HABITS, it is often said, are easy to make and hard to break. But if you are in a committed relationship, there are some habits you will have to kick to the curb if your relationship is to last.
Anthony Gordon, who has been counselling couples for the past 29 years, noted that both women and men have varying idiosyncrasies that can create problems in their relationships. Without proper communication, these can drive couples apart.
"Each person has his or her own little unique weaknesses like not putting away something a particular way or not doing things a certain way and so it does get some people upset," he said.
You might not be able to break these habits overnight, but if you are constantly told by your partner that they hate when you behave a particular way, the least you can do is make a concerted effort to mend your ways.
Here are some of the habits that are commonly known to cause problems in relationships:
1. A preoccupation with social media.
No man wants to play second fiddle to your BlackBerry or laptop, and so it could raise questions about your commitment to the relationship, when more time is spent with friends on Facebook than with him.
The incessant pinging during a dinner date, which cost him a tidy sum to arrange, is not only rude, but might also be taken to mean that you really don't have much interest in him.
"I have to deal with this problem in my counselling practice because it does come up," noted the family life counsellor.
Women are oftentimes accused of nagging, which can easily be blamed on our need to have everything well planned and organised. However, it can prove to be too much for a guy when you feel the need to remind him 10 times to carry out a particular task or bug him about his hair needing to be trimmed. While a guy has to put up with nagging from his mother who will be a part of his life for good, he doesn't have to stick around and take it from you.
3. You think flirting with other guys is cute.
You probably do it to test his love for you or it just might be because you love getting attention; whatever the reason, flirting with other guys while in a committed relationship is never cool. If your guy is mature and not into playing games, he will not take lightly other guys getting way too upfront and personal with you. However, Gordon points out that flirting could sometimes be a woman's cry for more attention from the man in her life.
4. Being bitten by the green-eyed monster.
Secretly checking his phone numbers and questioning every girl you see him with are sure signs you have been bitten by the green-eyed monster. They are probably habits you developed after you were cheated on in the past, but trust is crucial to every relationship and if you don't trust your partner it makes no sense to continue the relationship. It could very well be that he is cheating, but hardly any man will put up with you continuously searching his phone -- especially if he has been faithful to you.
5. Holding out on sex.
Things will not always be perfect in a relationship, but there are other ways to register your frustrations than withholding sex from your spouse. It's always best to solve problems before retiring to bed as holding out will only help to create an emotional distance between the two of you. Gordon noted, however, that this is "a natural female response to insecurity because a woman's sexual drive is stimulated by the security provided by the man in her life."
6. You are a shopaholic.
There is hardly any guy who would have a problem with his girl dressing up and taking care of herself physically, but it might create some issues in your relationship if you are extremely high maintenance.
"This shows a sense of irresponsibility and a lack of priority," said Gordon.
Instead of saving to purchase a house for the future, you are more interested in maxing out credit cards or making frequent trips to the most exclusive restaurants. This could easily give a guy the impression that you are only into him for his money.
7. You boss him around in front of his friends.
While some guys don't mind a girl with a take-charge manner, most men generally like to feel in charge. It can be extremely emasculating when a guy is openly reprimanded in front of his friends or if he doesn't get the opportunity to make decisions in the relationship as well. It's definitely not something most would tolerate for too long.