Just about everyone falls into bad habits in a relationship. As a couple moves on from the rush of that exciting initial stage in dating, they inevitably develop tendencies that can eventually become pitfalls. Of course, it’s impossible to completely avoid habits that might irk your partner. Fact is, men and women are too different to get along all the time. Women like attention and emotional connection, men like sex and, uh, sex. But there are a few common tendencies in many relationships that can be addressed to save petty arguments and harbored resentments from happening too often.
- Getting lazy. Though it’s often unfairly seen as a female problem, letting yourself go is easy for either partner in a relationship. When you’ve been together for awhile, it becomes easier to wear the same ratty T-shirt every day or skip your daily trip to the gym—for a year or so. Regardless of the actual scenario, all it takes is a little effort to rekindle sparks lost to laziness in a relationship. Whether it be a candlelit dinner at home or a night on the town, give yourselves the opportunity to impress one another all over again once in awhile.
- Getting stuck in a rut. A couple’s daily routines can often disguise the fact that their relationship is hollowing out. Between work, family, friends and other commitments, it’s easy to drift apart emotionally from your significant other—even if you see each other all the time. If you’ve reached a point where it feels lie you don’t know the other person anymore, it’s time to either make an effort to reconnect or cut your losses and move on.
- Petty arguments. If there’s one thing about sharing living space that’s common to everyone, it’s that the person you share it with will eventually become unbearably annoying. In situations where this happens to couples, explosions over small things like an un-wiped counter or an un-emptied dishwasher often result. While some degree of jaw-clenching annoyance is bound to occur in every relationship, giving each other a little time and space works wonders to prevent a "Cops"-style domestic dispute over a colored shirt in the white laundry load.
- Complacency. In long term relationships, it’s easy to become complacent with what you have. Life is decent, there’s someone keeping the bed warm, and they even cook for you every once in awhile. But if the relationship has stagnated for an extended period and you still don’t really like each other enough to take it to the next level, it might be time to reassess your position. Every relationship requires a little settling from both ends, but that’s no excuse for being just lukewarm about the person you’re with.
- A dishonesty buildup. Healthy maintenance is hard to do with this bad relationship habit. It’s obvious that big lies lead to many splits, but small ones, too, can add up to become detrimental. From saying you like to cuddle all night when it actually keeps you from sleeping to keeping things about yourself from your partner, the little untruths are a symptom of a much bigger problem: lack of communication.
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