Not a Deal Breaker! Simple Fixes to the 10 Most Common Relationship Problems
A lot of relationship problems are super common, and as frustrating as they might be, there are often straightforward solutions that can help you and your partner overcome the problem. Even the smallest pet peeve can turn into a serious problem if it is not addressed. Some problems are definite deal breakers, but not everything has to lead to the end of a relationship. Here are a few common relationship problems and a few solutions that can prevent the relationship from going sour.
Not prioritizing the relationship
As you and your partner become more and more comfortable with one another, it is easy to get into the habit of taking your partner for granted. When this happens, it is also easy to slip into the pattern of not prioritizing your relationship. While it is important to pursue separate hobbies, and maintain social connections outside of your relationship, you need to make sure that you and your partner are also spending a significant amount of time together. This can be hard to do when life gets busy, but finding activities that you like to do together, or carving out time for a date night each week can make a huge difference in your relationship. Taking time out of your busy schedule to prioritize your time together will help you and your partner maintain your bond.
Lack of trust
If you and your partner do not trust each other, your relationship is NOT in a good spot. Trust is the base of any important relationship, whether it’s romantic, platonic, or familial. If you find that there is a lack of trust in your relationship, it is important to get to the root of the problem. Did you or your partner do something to lose the trust of the other (lie, cheat, lack of commitment, trauma from a past relationship, etc.) or was trust never established due to a lack of comfort with one another. Finding the source of the problem will help you build back trust in the appropriate way. In order to build trust, it is important to be transparent about your needs. If you and your partner learn to meet each other’s needs you will feel safe in your relationship, which will start to build your sense of trust. When you are talking about your needs it’s important that both partners LISTEN and commit to trying to fulfill the needs of the other person. Sometimes it can feel difficult to have these emotional conversations out of the blue, so scheduling check-ins with each other is a good way to make sure that you have time carved out to discuss your needs with your partner. Dedicating time to this kind of discussions will prove to each other that you care, are in it for real and are worthy of being trusted.
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Lack of boundaries
Setting boundaries is an important part of any relationship, whether they’re physical boundaries, social media boundaries and boundaries about spending time together and apart. People have different tolerance for certain things, which means that it can be difficult to create a list of what the perfect set of relationship boundaries should entail. The bottom line is that both you and your partner need to clearly communicate your boundaries, and then respect the boundaries that are set. Setting healthy personal boundaries allows you to feel protected in your relationship and allows you to take responsibility for your actions and emotions. If you feel like your boundaries are being violated, it’s important to bring this up with your partner. As much as you wish your partner could read your mind, they won’t know how you are feeling unless you express yourself! You and your partner should consider ~ check-ins ~ (like we talked about above) so that you have a safe space to talk about your needs! It’s important to understand that boundaries can change over time, so checking-in frequently with one another can help address both your needs and prevent a lack of boundaries from being a relationship deal breaker!
Communication is the basis of any good relationship, meaning that poor communication can often be the downfall of many good relationships. Communication is important in and of itself, but it’s also at the core of a lot of other aspects of your relationship, and poor communication can lead to a lot of other relationship problems. If your relationship is suffering from communication problems, you should make a concerted effort to try and express yourself, and you should encourage them to do the same. This can be a lot easier said than done, so it’s a good idea to keep a few communication tips and tricks in your back pocket. For starters, make sure that you are talking face to face. We often feel much more comfortable having hard conversations over text or over a phone call, but this can often lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding. Communication is also about honesty, if something is bothering you, it’s important to clue your partner in. Establishing good communication habits and frequent check-ins can help your relationship flourish.
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The physical part of any relationship is as important as the emotional connection that you and your partner share. After a bit of time together, it’s common for the sex to start to feel stale or boring, which can lead to having less sex and becoming less sexually attracted to your partner. To avoid falling down this rabbit hole, it’s important that you and your partner openly communicate about your sex life and whether or not your needs are being met in the bedroom. It can sometimes feel awkward to talk about these kinds of things, but it’s absolutely necessary in order to keep the sexual spark alive. In addition to being communicative, it can help to do some outside research about ways to spice up your sex life. There are tons of online resources that offer suggestions on how to improve foreplay, different positions to try, and some more adventurous options if that’s your thing. Exploring sex with your partner can help you avoid boring sex, while strenghtening your physical connection and ultimately contributing to a happy and healthy relationship.
Having the same fights
All couples have fights, and conflict is actually an important part of every relationship. Conflict can help you and your partner navigate differences in opinion and can bring certain things to light that are dwelling under the surface and causing problems. And while conflict is both important and unavoidable, not all fights are necessary or good. Part of what makes conflict healthy is the resolution that comes at the end of a fight, when you and your partner can work towards a compromise or solution together. But if you don’t find a resolution, you will likely have the same fight over and over again, which can be a total dealbreaker for your relationship. To avoid having the same fights all the time, you and your partner should work on having productive fights that lead to resolution. Don’t get me wrong, resolution does not always mean that you get what you want or that the fight wasn’t painful, but finding a way to move past the fight is a crucial part of any relationship. Resolution might entail compromise from one person or both sides, it might mean a change in behavior or attitude, or it might be a plan for how to overcome something. All conflicts will have different resolutions, but if you and your partner learn to fight in a productive way, you will avoid having the same fights again and again, and your relationship will be stronger.
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Not enough compromise
As we discussed above, all relationships have conflict, and conflict resolution often means that you and your partner have to compromise in order to move past the disagreement. While compromise is a crucial part of resolution, it’s important that both partners are willing to compromise. If one partner is not willing to compromise, it means that either a) your conflicts will continue and you will end up having the same fights over and over again (as we talked about above...) or b) one partner will end up compromising more than the other. In relationship dynamics it is common for one person to be less conflict prone and more bent on finding resolution, and this can lead to that person compromising more than the other for the sake of resolution. This is not a healthy relationship dynamic, because one person is doing all the compromise, while the other always gets their way. This can lead to the compromiser feeling unheard, and can even lead to them losing their sense of self in the relationship. To avoid unequal amounts of compromise, you and your partner should practice healthy conflict management, and really talk about your feelings and how you want to resolve the conflict. This may require you or your partner to call each other out every once in a while, but it’s important to do so, so that everyone has an equal voice in the relationship. Sometimes people are unaware of their compromise avoidance, so kindly pointing it out and making suggestions may help them be more aware and accountable.
You don’t like each others friends
Even if you’re in a relationship, it’s important that both you and your partner maintain the social groups that you were a part of as single people. It’s not healthy to spend ALL your time together as a couple, and maintaining a tight social circle of your own can help you from falling into that relationship trap, especially during the early stages. The only problem is that sometimes we don’t like our significant other’s friends... And this can be a super tricky relationship obstacle to manage. If the friends are a bad influence on your partner, it may be worth discussing that with your partner and encouraging them to seek out a new social circle. But more often than not, it’s more a matter of just flat out disliking a group of friends. If this is the case, you should consider limiting the time that you spend with them. You don’t want to make this a you vs. them situation, or a relationship vs. friendship situation, so it’s better to just avoid those people rather than propose an ultimatum. And who knows, maybe your partner doesn’t like your friends and feels the same way? It can be a good idea to schedule friend time into your life, and instead of hanging out with their friends, you can head your separate ways and hang out with your own pals. It’s always best to try and get along with the people that are close to your significant other, but if that just absolutely isn’t happening, you can get creative and maximize time with your own friend group so that your partner’s friend don’t become a deal breaker in your relationship.
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Insecurity about the future
As important as it is to live in the ‘now’ during your relationship, it’s also super important to talk about what your future holds as a couple. Depending on the stage of your relationship, the future can mean a lot of different things. Are you just hooking up now and want to become exclusive? Are you dating and want to move in together? Do you want to talk about marriage or life companionship in some other form? All of these things are important to discuss, and failure to do so can lead to insecurity, anxiety and miscommunication about what you want. To avoid experiencing insecurity about the future, you and your partner should discuss what you want your futures to look like. Doing this can require a degree of tact (afterall you don’t want to scare them off on a first date...), but relationships tend to go through a natural progression, and at certain stages, it will feel comfortable to broach different questions about the future. Creating an open dialogue about your feelings for one another, your plans for the future and your expectation about your relationship will help you avoid feeling insecure about the future.
Whether you’re deciding who pays for dates or you have a joint checking account, financial issues can often be a huge problem in relationships at any stage. The taboo nature of finances often leads people to avoid discussing things like debt, spending habits and budgets, but this can lead to huge problems in your relationship. Being honest and open about your finances from the beginning of a relationship is a great way to avoid financial issues as a couple. If you’re already together and you’re experiencing financial issues, it can be helpful to use couples finance apps like HoneyDue, or individual finance app like Mint to keep your finances in order. Establishing good communication and adopting a judgement free policy can help you and your partner navigate financial difficulties without letting them become a deal-breaker.
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