Six Behaviors That Ruin Relationships, According to Science

What turns love into indifference? This question has haunted people since the beginning of time, and experts who have dedicated their lives to finding the answer have identified several behaviors that kill relationships. Psychologists have divided them into categories, and while these will not heal one’s heart, they could help with future romances. 

Large study

In a study published in Evolutionary Psychology, researchers from Greece, led by Menelaos Apostolou, a psychology professor at the University of Nicosia, tried to examine why people choose to leave their partners. Apostolou gathered 233 people from Cyprus. The first group had an average of 30 to 31 years old, nearly 40 percent being in a relationship. 

The second group included couples with kids 

Apostolou then gathered  536 adults and asked what would make them leave their relationships. Group two was similar to the first one in terms of age, gender, and romantic status of the participants. The second group had 28 percent of people with kids. After finishing his study, Apostolou divided 88 acts that adversely affect relationships into six categories. 

Inside the findings 

One of the most important factors was determined to be “Does not care about me.” It included various forms of indifference, from negligence to acting distant. The second most crucial factor was “Does not treat our children properly.” The rest included a controlling partner, a partner showing interest in others, abusive behavior, and a partner with undesirable traits. 

Single people are picky

Arash Emamzadeh from Psychology Today noted that single people were harsher than those in marriages, likely because married couples learned to overlook negative behavior. They also have more options, making them picker. Apart from singles, women tend to be less likely to ignore negative behaviors. 

Relationship killers 

Psychologist Dr. John Gottman also uncovered what causes relationships to fall apart. He expressed that lack of respect for the partner, criticism, using excuses, and withdrawing from conversations are the main reasons the couple spit. Contempt was ranked highest on the list. It includes disrespecting, mocking, or ridiculing one’s partner. 

How to right a wrong

Apostolou’s study found 14 ways to revive a relationship. The participants were asked what they do to improve relationships, and it was suggested that number one is understanding your partner’s needs while discussing problems together, which came right after it. Showing more interest, sharing experiences, and building trust were among the most common ways to make a long-lasting partnership. 

More solutions 

Other standard solutions included showering partners with love, giving them space, opening up to criticism, practicing self-control, and being less withdrawn. The list ended with looking after themselves, compromising, investing in self-improvement and their looks. The last two showed the least effective results. 

Single men are mostly insecure about their looks 

Apostolou asked over 13,429 Reddit users to help him understand why men are single. The respondents agreed that their looks and lack of self-esteem are to blame. The professor concluded that men’s low self-esteem, low flirting skills, and lack of confidence result from evolution. 

Putting effort 

According to Menelaos, this lack of skills in finding a woman results from the lack of arranged marriages. Simply, men did not have to make an effort or flirt to get themselves a wife. Today’s world is vastly different, though examples from the first study, where women and single people were more likely to be alarmed by destructive behaviors, prove that men can evolve. 

Lies we tell ourselves

Other people’s best intentions often taint relationships and lies we bring into romance. Theresa DiDonato, a social psychologist and a professor of psychology at Loyola University Maryland, wrote that high expectations and believing that love is all we need are why relationships fall apart. 

More “good” advice and ideas that destroy romance

DiDonato noted that telling someone that a relationship shouldn’t change them is wrong. She added that it is not up to your partner to make you happy. It should be a mutual task. 

It is never too late to learn 

Now that you’ve heard from people invested in the business of love, it might be easier to understand why previous relationships fell apart. This information could also guide your romantic future. 

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