Relationships are not always easy, but when we find people we can bond with and really love, it is so beyond worth it. Before everything gets to an ideal place (not perfect—no such thing!—but ideal and full of feelings of contentment), though, significant others must go through the start of a relationship, which can be awkward, uncomfortable, and a true learning experience.
During this time, there are some common mistakes that can be seen, and down below, we will be covering 20 of them. From communication issues and not being on the same page to doing something too much or not enough, there are many ways a relationship can go wrong and get sidetracked. However, we will also be going over how to avoid these mistakes!
Yes, with a little guidance, some careful thinking, and the right mindset regarding the right person, problems can be minimized and avoided, helping a relationship start off correctly and soar from there.
And while there is no exact recipe for how to succeed with an SO and while no relationship is the same, we hope the following 20 pieces of information and tips can lead to more positivity for more people who have found that special someone…
20Being Too Open
Many relationships start off with a first date or at least some sort of initial interaction, such as messaging each other through social media or being introduced to each other by a mutual acquaintance. And in those first moments together, some people tend to overshare.
Most embarrassing moments, details on old flames, thoughts on politics and parenting… Yes, some people lay it all out there, all at once, and that can be too much! Instead, remember that there is time and that these conversations will probably come up later, in a way that makes more sense—so save them until then.
19Being Too Closed Off
On the other hand, due to how frightening first dates can be, others are too closed off at these times. A date may be trying to get to know this new person, asking for info on childhoods, job situations, interests and so on. There is definitely a balance between giving too much away too soon and coming across as totally uninterested.
So even if a first date is nervewracking, know that this time exists to get to know each other, so answer questions in a nice and normal way and ask some of the other person, too. Who knows where it could lead?!
18Texting Too Much
Since we do live in a digital day and age, we must talk about another type of communicating, too: text messaging. This includes messaging each other via social sites, as well! Just as, on a first date, a person can be too open, a person can also be too forward with communication. There needs to be a little mystery, though, and personal space needs to be respected.
We may fall head over heels for someone, but if we then message them every two seconds, all day long, over and over… That could easily drive someone away. Play hard to get instead, which can be oh-so-fun.
17Not Showing Enough Interest
Another common mistake which is seen throughout relationships—especially in early stages—is not showing enough interest. During the first steps of a relationship, we are all sort of selling ourselves; our first impressions can make or break the entire thing, so we need to seem appealing, and we also need to seem interested in what the other person is offering.
Now, this does not mean we should lie and pretend like we are big fans of, say, Nascar, too, when we really find it dull and boring. It just means that decent respect should be shown as we listen intently to this person and learn about them.
16Trying To Control Everything
As mentioned and as we all surely know, there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. But people want that once-in-a-lifetime love and that fairytale ending, so many try to control the situation and attempt to get that Prince Charming… even if it is just clearly not going to work.
We can’t control destiny or if a person chooses to call us back or not. We can control how we present ourselves, how we react to things that are good or bad, how we show care for loved ones, and how we move on after that prince turns out to be a total toad.
15Only Being In It For One Thing
Relationships bring so much: a friend to hang out with, a chance to get dressed up, an excuse to leave a party early, a reason to splurge at a new restaurant, and another bonus that we expect to pop up after dinner, when our date drops us off at home… Yes, those benefits are great, and they can be a big part of a relationship.
A mistake, though, would be to only be with someone for that one reason. That is not good! There needs to be more than just physical attraction keeping everything together. If not, it is a recipe for a disaster.
In a relationship, we may notice certain habits in this other person that are not ideal. But this person is so cute, and we have fun together, so we will just ignore all that other stuff… Where are we going with this? Well, another common mistake is making excuses.
“He is never on time… but he is so popular!” “She doesn’t really listen to me… but I want to go work for her dad.” “This relationship is boring… but we already moved into together.” The point here is to think, be smart, and don’t get stuck in something ‘just because.’
A chick (we will call her Jane) may be into a dude (let’s call him John). Jane may have low self-esteem, and John may be super confident. Jane may bring that poor self-image into the relationship, and she may start to think that John sees her that way, too, just because her negative thoughts are so strong while in fact, John actually is super in love with Jane!
Projecting feelings can go both ways, and they are quite tricky. Just remember to keep an open and honest line of communication flowing with people in order to avoid mistakes like this one.
12Not Defining The Relationship
Ah, the talk… What are we? What do we tell people when they ask about us? When are we going to make this public and official online? Everyone has unique thoughts when it comes to defining a relationship, but it sort of has to happen.
Blurred lines, unclear expectations, and being on different pages—all things that can come from NOT defining a relationship—are issues in a relationship that can lead to fights, slip-ups, and hurt feelings. So, in order to avoid all of that, just have the talk, be real with each other, and either go with it or not.
11Getting Other People Involved
Significant others will have people in their life together, but boundaries are important. For instance, up above, we talked about unclear expectations; if two people are not sure if they are in an open relationship or not, and they bring other people into the mix… That could lead to a real disaster.
Even in a less extreme case, though, be careful before getting other people involved. For example, venting about problems can be good, but if someone is talking in a bad way about their boyfriend or girlfriend to everyone and anyone out there… That is not so good either.
Boundaries have been mentioned a couple of times in this article since they play a big role in any type of relationship. Plus, there are so many types: there may be boundaries on how often we allow ourselves to go visit a special someone, since it may be taking time and energy away from other responsibilities. There are physical boundaries to discuss and keep in mind.
There are even boundaries involving just how much we let ourselves get involved since hearts and minds need to be protected. Falling for someone can be great—we just can’t lose ourselves along the way.
9Only Seeing Negative Traits
Let us repeat this line: no relationship is perfect, because nobody is perfect. However, relationships are about finding people—people full of good and not-so-good traits—with whom we mesh and enjoy being with. The dates could be great. The friends may love this person, too. But at times, a person could just get hung up on this other person’s dorky clothes, messy habits, or loud laugh.
While there are some negative traits that, yes, should not be put up with (such as harmful ones), there are normal things in life that aren’t necessarily make-or-break-it items. Just buy this person some new clothes and the Marie Kondo book instead!
8Taking Positive Traits For Granted
On a similar note, another common mistake seen is taking positive traits for granted. After the initial honeymoon phase is over, people can get lazy in relationships. Life happens. Time flies by. While this is all happening, remember that initial attraction. Focus on that cute smile and those funny jokes. Re-visit the places where the relationship thrived. And don’t ever take a catch for granted!
It won’t all be roses and rainbows all the time, but when we find someone who is actually good for us and who truly cares for us, we really need to treasure and care for that.
7Forgetting To Take It Slow
This point is sort of a continuation of the previous one… Life can get crazy and can fly by, which is why, in every stage of a relationship, people need to remember to take it slow. Falling in love is super fun, and some rush to have it all right away.
Instead of doing that, though, people need to view it all as having the rest of a lifetime to enjoy with this one person—time to get to embarrassing stories, the next base, and even marriage. Until then, enjoy the little things, stop and smell the roses, and live in the present.
6Leaving Out The Romance
Leaving out the romance is an additional mistake that some may make. New relationships are full of exciting dates, long conversations, and new adventures together, and during all of that, romance is a must! To one woman, a romantic day together may involve receiving flowers and having the door held open. To another, romance means putting that phone away and just hanging out together in a comfy and casual setting.
While this looks different to each person, it is a vital part of the relationship, so throw in a little magic and sparkle whenever possible (and continue to do so).
5Bringing Up Past Issues
Let’s get back to John and Jane, our made-up couple, and let’s say that these two attended high school together. In high school, John was Mr. Popular, and he had quite a few girlfriends. Now, during some of his arguments that inevitably happen with Jane, she brings up those relationships and tries to use them against him, saying he doesn’t love her like that.
Don’t do that, Jane! Everyone has a past, and sharing all of those stories with a significant other is normal… but it is not all relevant to present-day life, so don’t make something out of nothing, especially when it’s in the past.
We said up above “arguments that inevitably happen” because disagreeing is part of life. We are all different, and when we are super close to someone and with them all the time, there will be things we disagree on, and fights could stem from that. Arguing can be good, though, like an educational debate!
Avoiding confrontation, though, is not smart. If something is bugging us, we can bring it up. If there is a real issue at hand, it needs to be discussed. Try to stay calm and civil while talking things through like adults—even if it is tough at times.
To elaborate further on confrontations, we will say that constantly being a nag is another common issue in coupledom. See, there will be parts of a relationship that bug us. Some of them can be casually mentioned and easily fixed—like a messy room or uncool wardrobe.
Some of them are big and important and may require the help of a professional—such as two people not agreeing on whether or not they should have kids. And then there are nitpicky items that may be annoying, but if we are constantly bringing them up, the other person involved will be equally as annoyed with us!
2Getting Too Wrapped Up Too Quickly
Perhaps the mistake that is seen most often is getting too wrapped up too quickly. This makes sense, as, yes, relationships can be fab. The butterflies in the stomach, the little glances stolen at one another, the excitement about what comes next… This is all quite beautiful, but keep the other tips from this list in mind, such as taking it slow.
Those butterflies could easily swoop someone up and away, a glance could quickly be taken the wrong way, and a line could be crossed accidentally when one person thinks this new thing is love and the other is not actually interested at all.
1Being Confused And Not Asking For Clarification
Many of the problems we have talked about here today can be classified under one heading: being confused. Does this gal want to hear this story or not? Should I send another message or wait? Does he realize how annoying that is or no? Am I being dumb for letting this slide? Are we making the right move here? Can this work, or is it time to say goodbye?
The solution is easy, though (well, easier said than done!): communication. Talk through it all. Be honest with one another. Express those feelings. Let them know about what’s going on with you, and don’t hesitate to ask what’s up with them if it’s unclear.