New couples love to share and as they get closer, they’ll affect each other’s behavior. Sometimes this can be great. But you don’t want to adopt each other’s bad habits. See if you’re falling into any of these habit traps.
Bad Habits That Couples Share
#Habit 1: Being on call
Many of us have developed the habit of responding to phone rings and text beeps anytime and anywhere. We feel the pull of someone out there in the world who wants to talk with us. We don’t always care if there’s someone right in front of us who wants to talk also.
If you’re always on call, you could be handing this habit to your girlfriend or boyfriend. When you cut off a conversation to pick up a text, you leave your partner sitting there with nothing to do. They’ll respond by picking up their phone and texting a friend. Why not? Before you know it you both spend more time on remote relationships than on each other.
#Habit 2: Lighting up
Smokers often get started because a friend or family member smokes and they naturally pick it up. The same can happen with couples. It’s incredibly tempting to your partner to join you in a smoke, and once they do, they may have as much trouble quitting as you.
#Habit 3: Hanging out with junk food
As you get to know your new love better, you two start to relax with each other – watch the game together and order pizza. Or split a pint of ice cream. It’s a classic tendency for new couples to gain weight because they aren’t trying so hard to impress each other and they relish sharing their favorite junk foods.
#Habit 4: Venting to your friends
You may have a tendency to call up friends when you want to spill your guts. It’s great to have friends you can vent to, but if you leave your partner out, they’ll see you don’t want to share feelings with them and will turn outside the relationship to share their own feelings. You’ll be left with two people who aren’t in the habit of sharing with each other.
There are tons of other bad habits couples can pick up from each other, everything from nail biting to swearing. So what can you do?
How Do You Avoid Sharing Bad Habits With Your Lover?
If you see your partner picking up your bad habits or if you’ve adopted a few yourself, take heart. You can kick them. It’s not that hard and you’ll have a partner for support. First, identify a habit you want to attack. It’s best to go after one at a time.
It takes effort and awareness to kick a habit, so you don’t want to be distracted by working on too many at once. Talk with your spouse about which tendency you want to change so you can both do it together.
Once you know what you want to change, figure out what reward the habit gives you. For example, if you eat junk food, you get the dopamine hit in the brain which makes you feel good and decreases stress. You also get the pleasure of good tastes and smells. Next, figure out why you must change the habit. With the junk food example, it obviously makes you fat and unhealthy.
Now work with your partner to find a new habit that will give you some of the pleasure the old one did. A brisk walk will de-stress you and improve your mood, so that’s a great substitute for junk food. When you would typically eat the junk food, plan for a walk instead.
Maybe when you both are first home from work, you reach for the potato chips. Instead clip a note to the chips that says “Go For A Walk.” When you grab the chips, you’ll see your note, smile at your partner and head out for your walk.
You got together with your partner because you wanted to share your life with them. And unfortunately, you’re sharing some bad habits as well. But the great thing about being in a strong relationship is that you can support each other as you knock off one bad habit after the next.