New relationships are always exciting, intriguing, and passionate. We just have fun with our new partner and try to get to know them better without analyzing each other’s behavior. However, despite your enthusiasm for your new love, it’s crucial to pay attention to what’s going on during your honeymoon phase, because it can establish a good foundation for a long-lasting relationship.
More Shout made a list of 10 early relationship mistakes that can come back to bite you in the future.
10. You’re putting your personal life on hold.
In the beginning of a relationship, we want to spend every waking moment with our new partner — we stop communicating with our old friends and abandon our family so that we can always be available for some mutual activities whenever our partner calls or texts us.
Why it’s bad: It can start off with just giving up certain friends, but then it will move on to switching jobs, moving to another country, or losing contact with your loved ones. In this case, your partner might lose interest in you because you’ve simply become a shadow of your former self.
How to fix it: Remember that healthy relationships always involve some degree of independence, so try to divide your free time according to the 50-30-20 rule — no more than 50% with your significant other, 30% with your friends and family, and 20% alone.
9. You’re tolerating bad behavior.
Disrespecting your personal space, making insensitive jokes, threatening to break up with you, making suggestions about how to improve your looks, calling you names, being aggressive, always showing up late, being glued to a phone during your dates, ignoring your rejections… Lots of people discount these red flags because some other aspects of their relationship seem to be good.
Why it’s bad: If you ignore these warning signs of a future toxic relationship for too long, one day you may realize that you’ve invested a lot of your time and energy in someone who’s been treating you badly for years.
How to fix it: Don’t be too demanding, just express your expectations in a polite way, like, “I can’t stand it when someone is always late,” or “I’d like our dates to be just you and me.” If this doesn’t work, run away immediately and never look back.
8. You’re bringing up your past experience.
Some things are better left in the past. This includes your exes, comparing your new partner to them, and your own old habits connected to your previous relationships, no matter how things finally ended up with them.
Why it’s bad: Mentioning your ex too often can be really annoying to your partner. They might start comparing themselves to your previous lovers and this will ruin your relationship. Plus, if you continuously judge your partner against the people who came before them, it could be a sign that you’re creating impossibly high standards.
How to fix it: Your past relationships are important in that they shaped the person you are today and can help you understand what qualities you value in another person. But you should remember the golden rule: “Never talk about your exes until you feel secure in your current relationship.”
7. You’re not talking to each other.
“If my girlfriend or boyfriend really loved me, they’d know what I needed and give it to me.” Many people believe that their partners can actually read their minds. Unfortunately, that’s not true, and this is one of the most serious mistakes people make in a relationship.
Why it’s bad: Similar to avoiding conflict, lack of communication might lead to feelings of confusion and misunderstanding. And any unresolved negative feelings are going to turn into resentment over time.
How to fix it: In the beginning, it might be difficult and uncomfortable to speak up about your desires and complaints, but it’s crucial that you do this. To make a relationship last, be honest with your partner about what you’re looking for. Don’t forget to listen to their side as well — the ideal situation is when you’re able to find a perfect balance between speaking and listening.
6. You’re idealizing your partner.
We are all human and we all make mistakes sometimes. However, some people forget about it during their honeymoon period because they’re still wearing their rose-colored glasses and consider their partners to be purely perfect creatures. But they always pay for it later.
Why it’s bad: Putting your partner on a pedestal will only set you up for disappointment in the future when you see that your significant other is just a human being, exactly like you.
How to fix it: Avoid holding unrealistically high expectations for your loved ones. Instead, pay attention to the way they treat other people — their friends, family, waiters at restaurants, and so on. Your new love is probably wearing the same rose-tinted glasses as you are when they’re with you, so this will give you some idea of who they really are.
5. You’re pretending to be someone else.
We always want to seem better than we are, so we tend to keep the not-so-great qualities of ours under wraps for as long as we can, but we know that this can’t last forever. We also think that all of our little white lies won’t affect our relationship at all, so we slightly bend the truth just to please our partner or avoid conflict. And then we start wondering what we’ve done wrong.
Why it’s bad: Keeping secrets from your loved one and lying to them from the very start can only build up bigger lies. If your new relationship is based on lies, it will most likely crumble because your connection was built on falsehoods.
How to fix it: The keys to a healthy relationship are honesty, mutual trust, respect, and understanding. Not that you have to tell the other person about every minute of your life, but you should not intentionally keep something major from them. It’s easy to understand whether it’s a secret you keep or a truly insignificant thing — if you feel guilty for not talking about it, it’s a secret you’re better off sharing.
4. You’re trying to control your partner.
Attempts to take control of your partner’s life are usually a sign that you have serious trust issues. This includes feeling and acting jealous, trying to control the behavior of your significant other, and constantly checking what they’re up to.
Why it’s bad: If you want to control or comment on every move the other person makes, your partner may feel that you’re trying to limit their well-established personal world and eliminate the things that are important to them. As a result, you may end up pushing them away.
How to fix it: Remember that you shouldn’t send 2 a.m. texts to your boyfriend or girlfriend just to see how they’re doing. And don’t blow up your partner’s phone every time they don’t respond to your text immediately. Think it over — you are not this person’s parent, if he or she is a grown adult, treat them like one.
3. You’re ignoring the major differences.
Having similar core values is crucially important for a long-lasting and healthy relationship. However, most people ignore these during the honeymoon phase and regret it later because things like religion, morality, family, friends, career, and money make up our personalities and simply can’t be avoided at any stage of your relationship.
Why it’s bad: Even though you like the same music and enjoy spending time with each other, things like this can be more about passion and not about a similar worldview. But passion can’t last forever, and you’ll have to check out your partner’s values sooner or later. If you find major differences between your own core values and the ones of your partner, your relationship just won’t work.
How to fix it: In order to prevent disappointment in the following phases of your relationship and to not waste your time on a soon-to-be-dead love affair, take some time to discuss these things before you move forward.
2. You’re being too clingy.
When it comes to a new relationship, you always try to build a strong connection with your significant other. This means that you can risk becoming too needy or clingy with your new partner and want to spend most of your time exclusively with them.
Why it’s bad: Not giving your partner some space without you, is only going to create space between the 2 of you. They might start feeling as though you’re smothering them, and this may lead to unexpected behavior from their side, including turning to other people and even cheating.
How to fix it: People need space and you should understand that. So if you really want your relationship to work in the long run, continue to be the confident and independent person you were before meeting your partner.
1. You’re moving too fast.
New relationships can move at a whirlwind speed — at first you get butterflies in your stomach every time you’re with that new special someone and then you can’t help but fantasize about your future together as a couple. But if you start picturing your future children, pets, and the house you’ll live happily ever after in, slow down immediately.
Why it’s bad: Committing too early, even if your partner seems like “the one,” can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on a new relationship and your girlfriend or boyfriend simply might get scared off. Besides that, moving too fast can cause you to miss all the little things you can enjoy in the beginning of your relationship.
How to fix it: Don’t skip certain relationship steps. They are all necessary in order for you to really get to know each other. Your first night out, first make out session, first argument, first out-of-town trip — enjoy every activity while discovering all the hidden sides of your partner’s personality.
How do you usually handle the problems that appear in your relationship? Share your experience with us in the comments!
Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for More Shout
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