If I had to create a relationship resume, it would scream “high turn around rate.” Like many things in my life, I approach a new romantic interest with a lot of energy and excitement. Often, however, I get lazy, I bored, I get in bad moods and I lose my ability to maintain my own life let alone a relationship with someone else. It fizzles out. I end up having top start over yet again. My therapist suggested I look for patterns in my past and use them to try and save myself from a future of dying bitter and alone. This is what I’ve found so far.
1. Passive Aggressive Short Worded Texts. While it might sound a little extreme to say sending a “k” to get your partners attention will sabotage the entire relationship, it can plant seeds for future conflict. I’ve never been one for direct communication or confrontation. If something is bothering me, I always seem to expect the other person to “figure it out.” Instead try communicating the issue. Give your partner a chance to change the behavior that is bothering you.
2. Maintaining Contact with Past Flings. I honestly don’t even understand this one myself. If that was the right guy for me wouldn’t we still be together? It ended for a reasons so move the fuck on, right? But it’s easier said than done. Sometimes there is comfort in holding onto that guy from Tinder you went out with a few times and no emotional connection with whatsoever but he had nice eyes. It’s important to remember, however, that the dating apps aren’t going anywhere and if your current relationship doesn’t pan out you can have 10 matches within a minute.
3. Forgetting Your Partner’s Love Language. Each person shows affection in their very own way. While I might think buying gifts is a pointless, waste of money and giving public displays of affection is completely awkward, my partner loves those things. Despite these behaviors not coming naturally to me, I can put a little effort in now and again to meet his needs and hopefully he will do the same for me.
4. Looking for Problems. Despite the fact that I often am the one who ends the relationship, while I’m in it I seem to be expecting betrayal from the other person. I find myself snooping around the person’s apartment, maybe even browsing a few message in his phone. I never really know what I’m looking for, if anything just an excuse to break things off. It usually never uncovers much, other than my own insecurities. I’m learning that sometimes you just have to hope for the best from your partner.
5. Not Letting the Shit Go. It’s easy for me to hold grudges and makes excuses to not let people in. Fortunately, I’m a little more self-aware than I once was. If I’m not ending the relationship over a small issue then I bringing it up is completely unproductive. Having fights is normal. Holding in issues and slowly letting them out every time you get the least bit upset is not.