32 Ways to Change Relationship Habits and Get the Love You Want
For most of us love is the most important thing in our lives. It’s life’s greatest gift to give and receive. Through love we feel worthy, needed, and connected with a partner, child, parent, workmate, neighbor, or friend. To get and keep love, we need to know how to change relationship habits that may stand in the way of the love we want.
Here are 32 relationship habits from my book Stop or Start Habits with Outcome Visioning. Counseling may be needed to change some of them. Relationship habits for parents and children are presented in the Parenting and Children/Teens sections of the book. Changing habits in the Communication section will also improve relationships.
Relationship Habits to Stop
1. Stop being possessive with (name). Alternative: Start permitting (name) to have a life independent of our relationship.
2. Stop being critical or judgmental of people based on their appearance, skin color, weight, height, clothing, grooming, sexual orientation, religion, or political beliefs. Alternative: Start accepting and appreciating the differences in people.
3. Stop being excessively controlling in the area of (specify) with (name). Alternative: Start letting (name) be the person he or she wants to be.
4. Stop being defensive when (name) shares what is bothering her or him about me. Alternative: Start accepting constructive criticism from (name).
5. Stop excessive arguing with (name). Alternative: Start working out disagreements with (name) in a calm manner.
6. Stop offering unsolicited advice to people. Alternative: Start recognizing that most of the time people are not interested in my opinions.
7. Stop making disapproving comments to (name), even if the comments were not meant to be disapproving. Alternative: Start focusing and commenting on the positive qualities of (name).
8. Stop being codependent with (name). (Codependency involves excessive focusing and acting on another person’s needs rather than your own to make yourself feel good. You need to be codependent when it comes to caring for very young children. Codependency is not healthy with older children and adults.) Alternative: Start recognizing that taking care of my own needs is how to feel good about myself.
9. Stop being in an abusive relationship with (name). Alternative: Start seeing myself in a loving, supportive relationship.
Relationship Habits to Start
10. Start opening my heart to love and accept love from others.
11. Start expressing gratitude and love to (name) in ways such as (specify, such as hugs, touches, kisses, massages, dates, flowers, greeting cards, talking, listening, phone calls, and text messages).
12. Start limiting the time I spend on recreation and work matters to X hours per week so I have more time to spend with (name).
13. Start spending (one day or evening) each week with (name) to enjoy each other’s company.
14. Start doing mundane things with (name) such as (specify, such as shopping, working in the yard, cleaning, washing the car).
15. Start deepening my relationship with (name) by spending more time talking, writing, or calling him or her.
16. Start frequently expressing appreciation to (name) for what she or he does.
17. Start frequently expressing that (name) is attractive.
18. Start expressing feelings and emotions to (name).
19. Start openly discussing problems with (name) in an effort to resolve them.
20. Start compromising with (name) when making important decisions.
21. Start meeting or exceeding expectations of (name). (Specify what the expectations are.)
22. Start following through on commitments such as (specify) with (name).
23. Start offering verbal and non-verbal support to (name) for her or his endeavors and decisions.
24. Start searching for a life partner.
25. Start realizing that I cannot change (name) if she or he doesn’t want to change for her or his own benefit.
26. Start forgiving (name) for (specify the wrong doing).
27. Start saying “I’m sorry” to (name) when I have done something wrong.
28. Start thanking and telling my parents that I love them before it is too late.
29. Start doing more chores around the house and picking up after myself.
30. Start having dinner with my entire family X times per week.
31. Start showing more gratitude for (name).
32. Start volunteering at (specify).
What More Can You Do to Change Relationship Habits?
My book Stop or Start Habits with Outcome Visioning has an easy step-by-step process that will help you change your relationship habits. Also, you can learn more about relationship habits through myhabits.com and subscribing to my newsletter, Changing Habits, Changing Lives. Details are at the Habit Support tab here on the website. Sign up today by providing your name and email address in the Subscribe to my Newsletter box at the top or bottom of the website page and get my FREE article, 5 Prerequisites to Changing Your Life. Changing Habits, Changing Lives will be sent to your email address.
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Dave Sellars, PhD (aka Dr Habits®)
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