If we were truly accurate, there are probably more like five hundred relationship mistakes repeated over and over in countless cultures countless times a day. For now, we will look at just a few and try to head them off at the pass, so to speak.
1. Creating a false image to impress a potential partner:
This might seem an odd problem to have, but in this age of the internet and computer dating, many individuals have the opportunity to create a persona for themselves from the safety of being behind a computer screen. Whether you utilize an online forum to make new social contacts, or perhaps often visit with friends on the telephone, be cautious to keep the “real you” at the forefront. It is very easy when not face to face with someone to allow false conclusions to be drawn concerning yourself, especially when those conclusions may be artificially slanted in your favor! Bottom line? Keep it real.
2. Expecting your partner to be something or someone they simply are not:
Every person has qualities that might not be so attractive to a partner. However, small irritations can be overlooked in order to remain open to all of the positive qualities a person brings to the relationship. Be careful though, not to keep a mental tally of these shortcomings with the intention of “working on them later”. You must be accepting of your partner even with their faults and foibles, so if you are already planning ways to change the things you don’t like then you are already pushing that relationship toward a cliff. It is usually much more productive to ask oneself what you can bring to the relationship, than to try to change the other person into someone they are not.
3. Assuming your partner will always tell you what they are feeling. Sometimes they need you to lovingly ask:
While it sometimes is obvious when a loved one is experiencing a deeply emotional event, at other times someone dear to us may be wrestling through quite a mire of stress and yet not convey that visibly at all. Perhaps a situation, whether good or bad, is particularly sensitive and the other person does not wish to appear insensitive by bringing it up, or maybe they are just being a tad timid and don’t know how to broach the subject. Either way, the clearest way to show interest in that other person is to ask. Ask whatever starts the conversation and opens they way for them to share what’s on their mind. Show them that they are important to you by taking an interest in them and in what is important to them. They may need reassurance that they have someone they can talk to so be willing to bring that dialogue opener, then be willing to listen.
4. Assuming your partner knows how YOU feel without your saying so:
Everyone has bad days, sad thoughts, worries, and stresses. Sometimes when we are upset emotionally or our thoughts are preoccupied by difficult issues, it is easy to think that people around us should automatically know that we are struggling. Perhaps we assume that our facial expression explains enough or that our silence or moodiness speaks volumes. Communication is such a critical factor in any relationship. Both partners need to know that when they need to speak their mind or share questions or insecurities, they will be received with respect and consideration. Mind reading is definitely out! It is unfair to expect a partner to know what you’re thinking or feeling if you keep those emotions or thoughts hidden. Sharing those moments make relationships stronger as both partners trust the other with private issues that may make them feel vulnerable. Treat those moments with the care they
deserve, and watch the trust between you grow.
5. The king of the hill: Lying.
Trust in a relationship is built on both partners being confident that their partner is guarding their well being as a couple. Simply stated, just tell the truth. It is you and your partner against the world, not against each other. Always remember you are on the same side, and the only trust that truly matters is that between the two of you. Keep that first, everything else will fall into place.