Dating Experts Share Tips For Avoiding Common Pitfalls Early In A Relationship
Every relationship teaches us a lesson - even if that lesson is that you suck at picking people to be in a relationship with. Ideally, we'd take these lessons with us as we move on into new ones. But if you guys are anything like me you've probably forgotten to do that a time or two.
No worries! One Reddit user asked:
What common mistakes do people make early on in a relationship that causes issues further down the line?
And yeah we're pretty much going to print these all out and tape them around our crib for reminders.
Find Your Happy
Don't be with someone that makes you unhappy. Good friend of mine got out of a 15 year relationship (10 years of it being marriage) at 51. 3 years later he gathered new hobbies, opened himself up to more social events, made more friends, got a better job, and is very happy with a lady for a year now. We have one shot on life, don't trudge along with someone.
It is really important to be yourself, otherwise you'll be acting your whole life whenever you're near your partner.
There's a difference between improving yourself and living a lie, though. I feel like a healthy relationship is one where you do improve yourself. But only because you want to and the person you're with is someone that you can learn from and that can help you achieve those goals. I want to be a better person for my girlfriend because I respect her and want her to have the best possible me that I can be. And she feels the same way toward me. But we've always been ourselves with each other.
Not talking about things. Don't hold that sh!t in - the one you can be open and honest with (that doesn't run) is the one for you.
This would be my #1 piece of advice.
Nobody breaks up over dirty dishes, or shoes laying around the house, or overspending. These are all stress moments that have been building momentum over the course of weeks or years. When you decide to avoid talking about things that hurt you or made you feel unloved or disrespected, you're building a bomb. It will explode one day and it will be terrible.
Commit to being respectfully honest with each other from the start. Learn how to hear uncomfortable things without getting defensive. Listen to each other. You'll build great habits and soon all the uncomfortable moments will be quick and easy, relatively speaking.
Lying about dealbreakers early on because they want the relationship to work and hope the other party will change their mind.
- S/He says they do not want children, or that they absolutely want 3+ kids. You disagree but hope to change their mind.
- S/He says they are deeply ir/religious and intend to live a lifestyle consistent with that, including with the rearing of their children in accordance with said religion/lack of religion. You do not share these beliefs and think they will or can be swayed to eventually chill out and tone it down a bit.
- S/He was raised in a manner that women are the house keepers and stay-at home caretaker/wives/mothers, meanwhile you are more modern and expect a more equal household both in chores and providing income for the household.
- S/He is deeply dedicated to their job or a goal (like traveling the world) and wants you to do these things with them when you would rather stay settled down and not (or vice versus).
You should not lie about who you are, what's important to you, or your life goals and ambitions, nor should you expect that your partner will change those same things about themselves. If you do and you compromise on those things or expect them to compromise on those things at best you might find yourselves resentful of each other, or worse, getting a divorce after years of dating and marriage over something that cannot be compromised (e.g. children).
Discuss their relationship problems with others rather than with each other.
There's nothing wrong with sharing your problems or venting. Sometimes it's great to get a different perspective but if you're looking to save the relationship always go back to discussing things with your partner instead.
If you think he/she isn't good enough for you just end it don't ask for anyone's approval, end it mutually on a good note and wish your partner good luck.
Infatuation. I actually struggle with this, and it's a pain to manage. Basically putting that person on a pedestal will lead to really bad things overtime. It sets oneself up for manipulation, disappointment, and unhappiness.
If you put your partner on a pedestal, you are forcing them to look down on you.
Don't Ignore The Facts
When we first met I ignored the fact that she was super family oriented and wanted a simple life and for me to work a 9-5 and to move to her hometown.
She ignored that I wanted to keep working as a traveling musician and other artistic gigs. Which put me on the road away from her 1-2 weeks once a month or sometimes more. I was also a part-time bartender only because it paid so well.
She told me what she wanted, I told her what I wanted, and then we pretty much ignored, blamed and resented each other for not compromising enough. Distance grew, hostilities, fighting, frustration, confusion. We went over a year without any intimacy. Affairs happened. When we tried to reconcile she said she changed from the person she was when we met and wanted me to change, too.
It was clear we had basically gotten married and immediately began moving in different directions. We really thought love was enough and that would solve all our problems. It doesn't work like that. We were naive as hell. I'm 35, she's 29. We should've plotted out what we wanted in life and made 100% sure the other was on board, and if not, we should've separated.
But, now we have a beautiful child. I'm even at her house right now and our divorce was finalized just last week. Still very close, just need different things the other can't offer. It is sad, for our child. But we're committed parents. It's just always better to communicate exactly what you want your life to look like, and agree on it.
Idealization And Reality
So this is going to be purely from personal experince but it is something I am working on with my therapist as it has been something ive done in two of my relationships that ended up hurting me in the end.
There needs to be a difference and a defining line of your idealization of the relationship or person in question, and the reality of it. Let me explain.
I see this girl and ive been trying to date her for seven years. Over the course of that time, even though I got romantically involved with other people, I created this idea of her in my head that she is beyond reproach and just a perfect fit. When we finally get together, I go overboard with her and we get too serious too fast. Of course getting so many emotions off of someone is heavy, and when she needs some "me time" I start freaking out thinking I've done something to royally f*** up and start having negative thoughts about myself. I put her on a pedestal and now I think im not worthy of being with her and get insecure. This all leads to a negative and dark trail of thoughts and you end up destroying the relationship before the good part even began and you just re-affirm yourself that you weren't "good enough" for her in the first place. Rinse repeat.
Just be proud of who you are, be calm and loving and realize that someone chose to be with you because of who you are. Let things happen organically and don't dwell too much in fantasies.
Your Obligation To Tell
Relationships are all about compromise, so what if there is something that you will never ever under any circumstance compromise on? Then you have tell the other person. They need to know! I don't care if it's business, personal, or romantic. Please for the love of god, tell your partner before anyone gets invested.
I tried to make a relationship work once after a girl cheated on me. Shocking, but it didn't work out. After that I decided, I'd never do that again. It's something I can't work through no matter the reason. So before I got involved with my very serious girlfriend now, I said "I'm a pretty laid back guy, I can compromise on just about everything, but if you cheat on me. this relationship is over. There is no discussion. There is no working it out. There is also no argument. I don't care the reason, I don't care who. I'm not leaving upset, I'm just leaving."
People think "Well it was just one stupid thing, I'm sure we can work through it!" And that's when relationships go past the point they should not. When one party violates the others personal code, but the offended party didn't voice it before hand, so how could they have known?!
Save yourself from wasting your time. When someone tells you, "I'll marry you, but I'll never want kids" or the opposite "I'll have kids with you, but I don't believe in marriage" you need to listen! and you need to ask yourself, "Am I okay with never having that? or never doing that?" If you're not then you need to leave.
So think long and hard about what you can compromise on and what you can not. I don't care what it is! It could be anything! And when you've thought about what you will never compromise on, then you have an obligation to tell your partner before you enter a serious relationship.
Don't Fake It
Faking orgasms. SERIOUSLY. If you start doing this early on and your partner thinks exactly what they're doing is satisfying you, how can you expect them to ever get it right
Make Your Own Rules
It all depends on the couple. My wife and I had sex on our first date, moved in together after dating for 3 months, then didn't get married until we were together for 9 years.
The best thing you can do is be open and honest with each other, and always be yourself, so don't do the opposite of those things I guess.
Lie to themselves about the relationship. Lie to person they are in a relationship with. Lie about what they want in a relationship.
Always be honest in a relationship. Always make it clear what you want, what you don't want and what is a deal breaker. You will save yourself and the other person a lot of time.
That tiny, insignificant, slightly annoying quirk about them that you don't feel justified in pointing out because everything else is perfect?
Yeah, that's going to be the cause for screaming matches down the road. Point it out now and come to some resolution, even if your resolution with your partner is to just deal with it. Save yourself some heartache and say something now.
That doesn't mean you just throw the relationship away. If this person that I love were to die suddenly, would I think about the silly things they did with fondness and nostalgia, or not? SO leaves empty cups everywhere, like that kid in Signs. It drives me bananas. But if something happened to him, I know I'd see a tidy nightstand by my bed and remember a time when it would have been crowded with cups and be so sad. Take it or leave it.
The take it pile is usually bigger than you imagine.
You Need More Than Physical
Ignoring things because of physical attraction or good sex. Both of those things will diminish with time and then you'll be left dealing with cons with no pros. Go for a well rounded relationship.
Immediately starting to take care of their SO. If this is how you show affection, great! But make sure they appreciate it and they aren't just getting comfortable doing less.
Not getting out of the relationship when you notice a red flag really early. Lots of relationships end because of red flags you noticed on the first date. "You know, it's funny; when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags."
Early, Often, Always
Communicate everything, early, often, always. It's the only way to know you're compatibility. Lack of talking is what killed my marriage to my best friend. Plus, if you have issues, work on them. Don't just let your mess sit there unattended, go to therapy.
Keep Your Friends
Not keeping up friendships and relationships with people other than your significant other. You can't be solely dependent on one person to be your social and emotional support. You need to maintain friendships, interests, and activities outside of your relationship. Finding the balance might be tough, but it's crucial. You don't want to break up with someone you dated for 3 years and realize you don't have any close friends anymore because you spent the last 3 years ignoring requests to hang out and be social with them.
Years ago I had a situation where a close friend's boyfriend had feelings for me. I barely knew the guy and had never done anything to encourage his feelings, but it destroyed my friendship with his girlfriend.
When I eventually confronted him, he literally could not comprehend that I never had feelings for him. The problem wasn't the he idealized me, the problem was he didn't see me as a person with my own wants and needs. He had feelings for me, and wanted me to have feelings for him, so every interaction we had was tainted with his idea that those feelings existed. He wasn't being real about what the situation actually was.
It is okay to think someone is the cat's pajamas. To some extent, that is a natural part of being in love. It doesn't mean they look down on you or that you don't value yourself. What is a problem is shutting yourself off from reality and from actually knowing someone because you've already decided who/what they are.
You have to be able to honestly evaluate and RE-evaluate situations or you'll end up living in a whole made-up world and get really hurt when reality eventually kicks in.
The Break Up Threat
Never use the threat of 'breaking up' as a weapon to achieve something.
Don't even joke about it.
Only bring up the notion if you're willing to lose the other person. Once that possibility is out in the open, its a bitch to get back in.
A good chunk of humanity have a hard time hearing certain truths. We don't want to admit what isn't working, because it's just human nature to be scared of being wrong. It's hard to admit weakness individually, much less as a whole.
But eventually, we need to face the facts, and these Redditors are ready to deliver the harsh truths about what it means to be human. SomeWillingness2960 asked:
What is the truth humanity is not ready to hear?
Let’s start with a few of the light ones, before we dive deep in what we’ve been overdue to hear.
Starting off with a very controversial one.
“The air in chip bags is important.”
“They replace the air (which contains oxygen and water vapour) with nitrogen so the chips don't get soggy or oxidise.”
“And they "over inflate" the bags on purpose to cushion the chips from crumbling during packing / transport.”
A universal work struggle.season 8 episode 23 GIFGiphy
“No matter where you work, or what you do for a living, there will always be That Person that nobody can figure out how they got hired, never mind why they are allowed to continue working there.”
- You actually show up on time
- Your work is
good/up to standardis not the worst and passable
- Your colleagues and bosses
like youdon't hate you the most out of your colleagues
Edit. Adding 4 and 5 based on below discussions which can supercede the above 3 while also ammending the above three slightly
4. It's more difficult to kick you out than to keep you
5. You have some control over those in charge (some kind of relation, having some kind of incriminating evidence, etc)”
What is “normal”, anyway?
“We will never have a good sense of the world's "normal."
News won't focus on it, because it's boring by definition. Social media won't focus on it for the same reason. Word of mouth and fiction too. Statistics may get us close, but they're hard to picture in terms if human experience, and of course, more exciting stats get repeated more.
Our view of the world outside of our own personal experience will always be shaped by the outliers, and there's not much way around it.”
Ok, now it’s time to dive deeper. Prepare yourselves.
This one hurts.
“Most people simply don't care about the things you're passionate about no matter how much you try to convince them that they should be.”
“As I've gotten older I've had to learn that my friends don't find joy in the same things I do. It's nothing personal.”
I’ll never understand this.Mermaid Man And Barnacle Boy Superhero GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
“Much evil not only goes unpunished but is rewarded.”
“Not only that but a lot of evil behaviour is rewarding itself for many people.”
“The loudest among you are mostly a bunch of wankers. Unfortunately you usually let them lead you.”
“A big part of that is because they tell us what we want to hear.
You ever hear a politician go "We're going to have open borders, lower corporate tax rate, higher sales tax, reduced prison sentences, laws forbidding employers from looking into if they're hiring a criminal, a ban on beef, and we're doing it all because that is what the experts say we should do and I have a giant book of sources on that"? No, because even though that's very much what experts advise, it's not at all what people want to hear.
So instead, when you hear someone going "Don't listen to that guy, what we really need is better border control, huge taxes on corporations, no taxes on the poor, criminals get treated like the scum they are, and corporations are the main ones behind climate change, and don't ask me for sources", you're still much more likely to support him. Because when you want to believe them, they're so much easier to believe.”
Those would be some very smart monkeys.
“There's a good chance that humans simply don't have the capacity to fully understand the universe.
A monkey will never be able to comprehend calculus, macroeconomic theory, or how a car works. It makes sense that we too have an intellectual ceiling that will prevent us from ever understanding how the universe works.”
Ready to face the music? Keep reading.
“Humanity is the largest threat to itself. Not some natural disaster or outside invasion. We will kill ourselves off at this rate.”
“Yes. It's sad that the most successful and intelligent species in the solar system is most likely going to cause its own downfall.”
“For most people the last thing left of them will be an eroded name on a headstone.”
“I want to be one of those taxidermied drones.”
Username checks out.
“Are you special? Maybe a little bit. Are you as special as you think you are? Certainly not.”
“We are all the same decaying organic matter.”
Well, I hope y’all aren’t too messed up from reading that. Especially that first one about the chip bags. How dare they.
But in all seriousness, just do your part to make our world a better place. That’s all we can do.
An overwhelming majority of us have plenty of things we are annoyed by every single day, and also lack the power to doing anything about them.
That unfortunate, infuriating state is just the norm. We walk through life seeing, hearing, and enduring daily pitfalls whose existences make zero sense to us.
But if we did have the power to outlaw just one of those annoyances, how hard of a choice would that be?
Apparently for some Redditors, the choice was clear. They were happy to share their selection.
Redditor jinxy_wolfy asked:
"What would you ban?"
Many people have absolutely had it with the annoying aspects of using the internet every day.
"That damn fake 'x' button to close out mobile game adds" -- WebbedRose103
"Or when it's a real x button, but they make it so small that you click the ad anyway." -- tomuglycruise
"That and the moving button that makes you click on ads as it loads more and more ads." -- Maester_erryk
Others spoke specifically about the world of advertising and constantly encountering people trying to sell something. The lengths they'll go are endless.
"You're no longer allowed to advertise a lower price than what the customer will pay. No more $29.99... plus $100 in fees."
"Calling someone you don't know to solicit. I get 12+ calls a day and block each one and still get 12 more the next day. I'll hang up on them because they're calling while I'm using GPS and they'll just immediately call and interrupt the map again."
Glue and Plastic
"selling food that looks significantly different in person than it does in advertising/food glamour shots." -- skepticones
"This is why I like eating out in Japan. There are plastic examples of dishes in the front window. If something looks good, you go in and ask for it, and it matches the one in the window every time!" -- EmEmPeriwinkle
And others set their sights on the toxic elements of human culture that seem to make everyone worse off.
All About Context
"Too many loopholes in current law. For instance Dr. Oz would lose his medical license if he told a patient in his office the same things he says on TV. But broadcasts aren't technically doctor-patient relationships, so he gets away with misleading millions of people."
"Puppy mills" -- godhasmoreaids
"Backyard breeders too imo. I see a lot of poorly bred dogs who have major issues because a family wants a payday." -- EmEmPeriwenkle
Poor All Other Animals
"MarineLand and all zoos that mistreat their animals."
Genuine nature preserves that respect and care for their animals, with lots and lots of room, hey, more power to you. But establishments that keep animals as exhibits in tiny spaces have to be stopped."
"Child beauty pageants, just fu** off with that sh**" -- Russian_Terminator
"Yes. It is disgusting to see little girls caked with makeup parading around in adult clothing.Gross." -- glenarbourgal
Of course, none of us will get the chance to ban any of these things. But we can dream, can't we?
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From our childhood through our adult years, one thing we all dream of from time to time is all the things we could do if we had unlimited resources. Buy a castle and become your own anti-hero, solve world hunger, adopt ALL the animals, live on an endless cruise around the world, heck, buy a whole political party *cough cough*.
Most of us would be content making sure our family and friends were set for life and bettering the world the best we can.
Redditor ApArAmY wanted to hear what everyone else dreamed of doing if they had no limit on funds.
“What is the first thing you would buy if you had infinite money?"
Dreaming of affordable health care? Must be from the US...
“Every single medical provider facility in the world. Make healthcare free for patients. Since I have unlimited money, I can afford whatever drug/device/material/salary/etc that would treat patients.”
“Then everyone can get on with living life knowing that they'll get good medicine and not be saddled with high costs. And taxes could go down because governments wouldn't have to pay for healthcare.” Specialist-Ad475
20 trillion, no big deal...
“I'd fund all efforts to further the fight against climate change, global warming, pollution, etc. I'd probably try not to spend that much money for a while so as to prevent inflation, but adding ~20 trillion dollars to the global economy wouldn't be that bad, right?” PixelGMS
The orange one wouldn't like this idea...
“I'd buy Mar a Lago, make it into a homeless shelter and install wind power turbines on all 18 holes." Mr-Warmth
Someone come get their dad!
“A new butt, my old one has a crack in it!" drewdwagy1966seth meyers dabbing GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
Human rights and green energy...
“Buy Amazon, Nestle, and as many $1billion+ corporations as I can. Once I'm CEO, I would stop every human rights violation they cause and give all the profits (since i have infinite money I won't need it) to charities and funding to green energy and stopping climate change." crispier_cream
“It sounds silly, but an ice cream sandwich. Several years ago, I was living paycheck to paycheck and had a fair amount of credit card debt. I fell behind in my mortgage and lost my home to foreclosure. Shortly after I was notified, I drove over to a 7-11, bought an ice cream sandwich, and ate it while crying in my car.”
“Unfortunately, every time I eat an ice cream sandwich, it's still a bittersweet feeling. I always think of the day my favorite childhood comfort food became forever intertwined with my sense of complete and utter failure. After coming into life-changing money, I would hope that an ice cream sandwich would taste as good again as it did when I was a kid.” Steve-in-rewrite
“Just….. a huge chunk of land.”
“Land. Just….. a huge chunk of land. Build a house for my parents, one for us, and one for my In-Laws, and another small house for the family to stay at when they come to visit. Maybe two. We got a big family. And then just spend my time building my farm." Unusual_Amphibian_20
Just make sure to funnel it through a PAC first...
“A US Senator! Or several of 'em. I've always wanted my own senator.” a_dangerous_noodleSusan Collins Thank You GIF by Election 2020Giphy
The who’s got a bigger one game...
“Judging by the world we live in, apparently I'd enter into the private space race.” Cool-breeze7
Back to the bartering system perhaps?
“I would distribute it all evenly so that it's literally worthless. I would expect this to collapse the economy but what do i know, I'm not an economist.” Jham_jam
It seems like mostly these Redditors want to help others and the planet. Although for that one person, may all your ice cream sandwiches be delightful.
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I admit that I am not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination. I eat just about anything. I also consider myself pretty adventurous; when I travel, eating good food and trying the local cuisine is at the top of my list!
But even I would be hard-pressed to eat durian or even balut.
Would I say absolutely not? I'll have to get back to you after a trip to Southeast Asia. The jury's out for now.
People had very strong opinions on the food they want nothing to do with after Redditor KentuckyFriedEel asked the online community,
"What dish/food can f*** right off?"
"The edible KFC nail polish. Imagine you are spending the day touching public door handles and keyboards and stuff and then sucking your fingers for chicken paint."
This... this exists?
I'm so happy I've never actually run into this. I was doing just fine without this knowledge.
"Canned whole chickens. Not sure if anyone's seen those, but I want to vomit right now just thinking about it."
I can only think about how slimy it must be from all that congealed fat and it grosses me out.
"Pufferfish. I mean, you need like 2 to 3 years of training to serve it and if you accidentally eat the wrong part it will kill you. The poison has no known antidote and 1 needle can kill 30 adult humans. Other than that, it's just a fish. There are thousands of fish all over the world, just eat a different one"
Yeah... I love seafood but I'll pass. I don't want to be that person. I'm good, thanks!
"For those who aren't familiar..."
"Gefilte fish. For those who aren't familiar, it's like a ball of fish guts packaged in a jar. It's a common food eaten during Pesach."
"Shark fin soup. No taste, no nutritional value. Only to be had to show wealth/status in certain countries. Most importantly, it's really f***** up the shark populations."
Environmentalists have done some splendid work getting people to stop eating this––and imitation shark fin soup seems to be more available than the real thing.
God created the heavens and the earth, and everything in his creation.
He allowed Satan to create one thing... one at all, and Satan created the durian."
"Natto/fermented soybeans. It's sticky and disgusting. It's like Death and Hell had a sticky baby."
"I'm sick of people..."
"Celery. Useless vegetable, no nutritional value at all and just tastes disgusting. I'm sick of people ruining perfectly good egg/potato salads and soups with freaking celery. It's just unnecessary."
Celery's only crime is how inoffensive it actually is. Does it deserve this hate? Probably not.
"Liver. I mean... it's a filter. Why would anyone want to eat a filter?"
You can pry my liver out of my cold, dead hands. I'll have yours if you don't want it!
"I thought I hated..."
"Canned Spinach. I thought I hated spinach for half my life. Nope, I love it, just not that snot in a can. Why did you feed me that mother? Why?"
Okay, what I've learned today is... I could have done without the thought of canned whole chicken. My stomach wants to reject it and it's not even in my stomach. That should tell you something.
Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
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