When we have complaints about our partner, we usually head toward our phone to text our friends about the situation. While dishing to your pals about your troubles over a beer can be cathartic, be careful with this. Lisa Brookes Kift, a psychotherapist, tells Psych Central repeatedly complaining to your friends about your partner is likely going to lead to a lot of negative feelings. You’ll also be shedding negative light on what your friends and family think of your partner, which can result in uncomfortable situations later on.
Kift recommends taking note of how often you’re complaining to your friends, and what your frustrations are about. Think of your partner as a fly on the wall — if they overheard you, what would they think? You need to assess your needs, then address any areas that are lacking directly with your partner instead of explaining it to your friends.
You stonewall when you’re angry
All couples argue — it’s how you and your partner deal with the argument that’s really important. If you’re able to keep your cool when tempers flare, then you’re probably able to come to a civil conclusion pretty quickly. However, if you’re the type to stonewall during any sign of conflict — that is, walking out in the middle of a discussion, refusing to discuss the topic at hand, or dismissing what your partner has to say — then you could be the reason your relationships seemingly go nowhere.
Cooling down during an argument is one thing, but totally refusing to discuss important matters is quite another. According to GoodTherapy.org, stonewallers typically have problems with manipulation or control. Stonewalling is often used to regain power of a situation, which can make your partner feel helpless and frustrated. This behavior can spell disaster.
You date people you want to change
You love everything about your partner — except maybe their family, career, clothing style, and choice of friends. If you find yourself picking apart your significant other and thinking how wonderful they’d be if only certain aspects about them were totally different, then you could soon destroy your relationship.
You’re not going to love everything about your partner, and that’s OK. You’re bound to feel disappointed with your partner if you believe from the get-go they can be changed to fit your mold, as it’s really out of your control. Change occurs internally, and it will only happen if your partner wants it to.
You jump from one relationship to the next
If you’re already halfway into a new relationship when the last one just ended, you could be setting yourself up for failure. The Los Angeles Times says hopping from one relationship to the next could be a sign you’re looking for the “perfect” companion, or that you have self-esteem issues. Dr. Sheldon H. Kardener, a psychiatrist specializing in couples therapy, tells the publication some people do this as a way to prove they’re still desirable. This is unhealthy, however, and won’t lead to lasting love.
You can’t admit it when you’re wrong
We’ve all been there — you’re in the midst of a heated argument with your S.O. and you realize you’re dead wrong. The right thing to do in this situation is to gracefully step down from your throne and admit defeat. This doesn’t always happen, though, and that’s a problem. According to Psychology Today, it’s important to remember being wrong isn’t a character flaw. Being right is far less superior than being an improved version of yourself. During times of conflict with your partner, stop to ask yourself if you’re speaking from a genuinely good place, or if you’re just trying to win the argument.