How to NOT Ruin a Relationship

Perhaps your relationship has taken a sharp turn and veered off into the mundane and even distant. Maybe it’s turned a bit sour. You and your partner may not be communicating as well as you used to. Hence, you might be feeling like you have ruined your relationship. 

Before you jump to conclusions, know that all relationships have their ups and downs. We are imperfect and are bound to do or say something that will upset our partner. A heartfelt apology and effort at reformation can remedy any slip-up. If, however, you feel confused about where your relationship stands or if you feel like you may have completely ruined it, first talk to your partner. Then, maybe read through this article. I cannot guarantee that it will fix all your mistakes and clear your acne, but, hopefully, it will help. 

I offer you a few tips to help you prevent any bumps on the road to relationship bliss.  

  • Adjust your expectations. 

I once read that romanticism is necessary for falling in love but not very practical when it comes to being in love. To be in love with someone is to accept them for who they are and be expectant and supportive of however they change. When we fall in love, oftentimes, we come to a relationship with preset ideas of the role that other person will play. We make them guardians or caretakers of our emotions or past hurt. We pray that our partner will anticipate our needs, act selflessly and solely in our best interest, and make everything better. Though the idea sounds romantic, it is impossible. You cannot make someone else responsible for your emotions or actions. The purpose of being in a relationship is not just to be taken care of, but it is to grow in tandem in the shared experience that is love. 

If you notice that you place undue responsibility on your partner or vice versa, try to become aware of that behavior. Notice during what moments you are most likely to do that. Ask yourself why and try to work on it on your own or with a therapist. 

  • Be present. 

You can be physically in a relationship without actually being in a relationship. Being is a verb. That means that you need to engage, support, counsel, advise, and listen to your partner to be in a relationship. Nowadays, it is hard to be in a relationship because society encourages individualism. In a relationship, especially a long term one, it is easy to lose sight of our partners. We become so wrapped up in our jobs, our needs, our entertainment that we have forgotten how to care about others and eventually become negligent towards our partner. 

Next time they talk to you, make eye contact, and give them your undivided attention. Be curious about what they are saying and what they mean with what they are saying. If you notice your mind wandering, check-in to ask yourself where you are. Share it with your partner if it is bothering you. That way, you both can tackle the problem together. 

  • Tackle insecurity.

Insecurities can leak into your relationship and affect it by causing isolation and discord between you and your partner. Insecurities can lead you to doubt yourself or your partner and therefore unleash a set of harmful behaviors, such as controlling, obsessive, uncommunicative behaviors. The best way to deal with insecurity is to find the source. If it is internal, it is best to work it out with a therapist or another person who is an emotional resource for you. Though your partner should be supportive and caring, it is best if they do not act as your therapist. Unloading that emotional baggage on your partner can put a strain on your relationship because it is likely that the two roles will conflate. 

  • Honor your partner. 

Healthy relationships are built on honesty and trust, both with yourself and your partner. In practicing honesty and trust, you honor your partner. You both know and understand each other, which allows both of you to accept and support each other as you are and as you can be. You both listen to each other with a higher degree of understanding and empathy. When you are honest to yourself and your partner about your values, vision, and struggles, you create an environment of trust. You both give each other room to grow and mature in the relationship. 

Another way to honor your partner is by making your relationship a priority and showing them that it is. You create a safe environment for your partner and commit to the relationship’s growth and maturity. 

Cultivating a healthy relationship is a journey. Though it may seem easy for some, they all require work. I hope that this article has been useful in letting you know how to keep your relationship strong. 

Let us know in the comments below what point you found the most useful. 

Take care! 

Sources:

Brand, Russell. “How To NOT Ruin A Relationship! | Russell Brand.” YouTube, YouTube, 17 Sept. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NpRB8lOGF0+https%3A%2F%2Fpsych2go.net%2Fwhy-do-good-relationships-turn-bad%2F. 

Brand, Russell. “How To NOT Ruin A Relationship! | Russell Brand.” YouTube, YouTube, 17 Sept. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NpRB8lOGF0+https%3A%2F%2Fpsych2go.net%2Fwhy-do-good-relationships-turn-bad%2F. 

Nadrich, Ora. “How To Be More Present (And Happy) In Your Relationship.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 30 Aug. 2013, www.huffpost.com/entry/staying-present-in-relationships_b_3487919. 

PowerofPositivity. “10 Behaviors That Ruin Relationships (And How To Avoid Them).” Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude, 11 July 2020, www.powerofpositivity.com/avoid-behaviors-ruin-relationships/. 

Schanfarber, Justice. 7 Tips for Practicing Presence in Your Relationship. 12 May 2020, www.justiceschanfarber.com/how-to-be-present-in-your-relationship/. 

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