When a relationship starts to go south, it’s tempting to tell yourself that it’s all the other person’s fault. It can’t be you, can it? Yes, it definitely can. Here are 10 signs that you’re at least partly to blame for your relationships not working out:
You moved into the relationship quickly after your last relationship ended. Did you jump into your current relationship immediately after (or even before) the previous one ended? If you didn’t take enough time between relationships, there’s a good chance you still haven’t processed your role in the demise of your previous one. It’s important to take the time to heal from each relationship and then really think about what you could have done differently to prevent your part in the issues that led to the split.
You’ve had the same issues in multiple relationships. Does it seem like every relationship you’ve ever had has ended up replaying the same fights and resentments over and over again? This is a huge red flag that the problem lies with you. Each relationship should come with its own unique set of ups and downs and arguments. If you find yourself repeating the same pattern of fighting in every relationship, it’s likely that you’re dragging more baggage around with you than you care to admit.
Your friends play devil’s advocate a lot. When you vent to your friends about your relationship woes, their first instinct is to support you and be on your side. That’s what friends are for, after all. If you notice that your friends are trying to explain things from your partner’s point of view or understand where he/she is coming from, pay extra attention. They’re trying to tell you something. The truth is that when close friends stray from their automatic support role, it means there is a good chance that you’re being self-centered or irrational.
You’ve received the same criticism for years. Have you been called selfish, rude, or mean since you were a kid? If you’re hearing the same complaint from romantic partners that you heard from parents, teachers, and siblings it’s time to assess your own personal growth. It’s never everyone else, it’s you. If you don’t want to be hearing the same complaints throughout every relationship for the rest of your life, it’s time to take steps to change what needs changing.
You fight to be right. Fights happen in every relationship. What makes or breaks their effect on the bond between you and your partner is the motivation behind them. Arguments should have only one purpose—to resolve an issue. Once an argument starts to escalate, ask yourself if you’re arguing to resolve the issue at hand in a way that will benefit both parties or if you’re just doing whatever it takes to “win” the fight. Remember that those who win arguments tend to lose their relationships.
You don’t check in with your partner. When’s the last time you sat your partner down and asked them, with no judgment and no defensiveness, how they feel about your relationship in its current form? When is the last time you took the time to ask him or her how they’re really doing? What causes the most stress in his or her life? Your relationship isn’t all about you. There is another person’s life involved too. Show your partner that you can set aside your own resentments and focus on them sometimes.
You’ve never asked yourself what it’s like to be in a relationship with you. Most people go through life and relationships without ever stopping to ask themselves the most important question for your relationship’s well being: What is it like to be in a relationship with me? If your first reaction to this question is to cringe, you know you have some serious work to do. This isn’t to say that your partner doesn’t have issues as well, but there is one important truth to acknowledge when it comes to relationships—you can’t change anyone but yourself. Self-awareness will change not only your romantic relationships but your entire life.
You blame others for your behavior. Do you frequently find yourself using the word “but” in your apologies? “I’m sorry I made a scene but he/she provoked me.” “I’m sorry I called you names but you just made me so angry.” These are not real apologies, point blank. Take full responsibility for your own actions and reactions. You’re in control of your own behavior, regardless of the circumstances.
You don’t value your partner’s opinions. When you and your partner hang out, do you always pick the show you watch? Do you control the radio in the car? Choose where to eat dinner? These may seem like small decisions, and they are, but small things matter in relationships. Ask for your partner’s input, even when it comes to the small stuff. If he or she feels like you don’t care about his or her opinion when it comes to everyday life, you can bet you won’t trusted with his or her feelings on the big issues when they happen either.
You keep one foot out the door. Relationships require commitment. There’s no way around it. If you feel like you’re not really even sure how you ended up in your current relationship, there’s a good chance you’re not fully committed. Be brutally honest with yourself about whether or not you’re interested in keeping your options open. If you constantly have your eyes trained on possible upgrades, your relationship will never work. Get all the way in your relationship or just get out.
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