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.
There's no shortage of excellent horror fiction out there. Recently I read The Terror by Dan Simmons and can't remember the last time I felt that claustrophobic and nervous. But I am also a fan of quite a few classics. Are there any other horror books that capture grief as effectively as Stephen King's Pet Sematary? What other book evokes folk horror as beautifully as Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home? Let's not forget this wonderful classic: The Haunting of Hill House. I could rave about that one (and Shirley Jackson) for days. All of these books left their mark on me and yes, I'd include them on a list (if I were to make one) of some of the scariest books I've read.
People had their own opinions to share––and books to recommend––after Redditor Tylerisdumber asked the online community,
"What's the scariest book you've ever read?"
"Gerald's Game. I've read lots of Stephen King and this one scared me the most. Slept with the lights on for several nights."
Everything about this book is creepy. Don't even get me started on the... degloving. I'm sorry I even typed that word out.
"It's not a long story..."
"The Yellow Wallpaper.
It's not a long story and I'd highly recommend going in knowing little to nothing about it. It's brilliant and terrifying. Published in 1892 as well if that's any interest!"
Few stories make you feel this sad. A pretty stunning piece of work––and yes, unnerving. Can really get under your skin.
"I think it was mainly..."
"For some reason, Salem's Lot by Stephen King.
I think it was mainly because I was on a week-long hiking trip in the Australian bush and it got dark and scary at night. But damn, I had trouble sleeping for a couple of nights. Then the friend I was hiking with read it, and he couldn't sleep either."
This is probably my favorite early King––and for good reason. The sense of atmosphere is impeccable. Those characters are loveable and you genuinely care about what happens to them. Then the book veers from horror into tragedy. It's quite moving.
"Just the knowledge..."
"On The Beach.
It's the most soul-crushing book I've ever read, and there's really nothing scary in it.
Just the knowledge of impending death for everyone that feels so awfully heavy."
This is one of those books that makes you feel hopeless.
It's impeccably written but wow... it's a truly heavy read.
"You never knew..."
It's a classic. I found it to be immensely chilling. You never knew what would happen and the writing instilled a sort of dread. I read it in the dark before I went to bed until I finished it."
A book I can read and re-read over and over again. It's a beautiful horror novel. It's also a really fascinating window into the era and manages to say a lot about social and class mores.
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. Very creepy and unnerving, definitely scared me reading it at night."
I wanted to really like this one––unfortunately, I did not––but there's no denying that the first third or so (especially once the two protagonists get to the house) is pretty unnerving. Shame the payoff wasn't all that.
"It was disturbing and horrifying..."
"Helter Skelter. It's about the Manson murders and goes into quite a bit of detail. It was disturbing and horrifying because, unlike the King novels also mentioned, it's true. What they did to Sharon Tate is so absolutely devastating. Pure evil."
This book is gruesome and not for the faint of heart. The level of detail we dive into learning about the Tate-LaBianca murders is remarkable and also rather nauseating.
"So the book's characters..."
"Bird Box by Josh Malerman.
Forget the Netflix movie. The book's monsters are terrifying, in that you simply just don't know what they are or what they look like. They could be anything. What they are is enough to drive people insane by just being looked at.
So, the book's characters have to navigate a world mostly without one of our most used senses, and what's more terrifying than something you can't see?
This leads to some utterly scary scenes in the book that sent my heart racing and I had to put down for a breather."
It's a shame that movie wasn't all that and a bag of potato chips.
"It's a different kind of scary..."
"It's a different kind of scary, but The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood's dystopian nation feels not that far from reality sometimes, and it absolutely terrifies me."
We're going to go there.
Yes, this book is terrifying.
"I feel like the movie..."
"The Ruins, by Scott Smith, messed me up pretty good. My favorite kind of horror is psychological, and while there is a physical "entity" the real horror is the helplessness of this stranded group trapped by something they don't understand. Their desperate struggle to hold on to their sanity and the slow descent into hopeless desperation just really hit hard.
I feel like the movie was a fairly faithful adaptation, although it's been a while since I've seen it."
I love this book and have read it multiple times over the years. It's slow-going... and then the final one-hundred pages are just horrifying.
Well, if you haven't read any of these... What are you waiting for? Get on that. You won't regret it.
But also... the world is pretty scary right now, so we understand if you need to take a step back.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
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Have you ever traveled to a city you've always heard good things about, only to be totally let down upon arrival?
When a friend insists we travel to certain cities because we would "just love it," they're setting the bar pretty high.
And a city can also boast a rich history or an attraction that makes us curious enough to find out what makes it so appealing.
But, alas, when we finally reach the destination, it's never exactly what we thought it would be.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor tshirtguy2000 asked:
"What city is overrated?"
These are not officially real cities but they do have a rotating population.
It's Always A Party There
"As a former
slave associate at party city. I 100% agree."
"Lego City. There always has to be someone falling into the river."
"Cabot Cove, the murder capital of the world."
"Sure, the murders are all solved, but would you really want to live in a city with that much, easily solved, crime?"
Neighbor To Springfield
Shelbyville. Those f'kers steal trees from neighboring cities.
These were once considered destination cities but their popularity eventually took a nose dive.
"Atlantic City. Venture a few blocks off the boardwalk and it's incredibly depressing. Very clearly an area exploited by the big casinos while the locals have been driven to absolute poverty, while they still force a smile to work the shops that are required for the tourist traffic."
Lots Of Water
"Niagara Falls, Canada. I grew up there. Mayor pumps most of tax $ to casinos and tourism with flashy vegas-esque attractions."
"Myrtle Beach. I'm not even saying that it has a good reputation, I'm just saying that any shred of positive thinking about it makes it overrated."
Where A Creek Is An Exciting Attraction
"Lamb's Grove, Iowa. It's not the paradise on earth that people always say it is. Don't get me wrong, it's got great Chinese food but the motel 6 is meh at best."
Impressions for these cities fell far below expectation.
"Dubai. It's the clickbait of the world. 'We have the biggest/tallest/most expensive YOU WON'T BELIEVE when you see THIS...' It's hot as f*k, everything's a man-made tourist trap; labor exploitation and racism are rampant, and they try so hard to prove to the world how modern and Westernized they are. Really, it's just government propaganda."
"Miami. Horrible place filled with horrible people."
Truth be told, many cities can be overrated.
It just depends on a person's experience, or a resident's perspective about what it is about the location they live in that is nothing worth writing home about.
If I had to choose, I would say Las Vegas is overrated, but that's because there is nothing in Sin City that is of personal interest to me.
I may be severely judged for my opinion, but that is a gamble I'm willing to take.
The opposite sex can be a bit of a mystery sometimes. Our brains work differently just like our bodies and this can lead to certain sensitive questions. Guys tend to be a little less open but today it's time for the ladies to ask away. Even wondered what they really think or feel about their body, yours? Today's the day to get the answers you didn't know you needed.
Redditor William84000 asked:
“Women of reddit, what question do you have of men that you'd really like an answer to?"
His question started an informative thread for women to ask men the questions they've been wondering and receive honest, real-life answers.
“How long does it take to recover if you've been hit in the balls?” Snowy-avocado
“Anywhere from 5 minutes to literally turning to dust like we were Thanos snapped.” secondhand_organsdust whirls GIFGiphy
“The Big Dumb Object...”
“I've always wanted to know: why do you like loud machinery so much? For older men it's mowers, leaf blowers and such. For younger men, it's modified cars and motorbikes. What's the deal with the loud machines?” marshmellow_bunnyx
“Power and tools. Tools are a thing that gets stuff done, and they are loud because they contain the
natural essence power of violent explosions and fire. Most men like powerful things, instead of powerful people.”
“In sci-fi, this is called 'The Big Dumb Object', and is pretty much a trademark of sci fi books written by men” Connect-Zebra7173
To shave or not to shave?
“Does body hair on a woman bother you that much?" reillydean28
“Leg/arm hair? Don't even notice. Armpit hair? Not my thing but not my choice/decision. Pubic hair? I'd prefer not, but it's not going to stop me from getting the job done." wHUT_fun
It’s a power and control thing...
“Why send a d*ck pic?" stavinlawrence
“I think for most men it's a power dynamic thing. Either it gets them off or it just makes them feel in control."
“Then I assume there's the added bonus of if she likes it she might send a nude back. But these losers have a greater chance of buying a "get bigger penis pills" that actually work before a girl appreciates an unsolicited nude." InertialEclipse
"Do you notice the little things?”
“Do you notice the little things about women like a new hair cut, when they wear makeup or a nice outfit?” xforeverlove22
“I can't speak for everyone but for me, nope. Not at all. My uncle had a moustache for like 20 years and one day decided to shave it off. I didn't notice it. I noticed there was a weird atmosphere around me like ‘come on, say something’, so I small talked with him.”
“A few hours later after he left they asked me if I seriously didn't notice that his moustache was gone. My answer was ‘What moustache?‘ And makeup would definitly fly over my head.” PleaseTakeThisName
Lets just not touch people without permission...
“What things have women done that make you uncomfortable?" charloget
“Had a few grab my junk at random. Even had a couple that just forced a kiss on me. I don't usually experience women trying to pick me up, but the few times I did was never great. It was either negging, overly sexually aggressive and always in a group." bahamabanana
On today's episode of sink of float...
“Do penis' float like a buoy? I heard they do but have never been able to verify it.” TheFantasticV
“I mean it's buoyant but it can't really do much besides lazily sorta half float there. Still amused the f**k out of my wife to learn.” secondhand_organsGiphy
Everyone just wants to be loved...
“What makes you feel loved?” linedizzy
“A compliment, a hug or a kiss we don't have to initiate.” Nuitari8
“Do guys care if women get cosmetic procedures done?” dookieconductor
“I don't necessarily care about the work itself, I'd be more concerned about understanding why she felt like she wanted to get it done and help her feel body positive for whatever work has been done or if she feels like she needs work.” -notjosh-
Math will kill a mood everytime...
“What does it feel like when you're having sex and you're trying not to 'get there'? Is it frustrating? What do you do/think about to keep it from happening?" uhohoreolas
“I sometimes do math like 333*3... But often I am fine with just controlling things to focus mostly on her pleasure instead of mine. Tho sometimes she is excited and ends up moving in unaccounted ways while I am a hair away and there is no stopping it. I definitely don't find it frustrating. It is still very enjoyable." Fkire
Some of these Q&A's were unexpected but now we know! This important thing here though is knowing it's ok to ask questions sometimes.
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Everyone's got their own favorite food.
What are two foods that actually taste great together......even though most people don't eat them that way?
Breakfast is the most wonderful meal of the day. As the wise Leslie Knope once said, "Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?" So mixing it up can feel blasphemous, but what if it's tasty?
Jam It On
"When I was growing up, it was standard procedure for us to put grape jelly on scrambled eggs. I did it when I went to college and everyone at the table stared at me. I still like it."
"That sounds gross af, but not too gross that I don't still want to try it. Haha"
Bringing People Together
"Peanut butter and maple syrup."
"My husband and I both grew up eating PB and syrup on our waffles. We took that as a sign it was meant to be."
"Peanut butter and syrup on waffles is one of the single best things I have ever had, also growing up with it"
Mustard?! Don't Let's Be Silly.
"Mustard with scrambled eggs. Actually I haven't had it in a while but from what I remember its really good"
"Mustard with eggs period"
Sauces and dips are critical to enjoying some foods. Mess with it too much and you risk ruining the delicacy. So that's why it's reassuring to see these people offering up their new spins on dip combinations.
Only For The Elegant Dining Experience
"Hummus and salsa mixed together with tortilla chips."
"Fancy bean dip."
Peanut Butter With Everything!
"Peanut butter and cheddar cheese (like the proper brick kind, not kraft cheese slices). When I was a kid I sometimes made myself pb and cheese sandwiches. They're very filling but delicious!"
"Toasted English muffin, butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam and marble cheddar on top. Lord have mercy on me."
"Add a litte hot sauce on the peanut butter."
Better Than Garlic Sauce?
"I already posted but I'm eating pizza with my friend right now and he likes his pizza with hummus."
"Hummus is good with so many things."
"So I make spaghetti noodles, but break up the raw noodles into smaller pieces. Once they're done I put in a an egg or two (mix it around) and let it cook. I swear it's not that bad. My Nonna always makes it for me when I go back to the Midwest to visit. It's good with parmesan cheese too."
And then there's these taste combinations. Mixtures so strange, you might just be willing to walk away from your phone or computer and try one now.
Sweet And Savory?
"Watermelon and feta cheese."
"With red onion and balsamic vinegar."
"Thats like the most basic summer thing in Greece, Balkans, Turkey together with some Uzo or Raki"
Who Lives In A Cheddar Under The Sea?
"Pineapple and cheddar."
"A guy at work introduced me to dipping a peanut butter and honey sandwich into chili. That was surprisingly great."
A Creative Spin On An Old Favorite
"Root beer float except with cherry Coke and chocolate ice cream. I was in middle school on a field trip, last in line at the cream shop, and ordered this after everyone else had done the standard root beer and vanilla. One of the cool girls who had never spoken my name before gave me this piercing look and asked if I would switch with her. I instinctively knew I would get zero benefit from this deal, so I said "Nope, ya gotta just remember it next time." That felt good."
Keep an open mind. Don't do this for every meal, sure, but always be ready to try something new.
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