As you might’ve heard at some point, relationships are hard work. Tying yourself physically, emotionally, socially, financially, and probably a million other ways to another person comes with tricky encounters and difficult phases. Building a partnership on good habits helps the relationship grow to its fullest potential (however full that may be), but building a house on a leaky, lying, cracked foundation leads to total dysfunction. Want to keep the rainwater out of your romantic floorboards? Make sure these bad habits are nowhere near your hard-earned support system.
Trying to ‘fix’ your partner.
Nobody’s perfect, and that includes your significant other. Operating under the assumption that you can change what you don’t like about someone leads you both into dishonest circumstances – they think you appreciate them for the way they are, while you just stay focused on how you can improve them. There are two outcomes here: you go insane trying to change them and end up wildly frustrated, or they snap under the pressure of living up to your unrealistic expectations.
Fighting around friends.
Fighting fair with your S.O. is always a difficult task, and is automatically even more horrible when it’s in front of your friends. The public display of disagreement is uncomfortable enough, but is even worse when you try to source backup from your awkward amigos that do NOT want to get involved. Your partner will be way more pissed that you exposed your dirty laundry to anyone but them – plus, if it’s bad enough, you may just scare off your pals from wanting to hang out ever again.
Not fighting at all.
On the other side, shoving all your feelings down to the depths of your ‘I’m not talking about this’ box doesn’t solve any problems, either. If you aren’t willing to be honest (sometimes brutally so), the relationship will suffer because problems don’t fix themselves, and you’ll both grow more resentful.
Even if you do manage to talk (or scream) it out, you have to be able to forgive and forget to really move on. Holding a grudge after the fact will only build up more resentment and provide fewer solutions – people are imperfect, and have to be allowed to learn and grow from their mistakes. Holding a grudge only holds your relationship back with it.
Looking through their phone.
This is a pretty obvious no-no, but taking a peak at that tiny device that holds a LOT of information about your partner can be seriously tempting. If you suspect them of inappropriate behavior, confrontation is better than snooping; either way it’s clear that you don’t trust them, but invading their privacy will only make them stop trusting you immediately, even if they really had nothing to hide.
Letting out-of-control jealousy take over.
There’s a reason envy is described as the green-eyed monster – it is ugly and scary. Acting super jealous of your S.O’s other relationships (aka friendships and family ties) is wildly unattractive, no matter what every episode of “Jersey Shore” would have you believe. Jealousy usually belies a deeper layer of insecurity, so maybe you should explore what’s causing that issue in the first place instead of audibly displaying just how little you trust your partner.
Doing everything together.
You know when one of your friends vanishes from your life because they got sucked into a relationship and won’t come to anything anymore unless their new beau is invited too? Remember how ANNOYING that is? Besides being super unhealthy for the relationship itself and encouraging codependency, never hanging out without the other is seriously obnoxious to your friends, and will damage every other relationship you have. Keep things interesting by actually having something to talk about besides what you’re both going to do together this weekend, and next weekend, and the weekend after that.
Lying about the little things.
White lies can turn deadly black pretty quickly, and oh what a tangled web they weave. If you haven’t noticed by this part of the article, relationships are built on trust. Lying, in any context, chips away at that trust over time, and leads to the potential for bigger, more serious lies down the road. As the eloquent Lady Gaga once put it, “trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broken, but you can still see the crack in that mother f***er’s reflection.”
Constantly trying to impress.
We’re not talking about striving to reach your ambitions or making grand romantic gestures (those things are obviously great). We’re referring to that act of constantly trying to prove yourself, never feeling quite good enough or ‘in their league’. In the process of proving your own value, you might just tear your partner down along the way. Be just as comfortable and happy with who you are as you are with who they are.
Taking your partner for granted.
This one could also go by the name ‘getting too comfortable,’ ‘letting yourself go,’ or ‘settling.’ You picked this person for a reason (or probably a lot of reasons) so don’t just appreciate and cherish them, let them know exactly how much you do. If they’re the most important thing in your world, you better make them feel it.