8 deeply unhealthy relationship habits most of us ignore, according to psychology

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Love has a powerful influence on how we perceive our partner and our relationship as a whole.

When you’re madly into your boo, you walk around wearing rose-colored glasses.

You tend to overlook red flags and minimize issues because you’re too focused on your feelings, too eager to maintain the connection, or too invested to see things objectively.

Whatever the reason may be, get your head out of the sand before the partnership turns toxic.

Here are 8 deeply unhealthy relationship habits most of us ignore, according to psychology.

This is the stuff they don’t teach you about in rom-coms.

1) Lack of communication

Giving each other the silent treatment when mad isn’t the healthiest way to navigate conflict.

Psychologists point out that this lack of communication is in fact a manipulation tactic that leaves relationship issues unresolved.

Rather than openly discussing your problems, you both ignore each other until one of you caves.

You stop texting, you withdraw affection, you give each other the cold shoulder.

This only creates distance and fuels resentment over time.

A much healthier approach to conflict?

Sit down and talk things through, regardless of how uncomfortable the conversation may be.

If you want your partnership to last, it’s the only way to go.

2) Passive-aggressive behavior

The silent treatment isn’t the only form of manipulation some couples resort to in order to indirectly express their displeasure with each other.

If one of you (or both of you!) is passive-aggressive, you need to work on your communication skills.

Passive-aggressive behavior can take many shapes and forms:

  • Making sarcastic remarks or jokes at your partner’s expense (not to be confused with teasing, which is fun)
  • Agreeing to something but then failing to follow through or sabotaging the outcome
  • Guilting your partner into doing what you want them to do (“if you cared about me, you would do that”)
  • Indirectly criticizing your partner in a subtle way (with a backhanded compliment, for example)

Passive aggression undermines the foundation of a healthy relationship by eroding trust and intimacy.

You should work together to solve your problems.

If you turn against each other, you don’t make a great team.

3) Neglecting self-care

Whenever I date someone I like, I get a little lost in them.

All of a sudden, I become consumed with the idea of “us,” and I neglect other aspects of my life.

I have an unhealthy tendency to put my partner on a pedestal and I want to spend as much time as I can with them.

Also, I want to make them happy, so I prioritize their wants over my needs.

It’s something I’m working on, but change doesn’t come naturally to me.

Are you in the same boat?

According to psychology, neglecting self-care in favor of caring for others can lead to codependency.

It also makes you feel empty and resentful.

You can’t be 100% present in the relationship if your tank is empty.

Remember that both partners’ needs are equally important.

You should both feel happy and fulfilled.

4) Comparing your relationship with others

Another deeply unhealthy relationship habit most of us ignore is comparing our relationships with others:

  • We are envious of friends who appear to have a more exciting or fulfilling relationship
  • We become anxious when our relationship moves too fast or too slow when compared to others in our immediate circle
  • We obsessively scroll through social media and compare our partner’s actions to those of others
  • We seek relationship advice from online columns or friends instead of trusting our intuition
  • We make decisions in our relationship based on what we perceive to be “normal” or socially acceptable, even when it’s not what we want

Upward comparisons in particular can have negative consequences on your relationship, according to psychology.

It’s an easy way to foster unrealistic expectations about what a “perfect” or “ideal” relationship should look like.

In reality, there’s no such thing – and what works for others may not necessarily work for you.

Something to keep in mind whenever you feel “less than” other couples.

5) Taking each other for granted

Being sure about another person’s commitment makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

So much so that, with time, you begin to put less effort into the relationship.

Your partner will be there no matter what, so why not invest your energy in other areas of your life?

Simply put, because you’re playing with fire.

When you take your partner for granted, you’re less likely to remind them of how much they enrich your life.

This can negatively affect their self-esteem and make them question your commitment, according to psychology.

I’m sorry to confirm what you probably already know, but relationships take work.

You have to regularly prioritize each other and make an effort to spice things up every now and then. 

You should also ensure you both know you’re valued and cherished by the other.

Otherwise, what was once a fire burning bright will fizzle into glowing embers.  

6) Keeping score

While keeping score may seem harmless or fair, it can have negative consequences for the health of the relationship in the long run.

Psychologists point out that true partnerships are based on mutual generosity and trust.

When you track who gives and receives more, you foster competition and dissatisfaction.

You act like you’re on opposite sides when you should work together to reach a common goal.

Moreover, keeping score can lead to power struggles within the partnership, especially if one party starts to collect wrongs as leverage.

Relationships aren’t always 50/50.

If one person is struggling with something, the other can pick up the slack.

That’s the whole point of having someone to lean on.

7) Expecting your partner to meet your every need

A single person can’t meet all your emotional needs, according to psychology.

While being in a rewarding relationship feels wonderful, you must tend to all other areas of your life as well.

Believing that your partner is your other half who should make you feel whole sets an impossibly high standard for the relationship.

If you make them your sole reason for joy, you set yourself up for frustration and disappointment.

A much healthier approach is to maintain emotional closeness with your boo, but continue to cater to your interests, friends, and career.

Plus, relying on your significant other for everything leaves you vulnerable to relationship issues.

If you and your partner go through a rough patch or break up, you’re left with no other sources of emotional support.

Focus on living a well-rounded life. It will be a much happier one.  

8) Fighting all the time

According to psychology, if a couple fights all the time they pretty much lose the ability to communicate in a healthier manner.

Yet, when we’re in the throes of romance, we may mistake incompatibility with passion.

A solid relationship is characterized by open and honest communication, where both partners feel heard and understood.

If you’re constantly yelling at each other, I doubt you listen to what the other person is trying to say.

And hey – fighting can be hot. Making up can be even hotter.

But if fighting is all you do, you may have differences that can’t be resolved.

You need to find a better way to relate to each other, or you risk getting stuck in a cycle of dysfunction.

There’s no guarantee you’ll still be together by the time you find your way out.

Bottom line

Fail to address these unhealthy habits and they’ll erode your partnership over time.

You and your boo will go from head-over-heels lovers to bickering roommates, and wonder what happened to push you apart.

Don’t let it get that far.

The sooner you recognize your toxic relationship patterns, the sooner you can fix them.

From there, your relationship will only thrive.

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