SINGAPORE: A woman took to social media to discuss the challenges she and her boyfriend faced after six years of dating. 

In her post on r/askSingapore on Friday (April 5), she wrote, “Talking about the issues I have with him seems to make my partner angry. Listening to his vents makes me stressed out.”

She then asked other long-term couples, “After the honeymoon phase, do you find yourself always listening to your other half’s rant about life and stress they had during the day?

For couples who have been together for a long time, do you only talk about the good things and bury the bad? How do veterans like y’all make it work?”

“You can only be your partner therapist for so long.”

In the comments section, Singaporean Redditors suggested to the woman that she ask her boyfriend what he needs before starting the conversation: does he simply need a listening ear to vent out his frustrations, or does he need a solution?

If her partner simply needs to vent, they suggested that she create a safe space for him to express his emotions without fear of being judged. This includes being patient, paying attention, and providing emotional support.

On the other hand, if her partner is looking for a solution, they recommend “working together to find one.”

They also noted that, when it comes to work-related issues, partners frequently seek validation and support rather than solutions. 

One individual explained, “When it comes to work, they don’t really need our solutions and most likely, they have tried whatever you will suggest anyway, so they will just want to rant and have someone be there and tell them that they are doing well despite the craziness.”

Others, on the other hand, suggested that if it becomes too overwhelming for her to listen to her boyfriend’s rants, she should be honest and communicate this to him.

One individual said, “Y’know, you’re a human being as well and you can tell your partner when his venting gets too much for you. It’s a completely reasonable boundary to draw, and in fact, might be healthier.

Of course, this isn’t telling him to shut up, or not tell you anything at all. You need to clearly communicate how you feel too, whether you have the mental and emotional capacity to hear him out.”

Others also mentioned that if the emotional toll of constantly listening to her boyfriend’s rants becomes overwhelming, she should consider gently suggesting the idea of seeking professional help.

One individual said, “You can only be your partner therapist for so long. There will be a breaking point eventually. Seek professional help if needed.”

Venting vs. Emotional Dumping

Are you venting? or emotional dumping on your partner? Contrary to what most people might initially think, these two terms are actually different.

According to foundcare, Venting, unlike emotional dumping, respects the emotional boundaries of listeners, making it a healthy and beneficial exchange between two people.

On the other hand, emotional dumping is when someone shares their feelings without considering the other person’s emotions or needs. 

This behaviour can leave the listener feeling drained, unappreciated, or stressed, as the focus remains solely on the dumper’s emotions.

Emotional dumping can be detrimental to relationships because it disregards the importance of reciprocal communication and empathy, leading to potential misunderstandings and emotional strain between individuals.

Experts therefore recommend honoring the emotional state of their partners, friends, or family members by asking simple questions like, “Can I talk to you about my problems at work?”

Read also: Man says, “I left my partner who I loved because she didn’t have enough ambition”