10 Surefire Ways To Ruin A Relationship

Universal Pictures/The Break-Up

Not every relationship is built to last; there are plenty of serious dealbreaker scenarios that can wreck a relationship beyond repair. The following, however, are not those scenarios. The following are avoidable, unnecessary, and petty ways that we humans tend to ruin potentially amazing relationships. We’re all guilty, but we can all change. See if any of these ring a bell, and if they do, stop it!

1. Compare Them To Other People

Everyone has specific strengths and weaknesses, so as soon as you begin comparing people to exes, coworkers, celebrities or faithful pets, you’re wasting time. If you can’t handle someone’s flaws, you can leave. But keep in mind, your subsequent relationships will likely end up the same until you learn to accept people wholly.

2. Ignore Their Feelings

Here’s the thing about feelings: there is no right or wrong. If you hurt someone’s feelings, you must apologize for hurting their feelings. You must not explain to them why their being hurt is irrational or inaccurate. Feelings aren’t logical; you can’t argue your way to correctness. It’s one thing to express your disagreement, but it’s another to insist that your partner’s opinion is invalid.

3. Ruminate Past Offenses

In a courtroom, does the judge take the defendant’s past into consideration? Nope. (Or at least they’re not supposed to). It should work the same way in relationships. You have to decide at the time of the offense whether you can forgive or not. Obviously, things like abuse should warrant a breakup. However, most relationship offenses are far less serious and can be chalked up to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Once you decide to forgive, don’t reverse it. Let’s face it: Bringing up a past mistake in a new, unrelated argument is just bad debating.

4. Refuse To Compromise

If you are waiting to meet someone who likes everything just as you do, you’ll be waiting forever. Even worse, if you think you’ll eventually find someone to yield to all of your whims, you’ll probably be waiting a while, too. Even if you do find someone like this, you won’t truly be in a relationship with them; you’ll be more like a demanding boss.

5. Have A Condescending Attitude

This is something we tend to see more in couples who have been together a while and need to air some things out. If your partner forgets to take out the trash and you berate them, odds are there’s a little more behind it than just exasperation about the trash. Having an attitude is often passive aggressive. You’re basically saying, “I shouldn’t have to tell you why you’re wrong.” Unfortunately, we’re not in a perfect world, and if you want them to know something, you’re probably going to have to say it directly.

6. Take Them For Granted

It’s an unfortunate fact of human nature that having something around all the time tends to make us forget about it. While it’s not purposeful, losing track of your gratitude is bad because it eventually leads you to neglect that person. It’s easiest to feel the value of someone once they are gone. So if you care about someone, don’t let it get to that point. Recognize their value while you still can.

7. Use Them

Using someone is unethical; it’s a no-brainer. But what about when we use people without realizing it? If you only call someone when you need to vent or only hang with them when others aren’t around, that’s a form of using. It’s not a mutual benefit relationship — it’s just a “you benefit” relationship. People will eventually catch onto this and won’t be so eager to see you again.

8. Let Yourself Drift

In a relationship, letting yourself just drift off into the abyss is pretty much equivalent to giving up. In this scenario, maybe you’ve run out of things to talk about or you don’t have fun together anymore. By letting it go and not addressing it, you are silently, indirectly giving up on that relationship

9. Pretend

Remember the days when Will Smith would charm the ladies by pretending to be cool? He would line up multiple dates in the same week. Did it ever not backfire on him? Nope. It’s always a bad idea. Pretending to be something is exhausting and unsustainable — plus, you end up losing the other person’s trust and interest.

10. Compete

What is it about dating that gives people the urge to compete? Maybe it’s the fear of being defeated or controlled, or maybe it’s built-up resentment. Whatever the case, competition builds animosity and gives you an enemy instead of a partner.