Burnout Doesn’t Just Happen at Work, It’s a Real Thing in Relationships, Too
Don’t ignore these glaring signs—and here’s what you can do about it
Human experiences have completely been altered through the lack, or in some cases abundance, of contact amid such strange circumstances. Most of us have been sheltering in place since March resulting in cabin fever, oftentimes leading us to project our frustrations to those in close proximity—or whoever wants to listen. This can, unfortunately, lead to relationship burnout. Yes, it doesn’t just happen in the workplace, where overtiming is easily romanticized and boundaries aren’t preserved.
At this point, it’s best to define this particular type of burnout. Similar to work-related burnout, this exhaustion can happen in relationships when it becomes too demanding. It suddenly feels like a chore than a commitment; you feel jaded and detached. It may be because you’re exerting yourself and don’t feel compensated. Let’s face it, human love is conditional; when you’re seeking validation from other places, it can go haywire. It can be temporary, or not.
If you’re in a healthy mental and emotional space—where your needs as an individual are met— and want to better your partnership with your significant other or even friend, here are some ideal steps.
Give yourself permission to have time for yourself; you cannot pour from an empty cup. Whether this is through tangible self-care or actually taking the time to fully heal from past grievances, it’s crucial. Preserve your energy. Disengage from time to time, or it will eat you up and leave all other aspects of your personal life neglected.
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Resolve past conflicts.
Are you projecting your insecurities onto other people? Are you in a cycle of repeated patterns that do more harm than good? (In some cases, this might actually really mean tapping out.) Long-term unresolved conflict will keep on materializing when it isn’t acknowledged. Circumstances won’t change until you communicate your needs—and hurts—and not just think about them.
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Get an outsider’s perspective.
There’s no better way to discern a situation than to ask help from someone who isn’t involved. Your high emotions might be doing all the work, and it’s important to distance yourself from it. Feel free to talk to a parent, a friend or a counselor, and be open to the possibility of being wrong.
There’s still more to be said about such a heavy topic, whether relationship burnout is a tell-tale sign to move on or it’s actually just an opportunity to stir newness and excitement into your relationship. Either way, assess and discern your relationship baggage and don’t be afraid to ask help. We all need it.
Words Elisa Aquino
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver