One of the biggest threats to a relationship is when one or both of you stop trying. We all know the honeymoon period where you’re trying to impress each other by putting your best foot forward isn’t going to last forever. Once the butterflies in your stomach start to fade, you’re entering a new phase in your relationship where you’re both comfortable being yourselves. But if you aren’t careful, you could get too comfortable and start to lose sight of why you’re in a relationship to begin with. It doesn’t always have to be a huge blowout that ends things; sometimes it’s a bunch of little things that wouldn’t be a big deal on their own, but take their toll before you even realize it.
Holding grudges. Forgiveness is important not only in a relationship, but in all parts of life. People make mistakes, and if you can’t let things go even after they apologize and plenty of time has gone by, you’re going to have a hard time ever being happy.
Taking every little thing personally. Sometimes things have nothing to do with you. If you insist on turning every little fight into more than it needs to be, the stress of constantly walking on egg shells is eventually going to become overwhelming.
Being unnecessarily critical. No one is perfect. There’s nothing wrong with making suggestions if you’re trying to help your boyfriend through something, but constantly scrutinizing and judging his every move is eventually going to become grating. No one wants their character to be questioned at every turn, and it’s unlikely he’ll put up with your negative attitude for long.
Always passing the blame. Being able to say you’re sorry requires you to be able to admit when you did something wrong. If you can’t do that, you’re essentially saying you’re always right and he’s always wrong, which is just never the case. It’s not a competition, so losing a couple of battles along the way isn’t the end of the world.
Subtly trying to change each other. If you can’t seem to accept each other how you are, flaws and all, then maybe you aren’t right for each other. Yes, people do change sometimes, but it has to be because they want to, not because you forced them into it with tiny insults, and pushy “well meaning” suggestions.
Laughing at each other’s expense. Lighthearted teasing might seem like no big deal… until it starts to take a malicious, hurtful turn. It might be harmless at first, but we often don’t realize when we’ve taken it too far, and end up saying things we regret.
Pretending to listen. It’s going to be pretty obvious if you’re constantly asking questions and then tuning out the answer. You’ll both start to feel like nothing you say really matters, and you’re just going through the motions of being in a relationship.
Valuing honesty over tact. While there’s no doubt that honesty in a relationship is extremely important, so is being in touch with your partner’s feelings. If you know he’s insecure about gaining a few pounds, you probably shouldn’t tease him about it. No one likes their flaws to be constantly pointed out, so know when to keep your mouth shut.
Not making quality time for each other. Notice I said quality, not quantity. The sheer number of hours you spend in each other’s presence is a lot less important than what you do while you’re together. If all you do is small talk over dinner, watch TV in silence, then go to bed, you might as well have spent the night alone.
Making each other your entire life. You can’t get enough of each other, I get it. But you need to have a life outside of your relationship or you’ll end up way too dependent on each other. You’ll wake up one day with no friends, no hobbies, and no boyfriend once he realizes he needs more than just a relationship to be happy.
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