When you’re in a relationship, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what makes it work. Communication, honesty, and quality time are all components of a healthy relationship. But what if all of those boxes are checked, and your relationship still takes a nose dive? Love takes a lot of work and, unfortunately, there are some subtle things that hurt your relationship.
In the beginning of your relationship, you’re wandering around in a haze of happiness. You see your partner as the perfect person, which makes giving them all you affection and attention somewhat effortless. But at some point your priorities shift, and things like work and laundry take precedence over your relationship. Before you know it, you and your SO are in a never-ending battle, and it won’t be long before one of you is packing your items in a box (preferably, to the left). Knowing what makes your relationship work is huge, but knowing what damages it is just as important. Before your love life turns into a Beyonce song, take note of the things that may be hurting your relationship and try to change them before it’s too late.
1. Losing All Mystery
If both you and your partner are totally fine peeing with the door open, then that’s great! But losing all the mystery in your relationship can make it stale fast. And this doesn’t just apply to hygiene habits. Even though knowing every fact about your SO will comes in handy should you appear on The Newlyweds reboot, there is something to be said about learning something new every day.
2. Keeping Score
Unless you’re kicking *ss at putt-putt, there’s absolutely no reason to keep score in your relationship. Whether you’re reminding your partner about how many times you did the dishes this week or keeping track of the amount of money spent on birthday gifts, it’s a bad idea. It makes you look like a petulant child and can lead to unnecessary fights.
3. Eating the Wrong Foods
No, your love of PB&Js won’t drive a wedge between you and your partner. (Unless they’re allergic to peanuts, in which case you may want to cut back for their sake.) But certain foods could play a role in relationship tension. A study done by Ohio State University found that couples who ate more high-fat foods were more stressed during sensitive conversations with their partners. So if you find that your SO has become a bit irritating lately, you may want to cut back on the cheeseburgers and curly fries.
4. Spending Too Much Time Together
Just because you want to spend every moment with your partner doesn’t mean you should. Not only does constant time together make your relationship stale, it also cuts into time with your friends, your partner’s friends, and your alone time. Remember, your partner should be part of your life – not the whole thing.
5. Ignoring Your Partner’s Random Quips
You know to pay attention to your partner when having a deep conversation, but what about when you’re just chatting? By ignoring the little things your partner says, even if it’s just a comment on the weather, your partner could feel that they aren’t important or worth your time.
6. Texting When You Should Be Talking
A 2013 study by the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy found that 82 percent of individuals text their partners multiple times a day – and it was usually to argue or apologize. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and start fighting over the phone, but try not save this for face-to-face interactions. Misreading texts and assuming a certain tone of voice can make you perceive the argument in a totally different way than your partner did. Put down the phone and wait until you two are together to hash it out. (Bonus: If you fight in person, there’s a higher possibility of make up sex. Just saying. . .)
7. Not Speaking Up Enough
There are going to be times when you’re unhappy with your partner. That’s totally normal. But if you’re afraid to tell them when things feel off, your relationship won’t last. You need to be comfortable talking with your SO about issues before resentment builds.
8. Complaining Instead of Praising
Your partner left the toilet lid up again, but they replaced the toilet paper roll. Which one are you more likely to bring up to them? Focusing on your complaints can make your partner feel like they’re never doing anything right. Instead, show your appreciation for all of the things the do right, and watch as they do more things to make you happy (like finally remembering to put the lid down.)
9. Facebooking, Tweeting, Instagramming. . .
Are your social media habits hurting your relationship? In short, yes. Whether you use Twitter to keep tabs on your partner or use Snapchat to flirt with a former flame, there are many ways social media hurts your relationship. Take a break from the digital world and focus on the real world before your partner disappears from both.