7 Toxic Relationship Habits I Used To Do (And You Probably Do Too)
Relationships are difficult. You’ve got to work at them everyday for them to be happy and healthy ones. Sometimes we think we’re acting the right way or maybe we don’t know the right thing to do. If that’s the case, the relationship may fall prey to these 7 toxic relationship habits and is ultimately doomed.
Before I found the love of my life, I dated a lot of people. A lot. In the beginning, my relationships were amazing. It was like I was in a movie. He was handsome. I was beautiful. Every time I saw him, my heart would flutter with anticipation when he smiled at me. When he touched me, I could barely breathe. We were perfect in every way possible. We were the dynamic duo. It felt marvelous. I never wanted the feeling to end.
And then something went wrong and it all seemed to fall apart just as fast as it started. Yeah, maybe I did my best to hold on to that great feeling by keeping the relationship on life-support, but it was over.
Why did these relationships end? Maybe we weren’t compatible. Sure, that could have been it. Or, maybe we were both practicing some extremely toxic habits that ruined the relationship from the beginning.
Are you guilty of doing any of these 7 toxic relationship habits?
#1 – Comparing to old loves
A long time ago, many years before I met the man of my dreams, I was having dinner with one of my many boyfriends. The meal was over and the waitress put the check on the table. My boyfriend looked at the check and then looked at me and said, “Your half is $25.”
Immediately, I thought about a previous boyfriend and how he always paid for our meals no matter what. There was no bickering over the check with him. Oh how I wished I were with that guy instead of this one.
Regardless of the situation, you shouldn’t compare one person to another one. People are as unique as their fingerprints and I’m sure my beau who paid for dinner had other flaws I’m not remembering accurately. For that reason, comparisons are unfair.
#2 – Being passive-aggressive
Take the dinner situation we just talked about. When this was actually occurring, instead of communicating clearly how I felt, I responded with, “Sure. Even though you make more money than I do and right now I’m unemployed, here’s the $25.”
Responding with a smug retort only serves to make both people uncomfortable and muddy the waters even more. It’s definitely a toxic relationship habit to break. A better reply would have been to explain that, “I’d like to pay, but I’m short on cash. Next time I’ll know better and make sure I’m prepared.”
While my second comment may not be the best, it’s the one that’s more honest, open, and straightforward. It’s also imperative to make sure your tone follows suit. Being sincere is best, at least in this case.
#3 – Giving ultimatums
We’ve all given them, right?
“We’ve been dating for 5 years. Either we get engaged now or it’s over.”
“You’re spending too much time with your friends. Either you spend more time with me or it’s over.”
Giving ultimatums – no matter what the other person decides – is basically the end of the relationship.
Even if the recipient of the ultimatum does what he or she is asked to do, they’re doing it under duress and may resent you for it later. Going back to point #2 above, clear communication and asking nicely may have appealed to the person’s better judgment and garnered the same action with a happier end result.
Ultimatums are a big no-no in relationships.
#4 – Always being a downer
Bad things happen. That’s life, right? Well, even if you’ve got some bad, there’s probably some good too. If you’re always a glass half empty person, that’ll get old fast.
For example, if you think you’ll never have much luck in the love department just because a few relationships ended badly, that’s half empty and you’re probably going to bring that attitude into your next one.
Thinking more optimistically and having the glass half full perspective, such as understanding what went wrong in your last relationship so you don’t repeat the same mistakes, is better. That’s the way to set yourself up for a better relationship next time.
#5 – Blaming your partner for things you say and do
I know this one well. One of those boyfriends from long ago had a pair of jet skis and invited me to ride one of them with him and his friends. Sounds fun, right? It totally was… until he teased me that I looked like a grandma because I was going too slow and egged me to go faster.
It was then when the fun ended. I hit the gas on the jet ski and somehow managed to T-bone his friend’s jet ski with him on it. Instead of taking responsibility for my actions, I blamed him for making me go faster and causing the accident. No one made me go faster, I did it.
Black and blue marks and a couple thousand dollars later, the relationship was over. A healthy relationship requires each person take responsibility for his or her own actions. It won’t work any other way. That’s why it’s on the list of toxic relationship habits.
#6 – Thinking the worst when your partner interacts with the opposite sex
You may have every right to feel the way you do, but if you’re always concerned with your partner when he or she deals with the opposite sex, you don’t trust them and you shouldn’t be in a relationship with them.
You can’t be with your lover every minute of every hour of every day. Trust is a cornerstone component of all relationships. Without it, your relationship isn’t a healthy one.
If you’re just starting out and have these feelings, you’ve probably been burned in the past. Acknowledge them and move on. As long as you’re dating a new person, you should really give them the benefit of the doubt for your relationship to have a chance.
#7 – Throwing money at the relationship
Years ago I was hanging out at my boyfriend’s apartment. We were watching TV on the couch. I was snuggled in his arms when I heard something unzip. I turned my head around to see him fumbling with his pants. I had told him I wanted to take things slow so of course he decided to unzip his pants and give his little man some air.
Uncomfortable, I jumped up, gave some lame excuse about having to get up early in the morning, and bolted from his place.
I know there were so many toxic things happening here, but I want to focus on what happened afterward.
The next day he sent me flowers in the hopes of placating me or glossing over his little x-rated incident. He didn’t apologize. I didn’t bring it up. We never talked about it. He just thought that sending flowers would smooth the situation over and I would eventually come around. I did, but it didn’t last long.
The flowers didn’t make me forget that he was trying to force a sexual situation that I wasn’t ready for. The better course of action would have been to talk through what happened and deal with it head on.
My Final Thoughts
Everybody makes mistakes. I know I’ve made a ton of them. The important part is to be open and honest in your relationships. If things don’t work out and you part ways, mourn for your loss, but don’t let them drag you down and make you miserable. If you take a little bit of time to understand what went wrong, you’ll have a leg up so you can revive your current relationship or better prepare for your next one.
Only you know if you’ve done any of these toxic relationship habits. Be honest with yourself. If you’re guilty, admit it, and start practicing better habits so you can have a healthier relationship and find your soul mate!
Have you given up on the idea of a happily-ever-after?
Discover what you really want in a relationship and find the man of your dreams. Pick up my book, How to Get Along Before You Get It On: Dating Advice You Need to Have a Healthy Relationship, and finally find Mr. or Ms. Right.