Most relationships don’t go out with a bang, but a whimper. It’s easy to choke the life out of love. In fact, it’s too easy…unless you know what to avoid.

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Here are three habits that grind layer after layer off your love affair until there’s nothing left but rug burns and tears.

1. Reacting defensively when you hear feedback from your partner.

You’ve heard that “communication” is key to relationships. That’s true, but it has to be open, friendly communication. That’s not always easy when your partner is sharing a not-so-flattering behavior, but who said relationships would be easy?

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Psychology Today reports that “Whether we punish our partner by emotionally breaking down, giving them the silent treatment, or screaming at them, we’re telling them that we don’t want to hear what they have to say.”

That’s a one-way ticket to breakupsville.

2. Forgetting to show affection after the honeymoon.

In a country like the United States, where Americans work more hours and take less vacation than anywhere else in the world, it’s easy to settle into two totally different life paths after embarking on a committed relationship.

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Relationship counselor Christine Northam warned the readers of the Independent against letting the romance die over time.

“Relationships often fail because couples fail to recognise and meet one another’s needs,” Northam said. “When the initial feeling of falling in love wears off, it can be easy to take each other for granted and lose interest and this is where a lot of relationships go wrong.”

3. Making too many universal statements.

If you always make universal statements about everything, you will always, 100 percent doom your relationship, every time. Actually, we don’t know the statistics. We just wanted to illustrate what we mean by “universal statements.”

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When superlatives such as “always,” “never,” and “every” come out of your mouth in a moment of anger, it’s time to check yourself. Be realistic. No one “always” does everything, and using this language sends the message that you have no hope for your partner.

Instead, stick to the facts. What happened that upset you? Why did it upset you? What can you and your partner do together to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

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The trick is to remember that you’re both on the same page, no matter what. Keep trying. Relationships take time and work, and we’re all bound to slip up every now and then. But love is worth fighting for.