My two greatest skills are getting into relationships and then quickly ruining them.
I can be normal for about two weeks, but soon after, I start to engage in all sorts of bad relationship behaviors. I get jealous, I micromanage, I can be passive aggressive, and I use sex as a weapon.
The thing is, I don't even intentionally do these things while dating. It's almost subconscious! I just know that the result is a guy who once really liked me all of a sudden hates me, breaks up with me, and unfriends me on all forms of social media.
What am I doing to destroy all these relationships?
I reached out to dating and relationship coach Monica Parikh, (who even has a course on attracting your best relationship), about the things you might be doing that are ruining your relationship without you even realizing it.
1. You Give Too Much
Your role in dating is to bring happiness and levity to your relationship, not to micromanage or mother your partner.
"Many women are natural givers. They automatically default to doing 90 percent of the work of a relationship — texting, planning dates, making dinner, cleaning the home, paying the bills, etc." Parikh explains. "Over-giving causes anger and resentment. Plus, all that work doesn't make a woman happy or playful — her #1 job in the relationship."
Although, if you're not getting what you want out of a relationship, or if it's not moving as quickly as you hoped, sometimes, your inclination might be to try to force things along.
To counter this, Parikh suggests, "All women should focus on their self-care as their #1 priority. As she works less, a man will be motivated to give more."
2. You Don't Have Good Boundaries
Having good boundaries is an absolute necessity for having a healthy relationship with others and yourself, whether it be professionally, personally, or romantically.
Parikh says, "Every woman should have standards — the baseline behaviors she demands in a relationship. Far too often, I see women sacrifice their dignity and self-respect for a relationship."
According to her, lowering your standards is not a good look, and can even be " the death knell for a relationship."
So what is it that men are actually looking for in a relationship? You'd be surprised.
"The most attractive quality to a man? Confidence and self-respect. I work with a lot of exceptional men (including world-ranked athletes, doctors, and leaders of companies), and they all fall hard for feisty women who know their worth," she explains.
Who knew the key to a healthy relationship was just being the best version of yourself and having standards? I guess I didn't need to keep dying my hair and buying new clothes to impress the guys I liked. I just needed a little self-respect!
3. There Are No Consequences For Bad Behavior
This one is easy.
"Good behavior should be rewarded, but bad behavior should not. Further, bad behavior should have a consequence," Parikh says. "Rewarding a man for poor behavior trains him out of being chivalrous, courteous, attentive, loyal, and kind."
So if he does something good, give him some positive reinforcement. If he does something you don't like, make sure you let him know.
She continues, "Develop an understanding for your own standards. Never reward disrespectful behavior with kindness, food, sex, money, or attention!"
At the end of the day, knowing what you want from others is about knowing what you deserve for yourself.
4. You Let Lust Override Love
"In today's online dating culture, sex is happening as early as the first or second date. If you're only interested in casual sex (and know you can handle the emotional ramifications), feel free to have sex early," Parikh says.
But don't mistake good sex for a good relationship. If you're looking for a healthy, long-term, monogamous relationship, then might want to wait.
"Sex releases oxytocin and serotonin, the body's 'feel-good' chemicals. These chemicals bond you to a virtual stranger, making it very difficult to make a rational decision about their viability as a healthy partner," she says.
Another way to demonstrate your worth and self-esteem could be waiting to have sex until you're both committed, or at least until you actually know the guy is right for you.
"Plus, postponing sex signals that you have high standards (very attractive) and expect to be treated very well," Parikh explains.
5. You Avoid Conflict Resolution
I am horrible at asking questions. I once kept finding women's clothing in my boyfriend's bedroom for nearly a year without asking him any questions about it because I feared conflict so much.
But when I finally found out he was cheating on me, I was like, "Yep, that makes total sense!"
"I see women afraid to ask difficult questions. This is very dangerous!" says Parikh. "A long-term romantic relationship is only viable if the partners share common values and have a similar vision."
How are you supposed to find out if you have the same goals for your relationship? Parikh says to "be bold": "When the time is right, ask about children, finances, religion, monogamy, emotional health (including counseling and therapy), and ensure that you're on the same page."
You can't expect to be in a relationship with someone you can't communicate with. So if you have a question, be direct and ask it. Questions are how you get to know someone! It's normal!
Plus, as Parikh points out, "it's better to end a relationship early than marry the wrong person."
So if you find that your relationship is in trouble, ask yourself if you or your partner are engaging in bad relationship behaviors. Thankfully, most of them are pretty easy to resolve.
It's all about good communication, healthy boundaries, self-love, and high standards.