There’s no big secret when it comes to forming a healthy relationship with your partner — it all boils down to being smart about love. While every couple is bound to have their own crap to work through, you can make it easier on yourself by never falling into these 7 relationship traps:
- The idea that someone has to “wear the pants.” Stop worrying so damn much about who is in control — it honestly shouldn’t matter. Besides, you should be working as a team, and there are no MVPs here. No one needs to be the boss. No one’s in charge. Unless you both realize that, your chances at happiness are slim to none.
- Keeping score. Who does more work? Who puts in a bigger effort? If you’re too focused on who does what and when, you’ll never be able to actually enjoy the relationship. Sometimes you’ll do more work, sometimes he will. Life isn’t fair every second of every day, but as long as you’re equally committed to one another, you should trust that it all evens out.
- An eye for an eye. You already know it makes the whole world blind, so you’re not going to blind your relationship too. Even in a healthy relationship, you’re both bound to make mistakes, but trying to get back at each other is a waste of time. Revenge is bittersweet, but forgiveness will always be sweeter.
- Trying to change each other. Healthy relationships are about growth, not change. You should love your partner for who they are, not who you want them to be. Too many people go into relationships hoping that eventually their partner will change for them, but that’s not their problem, it’s yours. You can’t fall in love with a person’s potential. You have to love each other for who you are now, and that support will help you grow together.
- Thinking that someone is always right or wrong. Most of the time, you’re both wrong and you both need to apologize. Maybe you didn’t cause the wrong that started the fight, but if you made a low blow when the argument was heated, then your partner deserves an apology too. You should care more about each other’s feelings and less about who was right and who was wrong.
- Hoping your partner will have all the answers. You’re both going through life the best you can. Despite all those self-help books, no one has all the answers or secrets to life, not even your partner. You can’t depend on them to make you happy — that’s your job. You find joy in yourself first, and then you find joy in each other.
- Worrying only about their wants and needs. It’s important to care about your partner’s happiness, but you have to care about your own happiness too. You can’t lose sight of who you are, because that’s the person your partner fell in love with. Love should never be selfish, but it also can’t be selfless. You both need to give and take. Finding that balance is healthy relationship 101.