I have quite the competitive spirit but there's a fine line between playfulness and downright unnecessary competition, especially when your relationship is involved. Just last weekend, I was out with a guy, and it was seemingly going to be one of those dates that caused you to go to bed smiling, anticipating the next time you'll be seeing each other. But that never happened ... all because of a silly competition.
We had flirtatiously bantered back and forth about our pool-playing skills, and towards the end of the night, it was time to put them to the test.
At first, it was a well-matched game, but when I got on a hot streak and was looking at the eight ball while he had three still on the table, it went downhill. The playful smack talk turned into him having a stone cold face, pacing angrily, and causing the whole situation to become extremely awkward.
He was being ridiculous, and I wasn't about to back down for the sake of his pride.
And only afterwards did I realize that, by not backing down, I was giving into my pride just as much as he was. Pride vs. Pride. No one ever wins those battles (well, technically I did, but that's neither here nor there -- ah, there I go again!).
Competition is healthy, there's no doubt about that. It gives us empowerment and encourages us to set goals. But when you're more focused on the kill win rather than on the benefits of the overall experience, especially if it's with your significant other, than that's where things get messy. Feelings are hurt and egos are bruised -- was it really worth it?
Probably not. At least not if that person is important to you.
How competitive are you and your partner? Has it ever caused problems in your relationship?
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