So your love life is starting to turn sour. Hey, it happens—don’t rely on Nicholas Sparks for an accurate depiction of romance. But although things may be going haywire, you don’t have to give up just yet. Here are five signs you’re damaging your own relationship as well as how to fix it!
1. You don’t trust him around other girls
Unless he’s given you a reason not to trust him around females (in which case, you’re probably better off without him anyways), you need to chill, girl. Jealousy is just a petty and unattractive emotion—it makes you look insecure, and who wants to be with someone who’s not comfortable with herself?
If you’re having trouble trusting your guy, it could be because you were hurt in a past relationship. “Many women carry baggage from previous relationships,” says Adam LoDolce, dating coach and founder of Sexy Confidence. “In other words, they've been cheated on in the past, so they assume it will happen again.”
Bringing your old relationship issues into this one isn’t fair to your current guy. “The hard part is not letting past grievances be heaped on someone who had nothing to do with your old stuff,” says dating coach Margie Burciaga. Try to let go of your past and give this relationship a chance. Not every guy has bad intentions.
2. You’re constantly on his case
“PLEASE don’t leave your toothbrush on the counter, how many times have I asked you?”
“Babe, you’ve worn that hoodie three days in a row now.”
“Can you not put your shoes in the middle of the floor? We’ve been over this.”
“Don’t you have homework you should be doing?”
OMG GIRL, STOP IT. Nobody likes to be nagged! “Nagging him doesn't enhance special feelings about you, it makes him feel inadequate,” says online dating expert Gina Stewart. “Who wants to be with someone who makes them feel bad about themselves?”
Remember when your mom used to bug you about cleaning your room or getting your homework done or picking up after yourself, and you felt annoyed? You’re being his mom now—and he doesn’t like it. He wants a girlfriend, not an extra mommy. So relax.
If something is really bugging you, bring it up nicely and with a smile. “State what you want and why it’s important, then give space for an answer and take what he says at face value, along with listening to what he says,” Burciaga says. “Men generally tell you exactly where they are coming from.”
3. You always want to hang out with him
When you find someone really cool, sometimes we ladies have a tendency to get—well, dependent, to put it nicely. If you find yourself getting furious when he turns down your near-frantic “Can we hang out?” inquiries, then you know you’ve crossed over to clingy.
“When a woman is too clingy and expecting to get all of her excitement and validation from constantly being with her man, it slowly chokes the life out of the relationship,” says Marla Martenson, a matchmaker, author and motivational speaker.
The truth is harsh, but it’s this: nothing will make a guy ditch you faster than your overbearingness. Who likes to feel smothered? That’s right—no one. So try to back off a little.
“Not giving him space—this is a result of not having your own friends and life,” LoDolce says. “He won't want a life with you unless you have a life without him. Pursue a passion, get a hobby, grab drinks with your girlfriends.”
4. You overanalyze everything
How many times have you read a text over and over, trying to decipher exactly what it meant? Or maybe you’ve replayed a scene in your head a thousand times, trying to break it down further and further. You worry and obsess about every little thing he says or does—and that’s not healthy.
“Guys are generally pretty straightforward–they tell it like it is,” says Laurie Davis, founder and CEO of eFlirt Expert. “There is no reading between the lines. But women overanalyze everything and often think there is a greater meaning to everything he says. Ultimately, overanalyzing can push him away entirely.”
So, what’s the solution? Actually talking to your guy rather than stressing over what you think he might have meant. “Open communication is always best, so if you’re ever unsure of what he means when he says something, ask!” Davis says.
5. Your expectations are too high
Are you one of those girls who have lengthy lists of every quality their ideal man must possess? “In budding relationships, I often observe women building up a guy or a relationship up before it’s really anything tangible,” says Davis. “But when you do this, he will never live up to your expectations. Fantasies are not reality.”
So take a breather and burn that list, because finding a man without flaws is impractical. Love isn’t always like your fave romance movie; in fact, it’s usually not.
Also, don’t get ahead of yourself (i.e., don’t start asking him about what kind of father he’d be on the fourth date). “Keep two feet planted on the ground,” Davis says. “It’s okay to think about him, but try to reminisce over something he said or did on your last date rather than imagining what it will feel like to walk down the aisle together.”
If you’re engaging in any of the above behaviors, your relationship could be in trouble. But listening to the advice of these experts should make fixing your problems relatively easy! Channel your inner superwoman and be proactive about your problems. After all, this relationship may just be worth saving.