Dating and Relationship Advice

When you’re in a relationship, you will inevitably face challenging situations that are difficult to navigate. In these situations, the majority of your actions and responses are learned behaviors that you picked up during your childhood or from past relationships. It is important to recognize which of these reactions are healthy and which are not, as it is often difficult to tell the difference between the two. The truth is, there are so many healthy habits that most couples mistake as toxic—I've listed five of these for you below.

Choosing Your Battles

Most people think that resolving every disagreement is necessary in order to have a healthy relationship, but this is a common myth. There are times when you should choose your battles rather than start a war. If your SO forgot to wash the dishes and bring the garbage out, is it worth starting a fight about? Probably not.

Remember this general rule of thumb: when your partner upsets you in such a way that you'll become resentful if you keep quiet, you need to speak up. Follow your instincts—you’re the only person who knows the kind of arguments that require a sit-down discussion and which ones you can easily brush off and forget.

Walking Away From Arguments

I hate when my boyfriend walks away while we are talking (well, screaming) about something serious. Walking out in the midst of a passionate argument can appear dismissive; however, it's actually considered healthy. When someone reaches their boiling point, they're more likely to say something that they don't mean—and once a stream of hurtful words are spoken, they cannot be taken back.

Fighting Around Your Kids

Most couples think that fighting in front of their children is a major parenting no-no. These parents often wait for the kids to go to sleep before bickering, or they fight in whispers behind closed doors. In reality, this isn’t a healthy approach. Most children feel sad and confused when their mom and dad are arguing. By contrast, observing respectful disagreements teaches them that no partnership is perfect, which better prepares them for when they are older and experiencing love for the first time.

Answering Text Messages Right Away

In relationships, a lot of us think that immediately answering our SO’s text message is the right move. Similarly, many people feel downright pissed off when their partner doesn’t respond to them within five seconds. Responding right away or getting pissed when your SO doesn't respond right away can actually lead to controlling and jealous behavior. If you’re in an important meeting, eating lunch, or even enjoying a good old comedy on Netflix, you can choose when you want to respond.

Being Honest, Even When It Hurts

Everyone wants an intimate emotional connection with their partner, but with that comes the need for honesty. There are going to be times when you hurt your SO’s feelings: this is inevitable, normal, and healthy. Your opinions might upset the person you love more than anything; however, expressing your thoughts in a relationship is essential. Without honesty (even honesty that might hurt), your partner doesn’t get the chance to understand you and learn who you are as a person. Being honest isn’t toxic, on the contrary—it actually helps build a mature and loving relationship.