When people date, they usually put their best foot forward. They want to be liked back. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is linked to reward, is high. This leads to feeling euphoria and excitement to see the other person. However, over time the excitement fades, and complacency can settle in. Excitement, like stress, can only last so long in our body before our body comes down or crashes. Romance can feel like that as well. If you notice that your partner has been pulling away from you, here are some things that might be harming your relationship.
- Being critical of your partner can make them feel like they are walking on eggshells around you. The criticism begins to get old, and resentment builds. Your partner might also internalize the criticism, making them feel insecure. Criticism is a fast way to destroy attraction.
- Lashing out – Screaming, yelling, or throwing things is an excellent way to scare your partner. When people are frightened, they go into fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. Your partner should respect you rather than fear you. According to John Gottman, contempt is the number one relationship killer. If you can not control your reactions, it is an excellent time to speak to someone. It is possible that lashing out is a symptom of trauma or stress.
- Smothering – Smothering or being too clingy can make your partner feel trapped. When people feel like they can’t breathe around you, they will find an exit. Smothering can come out of insecurity or an anxious attachment style.
- Controlling your partner is a good way to get them to pull away from you. Control can look like isolating someone from friends and family. Controlling who your partner speaks to, what they eat, what they wear, and how much money they can spend are all signs of emotional abuse.
- Jealousy – everyone experiences jealousy from time to time. However, extreme jealousy can turn into controlling and abusive behaviors. Jealousy can also be a sign of insecurity or attachment anxiety. Of course, if you are flirting with others or cheating, then jealousy is normal. Flirting and cheating is an excellent way to get your partner to leave you.
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