If you want this relationship to last, you need to do a psychic makeover, because when you were relationship-surfing, you developed a boat-load of really bad habits.
In relationships that have an expiration date, consciously or unconsciously, you’re doing things to keep you from getting hurt. So that when the time comes, you can drop her without too much fuss — and certainly without any (for you) heartbreak.
If you hang on to these bad habits, they will drive your hot new relationship into the ground. Put another way, you have some neurons to rewire.
This list doesn’t cover everything, but it’ll give you an idea of what to look for, which is anything that pops you emotionally or physically out of the relationship or keeps you from digging deeper into it. So, if you want to make your relationship last, kill these 3 habits:
1. You have one foot out the door.
This is an obvious one. If you’re spending time with a woman you know you’re going to leave, you’ve got your sonar pinging 24/7 for other possibilities.
- You’re checking out other women.
- You still have a profile up on OKCupid.
- You haven’t let the women in your pipeline, your casual partners, and hook-up buddies know that you’re off the market.
- Fantasizing about other women. (Ah, the sex is so much better.)
- Flirting with someone other than your partner.
You may be thinking, "Calm down Coach, there’s no harm in a little daydream about being twerked by some rock star or doing a little extra-curricular flirting."
You need to understand that if you have a habit of moving from one woman to the next, you’ve wired your brain to make that happen. If you want to play for keeps, you need to rewire. The behaviors listed above will not support and nurture a committed relationship. Put both feet solidly inside the door and keep them there.
2. You barricade your heart.
Love, intimacy, and closeness are scary things — they put us at serious risk of rejection, humiliation, or shame. Jumping from woman to woman is a damn good way to keep from being vulnerable, but there are hundreds of others.
If you want to keep a relationship alive, you need to annihilate any behavior that keeps your heart closed and protected.
- Not being present (surfing the web, playing video games, doing your taxes, whatever, when she’s trying to connect with you).
- Not accepting her love (making fun of or dismissing it).
- Joking about or not expressing your feelings for her.
- Talking about head things (politics, sports, work) and not heart things (love, hurts, joys).
- Avoiding important relationship questions: do you love me? What do we want for ourselves?
- Fighting, fleeing, or freezing up.
- Judging and finding things wrong with her.
The last one — judging —is a serious relationship killer. Nothing works so well at keeping you separate and safe than a good long list of what’s wrong with your partner. Even if you never breathe a word to her, just having a judgment in your head is insidiously corrosive.
The one thing to get into your head is that your judgments are total fabrications — there is no truth to them. You may think she’s fat or you may think she’s skinny, but the truth is she weighs 130 pounds. "Fat" or "skinny" are just something you made up.
You can make up things that distance you (she’s fat) or you can make up things that bring you closer (she’s beautiful). Neither is true, but each has different impacts on your relationship. Your choice.
3. You watch too much porn.
I’m adding porn to this mix because you’ve probably checked out your share of porn. Given the increasing acceptance of these things, you may not think it’s a big deal.
And it may not be. Your partner could be totally cool with a porn habit or an occasional fix. She may be into it herself, and it may add a refreshing bit of kink to an already hot relationship.
But beware. Evidence is piling up suggesting that porn — specifically internet porn — isn’t good for you, individually, and isn’t good for you as a couple.
Apparently, the more porn one or both partners are into, the less stable the relationship and the greater likelihood of sexual dysfunction including (even in men in their teens and twenties) erectile dysfunction—you know, rubbery dicks. (Dudes, I’m serious: check out this and this and stay hard).
Here’s the deal: If you want different results, you need to do different things. If you want to keep this relationship, then you can’t do what you did in your off-hand affairs. Stop doing anything that takes you off the path to greater intimacy and love.
Russell Heath is a Leadership Coach. If you’d like to learn more — stick around. Sign-up at his website to know when his next blog comes out. Or, if you want to get started on your new results right away, talk to Russell.