Congratulations, you’re in a relationship.
You’ve braved the minefield that is dating. You zeroed in on somebody you like and who likes you. And now you’re looking at some kind of long-term future with your new partner.
Except that you always seem to be doing something wrong. You find yourself often in hot water.
You’re frequently bickering about something. You care about your partner, but some days, you wonder if it’s going to work out or just spontaneously combust one of these days.
There could be many explanations, but one of the more common ones is that you are unintentionally sabotaging your relationship. Without even realizing it, you’re helping create scenarios that can produce nothing but bad endings.
Take note of the list below and ask yourself if you’re doing any of these things. If so, it may be relatively easy to turn things around and get the good without all the bad.
Always Trying To Be Right
Many of us have this principle ingrained in us. If you have a disagreement — whether it’s about something serious or something as minor as the name of an actor in that one movie — you want your rightness to be recognized.
In minor instances, no harm, no foul. You knew that his name was James Cromwell, and he was in “Secretariat.” Awesome job, and bad on her for doubting your IMDb-esque knowledge of random actors.
But when it comes to something more serious, consider handling the situation differently.
If you have a money dispute or she thinks you were a jerk to her friend or you misunderstood each other in a way that led to a fight, being right counts for nothing. It only winds up sabotaging your relationship.
Sure, you may feel like you were right and deserve and apology — but guess what — so does she. Out-arguing her to prove your case doesn’t help you move on. It just makes her feel like shit.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you just roll over and “let” her win every argument. That has its own set of negative consequences. I am saying, though, that you should take your eye off who is “right” and focus on how to resolve the conflict.
Resolution is the goal, not rightness. If you can frame the conversation in terms of, “It doesn’t matter who’s right. Let’s focus on how we can do better next time,” then you stand a much better chance of making things work long-term.
Requests Are Too Comfortable
When you’re first dating, how much do you ask of her?
Do you ask her to get you something out of the fridge? Do you ask her to pick you up? Perhaps you ask for a back massage? How about assuming a BJ even though the reciprocation ratio has escalated well past 3-to-1?
Early on, you regarded these things as incredible gifts. They were — and they still are. The only difference is that now you’ve come to expect them.
Take a moment to reframe everything your lady does for you. How much of it is well beyond the realm of reasonable expectations?
Perhaps a lot. Be sure to put that into better perspective. Spend a little time re-learning just how above and beyond she goes.
Thank her for it. Taking time to rethink your expectations goes a long way to avoid sabotaging your relationship.
Focusing On The Downsides
This happens often after you’ve moved from dating to a relationship. Early on, you see all the great things that she has to offer, but as you’re settling in for the long-term, the focus switches to what she doesn’t give you.
I get it. You’re making a commitment, so now you’re worried about what you’re giving up by being with her. That’s a natural, if immature, thought to have.
By focusing on the negatives, you end up forgetting about all the positives. It will end up sabotaging your relationship.
It skews your entire outlook, and you fail to see all the ways in which your girlfriend is probably one of the most awesome people that you know.
Everyone has faults. Even you.
So, unless she has some really unlivable issue that poisons the entire relationship, work on accepting it and focusing on the good parts.