5 Bad Relationship Habits That Can Slowly Destroy A Couple

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Humans aren’t perfect; we’ve all had an experience that leads us to agree on that. Our flaws vary in severity and impact, but we have them nonetheless. Pretending like we don’t have flaws would be an injustice not only to ourselves, but to everyone else affected by said flaws.

The most common place that flaws or habits like these can manifest is in relationships, as once we’re in one, we spend a lot of time with that person. Realizing your issues manifest themselves in your relationships and how is the best way to identify them, learn from them, and leave them in the past.

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Love Isn’t Easy

Relationships aren’t meant to always be a walk in the park. There are a huge number of issues that can arise when you spend all of your time with someone, and people tend to be a bit harsh on themselves when those problems do crop up. You’ll never have a flawless relationship run—it’s just not possible.

A silhouette of a couple in front of a sunset, the two making a heart shape with their hands.
Pexels / T.K. Dhamu
Pexels / T.K. Dhamu

That being said, there are some habits that can and should change when it comes to keeping your relationship healthy. These habits are extremely common, so don’t feel bad if you realize one or more apply to you. Acknowledge the problem and work on being better for everyone’s sake!

1. Waiting For Your Partner To Initiate Affection

It’s easy to see where this comes from for those of us who are more anxious-minded. You can love someone with all your heart and want to shower them with affection but are still too nervous about instigating much of anything because what if you do it wrong? Or at a bad time? What if they find it annoying?

A man and a woman kissing, the man holding the woman's chin.
Unsplash / Dainis Graveris
Unsplash / Dainis Graveris

There’s also the societal expectation that men should be doing most, if not all, the initiating within relationships, leaving many women feeling strange at the thought of taking it up themselves. This behavior is also a suppression of one’s own needs in favor only ‘serving’ your partner.

Stopping And Stalling

When you look at it from the other side (of the one who’s not having any affection initiated with them at all) it quickly becomes apparent how much that behavior can hurt.

A man and a woman cuddling in bed.
Unsplash / Toa Heftiba
Unsplash / Toa Heftiba

If you were in a relationship and your partner never instigated any sort of closeness, would you not find that strange? Maybe doubtful thoughts would start rising, leaving you questioning if this person wants to still be in a relationship, or whether they still like you at all.

It can be hard to push through worries and anxieties, but you have to trust that the person you’re dating is dating you because they want to be the subject of your affections. You wouldn’t be together if they didn’t want your love!

2. Changing Yourself To Be More Like Your Partner

Shaping and changing yourself to be more like your partner is an easy sign that something is wrong. You should never, ever feel pressured to change major things about yourself to please a partner, or anyone else for that matter. Who you are is special and sacred, and the only person you should be honoring with your actions is yourself.

A man and a woman in white hugging in front of a pale blue sky.
Unsplash / Priscilla Du Preez
Unsplash / Priscilla Du Preez

If you have a partner that’s attempting to change who you are…Sorry to say it, but they don’t really like you. They like what you can do for them or the person they can make you into. They also might just like control, which is a red flag in its own right.

Futile Mimickry

Alternatively, maybe you’re changing yourself to be more like your partner all on your own. You might be hoping that if you two are more similar, it could foster a deeper connection, or your partner will become more attached to you.

Someone looking at themselves in a thin strip of mirror.
Unsplash / Vince Fleming
Unsplash / Vince Fleming

But you already know, somewhere deep down inside, that this isn’t true. No amount of changing yourself this way will fix issues you might be feeling within a relationship. Either your partner will fall out of love because you’re no longer the person they originally took interest in, or you’ll crack from the pressure of keeping up a facade.

3. Holding Your Partner Accountable For Your Happiness

Of course, a relationship should leave you feeling fulfilled, happy, and safe. You want someone who enriches your life and makes you a better person, facing all the challenges life throws at you by your side.

A couple laughing, the man embracing the woman from behind.
Unsplash / Ave Calvar
Unsplash / Ave Calvar

A partner that only brings you misery and stress is no one you should be staying with, but it’s important to remember that it’s also not your partner’s responsibility to be your sole sense of happiness. That places an unjust amount of pressure on them to constantly be monitoring and serving you lest you get upset without them.

Healthy Independence

You’re both allowed to have lives of your own. Your own friends, different hobbies, time alone, whatever brings you joy outside of them. It’s not fair to either of you to hinge your happiness on the other person, and it will only result in more stress.

A woman painting on a table.
Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio
Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

Any person who presents an ‘I’m the only person that should make you happy’ attitude is waving a giant red flag. They’re honestly helping you by advertising how completely unable they are to handle a healthy relationship with boundaries. Dating someone doesn’t erase the rest of your personality, nor should you let it!

4. Fighting To Be Right

The odd argument within a couple is common, especially when good communication and calm discussions lead it to be resolved in a healthy way. The issues begin arising when these fights become more and more frequent and start for petty reasons.

A man and a woman pointing fingers at each other while arguing.
Unsplash / Afif Ramdhasuma
Unsplash / Afif Ramdhasuma

You don’t always have to be right, and neither does your partner. Expecting that from either of you is unfair, and often a sign that there are some other resentments being felt within the relationship that neither of you feels comfortable discussing.

Better Together

Nothing about the person you’re dating or the dynamic you have should leave you feeling nervous to bring up worries and doubts. A good partner will want to actively work with you to address these thoughts and figure out what you two can do together to fix them.

A couple holding hands on a beach.
Unsplash / Pablo Heimplatz
Unsplash / Pablo Heimplatz

It’s hard to give up a bit of your side in any argument, but relationships are all about cooperation. You can’t wall your partner off and pretend like everything is fine when they’re worried, just like they can’t shut down any concerns you bring up either. Relationships are best when they tackle issues together as one unit and grow from previous worries.

5. Never Letting Go Of The Past

This ties back to the previous point. As said, both arguments and doubts are common in relationships. We’re only human; it’s not only impossible to block out every negative thought we have, but it’s also not healthy!

A man sitting on a road, looking forward.
Pexels / Lazaro Revoledo
Pexels / Lazaro Revoledo

Clinging onto these worries in fear of what they mean for your relationship, or stewing on arguments that ultimately didn’t mean much, all of these types of behaviors lead to grudges being held and resentment cementing its place in your mind. That’s no type of energy to be carrying into the arms of the person you claim to love.

The Freedom Of Release

Especially if those grudges also come with lies. Did you have an argument with your significant other, resolve it, tell them you forgave them, but didn’t? Are you still holding onto that feeling today? Is it doing anything else for you besides fostering more distress?

A woman standing in the sunlight, waving a light shawl behind her.
Unsplash / Aditya Saxena
Unsplash / Aditya Saxena

You owe it not only to your partner, but also yourself to let go of these latent frustrations. Meditate on these points of resentment and figure out their origins. What’s the root of the problem? What are you truly clinging to here? Once you figure that out, you can then brainstorm solutions and clear your mind for good.

Deserving Of Peace

These are just some of the many habits one can pick up while dating, ones they think will help avoid conflict with their partner, but will only spiral ever downwards until the relationship crashes altogether. It’s been repeated a few times now that you owe it to yourself to adopt healthier behaviors in the face of issues like these, and you really do. You deserve a happy, thriving relationship, and practicing any of the habits above is only going to push that happiness further away.

A couple standing together in front of a corn field, holding hands.
Pexels / Brooklynn Hossler
Pexels / Brooklynn Hossler

You also owe it to your partner, someone you’ve chosen to commit to. You don’t always have to be perfect for the person you love, that’s unrealistic and should never be demanded of you, but you do have to learn how you work together. Utilizing each others’ strengths to quell nerves and dispel problems is the best way to mature as a couple.

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Daniel Mitchell-Benoit

Dan is a content writer with three years of experience under their belt, having mostly covered viral media but now shifting toward spirituality and astrology. He’s a strong believer in using one’s beliefs as a means of self-improvement and being in touch with whatever messages the universe has to offer.

He can’t wait to share his insights with a[…]