11 Signs You’re Too Type A In Your Relationship
Type A people are incredibly goal-oriented and hardworking, and usually super successful as a result. It's these go-getter traits that get them ahead in life and help them to scoop up promotions and climb corporate ladders. But when it comes to dating, it is possible to be too Type A in your relationship.
Even though there are tons of benefits associated with Type A personalities, there are downsides, too. According to WebMD, the definition of Type A is someone who's competitive, impatient, and uptight. And when applied to a relationship, those traits can easily create a situation that's unfair and unbalanced.
"Type A individuals are usually tremendously goal-oriented and generally love to stay on top of everything, but their need for perfection really puts pressure on their relationships," Jane Reardon, LA-based licensed therapist and founder of RxBreakup app, tells Bustle. And while being Type A doesn't mean it's impossible to have a healthy relationship, this is something to watch out for.
If these types of Type A traits sound familiar to you, it can help to balance them out with healthier habits. Below, experts point out the ways it can affect dating, as well as what you can do about it.
1. You Constantly Check In With Your Partner About The Status Of Your Relationship
Since Type A folks like to be in control, it can be difficult for them to kick back and enjoy the natural progression of a relationship. And that, unsurprisingly, can stir up problems.
"Type A personalities tend to focus on making sure that everything is in line and proceeding in an orderly fashion," clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow, host of The Web radio show, tells Bustle. "They don’t like disruption and they don’t like unresolved issues. As a result, they will frequently check the status of the relationship to make sure it’s running in the right direction."
While it's definitely important to talk with your partner and make sure you're on the same page regarding the status of your relationship, Klapow says checking in too often can create conflict. So don't be afraid to go against your usual habit, and instead try to enjoy the moment.
2. You Push Your Partner Beyond Their Comfort Level
Being in a relationship means supporting your partner when they want to make a change, and helping each other become better people along the way. But Type A people tend to force the issue, often when their partner isn't ready.
"They are so focused on achieving or succeeding that they lose sight of other people's perspective," Klapow says. "This can create all kinds of communication problems in a relationship and it can create feelings of resentment and lack of caring."
Encourage and support each other, but don't demand they change or push them too hard. If you partner can or wants to change something about themselves, they will.
3. You Always Compare Your Relationship To Others
Again, Type A folks are all sorts of competitive, which can come in handy at work. But this type of competition doesn't always have a healthy place in relationships.
And yet, Klapow says Type A personalities can have a hard time turning off the competition, and often "compare their relationship to other relationships, always trying to size things up. They often look around at other relationships and see them as competition."
If this sounds familiar, you might keep track of how many times your friend goes on vacation with her partner, or how many months it took for your co-worker to move in with his, and then size your own situation up against those stats. And not only can that make you and your partner unhappy, Klapow says "it can result in unfair expectations within your relationship."
4. You Compete With Your Partner, Too
Type A people tend to find themselves in competition with other couples, but also with their very own partners. So it's important to be aware of things getting out of control.
"It can be a little fun to have some competition with your significant other but it can all go down the drain when your partner realizes you two aren’t playing for the same team," Reardon says. If you want to compete, make sure it's in a fun, lighthearted way, and not in a way that'll tear your relationship apart.
5. Your Relationship *Always* Comes Second To Your Job
It's 100 percent possible to have a career you care about and a relationship. But with Type A personalities, the job often comes first in an unhealthy way.
As Reardon says, "They are always so focused at being the best, especially when it comes to their careers. They may spend too much time on work and focus too little on their relationship, socially isolating themselves and putting them at risk for increased stress, which can put stress on the relationship."
So keep in mind, it's all about that work/life balance. If you catch yourself letting important people fall to the wayside in favor of working 80 hours a week, it may be time to make a healthy change.
6. You Won't Stop Arguing Until You're "Right"
When it comes to arguing, pretty much everyone wants to win. But Type A people can take it to an unhealthy extreme, often doing whatever it takes to be "right" — even at the expense of a harmonious relationship.
"These behaviors can have a negative impact on the relationship because the other partner might start feeling undermined, not important, and like they always have to give in and do what their partner wants in order to avoid an argument," professional counselor Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, LPC, RPT tells Bustle.
Since this can lead to an unbalanced situation, it's important to listen to your partner, and fight in a fair way. Even though it might be tricky at first, it's a skill that can be practiced and perfected over time.
7. You Always End Up Getting Your Way
Similarly, when Type A personalities want something, they tend to get it. And that's not always cool when it comes to sharing your life with someone else.
"Type A people try to display power in their occupations and personal relations, forgetting the needs and desires of others in favor of their own, and this can really make a companion want out," Reardon says. "A relationship is a two-way street of compromising and partners should act accordingly." It might go against your entire being to let your partner "win," but it may be worth it every now and again.
8. You Can't Handle Your Partner's Flaws
It's OK to want things done a certain way. But having strong preferences — especially when it comes to living with another person — can lead to some unhealthy situations.
"Many Type A personalities can’t tolerate incompetence and failure," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. "While this might be an acceptable attitude in a high-stress work environment, if your partner’s foibles and failures bother you a lot, the relationship isn’t going to be healthy. No one is perfect and expecting that from your partner will only push him or her away."
It can be difficult, but it can help to learn to let things slide, perhaps with the help of a therapist.
9. You Over-Plan Your Lives Together
It's fine to plan your week and plan your vacations. But take note if it's at the expense of having a good time, or if it's creating a lot of anger and resentment between you and your partner.
"Good relationships will always involve leaving the house and doing fun activities," Bennett says. "However, if you have a difficult time simply spending time with your partner outside of planned activities and you consider 'downtime' a problem, you’re probably too 'Type A.'"
10. You Expect Your Partner To Have The Same Beliefs As You
Since Type A folks like to be right all the time, they often have a hard time seeing things from another person's perspective. Of course, you can imagine why that might be a problem in a relationship.
As therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW says, "If you pressure your partner to share dietary habits, movie preferences, leisure activities, etc.," it might be a sign you need to loosen up a bit. Again, relationships are about sharing your lives, and reaching mutual agreements; not turning your partner into someone their not.
11. You Don't Ever Ask For Help
When it comes to your relationship, are you the one who makes all the decisions, schedules your lives, and then hopes your partner comes along for the ride?
If so, remember that "relationships involve give-and-take," Bennett says. "This includes listening to your partner’s opinions and making compromises to make sure you’re both happy. If you make every decision, from the color of the curtains in your shared apartment to the TV shows you watch together, it’s going to eventually harm the relationship."
Even though it may not be in your nature, allowing your partner to help and to make decisions can actually bring you closer. Sure, you may be the organized, hardworking one of the relationship. But for your sake, and theirs, it can might be nice to occasionally let things go.