When you're dating somebody, what are the boundaries? Are there certain relationship boundaries which, if crossed, cause irreparable damage and the ultimate end of most relationships? While I am not usually a fan of hard and fast “rules” for relationships, there are certain dating behaviors which will almost without exception will end a relationship.
What all of these behaviors have in common is that they are violations of another person's trust. Once one person in a relationship no longer trusts their partner, the relationship will almost certainly end. So to help you ensure that this doesn't happen in your relationship, here are 6 relationship-ending dating behaviors that should always be avoided: Keep in mind that I am not mentioning the most obvious one which is cheating.
1. Everyone Is Entitled To Their Privacy. What constitutes a violation of someone's privacy? When, if ever, are you justified in violating your partner's privacy? If you have an “intuition” about something, does that give you the right to start reading through your partner's email? To start listening to their voicemail messages? To hack into their other Internet accounts? The answer to all of these is no! To violate someone's privacy is to violate their trust. You should NEVER dig through someone's personal emails, or listen to someone's voicemail messages. By listening to your partner's voicemail messages or reading their emails, you are violating not only their trust, but also the trust your partner has with anyone who left those voicemail messages and emails.
2. There's No Such Thing As “A Lie For The Greater Good.” Of course lying is never good in a relationship, although we've probably all been guilty of doing it. Certain kinds of lies, though, are far more damaging to a relationship than others. Some people will lie to their partner in certain situations in an effort to avoid hurting them or to avoid having to have a conversation that will be hurtful to them. So although we lie believing we are doing so to “protect” our partner, when that lie is exposed (which it almost always inevitably is) we end up digging a deeper hole for ourselves. When you do get caught in this situation, not only do you end up hurting your partner anyway, but you also end up hurting yourself even more. In life, what you fear will actually manifest – but it will manifest even more severely than you feared. So whatever you were trying to protect your partner from by lying to them will seem worse because of your lie than it would ever have had been if you just were open and honest about it from the get-go. On top of that, you have violated your partner's trust by lying to them. These kind of lies are almost always relationship-enders.
3. You Are Not James Bond, So Never Spy On Your Partner You are not a spy, so you should never be spying on your partner. You should never snoop in your partner's private things. That means that you must never look through your partner's drawers, their wallet, their filing cabinet, or their private records (like their bank or credit card statements). Further, there is nothing that justifies snooping. No matter what you have a “hunch” about, snooping through your partner's things is never the way to confirm or deny your hunch. It is an absolute violation of your partner's trust. Your partner's private business and personal records should be kept private unless they give you permission to look at them. Spying on your partner behind their back James Bond style is one of the most deliberate and blatant violations of your partner's trust, and will achieve nothing except to have your partner never trust you to be alone near their things ever again.
4. Beware Of Designating Yourself “Magnum P.I.” Another wrong way some people try to verify suspected bad behavior by their partner is to take on the role of private investigator by attempting to “catch their partner in the act” of doing something. Whether this takes the form of searching for your partner's car by driving by their house, work or gym, or it takes the form of following your partner in your car, this is something you should never do. Even if you believe you have a true “hunch” or “intuition” that your partner is doing something wrong or is hiding something from you, designating yourself as your own private investigator is not only the wrong way to address that, but also frankly smacks of stalker-like behavior. If your partner finds out you've been “tailing them” in your car, they will no longer trust you and will likely end your relationship right there and then.
5. Don't Send Others To Do Your Dirty Work. Don't ever send a friend or anyone else to gather information for you about your partner or to spy on your partner for you. That means, don't send a friend to go hang out where you know or suspect your partner will be. Don't have your friend try to eavesdrop on your partner's conversations in places they go. Don't ask your friends to use their cell phone to snap covert pictures of your partner. All of these not only violate your partner's trust, but also reveal your total lack of trust in your partner. This behavior, if discovered by your partner, will most certainly result in them ending your relationship.
6. Avoid Paranoid And Obsessive Behavior. One of the biggest ways to reveal that you don't trust your partner at all, is to manifest that distrust with paranoid and obsessive behavior. While calling your partner regularly is quite normal, calling them incessantly to “check up on them” comes off as paranoid and obsessive, and will virtually always drive your partner away. If for example your partner leaves their phone somewhere, and by the time they realize they left it and pick it up two hours later you have called them 50 times, you are not only coming off as being paranoid and obsessive, but you are clearly communicating to your partner that you don't trust them at all. If you panic every time ten minutes go by without a reply from your partner to a phone call or an email, it sends the exact same message to them. This behavior will not only drive your partner away from you, but the fact that you clearly don't trust them at all will most likely lead your partner to end your relationship.
So even if you have some type of “intuition” that your partner is doing something wrong, it is better to confront them openly about it and “slug it out” with them than to violate their privacy and their trust by searching for answers behind their back. Even if your partner doesn't respond to your attempts to talk about it the first, second or third time, chances are that you will get to talk about it – and the outcome of confronting your suspicions openly with your partner will always be better than if your partner discovers you have engaged in any of the behaviors I talk about here.
Finding a great person with whom you want to be in a relationship can be really hard. Once we find somebody, though, we need to understand that our partner's privacy and trust are boundary lines which must not be breached. Violations of trust like the ones discussed here are some of the quickest ways to kill any relationship.
No matter how much emotion and love exist in a relationship, a relationship cannot survive without trust. Think long and hard before you engage in any of these behaviors. Violating someone's trust will never take a relationship to a better place. In fact, by doing so you may very well be single-handedly orchestrating the end of what could have been a fantastic relationship.