Romance isn’t just about a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. A satisfying relationship can also make people feel happy and healthy. But keep in mind that successful relationships aren’t just about rainbows and butterflies—a healthy partnership requires communication, respect, and plenty of good habits from both people. So when dating that special someone, avoid stalking their ex on Facebook, keeping feelings bottled up, and splitting the double cheeseburger every night. These bad habits could make a great relationship take a turn for the worse.
1. Trying to Improve Your Partner
There’s no such thing as a perfect person, so don’t expect unrealistic changes. Reminding him or her to make the bed is one thing, but trying to radically change shyness or anxiety is another and could be ignoring the underlying causes for those issues in the first place.
2. Avoiding Fighting
Love isn’t all good, all the time. Disagreements are bound to happen, and arguments can be a healthy part of a relationship. Never having conflict may make compromise impossible. Just don’t make fighting an all-day affair.
3. Not Talking It Out
If something is wrong, the other person probably can’t read your mind. When a problem comes up, speak up at the right time. One study suggests young couples are less stressed when they talk out their issues than when they keep their feelings bottled up. And don’t forget to say, “I love you.” Expressing emotions—positive and negative—can benefit that bond.
4. Allowing Jealousy to Take Over
Doubting your partner may be a symptom of a larger problem: relationship insecurity. And women who feel insecure in their relationships may be at greater risk for health issues like a weakened immune system. Some advice for reducing envy, at least temporarily? Stay off Facebook and other social networking sites.
When two people want to make it work, trust is key. Have confidence in your mate and respect their privacy: Don’t snoop through texts, emails, or bedroom drawers. (Definitely don’t use this!)
6. Doing Everything Together
Everyone needs some alone time (yep, even hopelessly devoted couples). Solitude may even enhance relationships, making time together more valuable.
7. Lacking Self-Confidence
Not feeling confident in a relationship can really do some damage: Low self-esteem is sometimes linked to low sex drive, which could make things less heated in the bedroom. Getting active, setting goals, and even smiling can improve self-confidence. But don’t forget that an unhealthy relationship can actually cause low-self esteem, so steer clear of someone who makes you feel less than great.