The love between you and your significant other may be flowing smoothly at the moment, but if you want it to continue that way, it will help to take stock of potential bad habits that cold ruin your relationship *if* you let them. Even the most solid romantic bonds have room for improvement, so why not assess your situation for signs of toxic relationship tendencies, and kick ’em in the butt before they even have the chance to destroy a good thing?
If you catch them early, you can break these bad habits and avoid unintentionally screwing up your relationship. Honestly, we couldn’t think of a better incentive to do a check-in with your partner to ensure your romance is as healthy as possible.
If you’re involved with someone you truly love and respect, the last thing you want on your conscience is knowing that you allowed a fixable bad habit ruin your relationship.
Here’s what not to do:
1Assuming you know how your partner feels.
Your partner walked in the room wearing a scowl, so naturally that meant they were unreasonably pissed at you for something you probably didn’t do. Before you know it, you’ve launched into defense mode, and instead of helping to lift the bad vibes, you’ve managed to spread them around, making both you and your partner feel worse.
As Psych Central reports, making assumptions can be damaging to our relationships because they don’t allow partners to share their side, which leaves them feeling unheard. As licensed marriage and family therapist Ashley Thorn tells the site, “[Y]ou’re basically deciding a thought you’re having is ‘fact’ when you don’t have all the information.”
2Not setting healthy boundaries with your friends and family.
It’s totally normal to share aspects of your personal life with friends and family, but that doesn’t mean they should become a third party in your relationship. If you make a habit of seeking out their input every time you and partner disagree or you routinely reveal private information about your partner without their knowledge or consent, you should take steps to set better boundaries and focus on building trust in your relationship by keeping friends and family out of your love life.
3Refusing to accept criticism.
It can be hard to take criticism from the one you love most, especially when you see all the shortcomings they have yet to work on. And absolutely no one wants to hear about all the ways they screw up constantly. But if you’re partner is trying to give you some healthy feedback about where they see room for improvement in the relationship, ignoring their critiques could possibly lead them to have contempt for you, which can ultimately break down the bond you have.
4Not communicating openly about sex.
Little does your partner know, that supposedly ~amazing~ thing they do in bed is actually a major turn-off to you, but you’re too uncomfortable to address it. Whatever it takes, talking to your partner about your sex life is the only way to improve it. Otherwise, you’ll continue to suffer in silence, and the unaddressed issue could potentially ruin what was once (and still could be!) a good thing.
5Suppressing your anger.
We get why you would want to bottle up your anger: Things are going great in between you and your significant other, and you don’t want to ruin them by bringing up some unpleasant feelings that could lead to a tense disagreement. But as the Mayo Clinic points out, the outcome of being angry depends on how you deal with it.
Not only is this exhausting and nit-picky, but it implies that you don’t trust your partner to carry their weight in the relationship. If you find it necessary to monitor everything they do (or don’t do) in order to make sure you’re being treated fairly, you could be the problem in your relationship.
7Not allowing them personal space.
Smothering your partner because you’re afraid they’ll leave you is one easy way to take your relationship from good to bad to non-existent. In fact, experts claim giving your partner space is more important for a couple’s happiness than enjoying a great sex life.
8Not fighting fair.
Silent treatments, stonewalling, gaslighting, or yelling during an argument will eventually wear down even the best of partners. If you say you love this person, then those feelings should still be evident even when you aren’t getting along. Using manipulation tactics will only alienate your S.O. and guarantee that whatever rift you’re experiencing will only grow wider.
9Constantly bringing up the past.
Um, it’s behind you for a reason! If you can’t let go of what happened in the past, your relationship might be history soon. Being fixated on prior arguments or mistakes your partner made makes it extremely difficult to move forward. Consider seeing a couple’s counselor to work through your issues in a healthy way so you can both approach the future with a clean slate.
In the end, something’s gotta give: the bad habits or your relationship.