48 Little Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Relationship
by Irina Gonzalez

Having a perfect relationship is pretty unrealistic since, as you probably already know, neither you nor your partner are perfect people. But that doesn't mean that your relationship should be all fights and no fun. In an ideal world (or at least the one I live in in my head), relationship fights and mistakes are few and far between. In the real world, however, we all make relationship mistakes. That's why it is important to know all of the little mistakes that are ruining your relationship, so that you can hopefully avoid them.

There are a lot of common relationship mistakes that almost everyone makes. I know that I personally have been guilty of at least a handful on the following list and, while I am not proud to admit it, I am proud of the strides I make every day to keep my relationship strong, loving, nurturing, and supportive. Sometimes that means admitting I am wrong (even when I don't want to) and sometimes that means remembering to calmly explain to my partner when I need something instead of just assuming he will figure it out all on his own.

Ultimately, every relationship has their own ups and downs but it's the progress you make together that counts. In the meantime, watch out for these 49 little relationship mistakes so that you're not prematurely dooming your partnership.


You Constantly "Remind" Them

Reminding your partner about important things isn't bad, but it's when you constantly remind them of little things (like whether they did the dishes to your liking or if they paid the bills) that things can get rocky in your relationship, according to Psychology Today. This a common habit that can actually ruin your relationship because your partner may eventually start to avoid you if all of their interactions with you are these negative reminders of what they haven't done yet or what they are doing wrong.


You Start Conversations With A Criticism

According to Mind Body Green, one of the mistakes that can destroy your relationship is when you enter a conversation with a criticism or attack. These types of statements will immediately cause defensiveness and anger in your partner, and you've basically already lost whatever battle (ahem, discussion) you were hoping to start.


You Try To Make Them Change

Possibly the biggest common mistake that people make in relationships is when they try to change their partner, according to Woman's Day. Many people tend to think that if our partners love us, then they will change to please us. Even if your partner does try to change something to please you, it often eventually leads to becoming resentful because they feel that you don't love them enough to accept the real them. You don't want to get into the habit of expecting your partner to change in order to fill your every need.


You Focus On The Negative

According to Cosmopolitan, one of the ways that women sabotage their relationships is when you notice and focus only on the negative things about your partner. For instance, maybe your partner supports your career choices, always brings you flowers when you're feeling stressed out, and tucks you into bed just right when you're sick, but instead of thanking them for all that they do, you spend a good chunk of your time complaining about how they can never do the dishes quite right. Eventually, this behavior will become exhausting to your partner.


You Say That "Nothing Is Wrong"

I have definitely been guilty of sulking or pouting in front of my partner and then, when he finally asked what was wrong, I said "nothing" or "it's fine." Unfortunately, that's a relationship mistake that you need to avoid, according to The Everygirl. Pretending like nothing is wrong and avoiding the situation is helping nobody in the long-term.


You Don't Stand Up For Yourself

According to Lifehack, another common relationship mistake that likely everyone has made at one point or another is when you don't stand up for yourself. You need to be able to express yourself accurately instead of staying silent, not standing up for your needs and wants in a relationship, and eventually letting that built-up resentment present itself in passive aggressive actions.


You Try To Change Your Partner's Money Personality

Everyone knows that financial mistakes can ruin a relationship and trying to change your partner's money personality can be one of the worst, according to Ebony. It's not uncommon for one spouse to be the spender and the other to be the saver, but working hard to make your partner into what you want them to be financially is only going to cause strife in your relationship. Instead, working to understand their spending and saving habits works best.


You Over-Share About Your Relationship On Social Media

According to Her Campus, social media sins can also ruin your relationship. One of those sins is actually when you over-share about your relationship on social media. It's important to respect your partner's boundaries and find out how they feel about PODA (Public Online Displays of Affection). Your partner needs to be on board with any online mushiness that you choose to display, because sometimes endless photos and statuses about them or your relationship can violate your partner's boundaries and privacy.


You Find Fault With Their Family

Not fully loving your partner's family as much as they do can happen, but this is one of the bad habits that could ruin your relationship, according to Greatist. Even if their parents are difficult to handle, having clashing of heads can be hard on your relationship, especially if you are constantly focused on the family's faults and what they are doing wrong. This goes both ways, however, since hearing constantly criticism from their family directed at you can also be a strain on your relationship.


You Text Instead Of Pay Attention To Them

According to the aforementioned Psychology Today article, another common habit that can ruin your relationship is if you are constantly texting instead of talking or doing anything. I get it — phones can be addictive — but it's never a good sign if you are spending the majority of your relationship sitting next to each other, texting with other people instead of communicating with each other. If you are physically with your partner but your attention isn't there, it can be very hurtful, and your partner can take it to mean that they are not important enough to you to have your full, undivided attention.


You Play The Blame Game

It's easy to fall into blaming your spouse for something that made you unhappy but this is a big relationship mistake, according to the aforementioned Mind Body Green article. Not every unwanted situation or outcome is going to be their fault, and playing the blame game is going to quickly deteriorate your bond.


You Feel Like A Failure In Relationships

According to the aforementioned Woman's Day story, another big mistake is feeling like a completely failure in your relationship when things aren't working. After fighting, you may feel as if you are not loveable or that your destiny is playing against you because you will always be a failure in love. But you're not a failure every time you have a fight in your relationship, and feeling like one might actually be the thing that affects your relationship in the long run, since your partner may begin to wonder why you have so many doubts about yourself and your relationship as a whole.


You Become Bored With Your Routine

According to the previously mentioned Cosmopolitan article, a relationship mistake that many make is taking your routines for granted. Humans tend to crave new experiences and, while those routines can be comforting, they can also get tiring in a relationship. That's why it is important to always be working to keep your relationship a little bit more spontaneous in order to keep the flame alive. Don't be afraid to say yes to a weekend escape instead of yet another weekend spent at brunch and with Netflix all day (not that there's anything wrong with that).


You Walk Away

Walking away from a fight might feel like the right thing to do in the moment, but this is a major relationship mistake that you need to avoid, according to the aforementioned The Everygirl article. Sometimes you need space to calm down and clear your head, and that's fine. But by simply leaving without telling your partner that you need to hit the pause button, you are disrespecting them and disrespecting the conversation you are having. That is unfair play and is sure to cause further disagreements down the road.


You Accept Sacrifices As A Relationship Rule

Yes, it's fair to say that a relationship requires work and compromises, but that should never include true sacrifices or else you're making a common relationship mistake, according to the aforementioned Lifehack article. The difference is that a sacrifice requires you to give up something you value more for something that you value less which, if you are constantly doing this in a relationship, will ultimately breed resentment and anger. Never go down this road and never expect your partner to either.


You Created A Joint Account Before You're Ready

In the world of relationship mistakes, the most common may be ones that are due to finances. One financial mishap that can ruin your relationship, according to the aforementioned Ebony article, is having a joint account before you're actually ready for it. Once you move in together, get engaged, or get married, it might make sense to unite your finances. Before you do so, you need to be comfortable with your partner seeing what you spend your money on and visa versa, have some sort of agreement about how you split things up, and have an idea about your individual and shared financial goals.


You Engage In Constant PDA

According to the aforementioned Greatist article, constantly showing off your love for one another with over-the-top PDA (public displays of affection) can make others uncomfortable but it can also be a sign that you are compensating for a lack of real communication in your relationship.


You Forget The Importance Of Play

According to the aforementioned Psychology Today article, another common habit that could ruin a relationship is when couples forget to play. It's true that adult life has a lot of responsibilities, but couples tend to thrive when they have time to "play" together. This includes doing things that are enjoyable and happy and that remind you of the positive and lighter sides of your love for each other. If you're not making play a priority, you might be forgetting a crucial component of your relationship.


You Don't Wait Your Turn To Start Talking

During a fight, it's common for people to interrupt each other and fight for their right to be heard. Although many people do this, it's not a good practice that could actually be damaging your relationship, according to the aforementioned Mind Body Green article. If you're just waiting for the other person to stop talking so that you can start making your point, then you aren't truly listening.


You Don't Feel "Good Enough" For Their Love

According to the aforementioned Woman's Day article, one of the relationship mistakes that many people make is letting the fact that they're not feeling "good enough" influence their relationship. Often, these insecure feelings actually lead to you doing little things to sabotage your relationship and find fault with your partner, because subconsciously you think that it will be easier when they leave you if you begin to view them as not all that great. However, nitpicking at your partner because of your own "not good enough" feelings will ultimately spell doom for your union.


You Aren't Investing In Yourself

You might think that it's counterintuitive to have interests outside of your relationship, but not investing in yourself is absolutely one of those small relationship mistakes you could be making, according to the aforementioned Cosmopolitan magazine. You might think it's fun to be known as "so-and-so's girlfriend," but if you don't have anything to call your own, then you aren't really working to strengthen yourself or your connection to your partner. That's why it's key to keep trying things on your own outside of your relationship.


You Compare Your Partner To An Ex

Your feelings would probably be pretty hurt if your partner ever said, "Well, that's not how my ex used to do it... " You shouldn't play those relationship comparison games either. According to the aforementioned article from The Everygirl, comparing your bae to an ex is a relationship mistake that you need to avoid. While it may be natural for people to make connections to current events due to what they experienced in their past, it can actually be very hurtful for your partner to hear those comparisons out loud. So keep it to yourself and, even better, don't even go there in your mind.


You Rely On Telepathy To Communicate

You've probably thought to yourself, "Well, if they really love me, they will know exactly what is wrong." But that's not a healthy way to conduct your relationship. Unfortunately, both partners can be guilty of this so you need to watch out and make sure that neither of you is assuming that you know what your partner is thinking or that they will know what you're thinking simply because you share a connection. It might be nice if your sweetie knew that you wanted flowers every other week but, unless you tell him that, the reality is that those flowers won't make it home unless you ask for them.


You Keep Money Secrets

According to the aforementioned Ebony article, another relationship mistake is keeping financial secrets from each other. When my partner and I got together, we had to talk about all of the difficult financial things — including our student loans. It's never an easy conversation, but hiding something like a credit card spending habit or a high-interest loan is only going to cause strife in your relationship. Your partner will find out eventually, so why not come clean sooner than later?


You Actively Keep In Touch With An Ex

Want to know a surefire way to start a fight? Tell your current partner about something that your ex recently said. Keeping in touch with an ex can be a huge relationship sin, according to the aforementioned Her Campus article, and that "keeping in touch" doesn't just mean regular phone calls or hang-outs. It can also mean keeping in touch on social media, such as stalking them on Instagram or liking all of their Facebook posts. If you think your partner doesn't notice these things, then you are fooling yourself. This is a relationship mistake that is easily fixed by just nixing your ex habit.


You Fight In Public

According to the aforementioned Greatist article, fighting in public is a bad habit that could be hurting your relationship. Not only does this embarrass the couple in question, but it can also be equally embarrassing for anyone nearby. Leave the awkwardness out of the situation and give your relationship the respect of talking it out in private.


You Always Need To Prove You're Right

Another mistake you could be making in your relationship is having the need to always prove that you're right, according to the aforementioned Mind Body Green article. If you enter into any conversation or disagreement with the need to prove you're right, then you are not really engaging in great communication or, even worse, likely ignoring what your partner is saying because you're only focusing on how to prove your point. It's not a win-win situation unless you work on agreeing, compromising, or at least agreeing to disagree.


You Believe It's Their Job To Make You Happy

According to the aforementioned Woman's Day article, one relationship mistake that you definitely want to avoid is putting all of your needs and wants onto your partner. Believing that it is their job to make you happy will cause a lot of pressure on your relationship, and you might end up feeling as if your partner doesn't love you if they say "no" to something. The truth is, however, that some demands are impossible to fulfill, and some are better fulfilled by you instead of another. Love is based on communicating, not just waiting for someone to come and do something nice for you all the time.


You Let Your Insecurities Get The Best Of You

According to the aforementioned Cosmopolitan article, insecurities plague both men and women, and they can definitely be a relationship mistake that you and/or your bae are making. Letting your insecurities get the best of you means not only being down on yourself but also hurting your relationship if you're always overthinking, stressing out, and possibly even sabotaging yourself.


You Keep Score

Keeping score is a relationship mistake that you want to avoid if you want to have a long-lasting relationship, according to the aforementioned The Everygirl article. There's an episode I love of How I Met Your Mother where awesome couple Lily and Marshall claim not to keep score, but then the audience realizes that they actually do. Although it might be natural to keep a tally of what is going on in your relationship, it can also end up being exhausting and causing resentment. The truth is that you will both make mistakes and you will both do great things, so stop keeping score, apologize, and move on.


You Slack Off As Soon As Possible

According to the previously mentioned Lifehack article, another common mistake that many people make in relationships is slacking off and getting sloppy as soon as you are comfortable in your relationship. While there is nothing wrong with getting as comfy as possible with your significant other, completely ceasing to put in any effort could have adverse effects. If your partner is no longer being as sweet and caring and supportive as they were in the past, or if you're slacking off on planning date night like you used to, your relationship will start to feel stale.


You Invest In "Stuff" Instead Of In The Relationship

Agreeing on your finances is important in a relationship, but even more important is investing time and money into the relationship, according to the aforementioned Ebony article. Material goods can be great for your lifestyle, but focusing too much on what you're buying can take away from your partnership. You especially shouldn't focus on competing with other couples and what they have. Spending a lot of time and energy appearing rich can zap some of the magic from your relationship and, even worse, it can make your partner feel as if you prioritize "stuff" over your love.


You Monitor Your Partner's Social Media Profile

According to the aforementioned Her Campus article, monitoring your sweetie's social media profile is yet another social media-based relationship mistake you might be making. Checking your partner's Facebook wall or liking their Instagram photos is fine, but if you're constantly monitoring what they're doing and whose photos they're liking, that could spell trouble. If there is something that is bothering you about their behavior online, then it is best for you to speak up instead of just continue to be a creeper.


You Forget To Forgive

You can't truly avoid relationship fights because neither of you is perfect and being perfect for each other doesn't really exist. You're human and that's okay. But you can still make a mistake in your question for relationship perfection, and that is never forgiving your sweetie after a small or big fight, according to the aforementioned Greatist article. The truth is that everyone makes mistakes sometimes but holding a grudge isn't going to help your love life in the long run.


You Throw Spiderwebs During Arguments

According to the aforementioned Mind Body Green article, "throwing spiderwebs" is when you talk about things that are way off topic. A great example of this is when you and your spouse are talking about finances and soon enough you're fighting about how often your mother-in-law visits. This is you being caught in a spiderweb, and this can be a relationship mistake that you will want to avoid. It's often a defense mechanism that one or both partners use when an issue is threatening or uncomfortable. Instead, recognize spiderwebbing when a conversation is going off topic and try to bring it back to the main point. You don't want to end up getting caught in a fight that just gets worse over things you already fought about a while back.


You Are Uncomfortable Talking About Sex

According to the aforementioned Cosmopolitan article, if you are uncomfortable talking about sex, then you could be making another relationship mistake. While bedroom compatibility is obviously important to any union, you can't figure out what each other wants and likes unless you are able to talk about it. Sure, it might be awkward at times, but figure out how to do it like an adult and talk about what you want, what they want, and get ready for no more sex-based relationship mistakes.


You Threaten To Break Up

According to the previously mentioned The Everygirl article, another relationship mistake is threatening to break up. Although it happens sometimes, this is quite a dark cloud to loom over a relationship when things get heated. One of the fundamental parts of a mature relationship is remaining committed even in the lowest of times and when you threaten to break up, you undermine your union. Not only that, but you are implying that you are okay with one day abandoning your partner. You're basically saying that you can only love them "until" or "only if," and that is no way to continue a love life. Avoid playing that card at all costs.


You Post Vague Petty Things On Social Media

So you and your honey just had a major blow-out, and you decide to post some vague song lyrics that allude to a scorned lover on Facebook. DO NOT GO THERE. According to the previously mentioned Her Campus article, this is a social media sin that you do not want to make in your relationship. Nobody likes it when you vaguebook, and your partner will definitely not like it if the posts are not-so-secretly about them and the relationship problems you're currently having. In fact, you're likely just adding to the relationship problem.


You Allow Jealousy To Take Over

According to the previously mentioned Greatist article, another bad habit that could be ruining your relationship is letting jealousy get in the way. Although it's perfectly understandable to be jealous at times, completely allowing jealousy to take over frequently could mean that you actually have a bigger relationship problem: relationship insecurity. If you are not feeling secure in your relationship, you need to try to figure out why. Are your relationship insecurities and jealousy founded or unfounded? This may also be a good time to speak with your partner about what is going on and why you may be feeling jealous frequently.


You Push Their Buttons

According to the aforementioned Mind Body Green article, a mistake that could be destroying your relationship is constantly pushing your partner's buttons. It may seem satisfying in the moment, but all you will be doing is driving a further wedge between the two of you.


You Don't Show An Interest In Their Passions

You don't have to be interested in absolutely everything that your partner likes or loves, but it's important to show some interest in the topics that they talk about frequently. Otherwise, you could be committing another relationship mistake, according to the aforementioned Cosmopolitan article. Even if your partner's interest seems trivial to you, it would be best if you give them your full attention while they talk or show you what they like. You don't have to like it too, but you should respect and appreciate that they have passions.


You Do Absolutely Everything Together

It's sweet to be one of those couples that is always joined at the hip... at first. The truth is that this can get very tricky after a while and could end up being another bad habit in your relationship, according to the aforementioned Greatist article. Even the most devoted of couples need alone time (or time spent with just friends). In fact, you shouldn't look at time spent apart as a negative but rather as a drive to enjoy the time you spend together even more.


You Assume They Know What You Need

Repeat after me: Your partner cannot read your mind and therefore they cannot give you what you need if you don't first ask for it. Assuming that they know what you need at any given time, whether that's something as simple as a snack from the cupboard or a very special date night, should never be a part of your coupledom. If you want something, then ask for it. Although your partner may not always be able to say yes, at least they will be well aware of what you want and can strive to give it to you in the future.


You Put Everyone Else Ahead Of Your Partner

Nobody, and I mean nobody, should ever come before your partner, according to the aforementioned Cosmopolitan article. If there is someone whose opinion or time you value more than your partner's, then you could be making another relationship mistake. Your partner is (presumably) your partner for a reason, and they deserve to be your priority. Not your only priority, of course, but very, very, very important nonetheless.


You Lie To Yourself Or To Your Partner

According to the aforementioned Greatist article, another bad habit that could turn into a relationship mistake is when a person lies to themselves or to their partner. These could be little white lies that eventually become bigger lies or it could even be lying to yourself about what you truly want in life. If your partner never wanted kids and you convince yourself that this is what you want too, then your relationship could be doomed from the start. However, it doesn't have to be a huge lie like this to impact an otherwise happy union. Be clear on what you want, don't lie to yourself, and definitely don't lie to your partner either.


You Roll Your Eyes

According to the aforementioned Mind Body Green article, rolling your eyes is a huge sign of disrespect and could spell relationship trouble. The same goes for head-shaking or finger-pointing, things that will inevitably lead to a fight. Your nonverbal signs are just as important as the things you say, so be careful not to do things that will cause your partner strife.


You Involve Others In Your Problems

According to the aforementioned Cosmopolitan article, involving others in your relationship problems is a big no-no. When you tell your friends or your sister or your mom about what is happening between you and bae, you are likely spinning things in your favor. And although that is not unusual, you have to ask yourself: What happens when the fight is over and you're back to normal? Your friends or family might still see your partner as this problematic person and that could mean a lot of ongoing issues between the person you are in a relationship with and the other people in your inner circle. I'm not saying don't ever divulge, but be careful in how and when you talk about the problems you may be having.


You Forget Why You're In This

According to the previously mentioned Greatist article, one last relationship mistake that you definitely do NOT want to make is forgetting why you're in this in the first place. It's easy to get to a point in your relationship where you might accidentally take your love for granted or, even worse, not remember why you're in this relationship in the first place and what you want out of it. While being with someone for the wrong reasons is a slippery slope, another disaster is completely forgetting what it is that made you fall in love with them in the first place.

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