Always confront your partner about their unhealthy habits

What you need to know:

  • Be honest about your habits and boundaries, and ask if they have any habits that could cause problems

Whether you have been dating for four weeks or four decades, it is important to prioritise calling out your partner on their unhealthy habits. A relationship is only as strong as its healthy participants, and while no one is perfect, we each must set boundaries on what we perceive as intolerable.

Watching someone you love hurt themselves or not support you in living a healthy lifestyle can be incredibly stressful and may deplete your mental health and self-esteem. 

So, I always encourage people I know to stand up for themselves and speak up about behaviour that is not aligned with how they want to live their lives.

One of the most important things in a relationship is ensuring that both you and your partner are happy. If you find yourself in a situation where your comfort is compromised and your partner is not taking steps to fix it, this could become the very issue that ends your relationship.

It can be difficult to determine what qualifies as a bad habit between two people. One person may not see it as a problem while the other may feel completely differently about it, leading to a disconnect. In many cases, the issue is not the habit itself, but rather, the inability to address it and improve the relationship between the two parties.

Areas of contention

For instance, if you are focused on saving not only for emergencies, but also for the future and investments to secure your financial stability going forward, but your partner is a spendthrift who believes money is meant to be enjoyed as soon as it is earned, it can be very challenging for the couple. It creates obstacles when one person is committed to ensuring financial security, while the other spends everything they earn or what the couple brings together for common goals.

The same could be said about career advancement. Partners may not always share the same mindset when it comes to progressing in their careers. One partner might be more ambitious and focused, while the other might have a more lacklustre approach to their career advancement. 

This can lead to tension, resentment, and frustration when both partners are not on the same page about the direction their lives should take.

The same can be said about more personal matters such as addiction. Are you struggling with substance addiction while your partner is finding it hard to cope? It could also be about poor hygiene. Are you someone who takes pride in being exceptionally neat and clean, but is in a relationship with someone who does not care about their hygiene? Any behaviour that makes the other party feel uncomfortable in the relationship needs to be addressed.


Nurturing bad habits can create tension, which can eventually lead to resentment and the breakdown of a relationship. For instance, if one person smokes and the other constantly makes snide comments about the habit, it could lead to heated arguments and other disagreements, all stemming from the unresolved bad habit.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to recognise your bad habits when you are caught up in the excitement of a new relationship. If left unaddressed, these issues can become more challenging to deal with later on. 

To avoid this, it is important to have open communication with your partner. Be honest about your habits and boundaries, and ask if they have any habits that could potentially cause problems in the relationship. This approach not only makes it easier for both of you as a couple but also allows you to identify and address any issues early on.

It is an opportunity to encourage good habits and work together to overcome the bad ones, or to consider whether the relationship might not be the right fit if certain habits cannot be managed.