8 Dumb Little Things Holding You Back From a Healthy Relationship

A good relationship is hard to find.

Ask any single person who would love to be in a committed, strong relationship, and they'll tell you. Between their own mistakes and hang ups and those of the people they try to date, sometimes it seems like a miracle that anything could ever work out. (See also: 6 Time-Tested Ways to Make a Relationship Work)

If you want to increase your chances of said miracle, though, make sure you're not engaging in any of these dumb little things that may be holding you back from a healthy relationship.

1. Deferring to Their Opinion

It's nice to let your partner choose where you're going or what you're doing. Some of the time. The problem with deferring all the time, though, is that it shows that you're insecure. And when you are insecure all the time, your partner can feel like they need to fix that for you.

It isn't your partner's job to fix you. And asking them to do this, even if you do it indirectly, won't promote a healthy relationship. If your partner takes you up on this and tries to always reassure you, the relationship can become codependent. If they don't, you can end up angry and resentful towards them because they won't give you what you think you need.

2. Dressing Up to See Them

Sure, you want to impress the person you want to be with (or want to stay with). It's natural that you would want to look your best. However, when your partner never sees you in your normal clothes, it's like you're hiding part of who you are. And if you're hiding here, there's a good chance you're hiding other things, too.

Relationships need truth to survive. Even when that truth is hard, when you're afraid that your significant other won't want to know something about you — whether that's your sexual history or the fact that you have a whole collection of sweatpants — it's better to express them than to keep quiet. Hiding may seem like a small thing, but it can make or break a relationship.

3. Saying Negative Things About Singleness

Even if you're in a relationship, it's worth your time to examine your attitudes about singleness. If you think negatively about single people or about being single, it probably means that you think a person's meaning comes from his or her romantic relationships. This puts a lot of stress on your relationship, because you want your partner to make your life meaningful.

When you expect someone else to give your life meaning, you're asking a lot of them. In fact, you're asking something from them that they can never give you. Because meaning is something that wells up from inside you and that only you can determine whether or not you have, asking another person to give you that is asking them to climb inside your head. Starting a relationship by expecting the impossible will never lead to health.

4. Wondering If You Should Break Up After Every Fight

Most people don't realize that relationships are hard. But conflict should be expected, not a surprise. If you are so surprised that you want to break up, it probably means that you're expecting the relationship to be easy.

When we have an expectation, especially one we haven't talked about or, sometimes, even made conscious, we tend to do whatever we can to make sure things fall into place the way we want them to. This can mean manipulating people, ignoring our feelings, and more. Or, it can mean ending a good relationship once it's no longer perfect.

5. Reminding Someone of What They Did Wrong Last Week

When someone hurts you, it's natural to remember that and to feel wary about interacting with that person in the future. If you keep bringing up your partner's past wrongs, though, it indicates that you're holding a grudge and it often makes the relationship unhealthy.

If you can't get over something that someone did to you, whether it was big or small, you probably shouldn't be with them. Otherwise, you will end up angry at them and distrustful of everything they do, and you could even end up stalking them or putting them under surveillance, which is clearly unhealthy.

6. Rolling Your Eyes

When you roll your eyes, you indicate that you're annoyed in the most dismissive, rude way possible. Sure, it's one little action, and if you do it when your partner can't see you, it won't even bother them. Whether they see you or not, though, an eye roll is indicative of a certain kind of attitude, and it's not one that makes for a healthy relationship.

7. Saying "Yes" When You Mean "No"

If you want to make someone happy, you do whatever they want to do, right? Right? Wrong. Doing whatever someone asks of you all the time means that they control the relationship and you don't. This uneven balance of power can be unhealthy and even destructive, especially if the powerful person decides to take advantage of things.

Saying "No" might make you feel like you're disappointing your partner, but sometimes you have to do that. Setting boundaries is key in healthy relationships, so that people know what they can and cannot expect from you and what you are and are not willing to give.

8. Making Sure Things Are "Even"

It's great that you want things to be fair, but always looking out for that is usually just another way to keep score, which is dangerous for your relationship.

The problem with keeping score, with always knowing whether you owe or are owed, is that it becomes difficult to talk about any particular issue at hand. Every time you disagree with your partner, you'll bring up the past, which means that now you're talking about all of those issues as well as the one right in front of you. This can degenerate into you trying to justify your version of the scorecard while your partner does the same with theirs, which means the issue at hand is never dealt with and is only added to the score, for next time.

What changes have you made to make your relationships healthier? What is one small change that seems to make all the difference?

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