrilling and invigorating, making you hopeful for the future and its exciting to get to know this person who has captured your heart. New couples are usually smitten with each other, feeling a rush of adrenaline before every date. How do you keep the spark alive once the novelty wears off?

The reality will inevitably set in and once it does, you’ll want to be ready for the pressures that may be weighing down on your relationship. To make sure that it survives the honeymoon stage, you may consider coaching sessions for yourself to assure you are staying in reality not fantasy before any relationship challenges begin to leave you desperate to find solutions. Also, you can explore the stages new relationships go through and discover how to keep yours strong.

What Are The Stages Of A New Relationship?

Although everyone is different, relationships typically go through these stages as they grow and develop over a lifetime:

How To Behave In The Beginning Of A Relationship
  • Honeymoon. This is the initial spark that prompts two people to find out more about each other and get together. During this phase, you feel butterflies in your stomach and a surge of excitement every time you’re meeting your partner. The chances are you’re also looking at each other through rose colored glasses. You enjoy this time and appreciate the infusion of joy and connection.
  • Come Together.  This is the time when you begin realizing who this new partner is.  How well met and how well matched are you? Do you have wants and needs that can be met in this relationship?  Does your partner?  Do your lifestyles and values align from a whole perspective?  You may find out you’re not right for each other and go your separate ways before fully committing or decide to take the relationship to the next level.
  • Settling In.  This is the point where you accept and fully commit to one another. This can look like marriage, a formal commitment, an alignment of two lives coming together. You see a future together, share common goals in life, and are willing to work in unison to achieve them. This phase includes things like; living together, buying a home together, having kids, merging families together, sharing expenses, etc. You are able to continue to grow together and share your journey. This isn’t to say you won’t encounter any difficulties, rather it’s about being able to face them as a strong unit.
  • Celebration. These are indeed the golden days.  You have weather life’s storms and experienced a deep level of intimacy over years of being together. It is when your relationship is well seasoned and well lived!  At this point, the relationship is a source of contentment, reality, and deep intimacy.

How To Behave In The Beginning Of A Relationship?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re at the very start of a relationship:

  • Show your feelings when appropriate. If you’re backing away for fear of judgment, you cannot expect to be seen and discover if this is a good partnership.
  • Don’t try to make a great impression. The trick is to stay true to yourself no matter how much you want this relationship to work out.
  • Immerse yourself in their world and include them in your own: Meet each other’s friends and try doing your favorite activities together.
  • Be in tune with their cues: Pay close attention to how they behave and react to get to know them better. 
  • Keep checking in with yourself: Analyze how the relationship makes you feel and whether you’re being your best self when you’re around the other person.
  • Trust your gut feeling: When your intuition is telling you something, stop and listen.
  • Enjoy the ride: Savor these first few months of the relationship because they’re thrilling and unforgettable.

How Do I Keep A New Relationship Going?

As your relationship moves forward and enters the coming together stage, there are certain things you can do to keep it up:

  • Accept that the reality of relationships is far removed from the rosy image we are fed, or dream of, at a young age. There will inevitably be ups and downs and how you deal with them is what makes or breaks a relationship.
  • Think of you and your partner as a unit. Include them when it comes to your future wants and needs. They will appreciate it and you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.
  • Don’t take your partner for granted. As the relationship progresses and you start to settle into it more and more, it’s easy to lose sight of all the things you appreciate in your partner. Don’t let life get in the way of showing your appreciation and affection. 
  • Do things together. While this can be pretty tricky, especially when the pressures of life seep in, you need to find time for just the two of you. This will bring back a touch of the honeymoon phase.

How Long To Give A New Relationship To Work?

How Do I Keep A New Relationship Going

This is different for every couple, so it’s impossible to say exactly. Generally, the first stage of the relationship may last several months. During this time, you are likely only focusing on the positives. 

The first signs of disillusionment mean that the honeymoon phase is coming to a close and reality is setting in. This is when you’ll have to take a close look at the relationship to decide whether it’s worth it to come together and continue to invest your time and effort. 

Search inside yourself to determine whether you could commit to this person and share your hopes and dreams with them long-term. If you feel dissatisfied, underwhelmed, and simply don’t see a future with your current partner, it is probably time to rethink the relationship. 

Where Can I Learn Relationship Intimacy Coaching Exercises?

Here at PIVOT, you can understand yourself on a deeper level and carry over this understanding into your relationship. By working with our relationship advocates and going over our curriculum, you’ll learn how to pinpoint unhelpful patterns and move in the direction of healthier relationships. 

We can help you work through your feelings of shame, teach you how to prevent losing yourself when you’re with someone, and let you know how to overcome relationship complacency. If you’re struggling with unrequited feelings or find yourself in a non-reciprocal relationship, you can find out how to overcome your circumstances and pivot toward a happier existence. You can sign up for our customized individual coaching sessions to discover what you need and want from relationships and get a step closer to getting it. Or, join our 5-day relational retreats where your healthiest self can take shape. Reach out to us today!

Losing Yourself In A Relationship: How To Find You Again

What Does It Mean To Lose Yourself In A Relationship?

You know how you can feel like you’re drifting on cloud nine when your partner is embracing you? How you feel pleasant and loved when you’re together, wanting that feeling to last. So you give more and more to it. You take pieces off yourself as building blocks for your relationship to stop the sensation from disappearing.

And as you’re putting more and more of yourself, as you’re giving everything you are to your partner and your relationship, you seem to lose sight of yourself. It’s as if you’re beginning to drift from cloud nine into the endless blue, slowly losing grasp of who you are. You reach out, struggling to keep at least a tiny portion close, and it disappears. 

You’re sorry, but the comfort makes you forget about it. And you feel good again. Yes, it’s easy to lose yourself in the relationship and it’s nobody’s fault. Your partner didn’t want to build trust in your relationship by letting you distance from yourself. In honest relationships, your partner loves you for who you are and you can get back in touch with your inner self.  

What Does It Mean To Lose Yourself In A Relationship?

Defining what losing yourself in a relationship means is the easy part. You start a relationship as an individual with interests, desires, hobbies, wants, and needs. As the relationship progresses, you pour more and more into your relationship while losing the very traits that defined you in the beginning. 

For some individuals, this can gradually become worse until the point you can hardly recognize who you are. And you don’t just sacrifice your interests, hobbies, pastime activities, and your dreams. You may even start to lose your own identity, personality, and your own sense of self. It becomes as if you’re no longer an individual in a relationship. Rather, you and your relationship are one and the same. You don’t know where one begins and other ends. 

And then, over time, there’s no more you, no more your partner, no more your uniqueness – only the all-consuming relationship. However, having a caring, loving, and nurturing relationship doesn’t mean you and your partner need to sacrifice each other. Nurturing your unique traits will strengthen your relationship. Individuality is a good thing as long as you foster it together. 

What Are The Signs That You’re Losing Yourself In A Relationship?

What Are The Signs That You’re Losing Yourself In A Relationship?

Sometimes, you may not even realize that you’re not in tune with yourself. However, it’s important to be honest with yourself and try to detect some of the most common signs that you’re no longer who you actually are. 

These signs are different for everybody, but some common ones are: 

  • You’re spending less and less time on yourself and the things you love.
  • Your own social life is becoming extinct. 
  • You’re compromising your own needs and wants for your partners’.
  • You don’t say no. 
  • You struggle making decisions on your own. 
  • You have less and less confidence in yourself. 
  • You’re losing sight of your own dreams. 
  • You’re passing up great opportunities because of your partner. 
  • You’re beginning to miss your single life. 
  • You no longer feel as attractive as you used to. 
  • You find yourself simply going through the motions. 

Can You Find You Again In A Relationship?

Yes, you can. However, leaving a relationship can end up being counterproductive and cause you to make the same mistakes again in the future. Rediscovering yourself entails identifying some of the negative patterns you keep repeating. Doing it while remaining in a relationship with the person you love can help you develop a better and more secure sense of self-worth and individuality. This will prevent you from losing your personality down the line and help you have a healthier relationship with your partner. 

How Do You Find Yourself Again In Your Relationship?

Rediscovering yourself in your relationship and helping your partner do the same while respecting their individuality can be challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be. 

How Do You Find Yourself Again In Your Relationship?

Be honest with yourself and with your partner. From there, work together on making yourselves the yourselves you want and used to be. In turn, this will also breathe new life into your relationship. Then, try to help one another achieve these goals: 

  • Define your own personal needs and boundaries.
  • Validate your individual emotions together. 
  • Maintain both your separate and joint friendships. 
  • Pay attention to your passions projects.
  • Learn how to healthily disagree. 
  • Address any lingering resentments. 
  • Challenge and grow both individually and together. 
  • Work on your relationship with an advocate who can facilitate the process. 

PIVOT’s Private Couples Retreat For Reconnection Helps You Find Yourself & Continue To Build Trust In A Relationship

A healthy and unifying relationship helps you unlock the strength you didn’t know you had and allows you to successfully manage all the pressures you might be experiencing.

However, it’s also quite easy and very common to neglect your own self once your relationship begins reaching a certain stage of familiarity and comfort. This is not bad in itself. It can become bad if you allow yourself to drift from yourself too far. Once you start losing sight of your own personality on the horizon of your relationship, it’s time to act and discover yourself again.This can be tough, especially if it’s been some time since you’ve done something just for you. Luckily, PIVOT can help you. We organize in

dividual workshops to regain your lost self as well as couple retreats to allow you to be connected while being individuals. Reach out to us today and inquire about how our expert advocates can help you and your partner.

Relationship Complacency: What It Is & How To Avoid It

You’re in a relationship. You’re feeling good about it. You love your partner. Your partner loves you back. You know each other well. You talk, your partner listens. Your partner talks, you listen back. You’re cozy. And it’s easy. And there are no challenges or outbursts. There’s love. Or at least you think and know there is. You’re just not feeling it in the same way you used to.

It’s almost as if love has been replaced with comfort, convenience, and security. You feel pleasant, however not great. There’s a fleeting sense, a brief moment when you feel something’s off and then it passes, and you’re back to the warm bliss of the familiar. You block off potential problems in your relationship and postpone the need to improve intimacy in a relationship. 

And you feel good again ignoring that voice in the back of your mind that craves a bit more fireworks. You’re taking your love life for granted and you seem to be enjoying it. However, falling prey to this kind of complacency in a relationship can end up being the very bane that brings havoc where there was harmony. Putting a stop to it is an important mission that will breathe new life into your relationship. How to do it? Begin with the basics.

What Is Relationship Complacency?

What Is Relationship Complacency?

There’s a lot we hear about relationships and the different stages, issues, and problems. We all know about the honeymoon period, how you can make it last, and what to do when it inevitably ends. Or the seven-year itch that can occur in even the most loving of relationships and marriages. However, what about complacency?

Is complacency not a problem? Does it really affect relationships negatively and can being comfortable and complacent really cause such harm to both you and your relationship?

It is, especially because complacency is often mistaken for comfort. Being comfortable with your significant other is great. Being complacent is not that great. Complacency means gradually slipping into a false and often toxic comfort zone that prevents both you and your partner from enhancing your relationship, improving your communication, and taking each other for granted. 

Complacency comes in various forms, as do relationships. All couples are different and all couples that experience relationship complacency experience it in different ways. However, there’s one common line that defines complacency – putting less and less effort into your relationship and paying less and less attention to each other. 

What Are The Signs Of Complacency In A Relationship?

Still, complacency seems like simply a relationship that’s entered a bit of a rut. That’s easy enough to resolve, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. A rut requires a bit of action, adding a bit of dynamicity into your daily life, and stepping outside your comfort zone to engage in activities both you and your partner will enjoy. 

Complacency is more serious than rut. It breeds passivity and can provoke a wide range of increasingly negative feelings and harmful relationship traits that can lead to more significant problems. 

This makes it really important to recognize the signs of complacency on time. You need to react before it roots itself within your relationship and starts causing problems that will only get tougher and tougher to deal with down the line. Some of the most common telltale signs of relationship complacency are: 

How Do You Overcome Relationship Complacency?
  • Feelings of restlessness and boredom in the relationship and toward your partner
  • Lack of attention between you and your partner
  • Either experiencing or handing out criticism on a regular basis
  • Neglecting your own wellbeing and self-care
  • Experiencing a constant decline in your intimate activities
  • Fantasizing about others
  • Resorting to routine i-love-yous
  • Not organizing date nights like before
  • You and your partner not sharing individual experiences
  • You feel more and more distant from your partner
  • There is a significant lack of communication

How Do You Overcome Relationship Complacency?

It’s easy to see why relationship complacency is a lot more serious than it seems and than people give it credit. In fact, complacency can often serve as the building block for numerous issues down the line if you and your partner decide not to work on it together. However, working on it can often be difficult and demanding. 

And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just because your relationship requires work doesn’t mean there’s no love, affection, care, and dedication. It takes guts and strength to recognize that your relationship has become complacent and to talk with your partner about it. From there, you can try to tackle that complacency by doing the following: 

  • Adopt a new mindset that realizes and recognizes that relationships require active effort.
  • Compliment and take notice of each other.
  • Set ample alone time for just the two of you.
  • Try to shake up your daily routine.
  • Be honest with yourself and with your partner.
  • Become more curious about your partner.
  • Work on your physical intimacy.
  • Set clear goals for your relationship. 
  • Explore new activities you can do together.
  • Go your separate ways for a day and then tell each other all about it. 
  • Create a love map of your relationship that explains your dreams, hobbies, fears, and other traits you and your partner find important. 
  • Practice empathy together with your partner. 
  • Hold hands and hug each other. 
  • Try to put your phones away and just enjoy each other’s company. 

PIVOT Helps Improve Intimacy In Your Relationship By Resolving Intimacy Problems & Complacency

Falling into the trap of relationship complacency is easy and more common than you think. However, detecting the reasons behind your complacent relation with your partner and working to resolve your issues can be difficult and can lead you to question how strong you are and cause unwanted pressure within your relationship

We’re not gonna lie – dealing with any problem within your relationship, even one as seemingly small and easy-to-resolve as complacency is tough. It’s hard for you and your partner to look yourselves in the eye, admit problems, and start taking them head on. However, with healthy communication and real effort, everything’s manageable. At PIVOT, we know just how difficult it can be for both individuals and couples to end their complacent period and get back on their dynamic feet. That is why we’ve envisioned both specialized individual workshops for invigorating your life and couple workshops for helping you find the spark in your relationship again. Reach out to us today!

Shame In A Relationship: How Does It Affect You & Your Partner?

There’s no shame in experiencing shame. This is the first thing to tell yourself if you’re constantly struggling with this feeling in your relationship. And that’s a good start. It’s invigorating and motivating to know that you’re not guilty for feeling a certain way. 

Self-affirmation is a healthy relationship activity used in different emotional workshops for one simple reason – it works and it helps you feel better and find the strength to deal with the issues.

There will come a time when you’ll have to tackle your shame head on – and that can be tough. However, if not addressed, shame will only continue causing problems in your relationship, preventing you from experiencing the happiness you deserve. You have to start somewhere, and it’s usually best to start at the beginning. 

What Is Shame In A Relationship?

What Is Shame In A Relationship?

It’s easy to define shame, at least in general terms. Shame is a feeling of humiliation, embarrassment, unease, discomfort, or indignity. It stems from a perception of you doing something improper, immoral, dishonorable, or unsuitable. However, this is shame on face value, in its most basic, common, and recognizable form. 

Continual shame in your relationship is another matter entirely. Who hasn’t felt shame at one point in their lives? We’ve all done something at one time or another that left us feeling ashamed of our actions. And that probably didn’t feel good. Not at all. Now imagine having to deal with such feelings day in, day out in your relationship. 

This prolonged feeling of shame can easily find its way into every aspect of your life and your relationship, becoming toxic, causing individual and shared problems. It can become an internalized critique of your very personality and essence, leading you to develop extremely negative emotions about yourself, feeling inadequate, worthless, or a bad person. 

And feeling constantly ashamed will distort your sense of self-worth and transform your own self-image into a disfigured reflection that’s far from the truth. This vicious cycle can cause you to experience shame for even the most normal, everyday actions, smudging the lines between right and wrong, placing you at a persistently negative place in your life. 

What Are The Signs That You’re Experiencing Shame?

The process of dealing with your constant feeling of shame is difficult. Shame brings negative emotions that in turn bring more shame and negative feelings you can’t seem to shake. The longer this continues, the more difficult it is to break free and learn to love yourself and your actions, thoughts, and feelings again. 

The first and the most important thing you need to understand is that you don’t need to be ashamed of your shame. You don’t need to be ashamed of everything you do. You’re hurting yourself, and you don’t deserve to feel the hurt, the pain, and the negativity. You’re a human being that needs and deserves love, respect, and warmth.

Knowing this can help you become more open with yourself and give you the strength to try and recognize the signs of your shame. Knowing that you’re in the vicious cycle of shame is the first step in overcoming it. The usual signs of shame in your relationship are:

  • Feeling sensitive and unappreciated
  • Experiencing worry about what your partner thinks about you
  • Choosing not to share your feelings and thoughts with your partner for fear of embarrassment
  • Fearing that you’ll look stupid, inappropriate, and wrong in front of your partner
  • Harboring feelings of suspicion toward your partner
  • Feeling unable to trust yourself in your relationship
  • Starting to lose your identity in your relationship
  • Not wanting to be your true self in with your partner
  • Feeling dishonorable and inadequate without doing anything wrong

What Are The Negative Effects Of Untreated Shame?

Dealing with and overcoming your shame and overcoming can be extremely difficult. Knowing your true self and helping yourself is not easy. However, leaving your feelings of consistent shame untreated can lead to other emotional problems:


Strongly believing in a negative perception of yourself that stems from constant shame can easily lead to withdrawal from others, as well as love avoidant behavior. You may very well be feeling unworthy of intimacy, friendship, or love, as well as anxious about others seeing the wrong perception of your true self you’re falsely harboring. 


Self-shame is also an incredibly strong catalyst for emotional distress and many negative thoughts. As they multiply, you become more self-aware in all the wrong ways that end up being even more harmful to you and your feeling of self-worth. Constantly feeding yourself negative talk that stems from your feelings of shame can cause:

  • Anger
  • Self-loathing
  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Embarrassment
  • Sadness 


Not feeling good about yourself means it’s unlikely to feel good about your relationship and your partner. The longer the shame persists, the more difficult it becomes to open up to your partner, be yourself with them, and enjoy the loving and relaxing feelings that healthy relationships nurture. 

This strongly undermines even the healthiest of relationships, causing you to express irritability, denial, annoyance, and different types of confrontational behavior. What’s more, the feeling of shame can even cause you to express unwanted physical manifestations of your feelings, including forcing a smile, keeping your head down, blushing, and avoiding eye contact. 

From there, it’s easy for additional relationship problems to arise, such as perpetual disagreements, lack of intimacy, and increasingly poor communication. All these problems that stem from the persistence of shame continue to cause further issues, leading to your relationship becoming a battlefield instead of a field of roses. 

How Can I Deal With Shame In My Relationship?

Recognizing your shame and learning the importance of dealing with it is only the beginning. Actually addressing it is what comes next. Shame may be difficult to overcome and it tends to only get worse over time, so there’s no better time to start than now. An experienced and understanding relationship advocate can certainly help you. 

However, there’s also something you can do to try and help yourself: 

  • Try to pay attention to your positive feelings while also understanding your negative emotions and how they’re affecting you, your life, and your relationship. 
  • Be patient with yourself, acknowledge your rights besides only your wrongs, and learn to forgive yourself. 
  • Allow your partner to provide support and try not to hide your feelings and tough spots from your partner. Treat them in the same way you would like them to treat you. 
  • Admit your shame, admit your feelings that stem from it, and talk about it with yourself and your partner. Acknowledge everything and try to move past it. 
  • Be truthful about everything to both yourself and your partner. Try to avoid defensive behavior and be honest and open with your partner. Sharing helps overcome shame. 
  • Accept yourself the way you accept your partner. Stop being harsh on yourself and try to realize you’re not at constant fault. 

PIVOT’s Healthy Relationship Workshop Activities Will Help Resolve Your Shame And Stop Love Avoidance

There’s no reason to be ashamed of feeling shame. Nor is there a reason to feel guilt, unease, or any other negative emotion that can dissolve your inner strength and cause you to begin losing sight of yourself in your relationship. Unfortunately, far too many people end up in a vicious cycle of feeling ashamed of the shame they’re experiencing. 

And that’s the main problem and the primary reason to try and resolve your issues with self-shame in your relationship. Leaving your shame and the reasons behind it untreated can lead you to embrace various defense mechanisms that can hamper both your relationship and your emotional development. And that can be only the beginning of it all. That is where PIVOT can help you. We’re here for you even when you’re not there for yourself. We’ll help you overcome your shame by identifying and resolving the reasons behind it and help you deal with the guilt you might feel. Our individual workshops can teach you how to appreciate yourself, and our couples retreat helps you reconnect with your partner. Call us today!