If you do these 7 things, you’re letting your partner down in your relationship

Let’s be real here; relationships aren’t all flowers and daisies, nor a walk in the park. In fact, at times they are desperately, desperately hard.

You love your partner, sure. Or at least you did (or you thought you did) when you first started out dating, and were covered in glitter and butterflies. But over time, the cracks really started to show.

Of course, you’ve been working on it, trying to smooth out the rough edges and cling onto the fractures…

But deep down, you know something sure ain’t right.

And the truth is, although it takes two to tango, sometimes it’s more one person’s fault than the other.

They might not have done anything colossally wrong, but it’s the tiny slip ups and mistakes that can add up. These errors, the under-the-radar habits are the ones letting your partner down in your relationship and causing you both to drift apart.

So before any irreconcilable damage is done, follow the guide below to identify those 7 things you’re doing now, that could be seriously damaging your bond with your partner.

And don’t worry – we’re all guilty of a few of these slip ups from time to time. 

The important thing is being aware of them and knowing how to fix them. 

Because trust me, it’s better to realize before it’s too late to turn things around:

1) You’re not listening properly

Actually listening is harder than it sounds. And believe me when I say that your partner knows the difference between you smiling and nodding along versus actually paying attention to what they’re saying.

This isn’t about not hearing the words your partner says either. It’s about understanding their feelings, their thoughts, their fears and dreams. Empathy, people!

Have a think: when your partner talks to you, do you give them your full attention? 

Or are you distracted by your phone, your work, or a million miles away in your own thoughts?

If you answered B and you’re not actually listening when your partner speaks, you’re letting them down. Big time.

By not paying attention, you’re sending a message that their feelings and thoughts aren’t important to you. You’re showing how little you prioritize them, and trust me – that hurts.

So always remember: communication is key in any relationship. 

As listening is half of communication, put everything else aside and give your partner your undivided attention when they try to engage with you. They deserve it far more than any screen or fleeting thought does.

2) You’re not sharing your feelings or opening up

Although I’ve hammered in the importance of listening above, the whole other side, the talking-about-feelings isn’t always easy. I get it. 

It can be uncomfortable, awkward, and downright scary. But it’s absolutely vital for a relationship.

When you don’t share your feelings and don’t get candid and soft and gooey with your partner, it’s like erecting a ten-foot-tall wall between you two. You’re not letting them in, even if they’re knocking very politely or even hammering at the door. 

And they won’t understand what’s going on or why they’re being shut out. Standing from where they are (outside), they can’t support you, comfort you, or help you.

Whilst being vulnerable can be terrifying, it’s also an essential part of working at a team and trusting your partner. 

Letting them in is terrifying business, but try to place your faith in them and share your emotional highs and lows with your partner. It’ll unite you far closer together in the long run.

3) You’re skipping out on quality time

Life gets busy and frantic, and often it’s our relationship bonding time that is the first to be sacrificed.

Your partner might want to spend some time together. Even as simple as a movie night at home and half a bottle of red wine. But you, with one eye on your deadlines, you politely decline and retreat to your dark and dimly lit desk.

At the time, it sure seems like the right thing to do. Work is important, right? 

But know that there is a time and a place for work, and a time and a place for play. All work no play sours a relationship faster than cream left out on a hot kitchen counter.

Quality time is so very important in a relationship. It’s not just about being in the same room together; iIt’s about giving your full and undivided attention to stay connected.

And when you skip out on quality time with your partner, you’re not just missing out on fun experiences. You’re also missing out on opportunities to deepen your shared bond and make your relationship stronger.

So even when life gets busy, make sure to make space for that quality bonding time with your partner. 

At the end of the day, work deadlines come and go, but the connection you share and the memories you make with your loved one are what truly last.

pic1504 If you do these 7 things, you're letting your partner down in your relationship

4) You’re forgetting to say ‘thank you’

You might sneer and think that only toddlers need reminding of the importance of these magic words, but just to hammer it home – it’s absolutely incredible how two small words can have such a big impact.

When you say ‘thank you’ to your partner, even for small acts they do everyday for you, it shows them that you value and appreciate them. 

It reminds them continually that you see and appreciate them and are thankful for all that they do for you.

Now, when you forget to say ‘thank you’, it can make your partner feel taken for granted. They might start to question whether their efforts are even worth it, and start to experience niggling feelings of doubt.

So, remember your manners and don’t forget how simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

5) You’re keeping score

Relationships can, at times, feel a little like a game. One where you keep score of who does what – both the good, and the bad. 

And thus you create an atmosphere or focus upon winning, when really…

You should be playing together.

Relationships aren’t a game. They’re not about who does more or who does less, about who has hurt whom or who suffers the most. 

When you start keeping score in such a fashion, you’re basically setting your relationship up for failure and waving your lover goodbye. This breeds resentment, encourages competition, and spoils any love you share. 

So forget who did the dishes last or who paid for dinner last time, or who forgot to text whom back. Prioritize supporting each other and contributing to the relationship in a way that feels fair and balanced.

And bin those score cards!

6) You’re not expressing your love

We all know that saying “I love you” is important. Just as much as “thank you”.

But actual expressions of love go far beyond those three words.

Showing love can be as simple as making a cup of coffee for your partner in the morning, or sending them a sweet text “thinking of you” in the middle of the day. It can be a hug from behind, a kiss on the forehead, or kind words of appreciation

And when you stop expressing your love, your partner will probably start to feel unloved and unappreciated. They might doubt your feelings for them, and get cold feet themselves. 

Cue jittery feelings of insecurity and resentment.

So don’t hold back in showing your partner how much you love them – in big ways and small. 

It doesn’t have to be grand gestures either; sometimes, it’s the little things that count the most.

7) You’re avoiding conflict

Avoiding conflict doesn’t make it go away.

In fact, it usually makes things worse. Unresolved issues can fester and grow, turning into bigger problems down the line. Plus, couples who never argue will be in for a shocker when the first disagreement between them rolls around and they have no conflict resolution skills whatsoever.

Maybe you’re afraid of arguments. Maybe you don’t want to rock the boat and like peaceful atmospheres. But, by avoiding conflict, you’re not giving your relationship a chance to grow and evolve.

Conflicts, when handled right, can actually strengthen your bond and unite you. They can help you understand each other better, learn to compromise, and find solutions that work for both of you.

So don’t avoid conflict. Sure, don’t go about starting fires, but learn to navigate them in a healthy way and deal with any flying embers. 

Saving a relationship…

If the above points sound all too familiar, don’t panic and don’t be too hard on yourself. We all have moments when we falter and stumble in our relationships. The key is recognizing these moments, and making a conscious effort to change.

Start gradually by observing your own behaviors in your relationship. Notice when you’re not listening or expressing your love adequately, and pay attention to when you’re keeping score or avoiding conflict.

Ask yourself: 

  • Am I being true to myself? 
  • Am I valuing my partner’s feelings and needs?
  • Am I treating my partner the way I want to be treated?

Changing these habits won’t happen overnight, but by being aware and making small changes, you can start to shift the dynamics of your relationship.

Continue to remind yourself that a relationship is about partnership, about mutual respect and love. 

It’s about accepting each other’s flaws and working together to create a bond that is strong and fulfilling.

So take a step back, reflect on your actions, and make the necessary changes. Your relationship is worth saving, and the power to do so is well within your hands.

Picture of Liv Walde

Liv Walde

London-based writer with big thoughts, big dreams, and a passion for helping others.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.