How to Prevent Bad Relationships
No one wants to be part of an unhealthy relationship. The bad news is that it happens - some good relationships go south, some people seem to move from one hurtful relationship to another.
The good news is there are ways to avoid falling into the usual traps that burden, threaten and ultimately break relationships.
Be on the guard
Tread with caution. Look back on your previous relationships and what made them crumble. Make a conscious effort to learn from your past mistakes.
Also watch out for red flags – any indication that something is not quite right. Be particularly wary of signs of abuse, violence or manipulation.
Better yet, come up your own relationship deal breakers. Think of the traits or habits that, by your personal standards, are unacceptable in a partner. And when one of the non-negotiables on your list becomes apparent, take it as your cue to bow out of the relationship.
Be your own person
Do not lose yourself in a relationship. Some couples tend to think only in terms of "we" and forget "I". Relationships should be anchored on the idea of two persons working as a team. That means each individual member must have a voice, get a say in making decisions. Mutual respect needs to exist. So always assert yourself.
Set-ups where one is submissive and the other domineering are bound to fail. Control often translates to abuse. And somebody will end up feeling powerless, dismissed or fearfully dependent.
Talk it out
Keep the lines of communication open. Converse constantly. Discuss even the smallest of issues, so you can nip them in the bud.
If you can sense that something is eating into the relationship, share your sentiments with your partner. Letting him or her know how you feel could help pinpoint the problem.
For serious troubles, it's best to have your talk when both parties are calm and receptive. Discussing matters when tempers are running high will do more damage than good.
During the conversations, be honest, clear and open. Hear each other out and find a middle ground. You do not have to be on the same side. Agreeing to disagree is a form of compromise in itself.
Enjoy the company
Couples should be able to have a good time together, may it be fun and wild, or relaxing and comforting. If boredom seems to strike more often than normal or the chemistry is fading, this might be a sign that something is amiss. Find a way to identify and address the situation.
Work it out
Every relationship hits a snag. But not all survive.
If your find yourselves in a rough patch, do not give up. If the relationship is worth saving, fight for it. Resolve your issues.
But if the bad undoubtedly outweighs the good, then the relationship is unhealthy. There's no need to stick it out any longer.
There are no hard-and-fast rules to avoiding bad relationships. But it always helps to be vigilant. Be on the lookout for any red flags. Make sure there is mutual respect and trust. Communicate regularly, clearly and honestly.
Know when to let go and when course-correcting is an option.
A bad relationship is not good for your health.