Amanda, 25, is a dynamic PR manager who’s rising quickly up the company ladder. She has a beautiful apartment, legs to die for and a six-figure salary. So why can’t she hold a steady relationship? Because every time she gets serious with a guy, she initiates the “where is this going?” talk – otherwise known as the kiss of death in any relationship. Read on for more fatal errors women make with their guys to find out how you could be sabotaging your relationship. Plus: take our quiz to find out if jealousy is jeopardizing your love life…
1. “I think I can change him”
You may be able to get him to pick up the dirty socks on the floor or stop clipping his toenails on the rug. But certain personality traits are inherent and no amount of cajoling or nagging can change them. Does he refuse to say he’s sorry, no matter how wrong he is? Does he insist on hanging out with the boys every Friday night? Women who constantly berate their partners for things they can’t change are headed for failure. The woman will feel ignored, and the man will feel constantly nagged. Facing the fact that your guy may never change can be hard, especially if you have to give up your dream of a happy future together. You can accept him the way he is, or better yet find someone else who’s more compatible with your desires and treats you well.
2. The dreaded “where is this going?” talk
When men hear the words, “Where is this going?” they freeze up. Women ask this question because there’s a lack of communication and they want to know where they stand. For example, if she wants a commitment but he doesn’t want to be tied down, then that’s an issue that needs to be brought into the open. Problem is, men don’t like to be put on the spot and discuss their feelings. And between us girls, we know it’s because they don’t know their feelings or how to handle them. So instead of trying to guarantee your future together, focus on your guy’s actions. Look for the little (and sometimes hidden) signs that he’s committed to the relationship. Does he open the door for you, answer the phone when you call and make an effort to impress your friends? If so, he’s investing in the relationship’s future. On the other hand, if the only time he calls you is to invite you over for hanky panky and can’t remember your favorite color or food, it’s safe to say he’s just not that into you.
3. Giving up your passions
Being in a relationship means making time for your man and keeping his needs in mind. But if his needs are the only thing you have in mind, there’s a problem. Living your life to please your partner and catering to his every need won’t make anyone happy. If you want a truly successful relationship, you must have other interests. If all you can talk about is what your man likes to eat for dinner and how he likes his shorts folded, then it’s time to get a life.
Think of the activities you used to do when single. Were you passionate about writing poetry, swimming or studying history? Making time for your boyfriend shouldn’t mean forgoing all the activities that you loved before. And don’t worry about leaving him alone while you jet off to Europe. He loves the downtime but would never admit it! And when you do come together, you’ll find that your relationship is fresher and you are both more interesting people because of your separate pursuits.
4. Living for the future
Many woman stay with a partner because they believe that somehow, the future will be better. Even though the present is filled with arguing and conflict, they hold out for the possibility that their luck will turn around. Of course, every relationship will has its rough patches, and if you’re both in love then it’s worth the effort to work out your issues. But if you’re arguing every day or you grow sad every time you think of him, then it doesn’t make sense to stay together. Occasionally, fights are okay, but your relationship should bring you happiness overall.
5. Dissing his friends
Like it or not, your man has known his buddies a lot longer than he’s known you. He may have friends who are like brothers to him, friends with whom he has shared his childhood and memories. Treat them like family – be gracious, complimentary and friendly, even if you think they’re complete losers. Being rude to those your boyfriend cares about could put him in the awkward position of having to choose between the two of you. If you love your man, you’ll make an effort to be gracious to those he cares for, including his friends and family.
Relationship etiquette comes down to a basic principle: Respect yourself and your partner. Even if they take extra time and work, having relationships matters because a happy union can protect your health, help you live longer and even boost your immune system. Relationships are complicated, but if you vow to never to commit these 5 relationship sins then you’ll be one step closer to your happily ever after.