There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. There is, however, a thing called an unhealthy relationship. The majority of all real life romance tales end in dissolution. We all want the dizzying and irrational love we find on screens, and yet almost all of us fail in finding it. Why? Because it’s not real and it takes hard work. It’s not as easy as it’s depicted in movies and shows. In real life, there are certain routes couples can easily take without noticing that will surely kill any relationship. Here are some toxic relationship habits that we were baked into believing were normal, or even worse, endearing. 

1- Passive-Aggressive Behavior 

Instead of just blurting out how you truly feel, you drop hints and find petty ways to convey what’s getting on your nerves. This type of passive aggressive behavior will only kick the relationship straight downhill. Passive-aggressive behavior stems from insecurity and doubts about the relationship itself. If two people feel safe expressing their anger, however unreasonable and unjustified, they will be able to reach middle ground easier.

2- Criticism 

The words “always” and “never” poison the relationship with their deadly venom until one of the two feels severely underappreciated and wants to call it off. Criticism, along with insults and putdowns, are all examples of emotional abuse. In movies, we’d see a couple harshly criticising each other and the movie would still end with them living happily ever after. That’s never going to happen in real life. Learn constructive criticism instead and when communicating your concern, use ‘I’ statements.

3- Obsessive Jealousy 

We were taught to believe that jealousy is romantic. That if a guy forbids you from talking to another guy then this means he loves you. This is absolute and utter crap! If a guy knows you love him and he loves you, then it means he trusts you. Obsessive jealousy is selfish and greedy and will cause you to end up feeling creeped out instead of cared for.

4- Keeping Score 

All good relationships are about give and take. But that doesn’t mean we need to keep track of how many gives and how many takes. Appreciate the nice things your partner does for you without keeping score, because that will only turn the relationship into a battlefield with the both of you trying to win, only to both end up losing.

5- Hiding Our Negative Feelings 

Don’t keep your feelings bottled up, especially the negative ones. Hiding feelings to avoid fighting and choosing not to express yourself in fear of the consequences are all signs of a toxic relationship. It means that the relationship environment is unsafe, blurry and uncomfortable. Healthy couples create a comfort zone where they can openly share their worst fears and thoughts to each other.

6- No Privacy 

Couples should not be forced to share everything and every waking moment with each other. Not taking care of yourself independently of the relationship just means you have no sense of identity outside of the relationship. Solitude will enhance your relationship as you two will grow independently while offering each other safe havens for personal growth. Have activities apart from each other while still taking interest in one another’s interests.

7- Sweet Talking Our Way Out of a Problem 

Little girls were taught to swoon over the male lead character when he tells his leading lady, ‘you’re pretty when you’re angry’ as they fight over serious issues. It’s not endearing and it’s certainly not worth swooning over! This just means that they can’t have an honest and straightforward approach to solving your problems and are only trying to drop it without really solving it. But yeah sure, we appreciate the light and cute teasing if we’re having a silly argument.

This list is not comprehensive given the fact that each couple is unique in their own way. It simply lays out some of the most common habits couples get used to and overlook their damaging nature.