I was recently watching a TV show with a couple experiencing the infancy stage of their relationship. You may know how that feels because you have probably been there. This is the time period in which everything is going well, you are in tune with your partner, and you both are affectionate and loving.
The beginning of a relationship is generally the best part of any relationship. You cannot wait to see the other person. You are both being communicative and willing to settle disagreements quickly. But, in the back of your mind, you may be thinking to yourself this is just too good to be true.
This is when things can get cagey and you may start to self-sabotage your relationship. Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening.
It is important to remember the 3 most common relationship mistakes and how you can avoid them. I have observed many couples struggling with these mistakes. If you address the 3 common relationship mistakes in the beginning of your relationship, you can establish a stronger foundation. That way. you may ensure long-term relationship success.
Relationship Mistake #1: Misunderstanding Your Partner’s Love Language
I was having an interesting conversation with one of my male friends about relationships and the many assumptions we make when dating. We assume things that may not be true. This is unfair to the other person and an easy way to set up for failure.
When my friend and I were discussing this topic, he said women should state their expectations in a relationship, that this would make it easier on the man to reciprocate. I would take this a step further and say that if both men and women stated their expectations in a relationship, it would make things a lot easier. This is a simple concept, but true.
In my book The Relationship Investigator’s Fast Guide to Successful Dating, I discuss one way to do this.
Everyone has a primary love language. Knowing your partner’s love language can have a profound impact on improving your communication and the way you love your partner. Dr. Gary Chapman, a Relationship Counselor and author, goes into this topic extensively in his book. The bottom line is that each person thrives in a relationship based on their primary love language. The relationship can thrive if your partner demonstrates this love language back..
There are five love languages:
- Physical affection/intimacy
- Positive affirmations
- Quality time
- Acts of service
You may value quality time with your partner, or you may prefer gifts indicative of how your partner feels about you. Some people like affection and/or intimacy, while others need to receive positive affirmations from their partner or gifts of service (i.e., when someone cleans or cooks, fixes something, or performs a task that shows how much they care). When your partner expresses your primary love language, it reinforces that they value who you are. This makes you feel more loved.
Love languages serve as one of the ways in which you are communicating to your partner. If you are demonstrating the wrong love language to your partner or not understanding what they need in order to feel loved, this is a missed form of communication. This misunderstanding can lead to relationship failure.
One way to change this is by ensuring that you constantly communicate with your partner about your expectations in the relationship. This includes what you need from each other to feel secure and what you need to be good partners to one another.
Relationship Mistake #2: Bringing Baggage from Your Previous Relationships into Your Current Relationship
It is hard to forget how someone hurt you in the past. But you can use these experiences to date smarter. You do not want to create the same mistakes over and over in your relationships. But there is a balance between being reflective and bringing the past into your current relationship.
Did you date or marry someone who had an issue with infidelity? Did you date someone controlling or emotionally abusive? Do you place your insecurities from those experiences on your partner?
It is crucial to have self-awareness when entering a new relationship. You’ll need to pay attention to the red flags. When something does not feel right, you need to walk away. This is where intuition and dating experience is valuable.
But it is also important not to pre-judge someone you are in a relationship with based on someone else you had a relationship with. I encourage you to use what I call the Build the Trust approach. Don’t trust too easily, but also allow the person you are dating to build up their trust with you. As they do so and if they prove to be consistent with you, you can slowly let down your guard.
It is important to realize part of love is vulnerability. Without showing vulnerability, you limit your ability to build a healthy relationship. It is okay to take it slow. But don’t hold someone responsible for something you experienced before. Don’t immediately place things which occurred in your past relationships on your present one. It is not fair to the person you are dating in the present and it is the quickest way to get your relationship off to the wrong start.
Relationship Mistake #3: Comparing Your Relationship to Others
Do you look at others’ relationships and wish they were your situation? Yes, there are couples that look as though they really have it going on. So of course we want to emulate what they have. And it is good to want to model a healthy relationship. But what may work for them may not work for you and your partner.
Every relationship is unique. When you speak intimately with your friends, you will find out their relationships are not perfect because no relationship is perfect. Every relationship has its challenges. Most of the time, people only allow you to see what they want you to see about their relationships. You may not know what exists between two people just from knowing them.
While it is okay to have relationship aspirations, especially if you did not see healthy relationships modeled for you when you were younger, don’t over-compare your relationship. Comparing and competing with other couples sets you up for relationship frustration and failure. It can also hurt your relationship.
Instead, focus on what works for you and your partner. This is what will make your relationship stronger.
Remember to apply these 3 tips to your relationship. They will help you get off to the best start and nurture a relationship that can be successful in the long-term.
You are capable of receiving love. There is a relationship that will work for you. Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction. If you are struggling with your current relationship, newly divorced and looking to get back in the dating scene, or single and trying to find the right person for you, maybe I can help. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up on my website to receive dating tips and relationship advice. For fast advice, read my book, The Relationship Investigator’s Fast Guide to Successful Dating.