So you have gotten past the initial dating stage and are now in a “relationship.” This can be the best or worst part of your life depending on how you proceed. I am coming at this topic with a five year (and counting) relationship with many highs and lows. Learn from my mistakes and triumphs and do not fall into these common relationship mistakes.
1. Losing the romance in the relationship is one of the key reasons why relationships fail.
It is easy to become complacent and slack on making an effort for romance. The truth is, relationships are work. Not that you won’t have any fun along the way, but you need to remember it takes a focused effort to be romantic with your partner.
2. Trying to control our significant other.
Many of us either have control issues or things that the other person does that drive us crazy. Both of these scenarios can lead to us wanting to control or comment on every move the other person makes. Think about it though, would you like someone telling you what to do every waking minute? You are not this person’s parent. If he/she is a grown adult, treat them like one.
3. Expecting perfection.
We are all human. We all make mistakes. Do not hold your significant other to some unrealistically high expectation. This is especially hard for those of us who hold unrealistically high expectations for ourselves, but that’s another topic altogether.
4. Avoiding confrontation.
Fighting is not the way most of us want to spend our time, so it can be tempting to just brush all of the problems under the rug. The flaw with that plan is that the problems collect and multiply. This will ultimately end up in an explosive argument, or a parting of ways with the other person baffled as to what went wrong. Communication is huge in any relationship and should not be avoided.
5. Fighting about everything.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, do not make everything an argument. Think about all of the problems you have with your partner and really consider whether these are deal breakers or if you can build a bridge and get over them.
6. Trying to change the other person.
In relationships, we need to realize we are unique individuals. Often we are drawn to someone who is completely opposite to us and after a while we can be tempted to try to change them to be the same as us. Take a step back and remember why you fell in love with this person in the first place. My boyfriend is for the most part carefree and funny, but sometimes his jokes start to drive me nuts or I wish he was more organized. I have to remember that I love that he can make me laugh and that he has such a positive outlook on life.
7. Keeping secrets from your loved one.
This is something that goes along with keeping communication open—do not keep secrets. Not that you have to tell the other person every minute detail about your life, but you should not intentionally keep something major from them. You know it is a secret that needs to be shared when you feel even slightly guilty for not telling them. It will come out eventually and sooner is always better than later.
8. Not taking time for yourself and being too co-dependent.
If you spend every waking moment with your significant other, you will ultimately lose who you are as an individual. Things like going to the store on your own will be hard and you will find yourself consulting that person for every small decision you make. Take some time to do what you love. Have your own hobbies, interests and friends. You will both benefit from this and have a richer life as a result.
9. Not taking differences in core values seriously.
Even though you like the same music and enjoy spending time with one another, you will still have a hard time getting past major differences. Core values include things like religion, morality, and the importance of things like family, friends, careers and money. Take some time to discuss these things before you move your relationship forward or you might be in for disappointment later.
10. Not talking about money.
Money is always a tricky subject. You might have come from different backgrounds. If one person grew up wanting for nothing and the other has always had to pinch pennies, there may be some disagreements over how money is spent. If you are in a serious relationship, even if you have separate money, be sure to discuss these things as money issues are guaranteed to come up eventually.
11. Forgetting to appreciate your partner.
Lastly, never forget to tell your significant other, “thank you” or “I love you.” At the beginning of the relationship you surely noticed all of the kind things that he/she was doing for you and praised him/her accordingly. You said you loved each other all of the time. Sometimes we forget how awesome the other person is until we think about it. Tell your significant other right now how you feel about them!