I’ve noticed in my relationships, as well as in many many others, there are often bad habits that tend to develop. Sometimes they take a while to show up, other times they were always there. But, these bad habits can cause some serious damage in both your relationship with your significant other, and with yourself. They can be hard to recognize, so it may take a little self-reflection, but it’s worth the time to make sure your relationship isn’t being stifled by these bad habits.
I’m definitely guilty of a few of these, and I really try to work on trying to break these habits. It’s not something that happens overnight, but being mindful is the first step. And just because you may have some of these, doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed at all! All it means is that maybe it’s not as great as it could be. Maybe you’re neglecting other aspects of your life. Or maybe you and your significant other have a few kinks to work out.
1. Expecting Them To Read Your Mind
Probably my personal number one offender. I am always hoping Scott will read my mind with SO many things. With arguments we’re having. With little things I hope he does that will make me happy. With how I’m really feeling about something. I am always hoping that whatever I am thinking will magically make it’s way over to his brain. But, that is VERY rarely the case. Then I end up upset or disappointed, and he was never even clued into any of it.
It’s truly not fair to have these expectations of our significant other. They are NOT mind readers, and shouldn’t be expected to be. Communication is such a hard thing to master in a relationship, it takes a lot of work to be able to be truly open and honest. But, you’re much likely to get what you want and both be happier, if you are able to talk about them.
This includes pretending to be okay when you’re not. If they ask you if you’re upset about something and you say no, it’s not fair for you to expect them to read your mind and know that you’re lying. If you don’t want to talk about something, that’s okay! Just say that instead of pretending like everything is okay.
2. Neglecting Your Friendships
This one happens a lot but I think can go unnoticed because it’s gradual. But as you spend more and more time with your significant other, you spend less and less time with your friends. I know significant others can become (or even start out) as best friends, but you still need to make time for your friendships.
First of all, it’s good to have a little balance with how you’re spending your time. Second, friendships are SO important! You can talk about things that maybe you can’t with your significant other. Gain some perspective. Have some girl time. I don’t know if I can put into words how important some quality girl time can be. I can feel a difference when it’s been a while! And third, it’s rude! Seriously, just carve out some time to see your friends. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
3. Depending On Them For Your Happiness
It’s very important to make sure all your happiness is not dependent on your significant other and your relationship. It can be a really unhealthy headspace to be in if that’s the case. First of all, it’s not your significant other’s responsibility to make you happy. Although of course they should be trying to make you happy, they can’t be the only thing bringing you happiness. You need to make sure you can find happiness with yourself too. Find hobbies you enjoy, spend time with your friends, keep up the things you did before your relationship that made you happy.
4. Not Taking Time For Yourself
If you’re spending all your possible free time with your significant other, then there is a good chance you’re neglecting yourself. I’m an introvert, so having the occasional alone time is crucial for me. I think even extroverts need some time to themselves. When I don’t have alone time for too long, it really affects my mood, and causes me to be grumpier. Even if it’s just 30 minutes to do something by yourself, it’s important to make that time.
5. Not Knowing When To Let Things Go
Holding grudges can be a really dangerous habit. If you’ve talked through an issue, they’ve apologized, and you’re still holding onto the anger or hurt, that may be more on you than them. Not being able to let things go is only going to damage your relationship. Are you holding onto it because you don’t feel it was fully resolved? Then time for another chat. But, if you’ve said everything you need to say, they’ve heard you and apologized, and you can’t let it go, that’s something you need to work on. They can’t do anymore than hear you out and apologize. The next step is forgiveness.
6. Bringing Up Big Conversations At Bad Times
Like I’ve said before, communication can be tricky. Issues, of course, come up in any relationship, and it’s very important to talk them out. However, there definitely is a time and place. If it’s been a long day for you or your significant other, and at the end of it, you choose to bring up an issue to discuss, you’re not likely to resolve it because neither of you are in the right place of mind. If you or your significant other are hungry, tired, going through a stressful time, or whatever it may be, the problem is unlikely to be solved. Both of you need to be in the right headspace in order to work through any issues.
7. Avoiding Talking It Out
Along the same lines as above, avoiding talking about it isn’t good either. You will be doing yourself no favors by pretending an issue isn’t there. Trust me, even if you think you’ve repressed it, it will come out in ways you don’t expect. My boyfriend and I are both awful with confrontation, so this is something we work on. But, dealing with issues as quickly as possible, and not letting them become bigger than they need to be, or sneak out in other ways, will always be a better tactic than avoiding it all together.
8. Forgetting To Love On Each Other
This is another sneaky one that happens after you’ve been together for a while. The honeymoon stage is done, you’ve won each other over, and you stop putting in the effort that brought you two together in the first place. I know, life can be so crazy and things get in the way, but it’s still really important to make your partner a priority. It doesn’t have to be over the top gestures or anything crazy (although I’m sure those may be appreciated every once in a while), but small little things that remind your significant other you love them. Were there little things you did in the past with them? Keep it up! Just little things that remind them you love them and are thinking about them. Maybe a little note you snuck into their lunch, or surprise them with their favorite candy when you come home, any little things that they would appreciate. It may seem small, but it can make a world of difference.
9. Letting Yourself Go
This bad habit is similar to not taking time for yourself, because if you never take any time for yourself, you’re likely neglecting self care. Now, I’m not saying you need to look hot for your significant other for them to love you, NOT at all. This is more about self love than anything else. But sometimes in relationships, we tend to let ourselves go a little. That may mean different things for different people, it could look like weight gain, or only dressing in sweats, never doing your makeup, or whatever else. We’ve locked down our partner, and all the things we did to impress them with our looks go out the window. If you still feel good about yourself, then fine, don’t change a thing!! But, for me, if I let myself go, I stop feeling good about myself.
I have gained a little weight during the time of my relationship, and my relationship isn’t necessarily to blame for that, but I was comfortable and felt like Scott loved me no matter what, so I let my health not be as much of a priority. While it’s great Scott loves me for me, my self esteem has declined because I’ve neglected myself. It definitely impacts our relationship, a negative mental space will do you no good. Make sure you still take the time to care for yourself!
10. Not Spending Quality Time Together
If all your time spent together involves a screen, you may want to rethink some things. It’s fine to be on your phone, watch a movie, or be on a computer, but there should definitely be some time you spend with your significant other that does not involve a screen. Quality time together is really important for your relationship, and screens can decrease the quality. Designate some time together, maybe an hour a night, or whatever works for you, where you put the phones and computers away, and turn the TV off, and just enjoy each others company!
Remember, it’s okay if you have some of these habits. And if you do want to tackle them, don’t feel like you need to break each one today. Self and relationship growth is a slow and steady process, and won’t happen overnight. Strive to make little changes each day, and with time I promise they will add up!