The self-help revolution has taught us for decades about how to become better at sales, more confident, or more outgoing. But what about how to become a better partner? And what about distinguishing between someone who brings light and energy into our lives versus someone who continually drags us down.
Below I’ve listed the most unattractive traits that could poison a relationship from the inside out. Keep an eye out for them, either in your potential partner or even yourself!
Is your partner too pessimistic?
There’s nothing wrong with being realistic- when you have rent and bills to pay then you have to keep your feet firmly on the ground. Just be wary of someone who takes every opportunity to put a damper on things: this person misses opportunities because they look for the worst in any situation.
You might think that you can help them, or maybe convince them to be more positive (and there’s more about that later) but it won’t work. You’ll find yourself living a dull but frustrating life, one where things ‘just never seem to go right’, where the world seems to always work against you, all because your glass is half empty. Their attitude will slowly poison your outlook on life.
And if your partner looks for the reasons why things can’t work rather than how they could, then the moment you hit a rocky patch together, they’ll be out the door. Nobody want’s to feel like they are continually treading on egg shells.
Is your partner jealous and possessive?
Again, healthy jealousy can be a great thing. It shows you that you mean a lot to them, and that they couldn’t stomach the idea of being without you… Which is great!
But jealousy can have a very, very dark side. When unrestrained, jealousy gives way to anger, misery and even abuse. At its worst, jealousy becomes complete possessiveness: they want to track your every move, your every word, your every interaction. They want to own you, and that definitely isn’t healthy.
Jealousy is also often a sign of a guilty conscience, in particular if it comes as a change in character. If your partner suddenly starts to accuse you of cheating, for what seems like no reason, then there’s a chance that they’re pointing the finger at you instead of addressing their own guilt.
Is your partner too domineering- are they trying to change you?
It’s an adage as old as relationships themselves, and it’s true: you can’t change your partner, and trying to will only end in disappointment. So why do people still try?
Well, some people are natural dominators. They want to be the biggest, best person in the room- it’s just human nature. And there’s nothing that’s necessarily bad about that, but with some people, it can become a slippery slope towards abuse. Dictatorship like behaviour in a relationship can very often drive the other person anyway, causing confusion and hurt.
They’ll often start doing things behind their partners back to avoid any further pressure to change. If they demand their partner change their ways through pressure or force, it’ll never work and leave them with a bitter resentment towards their partner which could spell disaster for the long term.
If you want to ensure a relationship has the longest term chance of success and you see these unattractive patterns in our partners, instead of looking to place blame, first look in the mirror and make sure you’re not the source! i.e. If you catch yourself being overly negative with someone you’re dating, catch your negative thoughts as they happen and try to see the positivity and instead vocalize that.
Another example is, if you find yourself being jealous and possessive, try to objectively look at the situation from an external point of view. Do you have a reason to try to ‘control’ your partner in that situation or is it a projection of your own insecurity – could you do anything to address that?
The healthiest relationship we need to have is one with ourselves and if we want attraction to last with anyone we’re dating, it must start and end with you.