1. Microcheating. It’s 2 a.m. and you’re liking your ex’s selfie from three months ago. You’re shamelessly flirting with a coworker who you haven’t yet told that you’re taken. What’s going on? That’s microcheating! It’s behavior where you repeatedly engage in small acts of envelope-pushing and boundary-breaking that aren’t technically cheating but are clearly done in a kind of cheat-y spirit.
2. Improper Use of the “L” Word. “I love you” is just three little words. But it contains immense power. Considering that, it’s best not to be careful in how we use it, neither to use it frivolously, nor to hide it away and pretend it can’t be said. “I love you” isn’t just a statement of feeling, it’s also a promise.
3. Not Doing Emotional Labor. You might not know what the phrase “emotional labor” means, but it’s definitely occurring in your relationship, and if you’re dating a woman, it’s likely that she’s doing more of it. Emotional labor is the work of making sure the people you care about feel happy, safe and cared for through your words and actions, and most guys aren’t taught how to do it.
4. Avoiding Friends & Family. Relationships can feel airtight sometimes – like a chamber that only has room for two people. But the truth is, spending time in groups of people that aren’t just the two of you is healthy and important for the relationship to work out in the long term. Not only that, but meeting your partner’s closest people will give them context for understanding you.
5. Mistaking “Emotional” for “Crazy.” Most guys have either said this or heard this: “She’s crazy, dude.” It’s a male shorthand that communicates that she’s a hassle, stressful, incapable of being chill, over-emotional. Most of the time, “She’s crazy, dude” just means this: “She has emotions about stuff that I don’t understand and don’t like.”