Here's a heads up: You might be making your super partner anxious by accident, which as you can imagine, doesn't usually end well. That being said, it's important to notice the things you're doing that freak your partner out early on, before anything too drastic happens. It can be tricky to truly understand why your partner might be weirded out, as your actions and thoughts probably seem pretty normal to you, but you'd be surprised by the effects they can have on another person.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on finding happiness in their relationships and improving communication skills in order to better relate to their partners. While communication can be tough to master, as well as trust, acceptance, and comfort, if you don't open up to your partner, especially when you're feeling distant or anxious, it can lead to emotional disconnect. Plus, unless it's resolved, that caution and worry will probably just get worse. Also, if it's a new relationship, where boundaries aren't really set and you don't know each other too well, it can make the likelihood of getting "freaked out" by random stuff even higher. Here are 7 surprising things that might be putting your partner on edge that you hadn't really considered before.
1. You Project Your Parents Onto Your Partner
According to Jessica Graham, relationship expert and author of the forthcoming book Good Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out, over email with Bustle, it's not such a great thing to resemble your mom too much in a relationship. "You might be surprised by how much you are projecting your parents on your partner," says Graham. Your partner yelling at you? "Without even being aware, you might start superimposing your angry mother on your partner. At that point, you'll stop seeing or hearing your partner and instead feel like you are 5 and your mom is yelling at you," says Graham.
2. Giving Up Your Own Self
According to Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, a relationship expert and founder of Relationup, over email with Bustle, if you're always doing what your partner wants and not showing an interest of your own or commitment to doing things outside the relationship, it can make you seem too invested as being a duo. "During the course of your relationship, if you pursued fewer and fewer interests of your own and more of those interests of your partner," without a good mix, it might freak him or her out, says Milrad.
3. Talking About Having A Family When You First Start Dating
Sure, if you're married and are on that path together, discussing having a family and those logistics might still be scary, but it'll make sense. However, if it's a new or somewhat new relationship where your partner isn't ready for those big talk discussions yet, it can be a major scare. "Although it may feel comfortable to share your desire to be a parent some day, your partner may misinterpret this to be a hint or nudge to move the relationship along and could feel pressured or rushed to head in that direction," says Milrad.
4. Joking Or Talking About Death
I don't mean discussing a recent passing or funeral. "Some people have a dark sense of humor or are just generally pessimistic. They’ll throw out offhand comments or even jokes about their deaths like 'this might be my last Christmas' or 'the roads are pretty slick; hope I don’t die.' This kind of talk, even if done in jest, can freak out your partner, especially if he or she has anxiety or is prone to worry," says relationship counselor, Jonathan Bennett, over email with Bustle.
5. Giving The Silent Treatment
"Some people, especially after a fight, will punish their partner with the 'silent treatment.' While it might feel good to get some space, by cutting off communication, you might be unintentionally creating extreme anxiety for your partner," says Bennett. Instead, avoid thoughts of breaking up and its consequences by just communicating directly about your emotions.
6. Saying "I Love You" Immediately
Here's a major anxiety-provoker: "Saying the 'L' word too soon - but sometimes it is difficult to know if you're in love or lust," says therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW over email with Bustle. "Saying you love someone before the feelings are mutual may scare a partner who is not fully there yet," Hershenson says, so instead make sure enough time has passed or the feelings are reciprocated before speaking too freely.
7. Bringing Up The Future Right Away
It might sweet to extend an invite to an event far out in the future or to discuss big decisions you'll make together one day, but "if you're planning a trip to Europe in 2020 for you and your partner, or you talk of owning a home together, this may freak your partner out," says Hershenson. What's more, "sometimes talk of the future makes people nervous when they feel unsettled in their current life," Hershenson adds.
If you notice yourself doing any of these habits, stop immediately: It could be a deal breaker for your relationship down the road. Instead, work on keeping your cool and feeling out the situation first to keep your partner comfortable.