“Excuse me, waiter? Yes, I’d like the triple cheeseburger with lettuce instead of bread.”
It may seem like you’re making a healthy choice but, at the end of the day, you ordered three slabs of meat with cheese. Much like this weird burger order, we make choices like these all the time in relationships and no, extra lettuce isn’t going to make it all better. Here are five toxic relationship habits we mistake as healthy:
Being together all the time
It can quickly become toxic to dedicate all of your time to one person. Once this happens, it’s a slippery slope to losing touch with family and friends, abandoning your own self-care and feeling isolated. It’s not uncommon either in these relationships that if a breakup occurs, getting over the breakup may be that much harder because you’ll lack the support of those that you pushed away.
Keeping score keeps things even
Relationships are not about keeping score. When you decide to be with someone, you are making the choice to accept the good and the bad. This can become an especially cumbersome problem if you hold onto and compare your blames. If your partner is mad at you for hurting their feelings, and your instinct is to bring up a time that they hurt your feelings last week, it’s time to grow up. Be more open to communication. Instead of comparing pain, take responsibility for your actions, and instead of letting your pain fester, let your partner know when they hurt you.
Jealousy (but in a cute way!)
Jealousy is NEVER cute. It’s important to learn to trust your partner, and also recognize that not everyone is a threat. Most times you feel jealous also may not be very rational.
Here is a helpful list of harmless activities:
- Following someone on social media→ you’re curious about other people’s lives too, right? So is your S/O.
- Thinking an actor is hot→ you probably have some faves too! And it doesn’t matter because chances are super low that your partner is going to run off with a random celebrity
- Seeing other people look at your S/O→ Again, much like the actor situation, having other people enjoy how your partner looks will not change anything about your relationship. And let’s be honest: you like the way your S/O looks too! So instead of getting upset at other people for looking, feel confident in the fact that you’re the one that gets the relationship benefits.
Dropping hints instead of communicating
I know I’ve certainly had the thought before: “But they should just know!”
But the truth is: No, they shouldn’t. People aren’t mind-readers (well, most aren’t), so it’s important to always be transparent about how you are feeling instead of assuming your partner will get it. If you always wait for your partner to understand how you’re feeling, it may never happen and will make you feel more upset. It’s less scary to put communication on the other person, but it’s also way less effective at giving you what you need. So speak up!
You may think that buying a gift after a big fight is a nice gesture, but it doesn’t solve the root of the problem. What matters most after a fight is addressing key issues, talking through them and most importantly, taking steps so that the same issue does not happen again in the future. Presents are for birthdays and holidays, not fights.