Falling in love is (pretty) easy, but staying in it isn’t.
Let’s be honest, there are so many hurdles a couple has to face. These obstacles are enough to test even the most loved up people.
Now add on top some not so favorable behaviors, and pretty soon that love that was once bubbling over has completely depleted.
So, in this article, I’m going to list those harmful behaviors so you can make your love last and your relationship thrive.
Let’s dive in:
1) Lack of communication
Communicating effectively isn’t always easy.
I get that.
Sometimes we’re not in the mood, we’re tired, or we’re downright angry. And when we feel like this, it’s easy to shut off.
Slowly, behaviors such as giving the cold shoulder or playing the blame game creep in.
While they might seem harmless at first, over time these behaviors can do a lot of damage to the love you and your partner share.
So the next time you’re tempted to do the above or to avoid talking to your partner about your feelings, push through. Make an effort. Don’t let your temporary feelings affect the longevity of your relationship.
2) Taking your partner for granted
Ah, we’re all guilty of doing this from time to time.
It’s inevitable, especially when you live/see someone every single day.
That cup of tea they bring you in the morning?
The errands they run for you without you having to say a word to them?
The time and effort they put into your date nights and special celebrations?
It doesn’t matter how big or small the action is, show your appreciation.
Say thank you, tell them how wonderful they are, and most importantly:
Step up and do the same for them. Never assume they know how much you appreciate them.
Because ultimately, that’s a surefire way for resentment to build, and you don’t want that seeping into your relationship!
3) Jealousy and possessiveness
I used to be a pretty jealous person, “Don’t touch my man” and all of that type of attitude.
But I realized that in doing this, I was also conveying to my partner that I didn’t fully trust him.
Of course, some jealousy and possessiveness are normal, we’re human after all, but they really shouldn’t consume the relationship.
If your partner gets stick from you every time they talk to someone of the opposite sex, they’re going to feel controlled and limited in their actions.
In other words – you could end up suffocating them.
I had to work really hard at this, and in the end, I realized my partner wasn’t doing anything wrong. He never gave me a reason to be suspicious or untrusting.
It was my own insecurities that were to blame, and since working on those, we’ve had far fewer incidents of jealousy crop up.
4) Constant criticism
I know you want your partner to be the best they can be.
But there’s a very fine line between criticism and constructive feedback.
Criticism puts the other person down. It makes them feel like they aren’t good enough. And if you do it enough, you’re on the right track to losing love and respect for each other.
So if you really want to push your partner, do it with love and support.
For example, instead of saying:
“You never listen to me. You’re always scrolling through your phone. It’s like I’m talking to a wall.”
You could say:
“I feel ignored when we’re talking and you’re on your phone. It’s important to me that we give each other our full attention during conversations. Can we set aside our phones when one of us is sharing something?”
The latter is much less accusatory and you’ll have a much better chance of achieving what you want without making your partner defensive or annoyed.
5) Ignoring boundaries
Time and time again, I hear people say, “Well, if they loved me, they’d do XYZ for me.”
No. Just no.
That’s not how true love works.
When I get home and my partner has had a heavy day and wants some alone time, I’m not going to force him to spend time with me “in the name of love”.
I’m going to respect his boundaries, give him space, and know that he’d do the same for me.
Now that’s love.
In comparison, I had an ex who would repeatedly cross my limits. If I told him I was going for a girl’s night out, he’d show up.
I gave him the password to my phone in case he needed it for emergencies, but he then proceeded to read through my messages.
You see, when you repeatedly ignore someone’s boundaries, you’re literally telling them that you don’t respect their individuality.
And that’s not a good move to make if you want your love to last.
6) Unresolved conflicts
I know that some arguments feel like they should be firmly swept under the rug and left there. Forever.
But this is another mistake that could cost you your relationship.
Because the problem hasn’t gone away. You can’t bury it forever. At some point it’ll resurface and trust me, it’ll be much worse than if you’d dealt with it the first time around.
So confront your issues head on.
Make a deal with your partner that you’ll take X amount of time to cool off, and then X amount of time to talk things through and come to a solution of some sort to the problem.
And even if you can’t agree on a solution, you can agree to disagree. But the important thing is that you’ve both spoken about your feelings and know where you stand.
That way, there’s no room for resentment to fester quietly.
7) Comparing your relationship to others
Another relationship-harming behavior to ditch if you want your love to last is making comparisons.
Look, no two relationships are the same.
And while your friend on Instagram might look like they have the perfect partner, in reality everyone faces ups and downs.
I was guilty of doing this early on when I started dating my now partner. I had a cousin whose boyfriend treated her like a literal queen.
And I thought, why don’t I deserve the same?
As it turns out, he ended up being a huge player. My poor cousin found out he’d had multiple affairs.
And to think I was going to jeopardize my own relationship because I was too busy focussing on what other people have!
In the end, it was a lesson that taught me there’s no point making comparisons. Not to mention, the more time you spend looking at other people’s relationships, the less you’re dedicating to your own.
8) Neglecting self-care
Loving someone else means loving yourself too.
I love my partner, so I want to give him the best of me. But to get the best of me, I have to invest, love, and take care of myself.
And he has to do the same. That keeps the love thriving between us.
But it hasn’t always been this way – a few years back, my partner seriously neglected himself. He overworked, didn’t eat well, didn’t exercise, and lo and behold, he ended up with burnout.
During that time, our relationship was very tense. We had a lot of arguments and I didn’t understand why he was so snappy and unenthusiastic about life.
Luckily we made it through, but it shows just how important self-care is.
If you continuously neglect yourself, you’re only putting a strain on your relationship. Which in turn, will affect how you and your partner feel about each other.
Even if you think your little white lie is to spare your partner’s feelings – there’s a good chance of it backfiring in your face later down the line.
And every single time you’re caught being dishonest, no matter how little it is, it chips away at the trust you’ve so carefully built with your partner.
So the bottom line is:
Just don’t do it. Be honest, even when it’s hard.
10) Ignoring your partner’s needs
There’s no “one solution fits all” when it comes to partners.
Each of us have individual needs that we hope our partner can meet. And if they can’t, that’s a big red flag. One that can quite easily affect the love between you.
I suffer badly with period pains. My exes in the past never did much to help me out or look after me. I was expected to just get on with it.
But my current partner sees how much I struggle, so he’s always ready with a hot water bottle, painkillers, and lots of sympathy and hugs.
And wow, what a difference it makes to have someone who cares about my needs.
So be mindful of what you dismiss or “can’t be bothered with” – if it’s something important to your partner, you could be doing a lot of harm by not taking their needs seriously.
11) Letting technology interfere
And finally, if you want your love to last, know when to switch off technology.
Think about it – when you’re trying to enjoy a nice meal or conversation with someone and they sit scrolling on their phone the entire time, it’s not nice, is it?
You feel ignored and unimportant.
So the same applies to relationships – if you don’t want your partner to feel like that, show them that technology is not more important than giving them your undivided attention.
Not only will this help with communication (as we mentioned before) but you’ll show your partner just how much you love them.