I don't know about you guys, but all of my failed relationships have totally been the other person's fault... I am flawless and don't have any bad habits in a relationship that I need to break, like, at all.
But, let's say — completely hypothetically — that I am not, in fact, the poster child for perfect girlfriend behavior. That I get overly sensitive, send mixed signals about what I really want from a relationship, and have occasionally forced my boyfriends to get me ice cream and chocolate chip cookies in the middle of the night. I guess those might fall under the category of bad relationship habits I should aim to break, huh? (Don't worry, I'm working on it.)
The fact of the matter is that we all have habits we should aim to break — there's always an opportunity to be a better, less challenging, and more supportive partner. Maybe you don't insist on making ice cream cookie sandwiches "right this minute," but you've probably got a few metaphorical skeletons to clean out of your closet and some behaviors that need changing — be they harmful to yourself, your partner, or both.
Here are three super common bad relationship habits you should aim to break this season. Because it's spring cleaning time, y'all, and the perfect opportunity to freshen up your dating M.O. for your S.O.
Bringing up past relationships and old flames.
I once dated a guy who constantly worked his ex-girlfriend into the conversation. It was... bizarre, and super unsexy. I joked about making a "Jessica Jar" and having him throw a dollar in every time he mentioned her name. (Oh, and in case you were wondering: Yes, they did later get back together. And yes, I definitely should have ended things sooner)
If you keep catching yourself bad-mouthing your ex, or telling stories about old flames, try to break that habit this spring. And if you've got a stock pile of their old t-shirts in your wardrobe, be sure to clean those out, too.
Flirting with other guys and girls.
This is another one of my not-so-great relationship habits. I have the kind of aggressively friendly personality that often translates as flirtatious, even if I have no interest in someone. But, as dating coach and expert Meredith Golden of SpoonmeetSpoon recently shared with Elite Daily, flirtation — whether it's intentional or not — can do a lot of damage to your partner's self-esteem.
"You think it’s harmless and playful, but it’s beyond destructive and toxic and can leave your partner feeling humiliated [or] not good enough," Golden explained. "There are several ways to fix this, but I think an aggressive approach should be exercised here. Abort this behavior immediately."
Expressing your feelings passive-aggressively.
If I had to guess, I'd say that passive aggression is the number one bad relationship habit in the western world. And if you've never responded to the question, "Are you OK?" with "I'm fine," even though you most certainly were not fine, I applaud you (and low-key don't believe you)!
The problem with passive aggression is that it forces your partner to try to read your mind — and like, even Edward Cullen couldn't read Bella's mind, you guys. It also leads to negative emotions building up and festering over time, instead of allowing you to tackle small challenges and conflicts before they spiral into much larger issues.
But passive aggression is so last season — going forward, try to address frustrations with your partner head-on, instead of insisting "you're fine" and letting that irritation build up in your mind.
If you're not sure which bad dating habits you should be striving to break, turn to your partner or your friends for their input. As licensed therapist and relationship expert Anita Chlipala told Elite Daily earlier this month, "If you give a play-by-play of your dates to your girlfriends, ask them what they think you might be doing wrong." You can't break a habit you don't even realize you have, right?
Cheers to a fresh, clean dating philosophy this spring!
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