Mindset Matters In Relationships
by Ayman Nazish
The way we view our partner and our relationship matters. As a relationship grows from its initial stage, we start developing beliefs about ourselves, our partner, and our relationship.
These beliefs impact how we act in the relationship, how motivated we feel to wake up and choose to love the same person every day, how vulnerable we can be, and how adjustable we’re willing to be.
They serve as a blueprint for how we treat our partners. These core mindsets determine whether we grow closer together or further apart.
In her book Mindset, Carol Dweck simplified this concept by dividing our approach to life into a fixed and growth mindset.
Individuals with a fixed mindset foster the belief that their qualities and abilities are immutable and unchangeable. In contrast, those with a growth mindset count on effort and perseverance to cultivate their qualities.
This can be examined more transparently in the examples below:
- “My partner must know about my likes and dislikes and how I want to be loved; after all, we’ve been dating for years now!”
- “If I communicate my feelings clearly with my partner and if he is willing to put in the effort, he’ll be to love more deeply.”
The first quote corresponds to a fixed mindset, while the latter demonstrates a growth mindset.
A problematic disposition of people with a fixed mindset is that they have unrealistic expectations where they believe that good things will automatically happen to them.
Hence, instead of strengthening the teamwork in their relationship to understand each other’s problems and find a way out of them, they believe such things will occur naturally through their love.
This fosters the destructive belief that if a relationship requires dedication and effort, the relationship is messed up and that any disagreements suggest failure on behalf of the partner.
However, Dweck clarifies, “Just as there are no great achievements without setbacks, there are no great relationships without conflicts and problems along the way.”
Moreover, when the fixed mindset individual calls out their partner’s personality as the cause of the problem, they indirectly harbor a lot of anger and disgust against them.
Again, it all ties back to the fact that they believe a person’s qualities are etched in stone and unfixable. This leads to a continuous loop, creating resentment and despair in a relationship.
On the other hand, those with a growth mindset acknowledge their partner’s faults without dumping all the blame on them and still think they have a beautiful relationship. They regard fights as a problem resulting from miscommunication and do not blemish one’s character or personality during conflicts.
Ultimately, this enables them to cope excellently with the differences in a relationship. They attempt to understand each other’s shortcomings, and while they may hit obstacles on the way, they don’t stop until they learn how to resolve them.
This allows both partners to become closer and their relationship to grow stronger, creating a healthy dynamic where trust is nurtured. The partners’ main concern is each other’s development along with their own.
Thus, we can conclude that mindset matters in relationships, and only when we can analyze our perspective will we be able to enhance the quality and longevity of our relationships.