If you really want a healthy relationship, say goodbye to these 7 behaviors

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Having a healthy relationship is probably something you want. After all, who would want a bad one?

But, we do have to admit something. Sometimes we do things without even realizing that damage our relationship.

Like these 7 behaviors. I was horrified to discover how many of them I was doing in my last relationship — but thankfully, I realized it in time to stop and set things on the right track.

And by reading this article, you’re well on your way to do the same. 

So let’s dive in and make your relationship healthier than it has ever been. 

1) Assuming what your partner thinks and feels

When you’ve been with someone for a while, you can think you know them inside out.

And I’m sure you do know your partner better than almost anyone else. But a person is so complex that you can never fully “know” every single facet to them. 

And no matter how intimately you know your partner’s taste in music, their values, and their past, you can still never see inside their head. 

I got stuck in this thinking in my last relationship, and it caused a lot of conflict for us. I found myself assuming things like “he forgot because he doesn’t care enough” or “he said that because he’s belittling me.”

Obviously, my reactions to those assumptions didn’t lead anywhere good! When these instances came up later, and we could talk about them calmly, I realized how wrong I was. 

Had I been able to have this open mind in the moment, I could have avoided a lot of frustrating fights. 

Make sure you don’t make this mistake in your relationship — as soon as I stopped, I saw a massive difference in mine. 

2) Holding grudges

Let’s face it: life is messy. And it’s inevitable for your partner to make mistakes and disappoint or even hurt you from time to time.

When this happens, it’s totally natural to feel upset.

But remember, we’re all human. It’s not fair to hold things against your partner when nobody is perfect — including ourselves.

If you continue to carry anger and resentment around, you put a burden on both of you that can suffocate the love you both feel. 

Forgiving isn’t always easy — it’s also best if your partner does something to make amends.

And, there are also things that cannot be overlooked. If your partner really crosses the line, it may be best to end the relationship.

But when it comes to the daily disappointments, if you want a healthy relationship, you have to say goodbye to holding grudges and instead create space for compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. 

3) Complaining or being negative

Misery loves company, so it’s no surprise what this next behavior is: being negative

The scary thing is, a lot of the time people don’t even realize they’re doing it. But behind the scenes, it is still making your relationship toxic.

For example, I call every so often with a close family member and his wife. And recently, my mother pointed out how all he seems to do is complain.

“What? No he doesn’t.” I immediately said. But during the next call, I realized that she was totally right. He somehow managed to say something negative about every topic that was brought up.

I thought about what it would be like to be in a relationship with a person like this — and honestly, it would be pretty exhausting. 

Of course, when you have a long and tiring day, it’s normal to want to express yourself freely and relax around your partner without having to pretend you’re having the best day of your life.

But make sure you don’t overdo it. You’re constantly feeding your relationship with every interaction — it’s your choice whether that’s positive or negative.

If you’re an overthinker, or your partner is, then you might find the below video helpful: 

4) Ignoring boundaries

Another behavior you should say goodbye to if you want a healthy relationship is ignoring boundaries.

And you should pay attention here — I used to think “of course I respect boundaries!” But when I thought about it, I was ashamed to realize how much work I could do here. 

It was mostly in little things — like when my partner told me not to eat his food, but I did it anyway. I thought it was cute, or that he was joking, and he was never stern about it. 

But the fact is, he asked me to do something and I completely ignored it. 

In a healthy relationship, you should show your partner that you’re listening to them, and take the boundaries they express — however small — seriously.

This includes things like:

  • Respecting their privacy (phone, messages, knocking before entering, etc.)
  • Giving them alone time when they ask for it
  • Touching them when they express discomfort
  • Making decisions without including them
  • Showing up late when you’ve agreed to meet
  • Pressuring them to share things they don’t want to

5) Making your partner your everything

This is a mindset that Disney movies and certain Instagram couples have ingrained in us: that your partner should be everything.

But it’s completely wrong. You can love your partner deeply, but at the end of the day, they are still just a person.

How can you expect them to be your best friend, your lover, your teacher, your confidante, your source of entertainment and stability and spontaneity and adventure?

Some of these things even contradict each other. 

In my current relationship, for example, I love spending time with my partner and I share more things with him than with anyone else. 

But I know if I’m in the mood for a long-winded philosophical discussion, I go to my girlfriend rather than him. It’s not his vibe, and I can’t expect him to be someone he’s not. 

And that’s totally okay. It’s completely healthy to have relationships, hobbies, and interests outside of your relationship and your partner. 

It will also help you both maintain a sense of individuality and independence as you don’t need to rely on each other for absolutely everything. 

6) Comparing your partner to other people

You know your partner is unique, with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, my partner is super reliable and organized, but he’s not the most romantic.

When you started dating, you were probably head over heels over the positives, and maybe a little blind to the negatives. (Hello, rose-colored glasses!)

But over time, as you got used to the relationship, you may have started taking your partner for granted — and focusing a little more on what’s “missing”.

This happened to me — whenever one of my friend’s boyfriends did a super sweet romantic gesture for them, I couldn’t help but think “why can’t my boyfriend be like that?”

This is the dangerous game of comparison. And it’s a surefire way to sabotage your relationship. 

The thing is, if my boyfriend was super romantic, he wouldn’t have one of his other amazing qualities. Because there is no person who is great at EVERYTHING. We are all different because we have a unique balance in different skills and talents. 

And the truth is, I appreciate the qualities my partner has so deeply, I’d never trade them for something else. 

If you can’t appreciate your partner for who they are, then maybe you should consider whether you’re with the right person. But if you are, it’s time to say goodbye to comparing them. 

7) Neglecting self-care and personal growth

Above, I mentioned the importance of appreciating your partner’s unique strengths and who they are without comparing them to anyone else. 

But obviously, this doesn’t mean they can’t learn to get better at something! Each person is constantly growing and evolving in a relationship.

And the best place for you to start is from yourself.

A friend recently told me he chose to stay single because he wanted to work on himself and become a better person.

And I think that’s super admirable. But here’s what I disagree with: he made it sound like he can only do this while single. 

And the fact is, you can work on personal growth whether you’re single, in a relationship, married, or the classic “it’s complicated”. 

In fact, you absolutely should. This is what will make sure that as the world around you changes, your relationship continues to stay strong rather than getting cracks in it.

You need to be happy as an individual before you can give happiness to another person — so if you want a healthy relationship, then keep taking good care of yourself.

Ready for the best relationship of your life?

Now you know how to get it — if you really want a healthy relationship, just say goodbye to these 7 behaviors.

Granted, they can’t make a relationship work if it’s not meant to be. 

But if you’ve found someone you love, you’re sure to see a massive boost in both your happiness, and also your partner’s. 

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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