After multiple celeb couples split, psychologist Emma Kenny has revealed the 10 things you do which could stop you from finding lasting love.
While there is no secret formula for what makes a relationship work, there are some tried and true tips that can help.
After multiple celeb couples split, psychologist Emma Kenny told The Sun the 10 things you do which could stop you from finding lasting love.
You wait too long for the big conversations
Long-term relationships need compromise, which means setting out what you will and won’t accept early on.
“Everyone needs to understand the kind of relationship that they are looking for and their non-negotiables,” Emma said.
“Research shows it’s nine months before a relationship gets to the negotiation stage but laying out where you stand on the big stuff such as marriage, kids or where you want to live could prevent heartache further down the line.
“Many people sacrifice their core needs and wants initially because they hope a partner will want the same as they do long term, but what if they don’t? You don’t know unless you ask.”
You’re blown away by the sex
The early months of a relationship are usually a mix of lust, fun and spontaneity, but choosing a partner on sexual chemistry alone is doomed to fail.
Emma says: “A relationship needs to survive three stages – lust, attraction and attachment. “Research shows the lust state only lasts for up to five months, as it is driven by a craving for sexual gratification brought on through the release of the hormones testosterone and oestrogen. “These affect the pleasure centre of the brain, meaning you receive lots of positive reinforcement when you take part in sexual activity.
“After five months, the lust stage comes to an end and if you don’t have a lot in common with your partner, or suddenly realise that without the sex you find them boring or annoying, it’s unlikely you’ll stay with them.”
You compare them to your dad
If you were raised by parents who failed to offer love, respect or trust, it could be you’re looking for a partner to fill those gaps.
Emma says: “Over those first months of meeting someone, you may start to scrutinise their behaviour and personality traits to see if they meet or exceed a bar that you have set for them.
“If you are measuring them against a parent who failed you and using your negative experiences to dismiss the many positive traits they do have, the relationship is destined to fail.
“While this may seem a sensible way to protect yourself, it isn’t your partner’s responsibility to fix things or fill a void. You will only sabotage your relationship.”
You don’t accept compliments
Those with low self-esteem are more likely to wrongly interpret a partner’s behaviour, seeing them as either ungrateful or dismissive, because they couldn’t accept that their partner loved them, studies by psychologists in the Netherlands revealed.
Emma explains: “When you feel very insecure and you find yourself with someone who sees you in your very best light, the juxtaposition of how you view yourself, compared to how they view you can feel overwhelming.
“Rather than accepting that you need to work on your emotional issues, you might think that they must be delusional and incapable of seeing what a mess you are.
“You therefore lose respect for them and their positive opinions about you.”
You talk about your exes
“We all have history, but in new relationships it is best to leave this very much in the past,” explains Emma.
“A red flag which shows you let past relationships affect you is when you compare your new partner with your exes and project your previous partners’ flaws on to them.
“This is disrespectful because your new partner had nothing to do with the past. No one wants to spend time with a new partner dissecting their previous love affairs. It is a turn-off.”
Emma adds: “Repeating this kind of pattern means you need to take time out to work through your emotional baggage, so you don’t contaminate a new relationship.”
You choose lovers when ovulating
You think you know your type, but if relationships keep failing, it’s time to rethink.
Emma says: “The reason women go for the archetypal bad boy is down to our genes. “Research shows that we find these kinds of ‘hypermasculine’ men most attractive in the middle of our menstrual cycle.
“We are instinctively programmed to select a mate like this because we believe they will produce offspring. But if you want someone faithful who sticks around once the baby arrives, they are unlikely to be the best choice.
“Avoid making long-term romantic decisions mid-cycle, when ovulating. Wait until when you are in cycle. And asking yourself who you want to spend your life with is crucial. Creating a pen portrait about the traits and lifestyle this person will have, you will make better choices.”
You’re fitting in or settling
Being alone can feel daunting but don’t settle for the wrong person. Emma says: “No one likes to be alone and humans on the whole like to be in long-term, monogamous relationships. “However, the fear of being alone means you can end up either settling for less than you deserve or making yourself fit with a partner who you are ill-suited to, which won’t make you happy. “While these relationships may be able to survive for a short time, it is better to hold out until the right person comes along.”
You tweak their dress sense
Moulding a partner into the person you want them to be can never work. Emma explains: “Early in a relationship we tend to fully accept the object of our desires exactly as they already are.
“However, as time goes on, that unconditional, positive regard you had for your other half begins to wane. It means you nudge them, or even tell them, to change their appearance or behaviour.
“They’re in a lose-lose situation because you see their agreement as a sign of weakness. “Accepting a partner for who they are is the only solution to guarantee you that long-term relationship success.”
You keep dating apps active
Internet dating means there’s always plenty of opportunity – but if you’re dating AND still scrolling, your relationships won’t go beyond a few months.
Emma says: “You can feel like the proverbial kid in a sweet shop with dating apps. However, if you date and commit in part to a new relationship and never quite close the door on other possibilities, then hope of forging a meaningful relationship is slim.
“If you spend time with your new partner but can’t help but compare their looks, height, career and prospects to the others you see online, then you’re creating the myth of a man you desire. The emotional connection you create with your matches means you disconnect with the relationship you should be trying to build.”
Bugbears turn you off
Being hypercritical of a partner spells relationship danger.
Emma says: “No one likes everything about a partner but it’s about learning to let small irritations slide.
“Finding reasons why a partner isn’t perfect – especially when one person can’t be expected to meet your every need – is a recipe for relationship disaster. The antidote to this is to let go of minor faults and instead focus on the positives.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission