I’m going to be honest here – I used to go about relationships entirely the wrong way. From my expectations to jealousy, I thought I was doing the right thing, but with time I’ve learned how toxic some of these habits were.
But that’s the thing – even though I wasn’t intentionally trying to screw things up or hurt my ex-partners, I did.
Perhaps you’re also realizing that your behavior isn’t healthy and that if you want to create a stable, loving relationship, something has to change.
Don’t worry – this article isn’t going to shame you for toxic behaviors. Because like me, you probably don’t act this way on purpose.
So instead, see my advice as an opportunity to learn, grow, and do better.
Here are 8 relationship habits that you don’t realize are toxic:
1) Always wanting to talk
We all know that communication is the bedrock of a healthy relationship.
But did you know there are times when too much communication can border on the line of being toxic?
Let’s say your partner just got home from work. They’re tired. They need to decompress.
Even though you might not mean it, by hounding them to tell you every detail of their day, or to listen to every detail of yours, you could end up stressing them out.
In other words, it’s good to remember that everyone needs space to breathe.
Keep communicating, but also be aware of your partner’s mood. If you can see they’re exhausted or stressed, or even just in a rush, find another time to have a chat.
2) Expecting to spend every waking moment together
Another common toxic habit that most people don’t realize they’re doing is expecting to be stuck to their partner’s hip.
Again, I’m guilty of this. In the past, I expected my ex to come everywhere with me. If he wasn’t up for it, I’d be annoyed – he’s my boyfriend, he should want to be with me, right?
Wrong. He did enjoy spending time with me, but he didn’t want to come to watch the latest chick flick at the cinema. He didn’t want to attend the Taylor Swift concert.
Every time he’d give in and agree, I’d then be annoyed because I’d be thinking, “Why isn’t he more enthusiastic?”
See how it’s a no-win situation?
You and your partner are separate individuals. Sure, you may spend a life together, but that doesn’t mean you have to share the same interests and hobbies!
3) Trying to resolve arguments straight away
Are you the type of person who, like me, wants to resolve a fight ASAP?
That’s great if your partner feels the same way. But it can cause major issues if they’re the type of person who needs time to cool down before making amends.
Even though you’re not intentionally pressuring them, essentially, you’re not allowing them the time they need to process their emotions.
It’s like saying, “Hey, I’m over the argument now. Let’s make up – even though you’re still angry and haven’t had time to think things through.”
I get it though, you want to make up and carry on as soon as possible. But perhaps your reconciliations will go better if you make up when both of you are ready.
4) Expecting your partner to be your “everything”
My partner. My soulmate. My best friend. My confident. My partner in crime.
Oh my, the list could go on!
While it’s sweet to want your partner to be your “everything” because you love them so much, have you ever considered that this might be a massive ask?
One that they can’t live up to?
The truth is, it’s not healthy to expect your partner to fill multiple roles in your life.
They can’t replace your mom. Or your best friend. Or the coworker you enjoy gossiping with.
Their role is simply to be themselves – your partner. Anything more can strain the relationship and make them feel they need to play the role of many different people just to keep you happy.
And that leads us to the next point:
5) Making your partner your only source of happiness
This is another big misconception that leads people to form toxic habits in relationships:
Believing that their partner is responsible for making them happy.
Unfortunately, this is a surefire way to ruin a relationship. YOU are responsible for being happy. Your partner is responsible for their own happiness.
Yes, you can add to each other’s joy but you shouldn’t be dependent on the other for it.
When you start putting this expectation on your partner, you can overwhelm them. They’ll feel an immense amount of pressure.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to find other sources of happiness in your life, through friends, hobbies, and experiences that don’t revolve around your significant other.
6) Overly pushing your partner in the personal development field
Ah, this is something I learned firsthand when I met my current partner. For once, it wasn’t me being toxic though.
My partner used to push, push and then push some more. He wanted the best for me. He wanted me to break free from my limiting beliefs and bad habits.
And I appreciated all that. But I also needed to do it on my own time.
After a frustrating year or two, I finally explained this to him, and he’s since calmed down.
And guess what? It was around the same time that I truly started making progress in my self-development.
You see, it’s great to be supportive and encouraging. It’s not okay to pressure people to do things on your timeline.
Let them work it out for themselves, at a pace they feel comfortable with.
Otherwise, you could end up pushing them away.
7) Being jealous or possessive
News flash – being jealous or possessive isn’t cute or healthy!
A little bit of jealousy is normal. We’re human, after all.
But limiting who your other half speaks to? Monitoring their messages? Dictating where they can and can’t go?
That’s extremely toxic.
I used to be this person. But I eventually realized it was down to MY own insecurities that I was acting so possessively.
I also realized that by behaving this way, I was essentially telling my partner:
“I don’t trust you.”
Which can be very hurtful, especially if they’ve done nothing wrong or ever given you cause for concern.
8) Dropping hints and expecting your partner to just “get it”
You expect your partner to know you better than anyone else in the world.
And maybe they do.
But that still doesn’t make them mind readers.
By dropping hints and expecting them to understand what you mean perfectly, you’re setting them up for failure. And you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and annoyance.
I’ve learned this the hard way (so don’t worry, you aren’t alone).
Now, I speak in simple terms. I tell my partner clearly what I want. And funnily enough, nine times out of 10, he listens and gets it done.
No more guessing games. No more frustration when he misunderstands. Our relationship has improved so much.
So, if you’re also guilty of doing this, it’s time to level up and start communicating instead of expecting miracles.
Hopefully, the points above will have given you some food for thought.
Remember, it’s not about feeling bad for having toxic habits, it’s about educating yourself so that you go into your relationship being the best you can.
All we can do is keep trying, and the fact you’re reading this today shows you’re off to a good start!