1. Being too dependent, needy and clingy: When you first meet someone it's not unusual to want to spend a lot of time together, however, after a while instead of bringing you closer as a couple, too much time together can make one, or both of you, feel stifled, smothered and entrapped. Not a good way to being a relationship!
Solution: Take things slowly and let the relationship unfold as you get to know each other better. Carry on with your life normally and give each other space. Do not neglect your work life, other relationships, or your own physical and emotional health.
2. Transporting emotional baggage: We often believe that a fresh new relationship will heal the hurts and troubles of relationships past so we unload on the unsuspecting new partner hoping all will be solved and wiped away. On the contrary, it sadly serves as a red flag and/or turnoff.
Solution: Deal with and come to terms with past problems and issues as much as possible before getting into a new relationship (through counseling, self-reflection, soul-searching etc.). Admittedly, it’s not easy; however, in order to really start fresh you must come into a new relationship with as little emotional baggage hanging over your head as possible. Beginning a new relationship as a mature and well adjusted adult is essential for getting it off to a good start.
3. Having unrealistic expectations: Wouldn't it be great if our love relationships could play out like they do in the movies? Unfortunately, Hollywood movie bliss is not the stuff of real life. Many of us believe that if there is enough initial attraction and common interests everything else will fall into place – another movie myth!
Solution: Understand that relationships take hard work. While chemistry and attraction are very important initially, what follows is even more so. Communication, mutual respect, commitment, and maturity and are the ingredients for real success.
4. Trying to change the other: Seeing your partner as an improvement project is a recipe for disaster! No one likes to think they need to be fine-tuned or changed. Needless to say, it gives the impression that they are not quite good enough. If that's the case, why are you with that person?
Solution: Remind yourself that no one is perfect, including you. Appreciate your partner’s good qualities and if somehow you are hurt or offended by certain words or behaviors, communicate it kindly and positively. Seek to inform rather than criticize.
5. Letting yourself go: Quite often we get too comfortable with the other person and we think we can just schlep around sloppily and neglect some of our hygiene habits. Being comfortable and familiar is no reason to get lazy and start taking the relationship for granted. Doing so becomes yet another big turnoff.
Solution: Understand that taking care of yourself still matters, perhaps even more so. Continue to exercise, eat healthily, and be interested in your work and the world around you. Staying healthy and vibrant helps keep your relationship healthy and vibrant.
6. Being controlling or thinking you are always right: You are attempting to control your partner when you start telling them what to do and how to do it; when you belittle or ostracize them, or when you make subtle implications that they are not up to snuff in one way or another. A relationship killer indeed!
Solution: Remind yourself you got together for a presumably good reason - and again – no one is perfect! Be respectful and realize that somehow your partner managed to survive thus far without your interjection and constant input. Acknowledge also, that you wouldn’t want to be treated reciprocally.
7. Becoming overyly jealous or possessive: We can all be a bit jealous when someone flirts with our partner, or if our partner pays too much attention to another attractive person; however, if the jealousy gets out of control it can seriously undermine the relationship. Out of control would include hovering too closely over the partner in social situations, reading their mail, or e-mails, getting upset if the partner talks to, or pays attention to others, constantly questioning where they are going or where they’ve been and generally not trusting your partner. Insecurity and loss of trust can cause your partner to shut down and ultimately drive them away.
Solution: Understand that constantly second guessing your partner's movements and actions is a sign of your own insecurity and uneasiness so it’s time to work on yourself and build self-confidence. Also, work on developing more, or deeper, interests so you don’t have time to let your imagination run wild. If, however, you believe there really is a problem and your partner is being dishonest or unfaithful, address and deal with the issue. At best, it will clear the air and bring you closer together, or, it will indicate that it’s time to go your separate ways.
Ultimately, much hard work goes into managing a successful relationship, however, being aware of and understanding the critical mistakes that can erode it, is as important as taking the positive actions that allow it to thrive.Related posts: