1. Not enough communication
Communication in any relationship is key but especially in a romantic one because this is the individual that you are spending the majority of your time around and with. In the beginning of any relationship, there’s that period of intense interest, in discussing and learning about one another, and the foundation of your relationship is built on that—as you become serious and start to incorporate changes into both of your lives, you might notice that there is a lack of communication from when you first started. Shifts, such as business at work, starting a family, and the standard routine that you’ve fallen into can create a lack of communication, causing your relationship to experience more than necessary unwarranted arguing. We noticed a lack of communication when we would randomly start arguing over minor things allowing the stress of what’s happening outside of our relationship to influence it. It’s beyond easy to lose sight when you’re caught in the day-to-day but remember you’re with your significant other because of that initial foundation, so make it a point not only to remember that, but to be an engaged and active participant among your partner. We always like to take a break and go on date nights.
2. Not feeling confident enough in ourselves
When you exude confidence, people take notice and it often can be one of the first attributes used when describing you. I would have to say that attribute has not only come to describe us in our relationship as a whole but also individually and it is something that has taken a lot of time. First, you need to start with yourself and examine what is making you jealous, why you are uneasy when you haven’t heard from the other individual, and what you really want out of your relationship. You also need to dissect your own insecurities to understand why you act a certain way that is albeit, less than confident. It isn’t something that happens overnight and it takes a real dedication and commitment to understanding yourself fully and in doing so, being able to fully give yourself to someone else, confidently. Once Lindsay and I became secure in ourselves as individuals, which by all means, is still a learning process, we were seen as a couple that did exude that confidence because in becoming confident individuals, we are now, a confident couple.
3. Trying to please everyone
As I’ve previously said, confidence is key in any relationship and once you have it, own it, it makes it a lot easier to disengage with people who aren’t good for you and ultimately for your relationship. I think at one point or another, we’ve wanted everyone to like us, but the beauty is not everyone has to—the more aware you are of what you’re deserving, the more likely you are to disengage with individuals who do no have your best interest in mind and those who don’t value you, or your relationship. In the four years we’ve been together, we’ve gotten really good at accepting that not everyone has to like us because ultimately, we don’t like everyone—the less you care about what others are thinking of you and start to be yourself, you’ll realize life and love becomes a lot easier.
4. Allowing arguments to last way longer than they should
Okay, so we’ve all been here right? You have a bad day at work and one little thing goes wrong at home and you just let it all out with no inhibition even though your partner had absolutely nothing to do with what happened throughout your day. It starts off maybe minor, but once you start to engage in an argument, you’ve already put your partner on the defense and usually, it just escalates from there creating a rough night for the two of you. This argument a. could have been avoided if you just discussed what was bothering you. Take this as a lesson also for communication—make sure to discuss with your partner what is bothering you before she or he is on the receiving end of one of your disconnected rampages. This could have been extinguished if you didn’t allow your pride to get in the way and of course, we never want to admit that our ego was too big but it is absolutely necessary when you are arguing for 4 hours over how a shirt was folded wrong. We learned the hard way that when something like this happens, or a minor thing seems to set one another off, before reacting, to take a calm approach and just ask, “hey, what’s bothering you?”
5. Thinking we both have to always agree with one another
When we first started off, again, I thought it was important that we agreed with one another to feel supported and to feel as though we always had one another in each other’s corners. The truth of the matter is that while it’s important to always feel supported that there is a guarantee that the two of you will not agree on everything and that’s OK. Agreeing and support are two very different things and while we might not always agree with one another, we do always support one another. Whether you disagree over something in politics, a certain decision, even a parenting choice, know that it’s OK to disagree with your partner as long as you support them and wholeheartedly offer that support along the way. Another important facet to the disagreeing is making sure that if it’s a decision involving the two of you that there’s some level ground and compromise. No relationship is successful if compromise isn’t one of the main building blocks.
What mistakes have you made and how have you learned from them?