11 Cures for Relationship Turbulence

12:41:00 AM

No matter what airline you fly you are just as likely to experience turbulence.  No matter how long your flight, whether 30 minutes or 15 hours, turbulence happens.  And we all cope with turbulence differently-- deep breathing, getting sick, laughing, screaming, freaking out, staying calm.   One person's reaction to turbulence can influence the reactions of those around them. Turbulence happens.  It's expected.  It's unpredictable.  And it's okay.  The same tips for coping with turbulence apply-- whether you're a passenger on an airplane or in a relationship. 

1. Jump out the window. Break up.
2. Didn't like that one?  Remind yourself why you're on the flight. Write down a list all of the reasons you're in the relationship.   This will give you insight, whether good or bad.  Are you afraid of being alone?  Does your partner make you happier than anyone else?  Is it convenient?  Is it love?
3.  Identify and acknowledge your feelings, whether rational or irrational.  Write down a list of everything that is stressing you out.  Stressed about work?  Anxious about your family?  Unhappy with yourself?  Annoyed with your best friend? We tend to project fear, sadness, and anger onto our closest target.  Are you really mad at him/her?  Or are you simply taking it out on him/her because he/she is right there?
4.  Plan how you'll react, whether it's listening to music, reading magazines, talking, and so on.  When a relationship gets bumpy, decide your actions ahead of time. You cannot control the other person, but you can control your reactions.  Will you give them space?  Will space create more turbulence?  How will you communicate?  Don't let any reaction from the other person throw off your plan.
5. Give the airline the benefit of the doubt.   One bump doesn't mean the airline is horrible, just like one bump doesn't mean the relationship is horrible.
6. Don't joke about the situation.  Sarcastically yelling, "We're going down!" will not help anyone.  When we're nervous we tend to joke around, sometimes inappropriately.  Other passengers (i.e. your partner) might not find it funny, and now you have just escalated the situation.
7. Think about landing at your end destination.  Dating has a purpose, from obtaining short-term fun to long-term marriage.  The bumps might not be worth it if you're on a short 45-minute flight to the beach when you could drive in 3 hours.  The bumps might be so worth it if you're on a 12 hour flight to the Greek islands.  Weigh the pros and cons.
8. Remember, the plane is FULL of people.  Everyone else feels the bumps.  Remind yourself of couples who have gone through rocky times and emerged stronger.  No relationship will be 100% smooth, 100% of the time.
9. Don't criticize the Captain. We have a tendency to blame others when things are not going right.   How will blaming the Captain fix the turbulence?  It won't.  It will just adds to the turmoil.
10.  Boycott the airline altogether if they are consistently more turbulent than they are comfortable.  If a relationship is consistently more bad than it is good, then it's a sign that you may need to keep looking and explore your options.  You can never relax if you're always waiting for the next bumps.
11. Don't be afraid to fly again.  If you decide to boycott an airline (i.e. break up), then you need to give other airlines (i.e. relationships) a chance.   You might have had bad luck with inexperienced pilots, but that doesn't mean that you won't have a positive experience with someone else flying the plane.  Right?
Here are some cute pictures to encourage you in times of turbulence!


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