10 habits of people who are just plain bad at relationships

Have you ever been in a relationship that just doesn’t feel right?

Or maybe you keep making the same mistakes and can’t understand why things keep going wrong?

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Some people are naturally good at relationships, but others struggle a bit more.

This article isn’t here to blame anyone. It’s here to help you understand some sneaky habits that might be messing up your relationships without you even knowing it.

These habits aren’t always the big things like forgetting important dates or not replying to messages. They’re smaller, less noticeable things, and that’s what makes them so tricky.

Here are the top 10 habits of people who have a hard time with relationships. Spotting these habits in yourself or others can help improve your love life.

1. Poor Communication

At the top of our list is poor communication, a surefire way to spell trouble in any relationship.

This isn’t just about not talking enough, it’s about not talking effectively. People who struggle with relationships often keep their feelings bottled up, only to explode later or let things out in passive-aggressive ways.

They might avoid difficult conversations because they’re uncomfortable, which only leads to bigger problems down the line.

The thing with communication is, it’s not enough to just talk; you have to make sure the other person truly understands what you’re saying.

And on the flip side, it’s equally important to listen and understand when your partner is talking.

2. Not Trusting Your Partner

Next up on our list is trust issues, another major stumbling block for many people in relationships.

If you constantly doubt your partner or feel the need to keep tabs on them all the time, it’s a clear sign that you’re not good at handling relationships.

Trust is the foundation of any relationship.

Without it, you’re bound to experience tension and conflict. If you’re always suspicious or jumping to conclusions without evidence, it can make your partner feel unappreciated and distrusted.

It’s important to remember that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. If you’re feeling insecure or unsure, talk about it openly with your partner rather than snooping around or making unfounded accusations.

Building trust takes time, but it’s a crucial step in maintaining a healthy relationship.

3. Failing to Make Time for Each Other

Another common pitfall is failing to make enough time for each other. In today’s busy world, it’s all too easy to let our relationships take a backseat to work, hobbies, or even our social media feeds.

I learned this the hard way in my last relationship. With both of us working long hours and juggling our own separate lives, we often found that we didn’t have much time left for each other. We’d go days without having any meaningful conversations or spending quality time together.

At first, it didn’t seem like a big deal. But over time, the lack of connection took its toll. We started feeling more like roommates than partners. It was a wake-up call for me. I realized that no matter how busy life gets, it’s important to make time for your partner and nurture your relationship.

4. Ignoring Your Partner’s Needs

A key habit of those who struggle in relationships is ignoring their partner’s needs. In a healthy relationship, both partners’ needs and desires are equally important. Unfortunately, some people fall into the habit of prioritizing their own wants and needs over their partner’s.

According to psychologists, one of the main reasons why relationships fail is due to a lack of understanding and respect for each other’s needs. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to fulfill all your partner’s needs yourself – some needs might be met through their own personal hobbies or friendships. But it does mean acknowledging these needs and supporting your partner in fulfilling them.

So, if you find yourself consistently dismissing or disregarding your partner’s needs, it may be time to take a step back and reflect on how this could be impacting your relationship.

5. Failing to Apologize

One habit that can be a real relationship wrecker is the inability or unwillingness to apologize. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. But what sets a healthy relationship apart is the ability to acknowledge when you’ve done wrong, say you’re sorry, and make amends.

It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s about respect, understanding, and love. When we mess up, it hurts the people we care about. And that pain can linger if it’s not addressed properly.

Saying “I’m sorry” can be hard. It requires humility and a willingness to put your ego aside. But it’s also one of the most powerful ways to show your partner that you care about their feelings and that you’re committed to making things right.

If you find it hard to apologize when you’re wrong, remember the strength and love that comes with saying those two little words: “I’m sorry”. And remember how much it can mean to the person hearing them.

6. Neglecting Self-Care

This might sound strange, but neglecting self-care is another habit found among people who aren’t great at relationships. You might be wondering, “What does taking care of myself have to do with my relationships?”

Well, allow me to share a personal experience.

A few years back, I was so absorbed in my relationship that I completely forgot about taking care of myself. My life revolved around my partner’s needs, wishes, and plans. I stopped exercising, didn’t eat healthily, and hardly spent time doing things I loved. Eventually, I became irritable, stressed out and just plain unhappy.

That’s when I realized the importance of self-care in a relationship. If you’re not happy or healthy, it’s tough to maintain a happy and healthy relationship. Neglecting your own needs can lead to resentment and can make your relationship feel like a burden rather than a source of joy.

If you’re someone who constantly puts their partner’s needs before your own at the cost of your happiness or health, it might be time to reassess and start practicing self-care. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup!

7. Being Overly Critical

If you’re constantly criticizing your partner, you’re not doing your relationship any favors.

We all have our flaws and quirks, but if you’re consistently pointing out your partner’s faults or belittling them, it can be really damaging.

Sure, it’s easy to pick at the things that annoy us or focus on the negatives. But here’s the raw truth: Being overly critical can erode the love and respect in a relationship over time. No one wants to feel like they’re constantly under a microscope or that they can’t do anything right.

Instead of focusing on their faults, try to see their good qualities, the things that made you fall for them in the first place. And when you do need to address issues or concerns, do it from a place of love and understanding, not criticism and negativity.

8. Avoiding Conflict

Believe it or not, avoiding conflict is another habit common in people who struggle with relationships. It might seem logical to avoid fights or arguments, but healthy conflict can actually strengthen a relationship.

This doesn’t mean you should pick fights over every little thing.

When there are important issues or disagreements, sweeping them under the rug won’t make them disappear. In fact, it often makes things worse. Unresolved conflicts can lead to resentment and bigger blowouts down the line.

Healthy conflict involves open and respectful communication about disagreements. It’s about finding a middle ground and understanding each other’s perspectives, not about winning an argument.

9. Not Expressing Affection

One habit I’ve noticed in people who are bad at relationships, including myself at one point, is not expressing affection enough. It may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually quite important.

A few years back, I was in a relationship where I assumed my partner knew how much I cared for them. After all, we were together, right? But as time went on, the lack of affectionate words, touch, and gestures started to create a disconnect between us. It wasn’t until after we parted ways that I realized the importance of expressing love and affection openly and often.

Everyone needs to feel loved and valued, and it’s often the little things – a hug, a kind word, a thoughtful gesture – that can make your partner feel special. If you’re someone who struggles to express affection, try to open up a bit more. A little bit of affection can go a long way in keeping your relationship strong and your partner happy.

10. Refusing to Compromise

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, if you’re someone who refuses to compromise, you’re going to have a tough time in relationships. Relationships are all about give and take. It’s not always about you or what you want. If you’re not willing to meet your partner halfway, it’s going to lead to a lot of frustration and resentment.

Compromise isn’t about losing or giving up what you want, it’s about finding a solution that works for both of you. It’s about respecting your partner’s desires and needs as much as your own. So if you find yourself constantly digging your heels in, it might be time to loosen up a little and learn the art of compromise.

11. Keeping Score

Finally, let’s get brutally honest here. If you’re keeping score in your relationship – constantly tallying who did what, who owes who, who messed up more – you’re setting yourself up for failure. Relationships aren’t a game to be won or lost.

Keeping score only leads to bitterness and an unhealthy power dynamic. It turns your relationship into a battlefield instead of a partnership. Love isn’t about being right or wrong; it’s about understanding, forgiveness, and mutual respect.

If you find yourself keeping a mental scoreboard, it’s time to stop. Focus on building each other up instead of tearing each other down. Remember: You’re on the same team.

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Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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