As a society, we’ve grown to be monogamous and devoted to one partner for life once we find the right person. While there is evidence to suggest that we haven’t evolved to be with only one partner to raise a family, if you’ve ever felt that rush of energy when you’ve fallen for someone the very first time you spoke to them, then you’ll know this can’t be true!
Lack of communication
Lack of communication is probably the biggest killer of relationships out there. When neither of you are communicating your wants or needs to the other, then neither of you can do things to help the other half feel happier. In many marriages, days can go by with neither person saying anything more than “What do you want for dinner?”, and with how fast life can move, neither of you can support the other without real conversations.
Prevention: Take the time to sit down every day with your partner and ask how they are and truly listen to them.
Technology and social media can be a time-sink for all of us at the best of times. This time that we lose to the internet can be time that we connect or be intimate with our partner. When you sit down with your lover and get your phone out and scroll for an hour, all it says to them is that you’d rather stare at the screen than look into their eyes!
Prevention: Put your phone away when you have alone time, and ban all electronic devices from the bedroom (this will also help you have healthier sleep!)
Leading a life of putting yourself first isn’t necessarily a bad thing, unless it actively effects others negatively. Unfortunately it does exactly that when living with a partner. Constantly putting yourself first shows your partner that they don’t matter to you or your life, while being involved with another person is all about “We”.
Prevention: Share your experiences, successes and learnings from failures with your partner. Actively involve them in your life if they want to be – but don’t force them into a skydive if they’re scared of heights!
While you can’t control the past, or the baggage each of you enters a relationship with, you can control your reactions to it. Each of us have lived experiences, but who we are in the present moment and the choices we make today are what matters and makes us who we are.
Prevention: Leave the past behind, forgive your partner for anything you feel they’ve done wrong. Also, forgive yourself for your past too, or your resentment will find its way into the relationship.
Entering into a relationship with someone else means holding a set of rules you both have communicated with each other and must live by. Every one of us have different needs in a relationship, and if you’ve both discussed yours, then make sure you live by these rules.
Prevention: Have “the talk” and follow the rules. If you feel restricted by them, then be honest with your partner about why you feel that way and move on from there.
Each of us as people grow and learn as time goes by and without strong communication (starting to see how important it is?), couples drift apart. When this happens, our life goals no longer coincide with each other and our paths diverge. How do you overcome one partner wanting to chase career around the country/world, while the other wants to settle roots and start a family?
Prevention: Have constant communication with each other about what your goals are so you can re-adjust and make plans together.
Moving too fast
Relationships that are healthy will take their own time to develop and grow. Comfort with each other leads to instinctive growth as a couple. When one partner tries to force things to happen too quickly, this is sure to build resentment.
Prevention: Relax about how things are moving, and let nature take its course!
While sharing your life together is a great thing, becoming interdependant means you both lose your sense of self. This ends up with both of you wondering where your life went and resenting one another.
Prevention: Make sure to take time for yourself as well as time with your partner.
Being dishonest, whether a small or large lie destroys trust in a relationship. Without trust, we lose comfort with each other and intimacy suffers as a result.
Prevention: Always try to be as honest as possible with your partner, no matter the circumstances. Even if they don’t understand your viewpoint, at least they would respect your honesty with them!
Finally, pride can be a detriment not just to your overall life experiences, but also your relationship. Being proud to the point of not being aware of your own flaws and problems is a surefire way to push away the people that care most about you!
Prevention: Every once in a while, take stock of what needs improvement in your own psyche, and own up to responsibility when you’re called out on your shortcomings.