Relationships become habitual, and the longer we are in them, the more comfortable we feel. This allows us to relax and be more comfortable, which in turn lets us develop habits that sometimes make us feel like an old married couple! Here are some common relationship habits that might make you seem older.
1. Slipping into overly traditional gender roles
One of the common habits that a lot of people in relationships can wind up slipping into is overly traditional gender roles. This is where the woman does the cooking and cleaning, the man does the DIY and is the main breadwinner, etc. This is pretty antiquated as an idea, and can make you seem outdated, as well as potentially unhappy.
2. Lack of communication
A lack of communication can cause many problems and issues in relationships, and this is something that you need to work on if you want to build a happier life together. A failure to communicate is one of the biggest things that make you seem older and more out of touch with the way modern couples do things, as people nowadays are keen to seek honestly in their relationships.
3. Bottling up problems
Another of the mistakes that a lot of the older generation make with relationships is that they bottle up their problems, hiding them from their partner. Younger generations hold less stigma when it comes to their struggles and emotions, so try and open up if you want to bring some youth and happiness back into your lives.
4. Not embracing technology
Technology is constantly evolving and growing! Failure to embrace new technology and keep up with the times is going to see you being left behind and potentially making your home life more difficult. Voice powered speakers like the Amazon Alexa can be great fun for you and your partner to enjoy, allowing you to have your favorite music on demand.
5. Holding grudges
Holding grudges does nobody any favors, and can lead to you becoming bitter and resentful, causing a rift with your partner. Instead, embrace a more modern approach of letting the small stuff go, moving past issues, and getting on with your lives as a couple. Many young people are better at accepting apologies and moving on, so try the forgive and forget approach where you can.
6. Getting distracted by gossip
Getting distracted by things like gossip that is going on in your workplace, friendship group, or within your relationship is not a good thing. This is a waste of time, and something that you needn’t concern yourselves with – especially in later life! Your time would be better spent connecting and bonding as a couple, or spending time with mutual friends that love you both.
7. Keeping separate bank accounts
Now, a lot of couples do still keep separate accounts, and, unless you additionally have a joint account, this can be a little outdated as an idea – especially as you may be near equal earners. It is important to treat your relationship as a team exercise, and having a joint account lets you both be aware of what your financial situation is!
8. Writing letters
Letters are very much an outdated concept, and there is something to be said for them making a return – especially in a romantic setting. However, if you are only communicating via letters instead of simple to use messaging software, it’s obvious you both need to get with the times. This goes for beyond your relationship and to how you communicate with family and friends too.
9. Staying when you’re not happy
One of the biggest shifts in modern relationships may in fact be the uptake in divorce and separation. Whilst sad, staying in unhappy relationships is undoubtedly worse. There is an outdated belief of philosophy that divorce is a sin and that you must stay together no matter what. Contemporary relationships are focused on positive mental well-being, even if that means leaving.
10. Overlooking self-care
Self-care is one of the biggest and most important concerns when it comes to looking after yourself. As you get older and more comfortable in relationships, things like self-care can go out the window. This may have an impact on your mental and physical health, as well as your relationship, with younger people prioritising their own confidence and self care in order to create a feeling of security.
11. Avoiding PDA
Public displays of affection are a core part of any relationship. Whilst overdoing it can be incredibly icky for those around you, in a long-term relationship it’s vital to keep the spark alive. Feeling comfortable with affection is a key part of deepening your bond. If you find yourself avoiding this, it might make you come across as a little old-fashioned, stale and closed-minded.
12. No variety
As we become more comfortable in relationships, it can often lead to us being stuck in our routine. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but can sometimes lead to relationships becoming boring or stale. This tends to be a particularly old-fashioned approach. Take a leaf out of the youth’s book and find some fun new date night ideas with your partner.
13. Thinking it needs to be a battle
An older and more antiquated belief about relationships is that they should be a struggle, but this is far from true. In fact, if a relationship works it should be a pleasant experience most of the time, with a few bumps in the road. Believing something is worthwhile because it’s hard is a completely outdated concept.
14. Being resistant to change
Change is something that is unavoidable, and a key part of how the world develops and grows. Being resistant to change, if it’s not causing a negative impact on you or your partner, is something that will only make you come across as old, outdated, and stuck in the past. Embrace change and lean into it to have a more positive relationship experience.
15. Complaining about the younger generation
Every generation complains about the one that comes after theirs and believes them to, somehow, be worse. Whilst this might be true in certain situations, this is also a bit of an outdated idea that seems to stick with each generation. Finding yourself complaining to your partner about how other “kids these days” are dating makes you seem old.
16. Not showing interest in your partner’s hobbies
Your partner is bound to have hobbies and interests, and some of them might not be things that you care for. One of the things that can definitely make you come across as old and outdated is not showing any interest in your partner’s hobbies. You can still have your independence and nobody is asking you to attend every football match, but the odd question or smile of approval doesn’t go amiss!
17. Not being open minded
One of the things that is more noticeable about the younger generation these days is the fact they are more open-minded, and don’t discount things before giving them a fair chance. Whether this is via things like open relationships, polyamory, or other more diverse and unusual steps, being close-minded can single you out as older.
18. Negative social media behavior
Social media is simultaneously one of the best and worst things to happen to the world. It has more than four billion users worldwide, with a diverse range of age groups, but one of the things that can single you out as an older user is more negative behavior, such as cyber bullying or obnoxious public comments about your partner or relationship.
19. Ignoring boundaries
Boundaries are important and they exist for a reason. If you find that you are ignoring your partner’s boundaries, it could be a symptom of older and more antiquated beliefs. This can range from anything from ignoring consent, to breaching their privacy, and many things in between.
20. Overlooking the importance of mental health
Mental health is a hugely important aspect of your lives as a couple, and you need to focus on doing all you can to improve this. Overlooking the importance of mental health is something that might suggest you are a little older, and used to a time when there wasn’t such a light shone on mental health problems.
21. Not appreciating your partner and what they do
Not appreciating your partner and the things they do for you is something that can have a negative impact on them and the relationship as a whole. Instead, you need to be more attentive to their needs, and take the time to recognize and appreciate the things they do to improve your relationship. Nothing should ever be taken for granted, it’s an old fashioned approach to assume it goes unsaid.
22. Not pulling your weight
Sometimes you fall into the habit of embracing older, perhaps seemingly more traditional viewpoints, where each of you does a specific thing in the relationship. But, in addition to gender stereotyping, not pulling your weight can simply be a sign of stubbornness or a lack of respect, making you come across as older or stuck in your ways.
23. Being too independent
Independence is a positive thing, and something that you need to try to embrace on both sides. However, being too independent is definitely a more old school kind of mentality, and something that is perhaps not as constructive to a long-term relationship as you might think. You need your own lives, sure, but make sure you’re living as a team.
24. Placing too much emphasis on physical beauty
Placing too much emphasis on physical beauty can indicate you are a little older, though that’s not to say the world isn’t superficial now too. Instead of focusing solely on physical appearance, it is important to keep in mind the personality of your partner and what they are like as a person. Additionally, physical preferences are often entrenched in negative stereotyping regarding gender, race and class.
25. Too many lies
Honesty is always the best policy, and this is something that you need to implement in your relationship at all times. If you start to tell lies, and this becomes a result occurrence, then this is something that can cause a lot of friction in the relationship. Be more open and honest with your partner, like a contemporary couple! Hiding things is a thing of the past.
26. Not apologizing
Not apologizing when you are wrong is one of the biggest sources of friction between couples. This is something that might make you seem older as it suggests you are more stuck in your ways and unwilling to admit when you’ve done wrong. This is something that you need to try to work on as much as you can in order to build a healthy, happy relationship.
27. Airing your dirty laundry in public, so to speak
Another issue in your relationship that can make you appear older is airing your dirty laundry in public, figuratively speaking of course! Just as it goes for negative social media posts, when you have arguments or fallings out you shouldn’t be shout them for all the world to know. Keep issues between you private, behind closed doors, or limited to a select few friends like a modern couple does.
28. Too much negativity
It is very easy to get into a spiral of negativity, and to start being overly negative or down in your relationship. This is going to have negative impacts on your partner, and on your future as a couple. Instead of being caught up in negativity, try to look at it from a more positive and useful place or work on your issues. Negativity is often associated with old-fashioned couples not seeking to grow.
29. Saying it but not showing it
Saying things to your partner without showing them can be quite negative as it breeds a distrust in your words and an overall lack of effort, something that often forms in later-life relationships. Telling your partner things like you love them, without actually showing that to your actions, is a sign of outmoded complacency. Remember, actions speak louder than words.
30. Not making time for one another
It is very easy to get stuck in the routine of work, meals, relaxing, and sleep, but you need to remember your partner. Too many relationships these days fail because couples don’t make enough time for one another. This can make you seem old and stuck in the process of focusing on the grind rather than understanding the importance of bonding activities.
31. Not greeting each other with a kiss
It is true that the longer a relationship runs, typically the more the initial spark simply runs out. Older generations may just accept this and carry on in earnest because that’s what they used to. But greeting each other with a kiss is a great way of maintaining that physical connection and romance, whilst showing one another that you’re still important.
32. Forgetting about compliments
As we get more comfortable in relationships, it is natural to become lazier and take things for granted more. This can lead to issues such as forgetting about compliments, as it all feels like its been said and done before. This, in turn, means that it’s possible you forget to show your partner what they mean to you, which is something you should work to have a healthier relationship.
33. Not talking on the phone
Speaking to your partner via text is one thing, but having that vocal connection with them is very important. Something that can mark you out as being older, despite what Gen Z’s texting habits may suggest, is not taking the time to talk on the phone and hear your partner’s voice. This is really important for improving bonding and feeling more connected.
34. No “Goodnight” when you’re apart
When you are apart from one another, it is easy to just focus on your own thing and speak to your partner when they return. But missing out on saying goodnight can negatively impact both of you emotionally. Make sure to drop that message or quick phone call just as the younger generations do to make them feel appreciated and let them know they’re missed.
35. Putting minimal effort into gifts
Gifts still matter, even if you have been together for a long time. Making minimal effort with gifts might mark you out as an older couple who just don’t know what the other wants anymore, instead focusing on practical things that the house needs. Making an effort still matters and is vital to keeping up that youthful spark, maybe return that brand new Shark vacuum…
36. Forgetting important dates
When you have been in a relationship for a while, there will be a number of important dates you need to remember. These include things like birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, etc. As you get older and life gets busy, these kinds of things might pass you by. Do the best you can to try to remember them and celebrate whenever you can.
37. Not being open to feedback
Constructive feedback from a partner is an important part of being able to grow and improve in the relationship. Being opposed to this, instantly on the defensive as soon as any issue is raised, can indicate that you’re a little bit old-fashioned and not open to growing as a person or, more importantly, a couple.
38. No date nights
Date nights are a great part of being able to maintain a romantic connection and this is something that you are going to need to prioritise, no matter your age or how long you’ve been together. Try to ensure you have some quality time together and to connect with one another again. Overlooking date nights can be a sign that you are older, stuck in routine and needing a refresh.
39. Stopping traveling
One of the relationship traps that you might fall into when you get older is stopping traveling. You are stuck in your way of life and comfortable as you are, but this can leave you closed off to fresh experiences. Travel is really important and something that you need to try to embrace as a couple to broaden your horizons.
40. Avoiding diversity
Diversity is a key feature of a healthy, thriving society. Avoiding it is something that can mark you out as being older, holding outdated and potentially harmful views. This illiberal mindset could harm your relationship tenfold, both between you and your partner or anyone you may encounter in the wider world, if you’re fresh on the dating scene again.