Relationships are difficult to navigate. Especially these days, when the world tends to feel – more than ever – like it’s falling apart at the seams.
But, while romantic relationships and partnerships are certainly a great way to find comfort, grounding, and stability, it’s important to ensure that you aren’t unwittingly nurturing toxic habits with your partner.
Here are 9 such habits that, while we often consider ‘healthy,’ are actually pretty toxic:
Calling your partner your “everything”
A friend of mine, after dating someone for about six months, texted me and said, “she means everything to me.” Six months after that, he proposed, and now they’re married.
While I’m sure they’ll stay “happily-ever-after” married forever, sometimes I still think about that text and feel a little like: uh. k. When you make your partner your “everything,” you are kind of saying that everything else – yourself included – is nothing.
That’s not romantic. It’s not cute. And it’s definitely not healthy.
Look, communication is good. Great. A real pillar of a strong relationship right there – good job. Constant communication, however, is not okay.
One of my friends started dating this girl, and I don’t know if it was her or him or both of them (my money’s on both) but those two would talk on the phone a dozen times a day.
And it would happen multiple times a day. Always.
Asking your Partner to *fix* your emotional issues
Your partner is not responsible for your emotional well-being. Nobody can fix your emotional issues but you.
Your partner “not being there for you,” or being “unsympathetic to your crappy day,” or being “distant” during a hug, or going out with friends instead of comforting you are all examples of you expecting them to take care of you, instead of you taking care of yourself.
Take responsibility for your own emotions and expect your partner to be responsible for theirs.
Being responsible for each other’s happiness
Really just the “positive upside” of being responsible for each other’s emotional well-being. Because, folks, it’s not good even when it’s “good.”
I once dated a guy who won me over by asking, early on, “how do I make you happy?”
I thought this was like the creme de la creme of #relationshipgoals. And maybe it is, somewhere, with two healthy people with strong senses of self-sufficiency.
Doing everything together, never apart
Holy codependence, Batman. There’s a trend here.
Seeking “balance” by keeping score
I know some people who tally up chores like they’re still earning star stickers in first grade. Or going through their picks for playground soccer – “I’ll take the laundry if you do the floors.”
I refuse to fight about chores. Or splitting tabs. Or who gives whom more oral sex. I actually refuse to fight about a lot of shit, but I definitely refuse to fight about any tit-for-tat bullsh*t.
Sugar-coating and never hurting the other person’s feelings
We already do so much of this in our everyday lives as it is, I can’t imagine having to tiptoe around my partner like he was 8 years old – that’s exhausting.
But at the end of the day, if your partner can’t tell you that you have something on your face or they need a day alone, that’s your deal and not theirs.
And trying to buy your way into love. Holidays abroad, status symbols, a kid and then another. Romantic gestures, mixing it up, public displays of affection… it’s all for show and might be all for naught.
You may buy yourself some time, but you’re also putting some substantial lipstick on an increasingly bloated pig.
Sticking it out even when you are miserable
I know our grandparents did this, but you know a lot of folks of that time were – and still are miserable, right?
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