Most of us know if we're being straight-up mean to our partners. But there are smaller ways we mistreat our partners that might be less obvious. These subtle patterns can add up to leave both people unhappy in the relationship over time. But once we gain awareness of them, we can replace them with healthier habits to make our relationships even more fulfilling.
Usually, when we first start dating someone, we're trying hard to impress them, so we're extra nice and polite. Then, when we get comfortable in the relationship and feel confident that our partners won't leave us, we can become lazy about how we treat them. A good rule of thumb, then, is to ask ourselves how we'd treat our partners if we had just started dating. We probably wouldn't, for example, make someone else do our dishes if it were our first time at their house, though we might do that once we live with someone and are taking them for granted.
The good news is that if we make more of an effort to make our partners happy, they'll put in more effort to please us as well. So, if we can nip these bad habits in the bud, keeping them at bay will get easier and easier. Here are some common ways you might be disrespecting, hurting, or bothering your partner without realizing it.