1. Talking about the past.
It’s good to have everything out in the open, to be clear about your past whatever it may be, but to focus on the past and continue to focus on the past can be damaging to a relationship. The person you were before you met your partner is crucial to the person you are now that you’re with them, and you were someone before you met them, someone different. In a relationship you grow together, and before you were growing alone. Be honest about the past, but don’t worry about it.
2. Ignoring or putting off conflict.
Couples may think it’s better to avoid conflict, but sometimes that builds tension rather than minimizing it. If you’re not addressing issues that are bothering you, those issues will manifest themselves in your relationship one way or another. You can’t hold everything in, and you shouldn’t have to. Communication is crucial, and if you can’t talk about the conflicts in your relationship, or address them in any way, then you’ll never find their resolution.
3. Thinking you can change your partner.
You know the saying about the cheetah and its spots? Yeah. You shouldn’t have to want your partner to change let alone expect them to. Date someone you love fully. It’s okay to have differences, it’s okay to dislike certain qualities about them, but disliking a quality and not being able to accept it are two very different things. You shouldn’t try to change the things about your partner you can’t accept. If you can’t accept them, than that’s that.
4. Too much criticism and too little praise.
Criticism is fine when it’s constructive, but when you’re only pointing out what your partner does wrong, and never what they do right, it’s exhausting for the both of you. As simple as it sounds, the way you say something truly does matter. Instead of constantly harping on your partner’s negatives, highlight their positives. Criticism can often be interpreted as nagging, and no one likes to be nagged.
5. Never having time apart.
Time spent apart is not always a bad thing. Even though you’re a ‘couple,’ you are still two individual human beings, and you can still do things for yourself and not the other, or with the other. It’s all about balance, not everything you do has to be together.
6. Having too much time apart.
Again, it’s all about balance. While occasional time apart is healthy, too much time apart can create a gap that is just too wide. If you begin to forget all of the things you love about your partner, and all of the things you love to share with your partner, it might be because you’re not with them enough.
7. Forgetting to make each other feel special.
Your relationship feels comfortable, which is fantastic, but don’t allow comfort to make you lazy. Allow comfort to enable you to do things for each other you were too scared or timid to do before. You’re not wavering on the lines of ‘too attached,’ or ‘obsessed’ like you were when you first started dating each other, so do things that make you both feel special, feel wanted, and appreciated. The little things matter. The little things are reminders of who you both are, and why you fell in love.
8. Keeping little secrets.
There are some secrets that are better kept than told right? Not necessarily. Eventually secrets have a way of making themselves known, and no matter how small or insignificant you think a secret is, it’s still something you’re hiding from your partner or quite frankly lying about. The best way to build trust is to be open and honest, and even though you think you’re doing everyone a favor by keeping these said secrets, you’re only building your guard higher and distancing yourself that much further. Let your partner in, allow them to trust you by showing you can and should be trusted.