No one starts a meaningful relationship intending to ruin it, but keeping a long-term relationship healthy and happy takes some effort. One way to help avoid needless conflict is to be aware of problems that can destroy your love, so here are seven sins to keep in mind (and avoid!) in order to make that rocky road to love a lot smoother.
We know how destructive the green-eyed monster can be. A little jealousy can show your partner that you feel strongly about him or her, but it can be more than a little bit toxic. If you feel jealous of your partner’s attention to another person, to work or to a passionate hobby, it’s time to figure out why you feel so insecure, and perhaps get some help in understanding and dealing with it.
If you’ve ever looked at dating sites, you’ve seen that most people list communication as one of the most important qualities in a partner. Good communication requires being honest and kind at the same time. Learn to talk to each other and work issues out even if it makes you uncomfortable; if you don’t, you are risking feelings like anger or impatience growing into something larger and much more difficult to contain.
A negative person is always telegraphing the fact that nothing can really make them happy, and that is a relationship killer. It takes time to consciously reprogram your brain, but you can. Force yourself to see the good in things before you see what is potentially bad. No one is telling you to turn into Pollyanna, but a good attitude can be cultivated, and it can be as realistic and practical as a bad one, if not more so.
It’s normal to have expectations of our partners. Positive, realistic expectations can make your partner feel loved, trusted and supported. But if you secretly are expecting him to leap tall buildings and become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company when he’s only in his second year of working for the bank, you are setting yourself up for trouble.
Lack of affection
It’s easy to drift into taking your partner for granted, but it’s a mistake. Be proactive: give him a real kiss when he re-stains that chair; snuggle while you’re watching television; give him a hug for no reason at all. Humans need affection, and similarly, humans need to remember to give affection.
Routines are comfortable, but if you want to keep your relationship happy, don’t let it get boring. Take the lead: suggest new activities and interests, do something (like a bike ride or afternoon sex) that you don’t usually do. In other words, keep the relationship alive and well instead of letting it become predictable and dull.
This is the biggest and most obvious relationship-destroyer of them all. But infidelity doesn’t usually happen out of the blue—even if it feels that way. The problems discussed above all have the potential to build up to the point of explosion, or the point at which you or your partner start finding someone else irresistible. So use the advice here to keep your relationship alive, intimate and healthy.