You may be the best damn girlfriend on the planet…but if you’re guilty of any of these bad habits, you could be putting your connection with your man at risk.
1. You overcommunicate
With all the Facebooking, tweeting, IMing, e-mailing, and texting going on, it might feel impossible to not communicate a lot with your boyfriend or husband, at least indirectly. But all that extraneous info about what you’re doing dissolves your alluring mystery, warns Ian Kerner, PhD, sex therapist and author of She Comes First.
“I actually defriended my wife on Facebook,” he admits. “We’ve all heard the phrase that familiarity breeds contempt, but in this age of social networking, perhaps familiarity breeds something worse: boredom.”
Keep some of your mystery—and mask your mundane day-to-day life—by resisting the urge to check in with your guy constantly.
2. You don’t think you’re attractive
Do you have a hard time accepting compliments about your body? Cringe anytime your guy grazes his hand across your stomach? These seemingly minor habits could be more dangerous than you realize because poor self-esteem can damage your sex life, warns Kerner.
“If you don’t feel sexy, you’re just not as interested in having sex,” says Kerner. “Many men I work with are very frustrated because they think their girlfriends and wives are beautiful, but the women are very inhibited.”
Take your body-bashing down a notch. Stop pointing out your flaws to your guy—you don’t want him to start believing what you’re saying, do you? It’s easier said than done, but start making the transition. Even if you really don’t want the lights on, try lighting a few candles instead.
3. You confuse hopes with realistic expectations
Have you ever fantasized about your boyfriend doing something special—say, throwing a surprise birthday party for you—and then thought about it so much that when it didn’t happen, you were genuinely disappointed? Maybe you even got a little mad that all he did was get you a cupcake and sweater from Express. This kind of behavior can wreak havoc on your bond.
“You can’t walk into a relationship with a script,” says Gunther. “It’s fine to hope for certain things from your man, but they need to be based on some realistic potential of actually being satisfied.”
In other words, if your boyfriend never plans weekend getaways, stop disappointing yourself by daydreaming that he’ll whisk you away to a B&B. Focus on the stuff your guy does right (rather than what he’s not doing), and you’ll strengthen—not sabotage—your love connection.