Can Being in Love Be Stressful?

Love requires vulnerability and can sometimes lead to heartbreak.
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Although being in a relationship with someone you love can have many benefits, you must be prepared for the pitfalls, too. Lovers sometimes deliberately stress their partners out in order to test the strength of a relationship. If the partner being tested is willing to put up with the stress imposed by the other, it is supposed to show that he or she is suitably committed. But while love can be stressful, it also brings rewards.

1 The Jealousy Factor

Jealousy is a stressful emotion, and it is normal to experience jealousy when you are in love. No matter how wonderful your relationship, jealousy can still occur in various different guises, according to "Relations Between Different Types of Jealousy and Self and Partner Perceptions of Relationship Quality," published in the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy journal. The study showed that people who reported that they were in good, loving relationships suffered from jealousy if they felt their partnership was threatened.

2 Conflict and Love

Relationships are often fraught with conflict, whether this comes from outside interference --such as the problems caused by parents and friends -- or from disagreements between the two of you. A study of young people showed that if one partner was particularly good at managing conflict, relationships were more likely to flourish. The study, "Recovering From Conflict in Romantic Relationships - A Developmental Perspective," published in the Psychological Science journal, revealed that having a secure partner who was good at disengaging from conflict meant that relationships were stronger, longer and happier overall.

3 Balancing Act

Being in love is a balancing act. Juggling the needs and desires of the person you love, while not neglecting your own, can feel stressful. Love can "blind" you and cause you to act in ways that are not necessarily in your best interest. You may overlook certain flaws in the person you love only to be hit by the distressing reality later. Taking the time to nurture your needs and make your expectations clear can save you stress and heartache later on.

4 Sharing Pain

When your loved one gets upset, you will probably find that you get upset, too. Sharing another person's pain is stressful, but it is part of caring for someone deeply. If your partner becomes distressed, angry or frustrated, you are likely to experience similar feelings. The flip side is that you get to share your partner's joys, successes and happiness as well.

Beth Burgess is a health and happiness expert. Burgess works as a therapist, specializing in addiction, anxiety, stress and mental well-being. Author of "The Recovery Formula" and "The Happy Addict," she writes articles to help others achieve happy lives and healthy relationships.