Common Mistakes You’re Making That Drive Your Partner Crazy

Common Mistakes You’re Making That Drive Your Partner Crazy

Even the best, most compatible partners get on each other’s nerves sometimes, especially when they’ve been together for a long time. However, a lot of these minor annoyances can be avoided altogether if you stop doing these things. Sorry, but they’re probably driving your partner nuts!

1. Being obsessed with your phone

We all love our screens, but constantly being glued to your phone during quality time is a major buzzkill. Put it down, be present, and make your partner feel like your priority (because they are!). Your Instagram feed can wait; real-life connection is more important. Plus, you might even discover they’re way more interesting than TikTok.

2. Not Listening (Like, Really Listening)

woman yawning while man is talking

Nodding along while mentally making your grocery list doesn’t count. When your partner talks, listen to what they’re saying. Ask questions, make eye contact, and try to understand their perspective. Feeling heard is crucial in relationships, so ditch the distractions and focus on what they’re saying. Who knows, you might even learn something new about them!

3. Being a Debbie Downer

Focus on mixed race irritated young female sitting in cafeteria on speed dating with boring male rear view. Unsuccessful unlucky romantic date failure, bad first impression and poor companion concept

Constant negativity is really draining.  It’s okay to vent sometimes, but try to balance it out with positive things too. Your partner wants to be a source of support, but it’s draining if you only focus on the bad stuff. Celebrate the small wins and find things to be grateful for together. Plus, a positive attitude is just way more contagious than grumpiness.

4. Taking Them for Granted

It’s easy to slip into complacency in long-term relationships. Never stop appreciating your partner! Say “thank you”, let them know how much they mean to you, and do those little acts of kindness that show you care. Even small gestures go a long way in making your partner feel valued. Don’t be afraid to get a little cheesy with it – sometimes it’s the thought that counts most.

5. Giving the Silent Treatment

Stonewalling your partner during conflict is super unhealthy. If you need a breather to cool off, say so! But address the issue instead of bottling it up. Silent treatments lead to resentment and make it impossible to resolve anything. Remember, you’re a team, and teams talk things out.

6. Not Pulling Your Weight

Whether it’s chores, parenting, or emotional labor, relationships are about teamwork. If your partner feels like they’re carrying all the weight, it’s gonna cause issues. Talk about a fair division of responsibilities, and actually stick to it! Sharing the load makes life easier for both of you.

7. Nitpicking Every Little Thing

We all have our quirks. Constantly criticizing minor stuff makes your partner feel like they can’t do anything right. Let the small stuff slide, and focus on the bigger picture of your relationship. Do they make you laugh? Are they supportive? Unless their quirks are actually harmful, save your energy. Besides, you probably have some weird quirks too!

8. Bringing Up the Past

Young couple arguing at home needs couples therapy

Dredging up old fights in the heat of the moment is unfair and solves nothing. If you’ve genuinely forgiven them for something, don’t weaponize it in new arguments. Focus on finding solutions in the present, not rehashing history. After all, you can’t move forward if you’re constantly looking back.

9. Comparing Them to Other People

Woman apologizes to her friend after fight

Whether it’s your ex or that super fit person at the gym, comparisons are hurtful. It makes your partner feel inadequate. Focus on what you love about them, not how they measure up to some arbitrary standard. Everyone’s got their own awesome thing going on – celebrate your partner’s uniqueness!

10. Letting Outside Stress Bleed In

It’s normal to bring work stress or other anxieties home sometimes. But try to compartmentalize as best you can. Don’t let a bad day turn you into a grumpy mess with your partner. If you need to vent, do it, then try to shift gears and be present with them. They deserve your best self, not the stressed-out version.

11. Forgetting “Me Time”

Frustrated couple, headache and fight on sofa in divorce, disagreement or conflict in living room at home. Man and woman in toxic relationship, cheating affair or dispute on lounge couch at house

Spending every second together is a recipe for codependency. Nurture your own hobbies, interests, and friendships. A little healthy space makes your time together even sweeter. Plus, having your own thing gives you stuff to actually talk about when you come back together!

12. Expecting Them to Be a Mind Reader

Mature married couple fighting, blaming and accusing each other, having relationship problem at home. Middle-aged man and his wife on verge of divorce or separation, arguing indoors

They can’t know your needs if you don’t tell them! Be clear about what you want, whether it’s more quality time or help with chores. Hoping they’ll magically figure it out leads to disappointment. Clear and honest communication is always the best policy.

13. Invalidating Their Feelings

“Don’t be so sensitive” or “You’re overreacting” are phrases that shut down communication fast. Even if you don’t understand their emotions, respect that they’re feeling them. Try to empathize, and focus on listening instead of dismissing them. Let them know you’re there for them, even if you don’t have all the answers.

14. Always Having to Be Right

Winning every argument isn’t worth damaging the relationship. Learn to compromise, admit when you’re wrong, and prioritize connection over always needing the last word. Relationships aren’t about keeping score. It’s about working together towards solutions. And sometimes, agreeing to disagree is the solution.

15. Not Being Intimate Enough

Intimacy isn’t just about sex (though that’s important for many!). It’s also about touch, affection, and those deep conversations that build closeness. Don’t let life get in the way of connecting on a deeper level. Schedule time for it if you have to! A little effort goes a long way in keeping the spark alive.

16. Taking Your Frustrations Out on Them

Conversation, argument and interracial couple in conflict in a park for communication about divorce. Angry, fight and black man and woman speaking about a relationship problem on a date in nature

Your partner shouldn’t be your emotional punching bag. If you have underlying anger or resentment, address it in healthy ways – like therapy or journaling. They deserve your kindness, even when you’re feeling stressed about other things. And hey, wouldn’t you appreciate the same courtesy?

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Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.