As a wise man once said “making love work takes effort, but it shouldn’t be hard labour.” Never have truer words been spoken. Making your relationship work certainly does take effort, what with having to work around one another’s quirks and insecurities, but sometimes a relationship can feel like more effort than it’s worth, and at that point people tend to give up. As the female half of a relationship, there’s a lot you can do to ensure that things never get quite so dire. With that in mind, here’s a quick list of sure fire ways to ruin your relationship!
Putting him down: For all their muscle, bravado and posturing, the male ego is a surprisingly fragile thing and the female mind is a machine designed for finding fault. On that note, giving your man a hard time about his little imperfections will see him getting fed up very fast indeed. A little romantic ribbing is fine, don’t get me wrong. Poking fun at his tattered boxers, his nerdy hobby obsessions or his nutso ex-girlfriend is all in good fun, but don’t get carried away. If your teasing starts to sound like character-assassination he’ll stop finding it funny and withdraw into his man-shell to lick his wounded pride. Dragging a man from their emotional cloister is not easy, so take it easy on the put-downs girls.
Obsessing about the future: Living together, a white wedding, beautiful babies, grandkids… it’s all going to be so wonderful isn’t it honey?! Honey…? Where did you go? There’s no faster way to make a man run for the hills than by being baby-crazy. Okay, so perhaps I’m being a bit unfair. You’re probably not just looking to date your way to a meal ticket and stay-at-home-mom status but still, obsessing over your fantasy future is a sure fire way to freak your man out. No one wants to feel that a kiss, a cuddle and an “I love you” translates into a diamond ring and a mortgage, so don’t start shoehorning him into your dreams. Things should get to that stage naturally, or not at all.
Emotional dumping: Your man should be both friend and lover, and it’s only fair to expect him to provide a certain measure of emotional support when times get tough. That does not however, mean that he’s a glorified dumping ground for all your pent-up anger, frustration or disappointment. If your boss is a being an ass, your mother is being bitchy or it’s simply your time of the month, wanting a few chocolates, kind words and a cuddle is perfectly acceptable. But lashing out at him and then hiding behind the defence of “I’m just stressed okay?” when he’s taken aback is simply unfair. He’s your lover, not your punching bag.
Skipping on the sex: It’s worth revisiting this old truism. Much as we women don’t like to feel that we’re obliged to meet a certain friskiness quota (and we’re not), sex is an important part of any loving relationship and its absence, or worse yet, your withholding it, only brings unneeded frustration into things. He wants you and if you’re with him it’s pretty safe to assume you want him too, so don’t deny that aspect of your bond. It’s a great way to relieve stress and renew emotional bonds.
Expecting without communicating: This is one of the biggest bugbears men have with the fairer sex. You want him to stay at home and cuddle more, or not leave the dishes to grow penicillin, or maybe just to reply to your text messages faster, yet he still doesn’t change and it’s starting to grate on you. But before you chuck him into the doghouse it’s worth stopping to ask “have I actually expressed how I feel about these things?” All too often women quite frankly expect their men to be psychic and punish them when they don’t read the signs. Newsflash darling, your signs are too obscure. He can’t be expected to comply with your wishes if you don’t tell him what they are! Remember, this is someone who loves you and (hopefully) wants to make you happy. So make sure he knows how to do so.
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