10 Little Things That Can Cause Big Problems In Your Relationship

Whenever someone claims that their relationship is “perfect,” I always cringe a little bit. I believe in love, but I also know that the smallest issue can really ruin a good thing. Before flaunting your new guy around town, the two of you may want to discuss these minor issues to know if you’re compatible.

  1. Bedtime routine Is there anything weirder than staying over at a new guy’s place for the first time? Everything is different. But if you’re feeling uncomfortable — like if he’s a total bed hog and will not give you an inch of the covers — that can be enough to turn you off from him. If this relationship is meant to go the distance, you’ll probably be over there having sleepless, cold nights pretty often, and that just won’t do.
  2. Work shifts It’s important to have a job, but things can be extremely difficult if you have a standard Monday through Friday gig while his hours change up every week. Or, if one of you travels a lot and the other works remotely. The two of you don’t need to do everything together, but not being home at the same time means you’re already working at a disadvantage. You might like him, but if he’s booked every Saturday, you may feel like you’re more of a roommate than a girlfriend.
  3. Pets What do you do if you’re a dog person and he’s not? Pets are a lot like kids — if you want them in your life, they should be a dealbreaker. In other words, you might want to find out sooner rather than later if your new guy is allergic to cats or would mind rooming with them. Remember, he’s not a terrible person if he’s not into animals. He’s just not compatible with you.
  4. Eating habits. The worst thing in the world is a guy who chews with his mouth open. Unless he has a severe dental problem he’s not telling you about, you can chalk it all up to bad manners. Correcting him is also an awkward move to make. You’re both adults, right? If you’re embarrassed to be seen out in public with him, this isn’t a relationship that’ll last all that long.
  5. Your personal definition of a “gift” It’s your birthday and your boyfriend got you a blender. Your other blender broke last week, so you get it, but… really? That’s the gift? You were going to replace it anyway so it doesn’t seem very heartfelt. Gifts are tough to get right sometimes. If you get one that’s more of a necessity than a luxury, try hard to figure out if your guy at least meant well. But if it bums you out, let him know. Otherwise, you’ll be getting a food processor and toaster oven for Christmas.
  6. Not immediately defining the relationship If you two are seeing each other but not “official,” then it’s OK for him to sleep with someone else. That might hurt your feelings and be something that’s hard for you to get over. You need to be honest immediately about how you feel and lock him into a commitment if that’s what both of you want. Otherwise, you’ll feel like you’re starting a great relationship on shaky “did he cheat?” terms.
  7. Your relationship with your parents If you’re the type of person who has an hour-long conversation with your mom every night, you need to let your guy know. Every family functions differently, and what’s normal for you may not be normal for him. If you don’t explain your pattern, he may think you’re too afraid to move on as an adult or are purposely making no time for him. Resentment can add up pretty quickly.
  8. Emojis Emojis are a fun way to jazz up your communication, but they shouldn’t be the only way you communicate. That is, unless you and your boyfriend are both fond of writing like cavemen. It’s easy enough to miscommunicate through text message. Adding emojis may jumble it even more. If he texts something that you interpret to be offensive, maybe actually get him on the phone to explain before getting angry.
  9. Your social media usage You may love snapping a selfie during every trip to the grocery store but he might hate it. If he wants to stay out of your social media stories, you need to respect his wishes. However, he also needs to know if these types of outlets are important for you. Living an Instagram-appropriate life is a turnoff for some guys, so it could end up being a bigger issue than you think.
  10. Being too negative You know when you’re in a funk and just can’t stay optimistic? We all have days like that. Sometimes, however, that can turn into a big personality trait. If you notice that you’re having a hard time saying yes to fun plan ideas, try to cure that bad habit before it becomes a real relationship-killer.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.