A relationship with another person, no matter how long you’ve been together, is something that requires a certain amount of maintenance in order to grow and deepen. Yet, there are a lot of common relationship mistakes many people make that can have the exact opposite effect by undermining the special connection the two of you once enjoyed. Here’s a look at some of the most frequent missteps men and women make when they’re in relationships, along with some advice for how to avoid these pitfalls and find your happily ever after.
Building up your relationship into something it’s not-or projecting perfection onto your very human and therefore decidedly imperfect partner-can have a strong negative impact on your relationship as a whole.
• Advice: Remember that no one is perfect, and try to follow the Golden Rule as much as possible: forgive your partner as much as you would like your partner to accept your own quirks and failings.
No matter how great your partner is, there are bound to be a few little idiosyncrasies that make you crazy. Letting all those little things build up to the point where you’re arguing about something wholly ridiculous isn’t doing either person in a relationship any favors.
• Advice: As the popular Disney movie song goes, “Let It Go.” Nitpicking at each other won’t make for a happy household. Remember, you can only change yourself.
Whether you want to control everything your partner does, you’re suspicious about whether your partner really loves you or you’re freaking out over one unanswered call or text, obsessing over your relationship is definitely not a good thing.
• Advice: Don’t make your relationship your entire world. Spend plenty of time apart so that both partners get lots of healthy breathing room.
Aretha Franklin had the right idea when she soulfully sang about the need for R-E-S-P-E-C-T in a relationship. If you feel a little condescension coming on, it’s time to make an appointment for an attitude adjustment.
• Advice: Don’t complain behind your partner’s back or gossip about private secrets with others. Remember that everyone has the right to his or her feelings, even if you may not agree with your partner’s perspective.
In the early days of a relationship, remember how overwhelmed by gratitude you felt, even if it was just for the fact that your partner existed at all? Over time, it’s easy to forget all the unique qualities that drew you to your special someone in the first place, and that can drive a serious wedge into even the most committed relationship.
• Advice: Don’t skimp on the romance. Set aside a regular date night, and express appreciation of your partner thoroughly and often, whether through your thoughtful actions or simply saying “Thank you.”
The old adage says to never let the sun go down on your anger, and this is great advice for anyone in a relationship. The end of the day should be a time for reconnection, not resentment.
• Advice: Don’t start discussing sensitive issues at bedtime. If a sticky conversation unavoidable, it’s better to reach some type of resolution before bed than try to sleep while you’re still steaming.
Infidelity is one of the major reasons that many long-term relationships end up on the rocks. Yet, it’s important to remember that the excitement and thrill that may be felt with a new partner is just as possible within your existing relationship when you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
• Advice: Rekindle your romance by remembering all the things that attracted you to your partner in your early days together. Remember, different isn’t necessarily better; it’s just new.