Having a healthy and happy relationship is probably on your bucket list when you dive into the world of serious dating. After all, who deliberately seeks out a toxic partner?
But hey, let’s face it. Sometimes you’re the toxic one. You could unconsciously be planting landmines.
There are a few things you should definitely steer clear of if you want your relationship to last.
Ready to hear what they are? Let’s get going!
1) Stop reading your partner’s mind.
Here’s the thing:
Unless you’re really a telepath, you can’t know exactly what your partner’s thinking all the time.
And in short, it’s not a great idea to try this trick.
Let me explain why:
When you start assuming things about your partner’s thoughts and feelings without actually talking to them, you pave a straight road to misunderstandings.
Trust me. I’ve been there.
You can’t fill the gaps with your own ideas.
Do this instead:
Have open and honest chats with your partner. Ask them how they’re feeling, what they’re thinking, and really listen to their responses.
Create a safe space where they can share what’s on their mind without fear of backlash.
This way, you get information straight from the source and can avoid unnecessary confusion and frustration.
And if your partner says something that hurts or offends you…
2) Don’t hold grudges.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Feeling upset when your partner says or does something that hurts you or your relationship is completely normal.
But we’re all human.
When you hold grudges, you’re carrying negative feelings around. It creates a heavy burden on both of you and can poison everything good you have.
Of course, it’s not always easy. And your partner should seek forgiveness.
There will also be instances where forgiving your partner is out of the question. And when this is the case, ending the relationship is best.
But if you want to rebuild and strengthen your love, you need to create a safe space for forgiveness, understanding, and a happy future.
You can’t do this when you hold grudges.
So, if you recognize that you’re still holding grudges against your partner, do this:
- Have an honest conversation with them about what happened and how it made you feel.
- Ask them to help you brainstorm ideas to find a way to move forward together.
- Forgive them and let go of the resentment and anger.
You don’t have to forget what they said or did or condone their behavior. But you’ll never get a chance to heal and grow if you never…
3) Stop focusing on the negative.
Here’s the deal: it might be time to shift gears and change your perspective. No one wants to be in a relationship with a negative Nancy.
You’ll stay stuck in a loop if you constantly dwell on the negative aspects. And your relationship will suffer.
Here’s an example:
When we were still new in love, my partner did something that really hurt me. I decided to forgive him, but I kept dwelling on what happened.
I didn’t keep a grudge. But the negative thoughts kept spiraling in my mind, and it was tough for me to be happy even when he did his best to meet my needs.
Can you imagine?
My partner was exhausted from trying to make up for one mistake and getting nowhere!
Your partner probably feels that way when you keep going down that route too. Whether about something they did or just being negative in general.
I’m not saying you should ignore real issues. No, no. It’s about finding a balance.
You can address problems while still acknowledging the good stuff.
Now, here’s the plan:
Every time you get a negative thought, pack some positivity instead.
Replace every negative feeling with something good about your partner, relationship, or life.
If you do this every day, you’ll start to fuel up on good vibes. And this positivity will pour over into your relationship.
4) Don’t ignore boundaries.
Another thing you should say goodbye to is disregarding boundaries. This is one of those things you could be doing without even realizing it.
Truth is, boundaries are like little fences people put up.
They do this to protect themselves and maintain balance in a relationship.
If you disrespect your partner’s boundaries, it could lead to:
I’m guessing you don’t want that, right?
Now, you might be thinking: “I respect my partner’s boundaries.”
But do you really?
Here’s how you might be overstepping without knowing it:
- You snoop on their texts or emails when they’re asleep.
- You jokingly touch them even when they express discomfort.
- You interrupt their alone time.
- You make important decisions without including them.
- You show up late or ignore agreed-upon schedules.
- You invalidate their feelings or pressure them to share more than they want to.
- You brush off their request for boundaries.
If any of this sounds familiar, do this instead:
- Arrange a night in to talk about your needs, desires, and limits.
- Listen to what your partner has to say about theirs too.
- Design a fence that respects both your boundaries without making the other feel neglected.
Want to know a secret that makes respecting your partner’s boundaries easier? Well, you should…
5) Stop making your partner your whole life.
Doing this creates a really unhealthy dynamic. You can’t rely on one person for happiness and fulfillment.
If monogamy is all you know, this may be a hard pill to swallow. But the truth is:
No one person can meet all our needs and expectations.
I’m not saying you should have romantic relationships with multiple people. At all!
What I am saying is that you should cut your partner some slack. Give them a break.
Maintain a sense of individuality.
Here are some suggestions of how:
- Create a supportive network of friends or family.
- Prioritize self-care.
- Join hobby groups.
It’s important to find balance. If your partner feels like they’re suffocating, your relationship won’t last.
Besides, if you do more things you enjoy instead of revolving your entire world around your partner, you’ll have more joy to pour into them when you’re together.
Just remember to…
6) Never ignore your partner.
It can make them feel unimportant and damage the connection between you. You might think you’re not doing it, but there are many subconscious ways you possibly are.
Sometimes, without realizing it, you might tune out when your partner talks to you. You know, those moments when they ask you something, and you go, “huh?”
They notice. And it can make them feel unheard and unvalued.
Another thing you might do is invalidate their feelings.
The thing is:
This doesn’t just happen when they’re sad, and you dismiss what they’re experiencing. It happens in the little moments of joy and excitement too.
I once excitedly showed my husband a picture of indoor plants hanging on a statement wall. I told him how great something like it would look in our bedroom.
“We can’t afford that right now.”
He completely dismissed my excitement. I didn’t ask that we do something similar immediately. I just wanted him to acknowledge something I liked.
Maybe even give his opinion.
While ignoring your partner may not be intentional, it could lead to bigger problems. You should prioritize being present and emotionally available whenever they need your attention.
7) Stop comparing your partner to other people.
If I had to rate everything on this list, this would probably be the worse thing you can do. Word of advice: don’t!
When you start comparing your partner to other people, it creates a whole bunch of problems. It’s like putting them under a microscope and measuring them against unrealistic standards.
And sure, sometimes you need to compare your partner to others to realize you deserve better.
But the thing is:
No one is perfect! Those trophy wives or dreamy husbands you see on social media have flaws too.
Comparison can breed feelings of dissatisfaction, resentment, and even jealousy.
Let me illustrate:
Imagine your relationship is a pizza made just the way you like it.
One day a friend tells you about their pizza, and you discover a bunch of fancy toppings you didn’t know existed!
Does that mean your pizza isn’t amazing in its own way?
It just means there are different toppings.
Now, if you constantly compare your pizza to your friend’s, you might end up adding unnecessary toppings and make your pizza taste awful.
This is what comparison does. It brings negativity into relationships and can ruin them.
Try to appreciate your partner’s qualities, quirks, and everything that made you fall in love with them. Celebrating their unique flavor is a recipe for happiness!
Sidenote: Sometimes partners and relationships are toxic. Comparing them to others can make you realize this. If you truly find yourself in an unhealthy situation, it’s better to separate than constantly beg your partner to change.
If you do any of the things mentioned in this list – no judgment. Just promise me that you’ll make a pact with yourself to stop.
Whether intentional or not, you could sabotage your relationship and lose someone who loves you.