While it's always possible for someone to work on their bad habits, if your partner has a few ongoing ones — and they happen to be taking a big toll on your relationship — it can be a
sign they likely won't change. It can be incredibly tough, after all, to break old patterns. And even more so when a person isn't willing to make the effort.
That's why it can come down to the individual, the
types of bad habits, as well as whether or not you've talked about them as a couple. Is your partner aware of their bad habits? And are they trying to swap them out for new, healthier ones? If so, they may be able to change.
"No one's perfect, and many of us have bad habits that need to change,"
matchmaker April Davis, tells Bustle. So it's important to be supportive and understanding as you both work on yourselves, and the relationship as a whole. But if they don't seem to care, it may be time for you to reevaluate things.
"If they make excuses and make you feel belittled for even bringing it up, it may be time to move on," Davis says. Or, you might decide that your partner's habits aren't
that big of a deal, and accept them. Whatever the case may be, read on for a few habits that can have a big impact on a relationship, and may be really tough to change, according to experts.
They're Always Telling Lies
"Being with someone who lies frequently can negatively affect the level of trust you have for that person," Davis says. So if your partner has a tough time telling the truth — even about
seemingly harmless things — you'll definitely want to talk about it.
"It's a hard habit to break," Davis says. But since trust is one of the most
important parts of a relationship, your partner should be willing to be more open and honest. If they make it a top priority, they may even be able to rebuild trust, and have a healthier connection with you.
They're Emotionally Unavailable
If your partner is in the habit of shutting you out, or refusing to turn to you whenever they're having a problem, take note.
"This can lead to frustration as the emotionally unavailable partner can seem distant and obstinate, especially during difficult times," Jonathan Bennett, relationship and dating expert at
Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle.
But it can help to try to be understanding, as this is a really tough habit to break,
especially since "a lack of emotional expression can stem from trauma or how a person was raised," Bennett says.
If your partner is willing to go to therapy, they may be able to learn ways to open up and be more present within the relationship. But it may also be something they'll struggle with for years to come.
They Ignore Relationship Problems
Similarly, it may be difficult for your partner to unlearn the habit of sweeping relationship problems under the rug, if that's something they've grown accustomed to doing.
clinical psychologist Dena M. DiNardo, PsyD, LMFT, tells Bustle, "This is a learned behavior that is very difficult to undo without a neutral and supportive third party to help clarify the cycle," such as a couples therapist.
If your partner is willing to take accountability, though, and practice new ways of approaching problems, you can move past this issue as a couple. But it'll likely require some effort.
They Come Off As Arrogant
"Being arrogant, or thinking highly of oneself, is an intense personality trait that does not wear off easily,"
Jeannie Assimos, eharmony’s chief of advice, tells Bustle. "Arrogant people are hard-headed and can make even the most significant people feel insignificant." And they develop the habit of putting people down, acting in toxic ways, and not being present.
There's a really good chance an arrogant person will be that way forever, so you'll want to evaluate the impact your partner's habits have on your relationship. If they're aware of this tendency, and are taking steps to keep it from hurting you, it may be something you can live with. But if not, you may want to seek help in exiting the relationship.
They're Always Flirting With Others
"The harsh reality is that being a little more flirty than usual is a trait that is etched into some people," Assimos says. And while it
certainly doesn't have to be a big deal, it is a habit that has the potential to negatively impact a relationship.
For example, it can feel intimidating at times, Assimos says, and make it difficult to trust your partner. So you'll want to tell them how you feel, and also
set up healthy boundaries.
If your partner is considerate of your feelings, and wants to make things work, they may be able to reel in their flirty ways, so you can both feel comfortable.
They Need A Lot Of Attention
Does your partner want you to text all day long? Hang out 24/7? Or shower them with attention? If so, you may have to accept that that's how they are.
"In many cases, a constant need for validation is deeply ingrained and difficult to change," Bennett says. And there are any number of reasons why, from simply enjoying affection, to issues stemming from family.
You can always talk with them about it, and point out your need for space — if it feels like it's becoming an issue. But unless your partner goes to therapy, or works on whatever underlying issue is causing their need for constant validation, they may not move on from this habit any time soon.
They Don't Want To Argue
While it's understandable why someone wouldn't want to argue, part of being in a relationship is knowing how to handle conflict, and being willing to address issues as they arise.
So it's easy to see how your partner's habits of avoiding arguments at all costs may start to take at toll, Joshua Klapow, PhD, clinical psychologist and host of
The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle.
One reason they might fall into this groove, is if they came from a family that had a lot of conflict, or one that avoided arguing. As Dr. Klapow says, "It is something that is extremely hard to change and can bury the underlying challenges that need to be addressed in any relationship."
And yet, as with other habits, this one your partner can move past if they're willing to acknowledge it, see the impact it's having, and make an effort to change. While some habits can be tricky to break, there's always
room for people to change.