Ok, so maybe “relationship killers” is a strong term. Maybe these 5 things we’re unpacking won’t kill your relationship, but they can certainly create strain. On the other hand, if left unaddressed, it’s possible one or more of these things could cause irreparable damage to your partnership. Of course, no two relationships are the same, and what is challenging in one relationship could be just fine in another. However, humans are pretty predictable and we’ve identified 5 things that could be relationship killers, or rather, harmful for relationships.
1. Not Carving Out Time for Your Loved One
In the beginning of a budding relationship, our new love is accompanied by hormones that drive us to seek out the person we are attracted to. This is Mother Nature’s way of ensuring we’re in close enough proximity to mate. But as the relationship progresses and we’ve established a sense of familiarity, Mother Nature backs off a little and it’s up to us to seek out and create time for our relationship and our loved one, even if our hormones are a little “meh” about it.
When both partners create space and time for each other and the relationship, they are not only sending a message to each other that they value the relationship, but they also create space in order for the union to flourish.
2. Not Prioritizing Communication
Communication is one of those things that can make or break a relationship. Whether it’s about goals, values, opinions, dreams, boundaries, or preferences, communication is paramount to keeping a relationship alive. Some of us are better communicators than others, and that’s ok. Even if you struggle with communicating effectively, practice will help you get better at it and prioritizing it sends a message to your partner that you value your connection with them.
3. Not Defining and Asserting Boundaries
In our parents’ day, it was considered a bit uncouth to assert yourself and your boundaries. But throughout the years, we’ve learned that defining and asserting boundaries is a critical component to a healthy relationship. Having boundaries can reduce resentment around not getting what we want in a relationship, while also removing the guesswork required of your partner when no boundaries are in place.
4. Listening Too Much to Other People
When things aren’t going the way we’d hoped, and even when they are, it’s not uncommon for us to turn to people outside the relationship for help. While this can help us see our blindspots and gain a new perspective, sometimes the help can be a little overbearing, or even harmful. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others, but also don’t be afraid to listen to yourself.
5. Not Working on Our Own Relationship Wounds
Most of us come into a relationship with a few metaphorical bumps and bruises – after all, love can be a tricky thing. But sometimes these wounds can open up and bring toxicity to an otherwise healthy relationship. If you’re still reeling from some deep-seated hurts that occurred in the past, it may be worth it to explore how those hurts are showing up in your relationship today.
While this list covers some of the major relationship killers or stumbling blocks, it is not exhaustive, nor does it mean your relationship is doomed if you recognize something on the list. You and your partner may not struggle with these, or you may struggle with something entirely different. The most important thing is to be open to exploring areas in which your relationship is challenged and being aware of what can stall a partnership.
If you struggle in any of these areas, a love coach might be able to help. Please reach out – you don’t have to walk this journey alone.