5 Unhealthy Reasons to Start Relationships

By Georgia


Last Updated: August 6, 2021

As society evolves, so do the perspectives on marriage and relationships. The necessity of marriage, particularly for women, to survive in society is dissolving more and more with each decade. 

While the institution of marriage is being scrutinized and assessed for cultural relevance, the assumptions about romantic relationships haven't really had the same renaissance.

The assumption is still that all adults will and should be interested in romantic relationships, and will have had or will be in a long-term partnership by the time they're 30 years old. 

A person, particularly a woman, still unwed after 30 is no longer front page news. But a person who has never had a partner by 30, or doesn't have a partner at 30, is apparently cause for concern. 

But just because someone is single doesn't mean they need to fall in line and couple up to be taken seriously by society, their friends or family. In fact, getting into a relationship to avoid societal or family pressure, or to fill a gap in your own world can lead to even larger problems. 

Let’s take a look at some of the unhealthy reasons people seek out a partner, and why, if these resonate with you, it could be a better choice to maintain a single life. 

1. Family Pressure

Partnering up to fulfill a family obligation isn't a great way to start or continue a relationship. 

Family can sometimes feel a sense of shame or failure for raising a child that is presumed to not be a desirable mate or full-fledged member of society because of their single status. 

Relatives may need to feel everyone in their clan is taken care of and secure by successfully landing a mate. And the anxiety raised by an unwed relative may only be eased by fulfilling this requirement that is often also coupled with parenthood. 

To these kinds of families, long-term partnership and marriage are a sign of both stability and success. But only that person can define success and stability for themselves. They don't need another person to validate their lives and decisions.

2. Social Pressure

The social pressure on singles can be suffocating. The plethora of dating (and hook-up) apps and constant reminders by friends and foes alike of one's single status can be quite mentally draining and destructive. 

The typical introduction when catching up with friends goes something like, “Hey. What have you been up to? How's work? Are you seeing anyone?”

Although the landscape is changing to make hook-up culture and polyamory much more mainstream and acceptable, there is still a historical stronghold on the general idea of us social animals creating deep romantic bonds with each other. 

Becoming a couple is ingrained in our social structure, and straying away from this breaks down the fundamental ways we've structured our societies. 

The assumption is that by a certain age, usually mid-20s to mid-30s, most people will ‘settle down’. When this doesn't happen, we question why and try to guide people back onto the commonly trodden path.

There are significant cultural influences on marital status in many places in the world. And whether or not a person participates in such practices is up to them. 

But if they don't feel they need to buy into these rituals to appease their elders or calm their contemporaries, it is perfectly acceptable to remain single and only marry or couple up when it is right for them.

Read The Pros and Cons of Being Single next! 

3. Loneliness

Starting a relationship out of loneliness is rarely a good idea. Loneliness, desperation, low self-esteem, and FOMO (fear of missing out) are negative energies that will be instilled in the relationship at a foundational level. 

While we all experience these feelings, using them as motivation to enter into a relationship means there are likely very important factors that contribute to successful, healthy relationships that were disregarded or not considered at all.

These are things we should all ask ourselves when considering dating or beginning a relationship with someone:

  • What are you both looking for? Something short-term, long-term, or lifetime?
  • What are your personalities and do they compliment each other?
  • What kind of personalities do you each prefer in a partner?
  •  Do you have compatible values, beliefs, interests and hobbies?
  • How well do you both communicate and what are your communication styles?
  • What are your love languages?
  • Why do you both want to be in a relationship?
  • Can you both give examples of healthy and unhealthy behaviors in a relationship?
  • Are you both monogamous or non-monogamous?
  • Do you both want children? If so, must they be biological?

There are many more questions to ask as the prospect of a committed relationship becomes more serious. But without even considering these questions and just jumping into a relationship with the first person who shows interest to cure one’s boredom or loneliness, or simply to pass the time, rarely goes well or lasts long.

4. Situationship

An updated version of, ‘Booty call,’ a situationship is simply another way to describe an undefined relationship. If between two consenting adults, and everyone is on the same page, this can be a perfectly acceptable arrangement...but they won’t necessarily turn into a lifelong commitment, and the lines can get terrifically blurred, quickly. 

The word “situationship” is mostly used to describe friends with benefits, or people who are essentially dating but don’t say they’re dating or refer to the other person as their boyfriend/girlfriend/partner.” - Cosmopolitan magazine, “How Do You Tell if You’re in a Situationship?”

Staying in an unfulfilling relationship because it's easier and less effort than breaking up is unfair to both people and any children they may be raising. It is one thing to be going through a rough patch and working on reigniting the spark that brought two people together. 

It is entirely another to start or continue a relationship out of convenience and laziness. It teaches children not to strive for a solid foundation of friendship, respect, compassion, chemistry, compatibility, growth and evolution of themselves and their partnerships, but instead  to settle for whoever is in front of them that will do for now.

5. Doing Things in the ‘Right’ Order

Most people, at least internally, would prefer to secure a committed relationship before bringing children into the mix. But doing things in the “right” order often doesn't happen. And single parents can sometimes feel an instinctive drive to find a mate to complete their family unit. 

Relationships involving children from other partners or encounters can be rushed, and the role of the new partner may be unclear, unhealthy or too intrusive for the child(ren) to accept, depending on the age of the child and their relationship with their other biological parents.

Childless people may also rush the process of finding a mate in order to “beat the biological clock” and get started on raising a family. The goal of parenthood, and many times motherhood, overshadows the important questions that need to be asked and bricks that build the foundation of the relationship. 

Wanting to raise kids with someone isn't enough to solidify or guarantee a family unit. The relationship itself must be solid as well, and able to weather the many storms that run ashore of growing families.


Why Do You Want to Be in a Relationship? 

If any of these reasons resonate with you, it may be a good time to really sit and consider why you desire to be in a relationship, and if you may be better off reinvesting time into yourself before welcoming someone else into your world.

After all...

“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.”

— Diane Von Furstenberg


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels


5 comments on “5 Unhealthy Reasons to Start Relationships”

  1. I find the Daily Motivations extraordinary and immensely transformative. Thanks for these daily inspirations.

  2. I think relationships are a natural thing like food and shelter. As much as one needs good food and good shelter, one also needs good and lasting relationship to be healthy and happy. But a relationship for any reason other than love is questionable. Love warms our hearts and our relationships. To love and to be loved makes a person full. I think being in a relationship teaches us responsibility and sharing and these qualities are what make us better persons. While I agree marrying or coupling for the wrong reasons can lead to unhappiness, I also think staying single earns on any meaningful life. Relationships are supposed to help us learn to be nice to other people and get the reciprocal from others. Staying single May plant and grow too much self interest and fear of others and I think does not deserve societal encouragement

  3. A Relationship Means To Me!
    One Simple Word RESPECT!
    Cause Without It You Have Nothing!
    And The Reason I Say This ,If One Truly Cares , He Or She Will Think , Before Acting
    Cause A Lot Of People Act On Thoughts
    And When The Act Is Done
    Sometimes Its To Late To Recover
    So It’s Pays To Be Careful Of Ones Thoughts, Feelings Can Be Deceitful

  4. Fantastic Article DM...Thank you so much! Menbere, I love what you had to add here. The last sentence about singles being discouraged by society is still slightly putting pressure to be connected. You can still be honest, love others and appreciate your world, being single. Love is the right reason to do anything, and as long as it's present, then it's healthy regardless of what "it" is. Not being critical here, it's just that the last sentence leans a little more towards "fear and worry" than love. Cynthia Riggs is a really good example of being single and productive. She divorced near middle age, and got her MBA at 68. Then she remarried at 81 and he was 91! Then she wrote a book about their time together. If love is involved - it has its own time - for everything. Single or not, we need to encourage love, and we'll all end-up where we need to be eventually...Best of luck to you, Menbere:)

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