Love is like a plant. If you don't feed it and take care of it every day, it will die eventually.
You know what they say about love being a chemical reaction in the brain that only lasts six months? Well, that’s kind of true, but not completely. It’s true that a huge process goes on in our heads when we fall in love, and that over time it starts fading out, but I don’t think it’s true that after this it’s all gone and the only thing that remains is the bond that ties you to that person. On the contrary, I believe that love is like a plant, which, if not taken care of and given the proper attention, it can be like tossing a coin. It either manages to survive (barely), or it dies. Believe it or not, no matter at what stage of the relationship you are, there are so many behaviors and attitudes you have every day that, without realizing it, are killing the love. It’s up to you to realize it and start caring about it, or else it will turn into a miserable relationship or end in an ugly breakup. Here are some of these attitudes.
1. Jealousy and lack of trust
2. Lack of interest
3. You give up important things in your life
4. Lack of communication
5. Everyday frustrations
Sometimes, when we see this kind of list, we think that it only applies to couples who live together because otherwise you’re not really sharing every single moment of the day. However, whether or not you’re living together, if you’re frustrated about what’s going on in your life (and you're always complaining), your partner will definitely notice, since they will get a strange kind of toxic attitude from you. If you have problems at work, school, or wherever you spend your day, try forgetting about them for a while and give your full attention to your partner. Seriously, even the most understanding partner ever will get tired of hearing you whine about the same stuff over and over again.
6. You barely talk about your feelings
7. You make disrespectful comments
8. You treat your partner as one of your friends
9. You don’t have that much intimacy anymore
10. You don’t have a life outside the relationship
Another thing that isn't that easy to understand but that can definitely damage even the strongest of relationships is not having a life outside it. This goes for those who believe that when they’re in a relationship their partner must be their one and only priority. Sorry, but it also ends up wearing down any relationship. You both need time for yourselves, your friends, and passions. Nothing bad will happen if you aren’t together 24/7. On the contrary, it will help you feel closer when you’re together and also teach you that having that time to yourself is extremely necessary if you want to be an emotionally mature person.
11. You start going out with your friends more than with your partner
12. You fight about random stuff
13. Lack of commitment
14. You’re not consistent in your relationship
15. You can’t let go of things
Some people, myself included, are really apprehensive and nervous about the simplest and most random things. But at some point, we need to start worrying less and let go of things if we want to be happy. If you’re one of those people who can’t forget a fight or admit that you’re wrong, let me tell you that your relationship has an expiration date. The problem is that we take everything so personally, that even when it’s a stupid, unimportant issue, we don’t let go and start coming up stories about it that become a burden in the relationship.
16. Your life plans start going in different directions
17. You’re too obsessed with the future
18. Lack of recognition
20. Frustration over having the perfect relationship
We already talked about the everyday frustrations that accumulate throughout the day, but there are other types of frustrations we carry into the relationship that gradually start damaging and killing that love we share with our partners. I’m talking about the nonsensical illusions and expectations we have about our partners, so whenever something doesn't fit our script, we become little obsessive monsters that don’t really understand that this isn’t a flaw, but rather just a possibility in the relationship. Having clear goals and plans in a relationship is great, but you and your partner are not the same person, and they might not share those same exact standards. So, instead of getting frustrated, try talking about them, see where you're both standing, and for the love of god, compromise!
21. Not devoting time to yourselves
22. Having impossible expectations
23. Forgetting the special moments on the relationship
24. Lack of support
Finally, the most infamous dealbreaker of all relationships: the horrible and tedious monotony. I’ve heard people claiming that monotony isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but rather just another aspect of the relationship. Don’t fool yourself, one thing is to have a schedule and a shared lifestyle you follow and are happy about, and another thing is leading a shared life doing the same exact things. No matter how busy you are, there’s always time to try new things or use that time together to strengthen your bond, but watching Netflix every single night without even talking to each other isn’t the way. Learn the difference and give yourself the time to add experiences to your love story.
As you can see, this long list isn’t even close to complete. More than that, it’s just a matter of common attitudes we're all guilty of when we’re in a relationship, but there’s naturally another equally long (or even longer) list of those particular aspects of your relationship that might seem to be absolutely harmless, but that in the long run can damage the relationship a lot. The best advice I can give you is to try nurturing your relationship every single day you spend together without being obsessive, just devoting the time needed to build a happy relationship always thinking of both your partner and yourself.
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Images by @niravpatelweddings