Originally posted on Bustle
You probably know someone who’s guilty of sabotaging a relationship, but you may be less likely to admit if you’ve done something along the same lines. It’s one of those behaviors that is so much easier to spot in other people, but the truth is way too many of us doom our own relationships to fail. It can stem from a lot different places: fear of commitment, feeling unworthy, general anxiety, etc. In fact, the reasons are just as multifold and unique as the people who do it. But when you’re doing it, it can feel visceral and out of control, and even surreal. You may sense yourself doing things that aren’t good for you, without really being able to stop yourself.
Firstly, don’t panic — there are ways to fix it, like stopping to breathe and be grateful — and show that you’re grateful— for this wonderful partner you have. “This wonderful virtue extends beyond social grace and protocol,” licensed marriage and family therapist, Cara Itule, tells Bustle. “Simple and sincere acknowledgments of gratitude goes a long way with your partner. Letting your partner know that you are grateful for what they do makes them feel wanted, needed, and appreciated.”
Reminding yourself of the good things about your relationship and why you want it to go well can be incredibly grounding, but the hardest part is realizing you’re doing it in the first place. Here are some sings you’re dooming your relationship to fail:
1. You’re Assuming Rather Than Asking
Think you can read your partner’s mind and you never need to talk it out, because, you know, you just get them? That’s a bad sign. “Assumptions and mind reading usually lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings,” Sameera Sullivan, psychologist and founder of Lasting Connections, tells Bustle. By not actually giving your partner a voice, you’re definitely dooming your relationship.
2. You Stick To Your Version Of Your Partner
Similarly, you may have this idealized idea of your partner in your head— and ignore all the times when your actual flesh-and-blood partner doesn’t live up. “Infatuation is normal, but obsession isn’t,” Alessandra Conti, matchmaker and dating expert, tells Bustle. If you’re obsessed with who you want your partner to be, chances are it’s not going to last.
3. You Make Fun Of Them To Your Friends
I know, it sounds extreme — but it happens. I mean, it’s totally normal to vent about your partner or your relationship to your friends at times. But if you undercut your partner and make fun of them to your friends, you’re setting your relationship up to fail.
4. You’ve Got A Secret Crush
“A couple should never lie about growing attractions to someone else,” relationship coach and therapist Anita Chlipala, tells Bustle. It’s completely normal to find someone else attractive — and you certainly don’t need to tell your partner every time that happens. But if it’s a growing crush and you’re just letting it increase and increase, there could be big problems in the future.
5. Your Guard Is Way, Way Up
Not letting your partner in — whether you mean to or not — will have a huge impact on your relationship in the long run. “Real intimacy comes from letting your guard down and allowing your partner to witness you in a less than stellar light,” Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes, licensed psychologist, dating coach, and the founder of relationship consultancy Rapport Relationships, tells Bustle. If you can’t do this, then your relationship won’t have the foundation it needs for the future.
6. You’re Avoiding Them
It may seem obvious, but it isn’t always. Quality time helps glue a relationship together and, while independence is super important, if you’re avoiding spending time with them, something may be wrong.
7. You’ve Got Insanely High Expectations For The Relationship
No one thing can change your life completely — not a new job, a new city, or a new relationship. If you’re putting too much pressure on it, it’ll show. “The number one thing that seems to cause dating anxiety the most is the pressure of meeting expectations, whether it’s theirs or their dates’,” Certified Matchmaker Marissa Ventura, tells Bustle. Sure, a relationship can have a huge impact on your life, but be realistic in your expectations.
Once you identify that you’re sabotaging a relationship, it’s way easier to stop it — so be sure you know what to look for.