Relationships can be hard to navigate, but most of the time, it’s up to both partners to work together to make things work.
If you want to foster a deeper connection with your partner, both will need to be open-minded, understanding, and respectful of each other. Love is important, but so are other aspects.
These include behaviors that you’d want to leave behind or unlearn.
If you want to take your relationship to the next step, read on to find out 9 behaviors to say goodbye to.
A relationship that’s not built on trust is doomed to fail. How can both parties enjoy a healthy relationship when one party is always dishonest?
If you want your partner to see you as someone they can trust, it’s important to be transparent and communicate your intentions and thoughts clearly.
Even if the truth may hurt your partner, coming clean is usually the better choice – rather than them having to find out from other people.
Also, the thing about white lies is that they may seem innocent at the start, especially when done with seemingly good intentions.
But when you’re found out, it could backfire on you and the repercussions may do more harm than good.
Honesty in a relationship fosters trust, and as a result, strengthens the bond between both parties.
Your partner will see you as a safe space – someone they can depend on at any one time.
2) Silent treatment
Ever given your partner the silent treatment after an argument?
Let me just tell you right now that this is a sure way to create distance between yourself and your partner.
Even if they’re in the wrong and you need time to process the situation before talking to them, it’s good to let them know that you need space, rather than completely shutting them out.
Yes, it’s difficult to put into practice, but it takes emotional maturity to continue communicating with your partner even in conflict.
It’s easy to give them the cold shoulder as a form of punishment for wronging you. They will very likely feel horrible for the mistake they made, but a relationship can emerge stronger when both parties work together to resolve an issue.
3) Ignoring boundaries
Boundaries still need to be respected even in a relationship.
There are some people out there who think that their partner should give in to their every want – after all, people in love should want to do anything for their partner’s happiness right?
While the both of you are growing the relationship together, it’s also important to respect each other as individuals.
Before the relationship, both of you had your needs and preferences, which do not simply disappear after you get together.
Some people may still cherish their independence (this is not to say that they behave as singles), and would prefer spending time alone.
Giving your partner space and respecting their boundaries shows them that they’re prioritized in the relationship – especially if it means putting aside your preferences for their happiness.
Of course, we don’t want to fully ignore our wants and needs, but relationships require healthy compromises!
4) Constant criticism
The next behavior to say goodbye to is constant criticism.
We may become too comfortable and start giving them a piece of our mind – picking at flaws and mistakes or just being overly critical about what they do that rubs us the wrong way.
We tend to be more forgiving when it comes to strangers, but somehow we don’t give those closest to us – like our partners – the same amount of thought.
When you put two people together, it’s impossible to avoid conflicts. Both have a preferred way of doing things, so it takes time to fall into a rhythm.
Even then, you’re bound to step on the other person’s toes time and again.
So the next time you find yourself wanting to lash out at your partner, pause (even if it means literally biting your tongue) and take some deep breaths.
Try understanding the reason for their actions and talk about it. Share your feelings and have an open discussion about the situation.
This is also a much better way of resolving issues, before they become outright conflicts.
5) Unrealistic expectations
We all have expectations of what we want our partner to be like.
Maybe we want them to become a lot kinder, smarter, or dress better.
If these expectations may potentially shape them into becoming a better person (and they’re agreeable to it) then yes, communicate these openly.
The issue comes about when we have unrealistic expectations of our partners. We want them to be perfect in this way, or to have zero flaws in another way.
But the truth is that no one is perfect.
We will fall short in one way or the other.
Putting unrealistic expectations on your partner will give them unnecessary stress and will also cause you a lot of unhappiness, especially when what you want them to achieve is nearly impossible.
So instead of stressing the both of you out, why not remove any and all unattainable expectations altogether?
6) Passive-aggressive behavior
It may be tempting to become passive-aggressive when our partner wrongs us.
Similar to giving the silent treatment, you may refuse to tell them what’s wrong and instead, expect them to read your minds.
Not only does this not solve anything, it’ll just frustrate and confuse them even more. They may end up changing their mind about you as well, if you’re someone who repeatedly uses passive-aggressive behavior to address conflicts.
If you want your partner to take you seriously, you should give them a reason to. Being open about your feelings is a good start.
7) Controlling behavior
Please don’t do this. It’s a sure way to chase your partner away.
No one likes to be controlled or to have their every movement scrutinized.
Controlling your partner’s actions will reduce their ability to be themselves around you. It may result in them getting anxious for fear of irritating you with every word they say, or everything they do.
This increased paranoia will do nothing to bring the two of you closer together, and may instead foster resentment over time.
Enjoying personal autonomy (within the boundaries of a relationship) enables you and your partner to be yourselves when you’re together.
There’s no need to think twice before saying something for fear of offending the other person.
8) Lack of support
Loving someone means being there for them, even when it gets tough. It means being their pillar of support and providing them with a shoulder to cry on.
You don’t need to have the answers to everything. Sometimes just being present is enough.
If you’re someone who feels uncomfortable providing care to your partner when they’re going through a challenging period, now is a good time to learn.
As long as you’re willing to learn, it’s a good start.
However if you aren’t able to bring yourself to care enough to provide support, then this becomes a problem.
If your partner is constantly brushed away when they need support or find that their problems are repeatedly minimized, they may start withdrawing.
Being supportive should be a fundamental aspect of a relationship.
9) Unhealthy competition
My partner and I are really competitive individuals. Sometimes, this spills over into our relationship.
While it’s something to laugh about when we try to best each other in games, it becomes less of a laughing matter when it comes to more serious issues.
Like who makes more money? Who will get promoted first in their respective jobs?
During the early stages of our relationship, this quickly became an issue.
My partner was earning more than me and as someone who’s competitive, I wasn’t able (and unwilling) to share the same joy whenever he got a pay raise at work.
When he finally confronted me about my behavior and how it made him feel, I was really ashamed.
I let my pride get the better of me so much so that it created a wedge between us – he didn’t dare to raise the issue of finance for fear of offending me.
If you want your partner to see you as someone worth investing their time and effort in, it’s time to put aside any unhealthy competition and instead, grow towards your goals together.