Welcome to 2014, where you're more likely to encounter a dancing leprechaun with infinite pots of gold than a high-functioning, healthy relationship.
As a generation, we seem to have lost sight of what relationships should really be about, which is probably why so many people cringe at the very word.
Romantic relationships aren't meant to be burdens; they shouldn't feel like life sentences for unknown crimes. Your partner should be someone who supports you and respects you, not a parole officer type of character, who fires off angry texts at rapid speeds.
While there may be some folks who maintain and honor the idea of a traditional relationship, most of you would agree that you've encountered more horror stories than Nicholas Sparks-esque fairytales.
While the definition of "traditional relationship" can vary depending upon whom you ask, the one common denominator is a fair amount of give and take, where both partners view each other as equals. Sounds easy enough, right?
I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, nor do I seek to belittle anyone else's relationship — if it works, it works.
If, at the end of the day, a person is genuinely happy and content with his or her current state, who am I to judge? But, when the fear of being alone or the comfort of routine keeps someone in a less than stellar, dysfunctional relationship, you're doing it wrong.
Here are some common relationsh*ts that you may have encountered/been in/are currently in. Take note and avoid them in the future:
This more so affects the pre-relationship friends, rather than current romantic partner. It’s a disappearing act so impressive, you might be left feeling like you should have paid to see it.
Whether by choice or by force, this person seemingly disappears from all extra-curricular activities that don't directly involve his or her significant other.
Even worse, on the nights when this person does decide to grace the rest of the world with his or her presence, the other half conveniently appears, an act that nearly rivals the original disappearing act.
For whatever reason, a significant trend in modern relationships is ditching your friends, hobbies and whatever else you're into for that special person in your life.
Pro Tip: Healthy relationships won't require you to heavily sacrifice any part of your life to make things work.
Sure, it's natural to want to spend borderline excessive amounts of time with the person you're crazy about, but when your family and friends no longer recognize you, it may be time to re-evaluate.
Let’s face it: If things should happen to go awry on lover's lane, don’t you want the people you bailed on to be there for you? Just some food for thought.
Imagine the strictest teacher you've ever had or the most intimidating person you've ever met. Good.
Now, imagine dating this person. It baffles me how a relationship can feel like anything other than a murder trial when one person is constantly questioning the daily doings of the other.
Where did you go? Who are you with? What time did you leave? Every good relationship requires honesty, trust and disclosure, but there's a fine line between asking about relevant details and channeling your inner Sherlock Holmes.
Sure, if your significant other disappears for 36 hours without so much as a text message, you'll have a few questions, but if it's a night out with friends or a weekend retreat for work, there's no need to constantly be checking up.
Pro Tip: It's hard to have a functioning relationship if you don't trust your partner. If you trusted your partner, you wouldn't need an update every 45 minutes on the dot.
However, if your partner lies and is generally evasive, that's another issue.
Either way, forcing someone to account for every second of his or her day does not promote love and respect.
Badgering will not lead a person to be more forthcoming about the happenings in his or her life, either. Relationships are about equality, not about control. Let it be.
When this couple isn’t sucking face, they're proclaiming their love for each other from the rooftops, or on Instagram. Apparently, the world needs to know how in love these two people are.
This phenomenon has become especially sickening with the adoption of the word “bae” into everyday language.
I don't know what a bae is or why anyone would ever lovingly refer to another human as such, but it seems like the term is unfortunately here to stay.
Pro Tip: When you truly care about someone, it's natural to want to let those around you know. You're happy and the people who surround you should be happy for you, too. But, there's a drastic difference between sharing your happiness and shoving it down someone's throat.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "Don't talk about it, be about it"? It's not what you say (or share); it's what you do. Love isn’t a show-and-tell competition.
Far too many Millennials would have little to no difficulty fitting in at a retirement home, and it alarms me.
Rather than using their 20s as a time to explore the world and all of their options, these characters choose to spend most of their nights cuddling with their “bae.”
We get it; after a week of work, the only thing that really sounds appealing is stripping off all of your clothes and cuddling on the couch. I've been there and so has everyone else.
But, when your desire to go out and mingle with the rest of the human population has quite literally disappeared, it's a cause for concern. Not to mention, it’s pretty unhealthy.
Pro Tip: Have a little faith in yourself and in your partner. I believe the problem stems from the fact that people are afraid to live their lives for fear of losing their significant others. What issues could possibly arise when you choose to spend every moment of your life at home, sipping tea?
No jealousy and no need for questions. Sounds like a no brainer, right? At some point, however, when you actually are a retiree, you'll kick yourself for not having experienced more in life.
Unfortunately, people have begun to look at each other as property rather than as partners. There are hundreds of reasons why people might engage in the above sorts of behavior and why others might accept it.
Every situation is unique and while this may seem like an unfair attack on those in the above types of relationships, my one and only point is this: When you're in a healthy, functioning relationship, you'll never have to compromise your identity.
There will be sacrifices and ups and downs, but you won't resent it and you won't regret it. When you have to start altering your personality and actions in order to sustain a relationship, know that it's a sign of danger to come.
Hopefully, the world will soon revert back to its natural state and all of the relationsh*ts will slowly melt into the abyss, where they belong.
Photo Courtesy: Tumblr