The universe gives us mixed signals when it comes to relationships, especially at the beginning. Should we have lots of sex, or hold out? Should we spend all our time together, or not be too available? Should we embrace total awkward honesty about our true selves, or put our best selves forward? It seems that, as hard as it is to find a partner, it’s even easier to mess things up and lose them. So what are the biggest mistakes people make in relationships?
Disagreements are natural in relationships, and not a sign of impending doom. However, attempting to avoiding them can cause problems, says Astroglide’s resident sexologist, Dr. Jess.
You don’t have to argue or fight about every single little detail of your relationship, but addressing the big picture issues helps to stave off future conflict and resentment. Getting in a fight is not a sign that your relationship is in trouble. In fact, it can be representative of your willingness to work on the relationship, despite the temporary discomfort associated with fighting, says Dr. Jess. Remember: It’s not about whether or not you disagree, but how you fight and deal with problems and situations that arise.
1. Being Too Needy
This is the biggest turn off for both men and women, when you don’t have many friends and expect your significant other to be glued to you 24/7, says Sameera Sullivan, CEO and Lead Certified Matchmaker at Lasting Connections. “I know a really good-looking guy. He is gorgeous, smart, humble, very sweet, and loyal. He can never keep a girl! He is clingy, doesn’t have many friends, and on top of that, he smothers the heck out of the girls he is with, so they end up running away and he ends up hurt every single time!” says Sullivan.
It’s good to give each other space, and to have friends that you can spend time and hang with besides your partner. You should be able to do things outside of your relationship if you want to maintain a healthy balance. Just believe me on this one.
2. Talking About Your Past Too Much
You are now in a new relationship, so stop talking about your past relationships and don’t ever badmouth an ex, says Sullivan. No matter what, your significant other will think “wow, wonder what she will say about me if we are not together anymore.” Badmouthing an ex to your new partner makes you look really negative, and can give them the wrong idea. Stay away from that.
3. Trust Issues
Jealousy can really kill a relationship. If you are in a relationship, you should trust the other person. Sullivan says not to restrict your partner from hanging out with his or her friends. Lots of people also make the mistake of getting jealous of their partner’s friends who are of the opposite sex, and there is no need for such behavior.
4. Lack Of Appreciation
This is the most important thing in a relationship, says Sullivan. Be appreciative of little gestures that your significant other makes. Always appreciate each other. Lack of appreciation can really kill a relationship, and good communication also goes hand in hand with appreciation. If you don’t thank your partner or tell them how much you love and appreciate them, it can make a relationship go sour. Both open communication and appreciation are very important in a relationship
5. Lack Of Playfulness
Playfulness is the most important thing in a relationship, says Sullivan. If you can make each other laugh, play with each other, and just be two peas in a pot, then your relationship can last forever. However, if you lose your ability to laugh, play, and tease, the relationship will quickly dissolve into nothing.
6. Not Listening
Probably the single most successful way to blow up a love relationship is to do exactly what you’ve been told not to do, says Wendy Brown, a Toronto-based psychotherapist. “Let’s suppose your significant other has said what he/she absolutely cannot tolerate. The subject matter could be anything from leaving the fridge door open too long to going online just to look around. So do that, and act as though you’ve been totally blind-sided when he/she goes ballistic,” says Brown.
This also includes breaking unspoken rules that are near and dear to your lover’s heart, says Brown. He/she may have never explicitly told you not to check his/her text messages or rearrange the fridge, but you both know full well that you should steer clear of these activities. Do one of them out of the blue with no explanation or apology. Just do it and top it off by looking defiant about it.
- Not Committing Enough Time
While you should maintain friends and interests of your own, not spending enough time together can be a serious blow to a relationship, says Ben Michaelis, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Your Next Big Thing: 10 Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy. The more time you spend together, the greater the chance to deepen the bonds between you, and the more opportunity you have to really get to know each other. If you fail to find enough time for your significant other, you run the risk of your relationship getting loose.
Relationships are easy to get into, but can be hard to maintain, especially once the initial sheen wears off. They require care and effort, especially when you don’t think they do. “Research shows that we tend to take our most significant relationships for granted when things are going well and only tend to focus on how much work they need when things are at a crisis point. Don’t wait until it’s too late!” says Michaelis.