Believe it or not, there is such a thing as being too comfortable in a relationship.
When we reach this point, we tend to get complacent, to let ourselves go.
And sometimes, we get so caught up that we lose the capacity to see things objectively.
Toxic behaviors might go overlooked–yet they slowly chip away at us all the same.
For some, this can be the point of no return.
In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the telltale behaviors that can drive a wedge in your relationship–without you realizing it.
Once you get the idea, you can begin to make the necessary adjustments. Let’s dive in!
1) Phone obsession
Our smartphones are possibly the easiest, most accessible distraction in the history of the world.
It’s easy to fall into the trap. Breakups happen every day over excess phone use.
Sure, when we’re in the honeymoon phase, we tend to give our partners our undivided attention, willing to sacrifice the instant gratification of likes and notifications to make them feel special.
But as we get more and more comfortable, as the novelty of new love wears off, we offer minimal resistance when we feel the urge to grab our phones.
Perpetually being on your phone when you’re supposed to be spending quality time can understandably put your partner off, making them feel neglected, unimportant, and annoyed.
If this bad habit remains unchecked, this can cause some serious resentment–and eventually, the relationship will begin to crumble.
My ex was something of a micro-influencer on Instagram.
The more followers she gained, the more she was preoccupied with her device.
Some days, it felt like she was on her phone 24/7.
When we were supposed to be spending quality time together, like having dinner out or movie night, she’d be on her phone.
When I’d speak to her, it would be like talking to a brick wall.
She’d be too busy glaring at her screen to give a coherent, invested response. Her priorities were elsewhere.
Eventually, I got so fed up that I gave her an ultimatum: moderate her phone use or we’d have to start rethinking the relationship.
To me, this status quo simply wasn’t sustainable. I wanted more.
Unfortunately, the play-by-play happenings of social media proved too important for her to ignore, so a few weeks later, we mutually decided to end things.
Phone obsession wasn’t the only reason for our fallout, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a major contributor.
2) Jealousy and insecurity
Just because they’re your partner doesn’t entitle you to ownership over them.
Once you cross that boundary, and become overly possessive or get frequent episodes of unfounded jealousy, this can certainly drive a wedge in your relationship.
The healthiest relationships are where both partners respect and appreciate one another’s individuality and right to space and autonomy.
You celebrate them for who they are, you don’t treat them as a doormat for deep-rooted emotional issues.
Expressing unwarranted jealousy, whether about your partner’s work relationships or platonic friends, will inevitably turn them off at some point.
You see, by being jealous, you’re conjuring up a toxic environment of distrust; you’re exposing how fundamentally insecure you are deep down.
In our partners, we want a rock, someone who will confidently support us through thick and thin.
We don’t want someone whose foundations are so shaky that they’re constantly jealous and feel the regular need to surveil us.
This is stifling–and frankly sort of defeats the purpose of being in a relationship in the first place.
3) Taking out stress on your partner
I get it: life can be tedious and difficult.
Whether you’re a multimillionaire or living off welfare, nobody is immune to stress or hardship.
But knowing that, we have to be careful–it’s the easiest thing in the world to bring our stresses home and take them out on those closest to us.
To be able to handle stress gracefully is such a powerful testament to one’s character.
Aside from being a phone addict, my ex had a particularly low threshold for stress.
On any given day, it was hard to tell what version of her I was getting.
So over time, I began to walk on eggshells, afraid to say something that might ignite her.
When she was stress-free, she was a joy to be around: lively, sweet, and warm.
But when she encountered the slightest bit of stress, say after a phone conversation with customer service, she’d take it out on me.
Anything I’d say was met with either stone-cold silence or an angry, unprovoked outburst.
I soon learned the hard way: having to tread with caution on a near-daily basis wasn’t a sustainable way of going about things.
4) Not communicating
It’s true: communication is at the foundation of any successful relationship.
So when you’re not communicating effectively, this is a troubling sign.
A lack of communication can lead to distance, far-fetched assumptions, and grave misunderstandings.
It can mean conflict avoidance, and sweeping painful issues under the rug, a practice that leads to long-term resentment and an overall unhappy relationship.
So if you’re averse to communicating with your partner, you have no choice but to shape up and start talking, unless you’re content with eventually losing them.
5) Neglecting intimacy
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be engaging in hot, sensual sex acts all week to be intimate.
In a relationship, intimacy very much extends to the emotional.
In fact, I’d go as far as saying emotional intimacy is marginally more important than sex.
Emotional intimacy means you can regularly be vulnerable and open with your partner; it means your relationship is a sanctuary, a safe space, where you both can fully express yourself without judgment.
When we begin to neglect intimacy, when our interactions with our partners are reduced to surface-level fluff, this can spiral into a deep lack of connection and closeness.
Our partners almost become glorified roommates.
Soon, we’ll eventually realize how much we crave intimacy and perhaps resort to searching for it elsewhere, whether consciously or not.
6) Avoiding household chores
From my experience, there’s no quicker route to resentment than not doing your share of household chores.
When you neglect your chores and make your partner clean up after you, you’re expressing a lack of respect for them and the relationship.
Relationships should be about equality, about partnership, about teamwork.
So when that dynamic becomes one-sided, expect your union to become strained over time.
As established, life can be stressful and overwhelming.
By not contributing to household chores, you’re adding to the list of stresses, effectively declaring yourself a liability in your partner’s life.
So, if you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to get in gear and start washing those dishes.
To recap, sometimes, we get so caught up, that we fail to objectively see how our behaviors affect others (in this case, our partners.)
So consider this a wake-up call.
If you value your relationship and want it to work out, it’s time to start acting like it.
A happy and satisfying relationship is yours if you want it. But you have to put in the effort.
Sure, you’re entitled to not do anything proactive about your situation, but your partner is also entitled to walk out the door.
The choice is yours.