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Rachel Russo, a relationship and dating coach, pinpoints six habits that many people fall prey to and that may be sabotaging your relationship, and shares her tips on how to avoid them.
1. Looking through his email or cellphone history
We're all occasionally curious about who our other half is texting, emailing and calling -- especially if he seems glued to his phone or if you have any reason to suspect infidelity. Despite that curiosity, Russo recommends restraining yourself.
"Accept that your curiosity is natural, but fight the urge to check his inbox and call log. If you feel compelled to check them regularly, know it is a relationship red flag."
Break the habit: Russo's advice? "Work on learning how to trust your partner and how to resist the urge to spy," she says. "If your partner finds out you are violating his privacy, your relationship will be further damaged."
2. Stalking his social media accounts
"Do not stalk your partner's social media pages," insists Russo. We all have a tendency to read too much into Facebook status updates or tweets, but doing so can create more drama in your head than the situation actually deserves.
"This desire to be constantly connected to what is going on with those in our circle is a product of our current culture," Russo explains. "Some people check almost obsessively."
Break the habit: If this sounds like you, do your best to curb your social media habits. Don't go out of your way to seek out information on your partner's pages. "Realize that your partner will tell you the important things," says Russo, "and that you shouldn't make judgments based on his self-expression online."
3. Staying attached to exes
Many people are -- or are tempted to be -- in frequent communication with their exes. "It is normal to think of an ex from time to time even when in a new healthy, happy relationship, but it is counterproductive to stay attached to an ex online or offline," says Russo. "When a relationship is truly over, act accordingly."
Break the habit: Russo's tip? Cut communication by removing your ex from your social media networks so that you're not tempted to contact him.
"If there is a need to be in regular contact with your ex -- if you share children, for example -- make sure your new partner is aware of and comfortable with the relationship," Russo advises. "And if you are truly platonic friends with an ex, make sure you introduce him or her to your new partner and that you all hang out together from time to time."
Page 1 of 2 -- Do you often compare the status of your relationship to others? Find out why this habit can potentially ruin your relationship on page 2.
4. Getting lazy
It you've noticed that you're not making the same effort you made in the beginning of your relationship it may be time to remind your partner how much you care.
It's easy to get into a comfort zone and stop making the effort you once did, but this may cause your relationship to fizzle.
Break the habit: "Switching up your routine by making small changes can make a big difference," says Russo. "Even just trying a new place for dinner can seem exciting." The more you do to keep your relationship interesting, the stronger your bond will be.
5. Losing who you are
Losing your own personality may not seem obvious at first, but it can easily happen if you spend too much time with your partner. Russo shares three signs that indicate you might be losing yourself in your relationship.
• Your friends and family members are upset that you never call or see them.
• You find yourself spending more nights at your significant other's place than at your own.
• You've given up your hobbies.
Break the habit: "Fix this problem by reconnecting with those you've lost touch with and creating a schedule that allows for spending time apart," advises Russo. "Get back into the activities you've given up during the relationship."
6. Comparing your relationship to others
The older you get -- and the longer you're in a relationship -- the easier it is to let the progression of other people's relationships (engagements, weddings, baby announcements) make you feel you should be at the same stages.
"You'll know you've fallen victim if you are constantly initiating 'the talk' with your partner to see where your relationship is headed or if you're planning your wedding a few weeks into a relationship," says Russo.
Break the habit: All this pressure will no doubt make your partner uncomfortable. "Fix this by getting realistic. Your relationship is not a race. Don't let what others do allow you to feel pressured."
By avoiding these potentially damaging behaviours you will ensure that your relationship continues to thrive no matter how long you've been together.
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