Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Annoying Couples: Get Over Yourselves!

This past week I had an experience on a plane that reminded me why some couples are simply so annoying. Just remembering the details, I want to throw up a little bit.

As a few seats were open on the plane and everyone began to take the best remaining seats available, I watched one particular couple try to decide whether they, too, should try to move from their original seats. The seats available were super-plush: tons of leg room, and so on. As I listened to this couple complain about their cramped seats - yet with open seats beckoning around them - I mentioned to the man that there was an open seat in the row ahead where he could sit in a bulkhead seat on the aisle, rather feel confined in a center seat that looked like it was built more for a child than a grown man.

The man heard my suggestion, but almost looked stunned as he responded. "Oh, no! She's my wife!" he said, pointing to the woman sitting next to him. "We're traveling together!" he exclaimed, foam nearly coming out of his mouth at the thought of parting from her for a two-hour flight. What he was trying to tell me is that, because she was his wife and they were together, they HAD-HAD-HAD to sit together. In fact, his response may as well as have been, "But...but if we can't sit next to each other, we might get so anxious and scared being apart from each other, that we might start crying and wet our pants." Oh, where do I start...

Okay, here is my point: For crying out loud, a little separation is okay, people! If you are in a relationship, don't feel pressured to believe that, just because you're together, you have to do everything the same. You can be together but have different interests, even different friends, and - I can't believe I even need to say this - sit in different rows on the very same airplane. Rest assured, if you're together, you will have plenty of time to spend together in the future.

Far too many couples get lost in a super-dysfunctional, enmeshed dynamic in their relationship where they've let society tell them that, to be happy, they have to do everything the same - be the same, think the same. My gosh, what's next? Dressing the same?

If you are single, my hope is that you apire to find someone who is independent in his or her own right, and who comes to love you because you complement him or her. In other words, I hope you are able to find a relationship in which you can be in love, yet still happily sit apart from each other during an occasional two-hour flight!

PLUS: In Dr. Seth's new book, Dr. Seth's Love Prescription (available at Amazon.com or in stores at Borders and Barnes and Noble), he shows you how to stop repeating bad patterns in your romantic relationships. He sheds light on the four patterns that get repeated the most: saving wounded souls; focusing too much on a specific, physical type; fear of intimacy and denial; and getting involved with people who are manipulative or abusive. Pick up a copy today!

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