Sometimes when you date, you get too comfortable. It feels like you’ve settled into something routine and reliable, and you essentially stop trying. That’s when the problems can set in. Slowly and without even noticing, you undermine your relationship until it’s too late and you realize you just don’t work well together anymore. It can be the worst feeling, and it may have resulted from the very simple problem of taking the backseat in your own romantic life. Relationships always take work, so don’t let complacency undermine what might otherwise be a good thing. Here are 15 things you might be doing that can ultimately take their toll on a great thing:
1. You burp and fart in front of one another, you leave the door open when you go to the bathroom, and basically all manners have gone out the window.
Just because you feel comfortable together doesn’t mean you should give up on romance. Bodily functions are normal, natural, and sometimes hard to hide, but some people put them on display because they think it’s no big deal. There’s nothing wrong with exercising a bit of discretion as a sign of respect, and to show that hey, you’re sexy too. Remember, nobody looks super pretty sitting on a toilet.
2. You don’t do favors (get your mind out of the gutter, we don’t mean sexual ones!).
Remember how you used to do little, nice things for the other person when you were dating? Those are still important! It’s a way to show you still care. Don’t stop holding the door, making them a lunch to bring to work, or picking up the dry cleaning every once in a while.
3. You stop complimenting them.
No, maybe her beauty is no longer quite so shocking to you — you see her every day. That doesn’t mean you should stop delivering compliments to make her feel pretty, particularly on her most insecure days. Same for guys. They want to look nice too.
4. You become lazy.
He or she could, theoretically, walk out that door at any minute. You can’t let yourself go just because you’re in a relationship. That’s not fair to the person attracted to you, or to your own body!
5. You ignore the person.
You used to get excited when they called. Now, it’s part of your routine, so you sometimes press Ignore when they give you a ring to “check in” during the day or you don’t respond when they text you. Just because you’re seeing them later doesn’t mean you should forgo the little check-ins over the course of the day.
6. You become stubborn.
So you don’t feel like you need to give in to them anymore? No need to impress or compromise? Hardly! It’s important to continue to practice give and take, continuously, to maintain balance. You might feel so secure together that you don’t need to give in to them sometimes, but compromise is essential, always.
7. Date night = Netflix.
Yes, it’s always nice to stay in, cook dinner, and watch some House of Cards together. No, this should not be your date night, even if you enjoy it. Getting out together is important. It feels new, exciting, and reminds you of days when you guys were both trying a little harder.
8. There’s no vacation in sight.
When you first start going out, it’s so fun to travel and explore new places together. Then you stop trying to entertain one another, getting caught up in work and other relationships. Vacations are amazing for the body and mind, and enjoying them together lets you spend time with one another and focus on your relationship, rather than the million other little things going on in your life.
9. You stop giving little gifts.
You used to stop at the grocery on the way home when you knew she'd had a bad day at work and bring home a small bouquet of her favorite flowers. She used to buy you souvenirs when she went on trips with her girlfriends if she saw something that reminded her of you. But then you stopped because you weren’t always thinking about the other person and missing them. You need to remember why you love them and show them that with small tokens of appreciation every once in a while.
10. You go to bed at different times.
Going to bed at the same time obviously improves romance, but it’s also a time to hang out. A lot of happy couples watch TV together, read next to one another, or chit chat about the day before bed. You might not be able to do it every night, but it’s important to go to bed at the same time as much as you can. That way, you can sync up your schedules so you wake up together, have breakfast together, and can spend more time with one another before and after work.
11. You fight over things that really aren’t worth it.
Organic or normal apples? Pizza or sushi for dinner? You know what? It really doesn’t matter. Remember the whole “choose your battles” adage that you used to live by? It’s worth going back to it. This ties back with compromising more, but it also incorporates the concept of not picking fights to begin with.
12. You don’t talk about money.
Once you’ve established yourselves as a real couple that lives together, spends lots of time together, and has deeply intertwined lives, you need to also discuss finances. And no, it’s not just about saying “Can we afford this?” or “Should we eat out or eat in to save money?” You literally need to sit down, chat about what resources you have or where you need to save, and implement your plan together. Money issues are a huge cause of conflict, as we all know. Avoid that problem if you can.
13. You talk about them behind their back.
It's just cold, but unfortunately, it's kind of common. It’s easy to complain to your friends about your significant other, but it’s honestly not fair and definitely disrespectful. You should be able to talk to one another about everything, so if you have a problem with them, tell them, not someone else!
14. You nag. All the time.
The more time you spend together, the more the “little things” will probably start to annoy you. That doesn’t mean you should vocalize every annoyance, like the way they eat their food or how they sing loudly in the shower every morning. Nagging can really chip away at someone's self-esteem. And it's annoying.
15. You go back on promises you made or plans you made together.
This is a big one. Maybe you had talks about serious life decisions when you first got together, like wanting kids, saving up to buy a house, career goals, and when you wanted to get married. If time together has made you change your sentiments about these things, you definitely need to tell the other person. This could ruin the relationship, but it’s important for you to be vocal about what may or may not be a deal-breaker. Also, think about why you no longer want kids or want to get married soon. It could point to a larger issue in your relationship.