Romance isn’t just about a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. A satisfying relationship can also make people feel happy and healthy . Lewis, J.M. Timberlawn Research Foundation, Dallas, TX. Journal of the American Psychiatric Association, 1998 May;155(5):582-9.. But keep in mind that successful relationships aren't just about rainbows and butterflies—a healthy partnership requires communication, respect, and plenty of good habits from both people. So when dating that special someone, avoid stalking their ex on Facebook, keeping feelings bottled up, and splitting the every night . Kashdan, T.B., Volkmann, J.R., Breen, W.E., et al. Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. Journal of Anxiety Disorders 2007;21(4): 475-92. ? Muise, A., Christofides, E., Desmarais, S. Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2009 Aug;12(4):441-4.. These (and 17 other) bad habits could make a great relationship take a turn for the worse.
Save the Spark—Your Action Plan
1. Trying to improve him/her.
News flash: There’s no such thing as a perfect person, so don’t expect . Reminding him or her to make the bed is one thing, but trying to radically change shyness or anxiety is another—and could be ignoring the underlying causes for those issues in the first place.
2. Finding faults with the fam.
The ’rents may be harder to handle than your significant other. But even if there’s some clashing of heads, don’t focus on the family’s faults. Getting criticism from family members can make people feel depressed and hostile—which means some tense holiday dinners . Fiscella, K., Campbell, T.L. Primary Care Institute Highland Hospital, Department of Family Medicine, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY. Journal of Family Practice 1999;48(2):128-34.. Besides, the situation can’t be worse than what .
3. Engaging in constant PDA.
Getting it on in public can not only , it may also compensate for a lack of real communication. Stick to hand-holding and quick kisses, and save the rest for the bedroom (or ?).
4. Fighting in public.
As if PDA weren’t bad enough. Arguing in public can embarrass the couple and make , too. Talk it out in private, please.
5. Avoiding fighting.
Love isn’t all good, all the time. Disagreements are bound to happen, and arguments can be of a relationship. Never having conflict may make . Just don’t make fighting an .
6. Not talking it out.
If something is wrong, the other person probably can’t read your mind. When a problem comes up, at the right time. young couples are less stressed when they talk out their issues than when they keep their feelings bottled up. And don’t forget to say, “I love you.” Expressing emotions—positive and negative—can benefit that bond . Kashdan, T.B., Volkmann, J.R., Breen, W.E., et al. Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2007;21(4):475-92. Epub 2006 Oct 12..
7. Forgetting to forgive.
People make mistakes, and holding on to grudges may not only hurt a relationship—it could also . Sympathy may be easier to give if we realize it will benefit our health . Lawler-Row, K.A., Karremans, J.C., Scott, C., et al. Department of Psychology, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C. International Journal of Psychophysiology 2008;68(1):51-8..
8. Timing discussions badly.
Conversations about important issues, like relationship expectations and financial blunders, all have their . Don’t bring up serious topics when someone’s stressed, like at the end of the workday or right before hosting a party. Set up when both people are relaxed.
9. Keeping score.
Sure, relationships should be about give and take, but of every little detail (For example: I paid for the last six dinners, and you only paid for five!). It can cause unnecessary tension.
10. Being melodramatic.
. So don’t create unnecessary drama in every scenario. If a mate forgets to take out the garbage, there’s no need for a scene. Take a few breaths and address the problem calmly.
When two people want to make it work, trust is key . Wieselquist, J., Rusbult, C.E., Foster, C.A., et al. Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1999 Nov;77(5):942-66.. Have confidence in your mate and respect their privacy: Don’t snoop through texts, emails, or bedroom drawers. (Definitely !)
12. Allowing jealousy to take over.
Doubting your partner may be a symptom of a larger problem: . And women who feel insecure in their relationships may be at greater risk for like a weakened immune system . Picardi, A., Battisti, F., Tarsitani, L., et al. Center of Epidemiology and Health Surveillance & Promotion, Italian National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy. Psychosomatic Medicine, 2007 Jan;69(1):40-6.. Some advice for reducing envy, at least temporarily? Stay off Facebook and ? Muise, A., Christofides, E., Desmarais, S. Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2009 Aug;12(4):441-4..
13. Letting go.
Sometimes when partners feel too secure with each other, they end up , possibly because they’re less physically active . The NS., Gordon-Larsen, P. Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 Jul;17(7):1441-7. Epub 2009 Apr 9. . Bell, S., Lee, C. Research Centre for Gender & Health, University of Newcastle, Australia. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 2005;12(4):227-35.. Try being a power couple to stay both happy and healthy.
14. Constantly comparing.
Forget the ex and stop comparing a current partner with a person from the past. This could lead to .
15. Doing everything together.
Everyone needs some alone time (yep, even hopelessly devoted couples). Solitude may even , making time together more valuable.
can add up and ruin a relationship that should be . , of course: “Sweetie, that homemade dinner tasted great…”
17. Not being honest with yourself.
Don’t just be honest with a companion. Stay real about in order to stay satisfied. Is a long distance relationship really worth the work? Is it okay that they’re working all the time?
18. Lacking self-confidence.
in a relationship can really do some damage: Low self-esteem is sometimes , which could make things less heated in the bedroom. Getting active, setting goals, and even smiling can . But don’t forget that an unhealthy relationship can actually cause low-self esteem, so steer clear of someone who makes you feel less than great.
19. Forgetting why you’re in it.
Remember to ask yourself why you two are dating, and what you want out of it. Does a partner want to while you want to remain casual? Being with someone for is one slippery slope!
20. Taking him or her for granted.
Always remember why you love that special someone. Showing gratitude and paying attention to that good person by your side will only make the relationship stronger . Algoe, S.B., Haidt, J. Gable, S.L. University of Virginia, VA. Emotion, 2008 Jun;8(3):425-9..