October 6, 2021
How to Handle Societal Pressure on Romantic Relationships
Have you ever felt pressure from society about your romantic relationship? Chances are, you’ve likely felt the pressure at one point or another (in your current relationship, or a past one!). It could have been from your well-meaning friend, your nosey grandmother, or just a feeling you get from your social circle Social romantic norms work for some people, but that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone and shouldn’t be challenged. It can be difficult to decide whether you feel the need to respond, and if so, to find a way to respond to that pressure in a positive, and productive manner. Because they want everyone to live more fully in their truths, the TaskHuman coaches want to help you navigate the societal pressure on romantic relationships while still holding onto your values. Here they share how to respond to societal pressure on romantic relationships and ensure that external pressure doesn’t put a strain on your relationship too much. Here are their insights on how to handle societal pressure on romantic relationships:
1. Reflect on Yourself
When you feel pressure from society, it often feels like you’re doing something “wrong.” Like you haven’t figured out how to live according to the rules. But that’s not what is happening. Your situation and circumstances, along with your desires in your personal and professional life all play a part in your romantic reality. So, it’s important you reflect on yourself, to remind yourself of what you want and what your goals are before you allow yourself to be pulled into society’s vision of what you should be doing. Coach Ashely Pena explains:
Knowing what you want allows you to tune out society’s messages that don’t reflect your desires.
2. Be Independent
Finding a romantic life partner is ingrained into our society as a “must do.” In reality, it isn’t necessary to be in a relationship in order to be fulfilled or happy. Leaning into your independence means you become your own best friend. Coach Regina De Los Reyes explains:
Being happy with yourself is key to resisting societal pressure on romantic relationships. If you’re happy with yourself, then any relationship you enter will be because you want to be in the relationship and not because you feel pressured to do so. Your relationship will be stronger because you’re inherently more confident in yourself, and therefore, more authentic as a partner. Listen to Coach Julia Pontones explain:
Independence doesn’t mean you are always alone. But it does mean that you are comfortable with yourself. You don’t need someone to “complete” you.
3. Listen Objectively
It may be that some of the societal pressure you feel about romantic relationships is because you’re not sure what you need or want. And some of those pressures may actually be helpful. For example, you may want to be in a romantic relationship, but you also may want to pursue a career that could make scheduling time to meet someone difficult. In that scenario, you’re likely feeling conflicted about which path to follow. And you could feel societal pressure for both goals, which is totally normal. This is when listening to other options could help you. Someone who knows you well and loves you may have a perspective that can help you see your own situation more clearly. If they are not pushing you toward a path because of their own desires, but simply trying to help you understand your own thinking, their opinions could be useful. Coach Manoj Kunnath Unnikrishnan explains:
Listening to the opinions of others isn’t to disregard your wants and desires. In actively listening, you may be able to gain a new perspective on your situation, and find clarity to better understand what you really want. Then you can make decisions based on what is best for you—without bowing to the pressures of society. If you’re interested in continuing the conversation about how to handle societal pressures on romantic relationships, reach out to any of the TaskHuman coaches for a 1:1 LIVE coaching session.