What will make us truly happy? There is a lot of pressure in the media to look beautiful. Do we just age gracefully and accept the inevitable impact of time or do we want to make the best of our body and brains? How do we judge what is acceptable and what is not? Are we dependent on validation of our own beauty and value from ourselves or from others? Where does the pursuit if perfection, by standards decreed by others, end?

 

What is a Tweakment?

Tweakments are non-surgical or ‘aesthetic’ procedures such as Botox and fillers to smooth wrinkles, soften skin and create subtle changes to the face and head.

Here are five important questions to answer.

 

1, Should couples have ‘tweakments’ together?

The important questions that they both need to ask are:

How do we feel about ourselves as individuals? If we are significantly lacking in self-belief, then this is unlikely to be the sHow strong is our relationship? If it is weak, then again, there are more important things that we should be doing first.Is this something we both really want, or is one going along with some reluctance? If so, it may create an unhealthy imbalance. What is the outcome we each want and are these coherent and compatible? Is this a one-off or will this become a never-ending journey of improvement? Is this driven by our own internal feelings or are we seeking external validation?

 

2. How does ageing impact someone’s mental health?

Couples are on different journeys of ageing and at different speeds.  A female will be affected by the life stages of lack of fertility, menopause and change of purpose if they have children who leave home.  A male may be affected by a mid-life crisis, wondering why they have worked hard and feeling unfulfilled.

Their lives will also be impacted by life events, traumas, work, and home changes making them realise their dreams have been interrupted or turned into dust.  All of these may make them see the future with concern and the past with disappointment.

How we feel about ourselves comes from within. What we see in the mirror is just a manifestation of the symptoms. If we are feeling confident and good about ourselves, we will be focusing on the happiness in our eyes and the glow of great experiences. If we are unhappy, we are likely to focus on the worry lines and the deep disappointment under the surface.

Ageing ultimately leads to reduced memory, mental faculties and even dementia.  The most significant factors leading up to that are whether we are in a loving relationship, whether we feel fulfilled in our life, and if we are living positively and with purpose.  Are we enjoying what we do have and looking forward to the future or are we looking backwards and saying, ‘if only’?

 

3, If one person in a couple starts ageing more noticeably, could this cause possible issues in a relationship?

Ageing is not just about wrinkles on the face. It is about zest for life, physical abilities, and mental awareness.

If there is an increasing gulf between the desires of each then it can create conflict and resentment. If one wants to carry on rock climbing and the other is ready to hang up their climbing shoes, buy a beige cardigan and join the bowls club, that could be problematic. If one wants to continue an exciting sex life and the other just wants another hour watching Countdown, then there could be a growing problem.

There are many examples of couples being able to continue or even strengthen a loving relationship even after significant trauma such as disabilities or life changing injuries.  What matters most is the strength of the underlying love for each other and the ability to embrace what is positive, now and in the future.

 

4, Are people of a certain age group being more preoccupied with tweakments and alterations?

There are two important groups most likely to participate in Tweakments:

The Instagram generation, in the 20’s and 30’s where they are judged on superficial appearance, often by strangers who can only see the avatar on social media. Here, there is strong peer pressure to be liked by others and to follow the trends set by ‘influencers’. Tweakments and surgical enhancements are publicised and pored over by the microscope of social media.  There is no shame in having work done, it is a badge of pride and of success.

The second group is older ladies who are menopausal or post-menopausal. Their children, if they have any, have left home and they may be feeling that their purpose of having children and bringing them up has disappeared.  Now, with more time to look in the mirror, they may be feeling the need to be more sexually attractive to their partner or others as well as feeling more acceptable to friends and acquaintances.  The long pondering in the mirror may see unattractive details that a little treatment could eradicate and all at less than the cost of some really expensive face cream!

 

5, Is it healthy for couples to do things like this together?

It is healthy for couples to have a strong ‘us’ and also a strong ‘me’ and ‘you.’  It is very unlikely that two individuals would have the same body image and to both want the same tweakment at the same time.

There is no reality, there is only perception.  For one the lines on the forehead may look like a sign of a full life, the other might see them as an imperfection. It is most likely that, if one wants tweakments, the other will feel coerced into this and, at best, be reluctant and at worst to be resentful.  If they both went down this path and one wanted to stop then this would put pressure on the other to stop too, which might feel unfair.

Read more about Neil Wilkie and his other articles HERE

 

‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

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