Imagine the following situation: it’s a perfect Saturday or Sunday, and you have plans to introduce your new special someone to your friends. Dinner, wine, laughter; making jokes about your old self, retelling embarrassing stories (to prove how you and your friends are the perfect cliques) – everything’s in perfect order until your partner does something that makes you feel you would rather be somewhere else than in the room. It has happened, hasn’t it?
Well, not every relationship is the relationship of Titanic’s Jack and Rose (but let’s be honest – they spent only two days together; so as far as we know it, their relationship could have been the worst one in the world). Every healthy relationship consists of good communication, respect and the willingness to change if you have to. And that’s perfectly normal. So if your partner (or you) has any bad habits you would like to change, let’s take a look at how to do that in the best possible way.
Bad habits 101
So, what are the bad habits that could make your relationship take the turn for the worse? Well, the answer is – basically anything you are not comfortable with. They could be the simple ones – throwing clothes wherever they want, leaving the toilet seat up, not doing the dishes, being constantly late for planned events, etc. These, that could just be your pet peeves, can easily be changed. The key is in good communication and not waiting forever to say what’s on your mind (you don’t want it to become a well-you-do-this game).
However, the more complicated ones are the bad habits that are connected to the actual personality of your partner. Jealousy (ok, a bit of jealousy is healthy), forgetting to say the sorry and thank-yous you want or deserve, and avoiding discussions are just some of the things that could make a big problem in your otherwise perfect relationship. Just bear in mind that all of these bad habits could have something to do with you as well – so first of all, do a little pop quiz testing yourself about the bad habits you have in order to prevent a big fight (let’s not say a breakup – we’re definitely not cheering for that!).
Pour a glass of wine, sit on the balcony and try to think about all the times your partner got angry with you. Analysing their behavior in those moments could give you an insight into their point of view, and you will be surprised how much you will discover about yourself and your relationship that you hadn’t known so far.
Choose the perfect timing
If you decided to point out something to your bae, pick a good timing, please. Even though you asking your partner to change certain habits that you’re not OK with might be bad, choosing a bad timeframe could be even worse. How to fight with bad habits, arrange the right setting, make the appropriate atmosphere. Try to win them over with a nice home-cooked dinner, and make them feel comfortable before expressing your opinion. Keep in mind that dropping the bomb all of a sudden can have long-term consequences since your partner will probably feel attacked or embarrassed.
It is also of crucial importance to make sure that you point out the things you are not comfortable with is perceived as nothing more but a wish to perfect your relationship. If your partner is melodramatic or emotional, they might feel you are not satisfied with the relationship you two have, or even worse – than your emotions have changed.
Acknowledge your faults first
A great way to start this ‘’project’’ is by admitting the faults you have first. Try to think about the habits you have that would make you uncomfortable if you were in a relationship with yourself. Point them out. Say you would like to change them. Ask your partner what they think about it and if there is something else there that you didn’t know about. Be assertive and give an example by recognizing the faults you have – that way you will encourage them to admit their faults as well.
This could also be the perfect opportunity to say you’re sorry for certain past actions or habits that might have hurt your partner. Since it can be very difficult to realize what your mistakes are, there is numerous dating advice for women that can help you in this department. After all, it might be refreshing to hear somebody else’s point of view.
Discuss emotions and applaud improvement
You could also play this the other way – being passive-aggressive and pretending you’re furious and using monosyllables (‘yes,’ ‘ok,’ ‘no’) to communicate. Even though we all do it, this might be shocking – it’s not a good tactic! Giving the silent treatment never had good results, and this situation won’t be any different.
It is very important to state how you feel about a certain bad habit you want to emphasize. Show that you know how to be the best girlfriend and take their feelings into account as well. All feelings matter and try (at least this time) not to make everything about you. After all, you want to set an example. Show your partner the support and empathy you want them to show to you.
When you realize one day that your little project of changing your partner’s bad habit was a success, congratulate them. We all love when someone notices the hard work we have been putting into something, so start from there. They deserved it, it’s motivating, and who knows – maybe you’ll be able to change another thing in the future! Celebrate together and be proud of your progress.
The key to a strong relationship is, as mentioned, good communication and understanding of your partner’s needs. Your relationship might not be that magical as the one of Jack and Rose, but after taking these steps into consideration, your partner would share a door with you in case of a sinking ship.
It’s safe to assume that in a parallel reality where Jack survived, he would totally try to change Rose’s selfishness or her unforgivable desire to have a door to herself (hopefully using these tips). Even though every relationship has its ups and downs, if you try a bit harder to make it perfect, everything will be worthwhile in the end.