Hey, Psych2Goers! Hope you’re having a wonderful day today. Let’s just be real for a second. Relationships. Are. Hard. It takes a lot of work and, sometimes, a lot of practice to get things right in a relationship since they’re all different, but are there some universal no no’s that we should all be aware of? YES!! No matter how old, new, strong, or weak your relationship is, there are many habits that we form that can harm a relationship. Let’s avoid that whole minefield all together. May we present, 6 habits that can harm any relationship!
If you can relate to any of these signs, please do not take this feedback as an attack on your character. This article was meant to be a self-improvement guide for those of you who have been feeling a little stuck in your own relationships.
#1: Not having clear and open communication
Communication is arguably one of, if not, the most important thing in a relationship. It’s not just about the talking though. It’s the listening and the reaction. Do you and your partner know that you can come to each other with anything? Do you both talk about what’s going on in your personal lives? This is a sign of a strong relationship. However, if you’re scared to tell your partner something because of their potential reaction, you hide or lessen something negative, or even not telling them something because you assumed they knew, these are all signs of poor communication skills. This also robs the relationship of the bonding experience.
#2: Projecting your feelings on to your partner
Alright. I’ll out myself on this one. I am very, very guilty of this. Take something as simple as dinner. I usually do the cooking in the house. If I had a rough day, I look for a quick dinner or a takeout option. If he were to ask me what I want to do for dinner, I automatically assume he wants me to cook because takeout is a shortcut when we have stuff at home. (I know. I just sounded like everyone’s mom.) In reality, my fiancé doesn’t know how I’m feeling or if I was planning on cooking or not. I project all my thoughts and feelings onto him when he just wanted to know what’s for dinner. Thinking for your partner and not allowing that communication can severely damage any relationship.
#3: Having boundary issues
Say it with me. Boundaries are important in relationships. When it comes to boundaries, you want to use the three C’s: Clear, Consistent, and Communicated. Let’s say you do an artsy hobby and don’t like it when people touch your supplies. Is the boundary clear? Is it all supplies or just the paints? Is this boundary consistent? Do you not want your partner to touch the supplies ever, or is it just whenever you feel upset at them? Is the boundary communicated? Did you ask them politely to not touch your supplies, or are you assuming they know?
Now, part two to this one. Once a clear, consistent, and communicated boundary has been set by someone, show that person you respect and care about them by respecting their boundary. They don’t like me touching their supplies. I won’t touch the art supplies. If I need supplies for a project, I can ask if they would mind me using something. If they do, I can get my own. If there’s a concern about a boundary, see #1. 😉
#4: Showing little to no affection
Affection and intimacy are incredibly important for a relationship. Now, this isn’t only physical. There are many ways to show affection and to be intimate. Some appreciate acts of service, gratitude, the more traditional physical displays of affection, etc. No matter what your partner’s love language is, it’s very important to show them you care in their way. If your partner’s love language is acts of service, maybe make them a special lunch with a cute note to take with them instead of giving hugs and kisses. If you’re giving someone hugs and kisses whose love language isn’t PDA, they will not see this as sweet. They’ll probably see this as annoying or crossing a boundary.
Need to know how to work with your partner’s love language? Watch 5 Ways To Work With Your Partner’s Love Language.
#5: Taking your partner for granted
When relationships begin, we all like to put our best foot forward. Maybe you keep your room a little cleaner, or maybe you cook a little more to show off your skills. However, as the relationship progresses, you might notice you do all the cooking and cleaning. Your partner? They receive all of the benefits of the work you’re doing, and they’re quick to say when something isn’t done. This is a huge red flag that your partner takes you for granted. Now, all those little things you did to show them you care are draining and feel required.Relationships should always be give and take where you’re both contributing based on your personal interests and skills. This is a sure-fire way to suck the happiness out of a relationship.
#6: Not giving each person enough alone time
Have you ever heard someone say that you can’t pour from an empty cup? What about “you can’t love someone else until you learn to love yourself”? Yeah, it’s cliché, but unfortunately, the cheesy sayings are true. When you get into a new relationship, it feels good to be with someone, to have someone to do stuff with, and just having someone around, but that can’t be every single moment. In order to be there for your partner, you need to make sure your battery is at 100%. This means making time for your friends and your hobbies along with making time for your significant other. Too much together time can make it easy to get bored or tired of someone which can ruin any bond.
Did any of these points resonate with you? Did any remind you of your partner? Maybe you couldn’t relate to these (which might be a good thing). I hate to admit it, but there’s a lot of things on this list that I need to work on. Let us know what you took from this info in the comments below! As always, keep your eye on Psi for more Psych2Go content!
Want to get more information about what behaviors can ruin a relationship? Check out 10 Behaviors That Destroy Relationships.
The references used in and to compose this article are listed below.
Blair, O. (2017, March 17). The everyday things that could be destroying your relationship. The Independent. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/everyday-behaviors-relationship-harm-love-couples-expert-relate-counselling-a7634631.html
Firestone, L. (2016, August 8). 7 behaviors that ruin a relationship. Psychology Today. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compassion-matters/201608/7-behaviors-ruin-relationship
Relationships Australia. (1970, May 31). Five things that affect relationships and how to manage them. Five Things That Affect Relationships and How to Manage Them | Relationships Australia Queensland. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from https://www.raq.org.au/blog/five-things-affect-relationships-and-how-manage-them