The 7 Worst Love Zappers and How to Beat Them

We’re all familiar with the bug zapper that’s been around for decades–an ultraviolent light that attracts insects and then electrocutes them, emitting a sickening sound of frying bug flesh.While bugs can be annoying, what’s even more lethal in our lives are what we’re calling “love zappers” (unless of course you are allergic to the sting of the insect).If we can carry this analogy a little further…

Just like a bug flying into one of those zappers–these love zappers can certainly kill romance, suck the life out of a relationship, and can take you by surprise because you don’t even realize what’s happened until it’s too late.

Here are 7 of the worst love zappers and how to beat them…

Love Zapper #1– Being “too” critical

Being critical is a habit and a coping strategy, usually learned early on.

We’re not talking about feedback that’s asked for…

We’re talking about constant, negative criticism that creates a dynamic where one person feels inferior and the other, superior–even though the person doing the criticizing might not look at it that way.

The “criticizer” might have the best of intentions…

But talk about a love zapper!

And then when both people start criticizing each other, it’s a game that’s destined to kill any relationship.

How to beat it?

Before you speak–when criticism bubbles up inside you–ask yourself if this is your business or not.

If it is your business, then look inside you and phrase your words as a request and not as an indictment against him or her.

If you  want some exact words and phrases to say in situations like these that really work, check out our “Magic Relationship Words” program at

Love Zapper #2– “Too Busy”

Love, like a lot of other things, doesn’t grow when it’s being ignored and set aside.

One of the biggest love zappers we see in our Breakthrough Relationship coaching practice is that the two people  have filled up their lives with everything but spending time with one another.

They think their love will always be there but just like a plant that doesn’t get watered, it dies.

How to beat it?

This isn’t rocket science…look at your life and determine what’s really important.

Get rid of what’s not serving you in the present and start actually scheduling time for each other.

Love Zapper #3–Blame

Blame is a close cousin to “being too critical” but deserves a category all to itself because it’s such an instant love zapper.

Blame can come in the form of verbally blaming another person for what he or she has or hasn’t done. That person usually either gets defensive and fights back or shuts down.

Or it can come in the form of mentally blaming another which is even more deadly because he or she can’t figure out  where the distance and antagonism that you’re emitting is coming from and why it’s there.

How to beat it?

Whenever you hear blaming words in your head–about yourself or others–stop yourself and shift your thinking.

Shift your thinking to wondering how you can resolve whatever issue that has been sparked in your mind.

Shift your thinking to how you can connect with the other person rather than push that person away.

Love Zapper #4–Not committed

Did you know you could be in a committed relationship and STILL not be committed?

It’s true.

When you aren’t fully committed to the relationship, the other person can feel it, even though you may not even know it yourself.

Doubt, insecurity and distance are all created–interfering with communication and connection.

How to beat it?

Be honest, first to yourself, about what you are committing to in this relationship.

Whether you’re just starting out in your relationship or you’ve been together for many years, as you wake in the morning, make a conscious choice what you are committed to.

It can be something as simple as “I am committed to loving you today in my thoughts and my words.”

Love Zapper #5–Resentment

This love zapper is especially apparent when a couple is trying to repair trust that’s been broken.

If trust has been broken, it’s certainly wise for the person who’s been hurt to gradually learn to trust again and only after seeing signs that changes have been made for the better.

But so often, even though changes have been made, the person who was hurt can’t let go of resentment.

Now we’re not saying this is in any way easy or that trust should be given automatically after it’s been broken.

Quite the contrary…

But if specific changes are being made and the desire to make the relationship work is there, holding onto resentment is certainly a love zapper.

How to beat it?

If you are the person who was wronged, create specific ways your partner can regain your trust–and then acknowledge when that happens.

Love Zapper #6–Assumptions

A big love zapper is doing something for someone–making an assumption that it’s what the other person wants–and then expecting certain actions from him or her in return.

It’s the unspoken bargain that can zap the life right out of a relationship.

How to beat it?

Be up front about your bargains. If you find yourself assuming that your partner would like you to do something and then you resent it when you don’t get that in return or at least some recognition—

Stop yourself and clarify with your partner what the bargain is. He or she may not even want you to do what you are assuming he or she wants.

Get clear and then there won’t be resentments and blame that get in the way of creating and growing your love.

Love Zapper #7–Talking on Eggshells

Talking on eggshells is what we call not being able to say what’s true for you and make yourself understood in your relationship.

When you’re not able to be “you,” you’re not able to allow yourself to open to giving and receiving love.

How to beat it?

As soon as you start to censor yourself or you feel yourself being triggered by what your partner says or does, stop, breathe and make a shift inside you.

That shift can be something as simple as remembering that you love the other person and that you want to connect with him or her.

These kinds of shifts are what we explain in more detail in our “Stop Talking on Eggshells” program at

We invite you to look at your “Love Zappers” (whatever they are) and do whatever it takes to shift them so they’re no longer standing between you and the love and relationship you really want.

We may have described your “love zappers” that ring true for you in your relationship and life OR they may be different from these.

Whatever they are start making changes so you can stop doing them.

Even if you don’t have a partner, or one who cares about any of this and doesn’t want to participate with you, if you stop doing even one of your love zappers, you will see a difference in your life.

Susie and Otto Collins are Relationship Coaches and authors who are passionate about helping people create lives that are filled with more passion, love and connection. For more tips on rekindling passion in your love relationship, visit



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