1. Pick the wrong partner for the wrong reasons: No matter how charming your partner is, if he or she’s a player, an out-of-control spender, a con artist, an alcoholic/addict or violent, no amount of love on your part will fix the problem. Don’t try. The minute you find out there’s a Fatal Flaw, end it. Find a less charming, but more upstanding, healthy person to love. If you’ve been with this person a long time, you might not want to give up. You can try an intervention, but it’s tough.
2. Nag/scold/bitch/yell when things don’t meet your expectations. You have to take care of yourself, and find a way to solve problems and motivate your partner to work with you. Partnership is the name of the game, not “I want you to take care of me, and I’ll throw a temper tantrum if you don’t.” You’ll get a lot more of what you want if you ask directly and simply, and motivate with affection, humor and fun. Celebration + Appreciation = Motivation.
3. Do it all yourself. Lots of people try to fill in all the gaps by doing whatever their partner isn’t doing—all alone. If he can’t keep a job, getting successful on your own could be a good thing for you, but it won’t save the relationship. If she won’t be responsible about money or discipline, doing it all yourself will work for a while, but you’ll wind up being seen as a control freak, and hated. If your partner won’t help around the house, or with the kids, doing it all yourself (plus your job) won’t save the relationship either. Very early in the relationship, give your partner the room pitch in and help. If nothing is forthcoming, ask directly (don’t just whine or hint) for what you want. If your mate doesn’t step up, and won’t discuss what would help, then you’re probably the only one in the relationship, and it’s not going to work.
4. Make assumptions that your partner thinks the way you do, and then get angry when he or she doesn’t. If you don’t learn how to communicate, and find out what your partner thinks, you won’t be able to get along. The three most important words in a relationship are: “tell me more.”
5. Blow sex out of proportion. If sex is either too important, or not important enough to you, the relationship won’t have any juice, and won’t last. Sex is one more form of relationship communication. You and your partner need to work it out together. If you have hang-ups or unrealistic expectations about sex, and won’t address them, you won’t have a lasting relationship.
6. Be out of control with money. If you’re either too controlling or too out of control with money, you’ll wind up fighting endlessly about it, and the arguments will suck the joy and love right out of the relationship. Money is an important, inevitable part of a relationship. It’s just math. Get over yourself and learn to deal with it like a grownup.
7. Hate yourself and be too self-conscious. If you don’t like yourself, your partner will feel it, and eventually get tired of trying to love you when you feel unlovable and fend off affection and compliments.
8. Keep going out of bounds: If you’re struggling with compulsive behavior such as overeating, gambling, drugs, alcohol or spending money, and you keep breaking promises, you destroy the trust in your relationship, and eventually the love. Get it under control, or get proper treatment before getting into a relationship.
9. Be miserable, negative and critical. If you whine, complain, are depressed or feel sorry for yourself too often, you’ll be too much of a downer for your partner to handle. Learn to count your blessings, give compliments, and look on the bright side at least 75% of the time. You’ll get what you focus on, and if you focus on misery, you’ll be miserable alone.
10. Don’t listen. If you don’t care about what your partner thinks, wants and feels, you’ll cut yourself off from being loved. Listen to what your partner says, and learn to recognize the other person’s style (even non-verbal.) If you just go on what you’re thinking and feeling, you’ll be missing all the clues about what makes your other half happy. Both of you need to be happy for it to work, and both of you need to cooperate to make a successful relationship.
If your sex life is dying or dead, it doesn’t have to be fatal to the relationship. You can re-invigorate it.