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25 Subtle Relationship Turn Offs that Provoke & Push a Couple Apart

Relationships can be blissful, but they can also be difficult. Here are 25 relationship turn offs that can ruin your relationship if you aren’t careful.

relationship turn offs

You may think you’re in a truly happy relationship, but do you ever get disappointed by your partner’s behavior now and then? If so, you already know some of the relationship turn offs that matter more than others.

Sometimes, even the most loving partner may subconsciously behave in a certain way or say a few things that can hurt their lover.

If it’s just a rare occurrence, you could overlook it. But what if it’s something you notice all the time?

Relationships don’t always fall apart because lovers cheat on each other or argue until one of them packs their bags and leaves. The truth is, couples almost always fall apart because of disappointments and resentments – and these come well before anything drastic happens.

[Read: 12 reasons why so many couples drift apart from each other over time]

Relationship turn offs that can hurt romance

Every time you put up with something that hurts you, you’re only digging a hole in your relationship. Remember, if your partner truly loves you, they may not want to hurt you intentionally.

Sometimes, a few of the hurtful things they do may be subconscious and something they don’t realize themselves.

You don’t need to always confront your partner about it, or sulk and yell at them. At times, all they need is a little nudge to realize their mistakes, so they can correct it themselves. [Read: The 80/20 rule in relationships and how it can change your love life forever]

25 relationship turn offs that can ruin your romance

Here are 25 relationship turn offs that you need to keep an eye on. If you’re indulging in any of these turn offs *even if it’s only subconsciously*, it probably means you need to do some soul searching and ask yourself if you truly respect and love your partner.

And on the other hand, if you see these signs in your partner, rather than just put up with it, talk to them about it and tell them how you feel about this kind of behavior. [Read: Top 20 reasons for divorce that most couples overlook]

After all, your silence won’t help your partner realize that their subtle behavior is pushing both of you apart, just a little with each passing day. [Read: A step-by-step guide to rekindle the spark in a relationship]

1. Insecurity and jealousy

Does your partner make you feel insecure by giving someone else more attention or by flirting with them outrageously while you stand next to them shuffling your foot in painful embarrassment?

Insecurity and jealousy is one of the biggest reasons for egos and anger to creep into the relationship. [Read: Girlfriend flirts with other guys? Signs, reasons and how to deal with it]

2. Bad mouthing

Insulting a partner’s parents or their family is so common that almost all couples indulge in a bit of accusation and bad mouthing now and then.

But there’s a difference between pointing out a person’s flaw and blatantly insulting them for it, don’t you think?

3. Boundary issues

Do you give your partner the space they want, whether they ask for it or not? Not understanding where to give space in a relationship is a big relationship turn off.

Don’t constantly try to make yourself feel involved in your partner’s life even when they want to do something by themselves. [Read: How to give space the right way in a relationship]

4. Withholding sex

This is something partners use when they’re angry or upset, and it is one of the major relationship turn offs. They pretend like everything’s okay, and yet, they push their partner away or avoid having sex.

If you’re indulging in something like this, you may believe you have a right to avoid sex if you don’t feel like having it.

But really, are you avoiding sex because you don’t feel like having sex, or is it because you’re upset and want to hurt your partner using subtle manipulation? And if you’re upset, isn’t it so much better to just tell your partner what’s on your mind instead of using sex as a tool to hurt them? [Read: The harsh truths you need to know when you use sex as a weapon]

5. Compromises

You don’t like compromising for your partner, or even if you do compromise for them, you do so with a disgruntled expression stuck on your face.

And yet, you expect your partner to always compromise for your sake no matter what you ask of them. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship and not feel like you lost out]

6. The third opinion

Do you really take your partner’s advice, or do you just ignore it and place more value on a third person’s opinions?

If you give more importance to someone else’s opinion and care less about your own lover’s opinions, even if it’s a decision that directly impacts your relationship, it only shows that you don’t respect your partner and think less of them. [Read: 15 signs of a lack of respect in a relationship you should never ignore]

7. Bad listeners

Do you listen to your partner while talking to them, or are you only focused on getting your point across? Do you constantly say “what did you say?” to your partner each time they’re trying to say something to you?

Bad listening habits in a relationship will definitely infuriate your partner or make them feel unheard and neglected. And someday, this turn off will push both of you away from each other.

8. Cruel ego boosts

Have you ever complimented someone else in public in front of your partner, while completely ignoring to compliment your own partner for doing the same thing?

Putting your partner down and hurting them subtly in public can give you an ego boost, but it’ll also cost you your relationship over time. [Read: Why people take you for granted – 16 signs and firm ways to stop them]

9. Silent treatment

Don’t ignore your partner or give them the silent treatment by not talking to them just because they say something hurtful in a conversation.

It’ll make your partner hate you for walking away from the conversation, and they’ll stop being truthful to you or trying to communicate with you because they know you don’t like hearing the truth. [Read: How to perfect the silent treatment in a relationship and use it well]

10. Pushy behavior

Don’t constantly force your partner to do things your way because you think your way is the only way to do something.

It may seem like a petty issue, but your constant pushiness may force your partner to turn rebellious and do things just to oppose you and hurt you, so they can get their independence back from you.

11. You think you’re too good

This is something you need to ask yourself, because no one else can answer this for you. Do you always take your partner’s opinions into consideration each time you need to make decisions? Or do you secretly believe *somewhere in the back of your mind* that you’re awesome and your partner is just too dumb to offer any insightful advice to you?

No one but you may know this answer, but if you think your partner isn’t smart, your condescending behavior towards them may give away the disdain you have for them. [Read: 24 sad signs of an unhealthy relationship that’ll ruin love forever]

12. Cutting conversations

Do you ever cut your partner across when they’re trying to make a point? Or if your partner is trying to explain something to you at a store, and someone else *like a pushy store salesman* interferes to explain the same thing to you, do you look away from your partner and continue the conversation with this new person who interrupted the both of you?

It’s a clear sign that you subconsciously don’t value your partner or think they have anything important to say.

13. Anger issues

One of the biggest relationship turn offs is when you direct all your rage and anger at your partner, even when they do nothing wrong.

You may be pissed off with the world, but you still direct all that anger towards your partner and treat them like a punching bag because you don’t have the nerve to confront the world or direct the anger at the people who actually hurt you. [Read: Relationship arguments and 27 do’s and don’ts to remember]

14. Big sacrifices

Do you behave like making time for your partner is such a big sacrifice? When your partner asks you to spend some time with them, do you get annoyed or behave like sparing time for your loved ones is a luxury you can’t afford?

Careful here, because your partner may not be around for too long if you treat them so disrespectfully! [Read: 19 signs you’re a very selfish lover in the relationship]

15. Letting yourself go

So, you’ve hooked yourself a sexy fish and you have that ring on your finger. You’re all happy and life is bliss. But now that you’re in a stable relationship, have you let yourself go and piled on several pounds, or have you started dressing down and leaving it all unshaved and unkempt?

Don’t take your partner for granted and expect them to always stay crazily in love with you and lust for you when you don’t make the effort to look and feel your best for them.

16. Selfishness

Selfishness is a relationship turn off that’s one of the worst traits in a partner. Do you always look for the better deal or an advantage in your relationship?

It could be as small as eyeing the larger slice of pizza, or as big as hoarding all the money in your own bank account while emptying your partner’s account dry.

But this behavior of yours would definitely make your partner see through your intentions and distrust you very soon. [Read: How to recognize and stop a selfish person from hurting you]

17. Manipulative and controlling behavior

For a person who is unable to directly confront their partner over an issue, it’s always easier to resort to emotional manipulation and subtle controlling behavior.

You may think it’s the easiest way to control your partner, but once they realize just how deviously you’ve manipulated them to lose their own self, they’ll leave you and never look back even if you beg them to take you back. [Read: 16 tips to change your partner’s controlling behavior]

18. Taking kindness for granted

In love, both partners are expected to love each other unconditionally and be completely giving towards each other. But if you hold yourself back and take your partner’s kindness and love for granted, you’d be hurting them each time you use them to get what you want. [Read: 16 reasons why you’re being taken for granted by everyone]

And soon, your partner may start getting wary and they too may stop loving you unconditionally. And eventually, all there would be in the relationship are two people who don’t trust each other, and are constantly competing to get the better deal. Is that even love anymore?

19. Laziness

Sure, it’s fun to be a bum and lay around on the couch watching TV sometimes. But when it becomes a habit, then your partner will probably get disgusted and start resenting you.

Being lazy is not a good quality to have, especially if your partner is the one who is doing everything for you. If you see them cooking, cleaning, and doing everything while you are just staring at your phone or playing video games 24/7, it’s time to stop doing that.

And laziness doesn’t just apply to housework. You can get lazy in the relationship too. If you stop doing romantic things, having date night, or paying attention to your partner, that is one of the big relationship turn offs too. Your partner might as well be single if you aren’t going to put any effort into the relationship. [Read: Turn offs for women – 25 things guys do that girls absolutely hate]

20. Bad hygiene

It should be obvious that you should take a shower and keep your overall hygiene good. But sadly, many people get really lazy in this category too. It might be convenient to just lay around and never bathe yourself, but not only do you end up stinking, it’s just gross.

And guys, if you have a beard, for crying out loud keep it trimmed! You might think a long bushy beard is cool, but your partner might not. It is kind of a trap for a lot of bacteria and other gross things. So, don’t turn into a skunk… stay smelling and looking clean for your partner!

If you don’t, don’t expect them to want to sleep with you. [Read: 21 secret signs of a bad relationship that signal a bad future ahead]

21. Not enough time spent together

Just because you are in the same house or the same room, that doesn’t really count as “spending time together.” Sure, you’re in each other’s physical presence, but unless you are interacting and/or doing something meaningful with your partner, it hardly counts.

When a couple doesn’t spend quality time together, it can be a huge relationship turn off. The only way two people can stay connected is to really bond through conversation and activities. If you don’t do this, you will inevitably drift apart.

22. No affection

Everyone has their levels of comfort and need with affection. Some people are very touchy-feely and love hugs, while others don’t need that.

However, a relationship should have some level of affection. After all, isn’t that what romance is all about?

So, you have to compromise on this. If one of you wants a lot of hand-holding and cuddling and the other doesn’t, that can be a huge turn off for both of you. Understand each other’s needs and try to meet in the middle. Because why bother having a romance without affection? You might as well just be friends. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend and you should leave ASAP]

23. Sexual neglect

There is a stereotype that all men are horny all the time. But that’s not necessarily true of all men. In fact, sometimes, the woman has a higher sex drive than the man. Regardless, sexual intimacy is really important to a quality relationship.

So, if one or both of you are neglecting your partner sexually, that is a major turn off. If it’s one-sided, the person with the higher sex drive can be resentful. And this is one of the major relationship turn offs. [Read: 18 foundations of a relationship that separate the good and the bad]

24. Cheating

Everyone knows that cheating is wrong, and so that’s why it’s a major relationship turn off. But what exactly constitutes cheating? In the old days, it just counted as sexual relations with a person who is not your partner.

But in the technological age, there are many different ways to cheat. From simply texting people of the opposite sex to secretly being on dating apps to boost your ego, there are many forms of cheating. And how can you have a good relationship when one person has one foot out the door? You can’t. [Read: Micro cheating – What it is and signs you’re unintentionally doing it]

25. Constant fighting and drama

You can’t have a happy relationship if you are constantly fighting. Conflict in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, it’s normal to have disagreements. But you have to handle them in a calm, rational way.

So, if you are constantly screaming at each other and there is a lot of drama, that is a huge relationship turn off for most people. Who wants all of that turmoil? It’s no fun to live like that.

[Read: The secrets to having a good relationship that gets better with each new day]

These relationship turn offs could seem trivial now, but if you’re indulging in any of these turn offs, you may find yourself a perfect partner today, but you’ll always find yourself in unhappy relationships over time, until you truly decide to change yourself for the better.

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Erica Patterson
A cat lady and a yoga practitioner, Erica Patterson loves writing just as much as she loves shopping online. And when she’s offline, you’ll find her curled ...
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