As a married woman, I learn more and more every day what it means to be in a romantic relationship.
It is a constant learning experience, and even now, four years into being together, we still are learning more and more about each other.
This isn't just our relationship.
In fact, this is a universal trend in all relationships.
Most mistakes that we worry are specific to our relationship are actually common to every marriage or partnership.
We've all been through it, man!
Redditor Frozly asked:
"What are common mistakes people make in a relationship?"
Some things may seem ridiculously obvious to a single person, but once you’re in the thick of it, it becomes a little harder to catch.
Disagreements happen. It’s better to face them head-on.
Trying too hard to avoid potential arguments to avoid conflict rather than hashing it out before the issue becomes too big to handle.
We both learned that love is love no matter what and any disagreements we can talk about and we may feel sad or hurt or upset but we never yell at each other, we simply talk it through and if it's something we both disagree on, we compromise. We have both had our small moody feelings but we always talk things through and so long as we stay true to each other I believe it will last forever.
I learned that when two people love each other so much, they will work together and be devoted to each other no matter what. And we have a strong relationship that I believe will last forever.
Never ignore your problems!
The most common mistakes that couples make are not actively listening to one another, taking their partner for granted, and pushing aside problems because they don't want to cause an argument.
You got to work together to solve issues that come up, you can't just ignore them. That's how people end up leaving or cheating.Giphy
Communication is key!
Not being able to communicate. You need to be able to voice when you are hurt without them taking it as an attack. You need to be able to hear your partner.
Should you waste your life with a partner who has no interest in self development and learning to communicate? Probably not. Should you discuss this with your SO who has poor communication skills and create a plan to work together and improve communication? Yes!
People go into relationships thinking love is a certain way.
But almost always, it’s the exact opposite of what you expect.
It’s not like the movies, babies.
Married life in a nutshell.
That love is a feeling. You can "fall" in love with someone but it's more of a choice to be deeply connected with this one person. Over time you constantly choose to love them through the good and the bad. If you base your entire relationship on how love is a feeling, you're most likely going to "fall out of love" with them.
DON’T do this.
Labeling your partner the source of all your happiness and joy.
100% this. I know the phrase "how can you be happy with someone else if you're not happy alone" has become hated because some people feel like it's saying "people with depression should never be in a relationship" but it's not really about that. As someone who has been put in the position of "someone's entire happiness and joy" it is extremely stressful. Because the flipside ends up being "I'm unhappy - how can my partner fix it??" even if it's not a conscious or intentional thing.Giphy
All of this.
Getting into a relationship too fast and not getting out of the relationship fast enough (especially prior to marriage).
When you're not in an official relationship with someone yet, it's pretty easy to walk away if you see problems. But once you're officially in a relationship with someone, you're more invested in them, and you're less likely to walk away when you see problems. So it's important to spend significant time getting to know someone before you start doing things that make you feel more reluctant to walk away (whether that be kissing them, calling them your boyfriend or girlfriend, or whatever), so that you will filter out more of the bad potential partners before they become actual partners and waste more of your time causing you more pain.
Once you're already in the relationship, it's important to communicate - to express your needs clearly and assess your partner's needs with empathy and care. And if you've expressed your needs clearly but your partner still does not meet them, then it's important to end the relationship. Hanging around hoping something will suddenly change somehow is wasting your time and also wasting your partner's time. It's a kindness to both of you if you just explain that since your needs still have not been met, you're leaving now.
There are at least three basic stages of a relationship. The first stage is when it's not officially a relationship yet. Use this stage to filter out as many bad partners as you can before you get too invested. Think of as many relationship pitfalls as you can, and ask questions to try to determine in advance whether each potential partner is likely to be able to overcome them with you or not.
The second stage is when you're boyfriends/girlfriends/etc. but not married yet. At this point you've progressed from asking questions and getting to know one another to actually trying to be one another's primary supports in meeting the daily challenges of everyday life together.
The biggest question to keep in mind at this point is, "Does this person make my life better, and do I make theirs better?" Does this person help you solve problems, relieve some of your burdens, introduce you to new and interesting ideas, listen and make you feel understood, relate and make you feel less alone - and do you do the same for them?
Are you happier when they're around, or does being around them exhaust you - and do you think they're happier or more exhausted when you're around? If you were suddenly sick or injured in some new way and you needed help, could you rely on them to take care of you to about the same degree that you would take care of them?
When you need something from them or they need something from you, can you each typically get what you need from each other, or does the conversation become strained or awkward because one of you is less able or less willing to meet the other's needs?
In this stage, the possibility should never be far from your mind that maybe this person might turn out to just not be the right person for you to be with at all—because if you find that you're not making each other's lives better, and some conversations about how to try to fix that don't seem to be actually fixing it, then the best thing for both of you is to end the relationship as soon as possible so you can both avoid wasting any more of your time with each other.
The third stage is when you're married. At this point you should already have become very confident that you're both basically reasonable people because you should already have demonstrated considerable ability to get along well and help one another surmount problems in the past. '
So, when life continues to present new challenges, you should have some confidence that even if those challenges do lead to some arguments, those arguments are not reason to doubt whether your spouse is a basically reasonable person or not. You should already be convinced that they are a basically reasonable person.
You should already have a substantial history with them that proves you are compatible in a wide variety of ways. So even if the two of you change over time in ways that alter your compatibility somewhat, there should still be enough common ground left that it generally behooves you to work through the problems.
During this stage, even if interacting with your spouse does currently make you feel more exhausted and less happy, your spouse still deserves credit for having made you happier and less exhausted in previous years.
As long as your spouse isn't physically, verbally, or financially abusing you they should be allowed plenty of leeway to borrow against that credit. People with a history of being really good for you have a right to go through hard times and be depressed and need your support. They supported you, so you should support them too.
And if you're both going through separate hard times at the same time, so you need their support but you're not getting it? Try to be as forgiving as you can, because hopefully you wouldn't have married them if they weren't a basically good person who has proven that they can and do support you quite a lot most of the time.
Maybe they just need space to fail for a little while, and then they can get back on track. But also, do express your own needs - gently but clearly - so they know what's going on with you and can make the best effort they can at the moment. Don't expect them to read your mind.
Assuming your partner should know what you want if they love you. I struggled early in our marriage because the women in my wife's family are big on this. We worked on it and it took a bit, but we got to the point where we would only hold each other accountable to expressed words and thoughts.
It has made all the difference in the world and 27 years of marriage have been mostly happy. Also, comparisons. Never say "Well my last SO did this" or " My family always did it another way". Good way to alienate a partner.
For the love of God, never be petty in your relationship.
The two (or more) of you are stronger than that, so just don’t do it!
It will NEVER be even.
"I did the dishes three times two weeks ago, you only did them once last week."
"You got a new video game this month, why didn't I get something?"
It's never going to be completely even, things ebb and flow. Both side should feel like they're getting a fair shake overall but if you keep track of every little thing (even if it's just in your head, I don't necessarily mean like an actual list) it's just going to guarantee that somebody is always "losing". It's not a competition.Giphy
Love’s not a game.
Treating dating as a game you're supposed to win instead of playing just for fun of it.
Or even worse, treating any communication as something you're supposed to win, instead of using it to find a solution to a problem.
Such good advice.
I've always heard "Don't go to bed angry". Don't take that advice. Most times, you're both tired and it's late. Sleep on it and continue the conversation the next day.
Don't keep score.
Accept/admit when you've screwed up and move on.
As a married woman, all of the advice presented in this thread are gold. My own advice would be to never suppress feelings for the sake of your partner.
Being 100% honest with your partner will encourage them to be open with you as well, and you'll be able to resolve arguments way easier.
That's relationships for you.
This isn't a Disney movie—this is real life. And snags are going to happen from time to time.
But the way you and your partner(s) handle it is entirely indicative of how your relationship operates
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