One of the best pieces of relationship advice I’ve ever heard is to pick your battles wisely. This means that you shouldn’t make a big deal over every trivial thing that upsets you, instead only speaking up when something really, really matters to you. It’s important and essential advice, but it can also be easy to use it to excuse unhealthy behavior. There are some seemingly innocent things bae does that actually are a really big deal – red flags that are easy to blow off even when you shouldn’t. They might sound ridiculous, but you have to trust your gut. Sometimes you need to make a big deal about something small.
Here’s the thing, though: everyone idealizes the “cool girlfriend.” She never gets her feelings hurt, doesn’t make a big fuss over silly things, and is totally chill with whatever her partner does. Saying you’re unhappy with something doesn’t make you the “cool” girlfriend, it makes you the potentially “crazy” girlfriend, a stereotype everyone wants to avoid. Honestly, though? “Cool” girlfriends don’t really exist, and if they do, they don’t have functioning relationships, because in order to do that, you have to be vulnerable and real with your bae. The little things you put off because you’re just that cool can stack up to be a mountain of resentment, and suddenly you hate bae and you have no idea why. I do, though. These are 11 “innocent” things bae does that are actually a huge deal.
They Tease You In A Mean Way Then Say It's A Just A JokeLight teasing and joking around is par for the course in a relationship, and usually, it's no big deal. But the line is thin, and once it's crossed too often, that means something is wrong. Have you ever been in a situation where bae makes a joke at your expense, one about something they know you're insecure about, they see you get upset, and then they go, "I'm just kissing! You know I don't really think that!" and then you feel annoyed but you don't want to make a huge deal out of a jokey? Okay, well, if that happens quite often, you need to speak up. If their jokes are genuinely hurting your feelings, tell them - they might not realize, or it might be the start of a bigger conversation. Source: iStock
They Want To Hang Out With You ConstantlyWhat? Bae being obsessed with you is a BAD thing? Um, yeah it is. It might sound like #goals to date someone who wants to be with you as much as possible, but it's not. In a good relationship, you let each other have your own lives. If bae wants to take up all of your free time, and is kind of demanding about it, it could be an isolation tactic that abusive partners use to make someone very reliant on them. So, just something to keep in mind. This can turn into a negative thing real quickly.Source: iStock
What's Yours Is Theirs, No Matter WhatFrom eating your food without asking, to leaving their stuff all over your place, to touching or picking at your body at random times, they have no sense of boundaries when it comes to you or your belongings. Why ask for permission or assume they can't? You're together, that means that you share absolutely everything and have no personal space issues, right? It may seem sweet that they feel comfortable or want to keep some of their stuff in your car in case of a sleepover, but come on. It shows a blatant disrespect for you and your space separate from them.Source: iStock
You Make Zero Appearances On Their Social MediaEveryone has different feelings and policies about putting their relationship on social media. But, even the most private people mention their significant other from time to time, even if they don't post a picture of them. They could be really attached to appearing unattached, single, and totally available because they like attention - who knows? But this little pet peeve can turn into a real red flag if they get weird about you tagging pictures of you two together or if they avoid taking selfies with you altogether. Are they hiding you on purpose? Who knows. It seems petty, but it's actually a fight worth having.Source: iStock
They Forget To Call When They Say They WillWay to let you down! If bae is unreliable when it comes to texting or calling you back when they say they will because they say they're "bad at their phone" or whatever, that's kind of lame. The hard truth is that's not a valid excuse, and you two are having some communication issues and one of you is choosing not to be there for someone in a real way. They say actions speak louder than words, and this is a prime example. If they can't prioritize following through on communicating with you, that's messed up.Source: iStock
They Like To Make All The DecisionsIf they're only okay when they get to control what you do and where you go, then make a huge stink of it when you want to do something different, bae doesn't want a girlfriend, they just want a sidekick that they sometimes kiss to tag along for their regularly scheduled life. Forget partnership! Yeah, a guy taking charge can be sexy. Strong opinions are hot. But, if getting their way becomes a necessity, not something you can compromise on, it's actually a sign of something larger. They might not be the right person for you if they can't be in a two-way relationship. Source: iStock
They Can't Make A Single Decision On Their OwnOn the flip side of things, another little big problem you may have with bae is that they can't make a choice about anything without taking forever. Either that, or they cater all their choices to you and abdicate any sense of responsibility from deciding who drives, where you go on dates, or what movie you should watch together. Every different shade of a decision making process takes an eternity and they have no real opinions. You might not mind making all the choices because it seems trivial, but if they can't have an opinion at all about anything, even if it's little, what's going to happen when it comes to bigger stuff?Source: iStock
You Fight About All The Little Things That Annoy YouA sure sign that you're putting off a bigger, more overwhelming fight is that you're picking small fights about things that don't matter so you don't actually deal with your real problems. Also, constantly fighting probably doesn't feel great for anyone. No one wants to fight with the person they're with all the time! So, even if you don't think there's a secret underlying fight that you're avoiding, maybe you just don't like each other and that's okay! But, little fights that seem innocent can actually be signs that something bigger is going on, no matter what they're about.Source: iStock
They Say They ''Don't Do Labels''Ugh, honestly some people act like calling you their girlfriend is basically like asking you to marry them. Relax! If they're too immature to handle this word, they probably have some relationship hang-ups that both have nothing to do with you and will keep you from truly being in a relationship with someone who's just as invested in it as you are. Maybe they think of it as heartbreak insurance or they want to take the pressure off themselves but, really, that's just the risk you take being in a relationship. Sorry not sorry.Source: iStock
They Try To Look At Your Phone All The TimeEyes on your own phone, dude! Their excuse may be that you "shouldn't have anything to hide" or that you can look at their phone whenever YOU want, but if they hover over your phone or read your texts without asking, that's a key sign that there's some trust issues that need resolving. Between the lack of privacy, annoyingness, and bae being super nosy, this "small" issue is bound to drive a wedge between you two that can get real ugly real fast. Yeah, it's just a phone, but it's much more than that, and we all know it.Source: iStock
They Check Other Girls Out In A Very Obvious WayTo point out the obvious, being in a relationship doesn't mean that you no longer find other people attractive. But, ogling other people straight up in front of you in a big way is rude. It's inconsiderate of your feelings, makes you look bad, and can lead the other person on. Even if it's not in front of you, if the person you're with full on puts more effort into flirting with other people than with you, that's still not good. Source: iStock
Have you caught bae doing any of these? Did you talk about it or shrug it off? Does it bother you? Or do you just hate fights? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.