Finding love again can be an exciting experience. But, there is always a chance that you’re not ready. Repeating old habits can put your intimacy at risk. Want a happy and healthy union? Here are 10 things you need to stop doing before starting a new relationship.

1. Lying or cleverly evading the truth.

Lies, secretiveness and evasiveness demonstrate you don’t respect your partner. Some omissions may seem harmless to you, but can erode trust. No one wants to be kept in the dark about their relationship, or worse, hear the truth through the grapevine.

2. Fighting for the number 1 spot.

If you can’t imagine sharing the spotlight, then you are not ready for a new relationship. If the thought of having to consider a different viewpoint is overwhelming, you might be better off single. The root of a strong relationship is generosity.

3. Thinking you must always have the last word.

Arguments do not always have a clear winner, and not every topic requires a debate. Sometimes, it’s okay to let it go. A certain topic may ignite you and you may overreact. But, it is often more beneficial to drop the subject – rather than offending your partner by trying to make them agree.

4. Not knowing how to apologize.

Acknowledging when you’ve hurt someone else is very important. Saying ”I’m sorry” may seem weak to some, but it’s a powerful act that expresses empathy. Don’t ignore the power of empathy and humility in the context of a successful relationship.

5. Ignoring boundaries.

Just because you are in a relationship, or even living together, doesn’t mean that you have the right to violate your lover physically or emotionally. It’s important to discuss comfortable boundaries for each of you. Each party should have a voice that is honored in the relationship. Learn to compromise and stop trying to have it your way all the time.

6. Treating your lover like competition.

Your lover is not your competitor, or enemy. Drop the rivalry, and ask yourself why you feel the need to compete. You may be hanging on to past slights from other relationships, or have unresolved issues in your current relationship. Identify why you are feeling aggressive, so you can’t let it go. An ideal relationship is one where there is a true partnership.

7. Snooping.

If you start playing detective, this is a sign of trouble. Snooping is a hurtful intrusion that can damage your relationship beyond repair. If you have proof that something is awry, it may be time to seek out a counselor – or end the relationship. You could have a hard time trusting others and not be ready for a relationship. Counseling can help you work through your trust issues and past trauma.

8. Gossiping.

Talking bad about your partner does not create trust, love, or a lasting connection. If you can’t be loyal, you should ask yourself whether you even want to be in a relationship. Gossiping about your partner will only come back to haunt you. They could find out what you have said and decide to end the relationship. Refrain from sharing intimate details in order to give your love a chance.

9. Hating yourself.

If you are passive-aggressive, negative and insecure, you are not ready for a relationship. If you are only in a relationship for the sex, attention and validation, you are not ready for true love. Give yourself the love you want and need, before seeking acceptance from another person. A relationship should not be your only source of validation.

10. Being someone you’re not.

If you are pursuing relationships that require you to be someone you are not, abort now. If you are lying about your income, career, education, background, skills, or interests, you are not being authentic. You are assuming another identity and acting out a scene from a movie that you wish you starred in. A healthy relationship requires you to peel away your masks and get real. If you can’t accept whose underneath, you can’t expect others to.

Featured photo credit: FireFliesWaltz via flickr.com

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