Throughout your life and emotional growth you get to know yourself a little better. You learn from your relationship mistakes and you also discover the “walls” that you occasionally put up around you and between you and your partners in order to remain comfortable and happy.
But sometimes they’re not so easy to recognize. Sometimes you might act in an unhealthy way toward your partner and rather than showing them appreciation, affection, and respect, you create distrust and unhappiness. In today’s article we’re going to look at some of these small, yet common relationship mistakes that couples make in relationships that can put a lot of distance between them.
1. Love isn’t just saying, “I love you”
Surely this has happened to you at some point. You’ve been in a relationship where it becomes easy to simply say, “I love you,” every day. And while those words do offer comfort, just the words aren’t enough to express your love. You need to act in order to show the true affection that you feel for the other person.
- Everyone expresses their love in a certain way. And some people are more expressive, while others who may be more withdrawn tend to show their affection in more subtle ways that requires a deeper level of understanding to interpret. But just because they demonstrate less doesn’t mean that they “love less.” There are countless different ways to show your love.
- Some people expect signs of another’s affection every moment of the day: kisses, a touch, a hug…but you have to understand that not everyone has the same needs, and that doesn’t mean that they love us any less.
- Love can also be expressed by a look, when it’s needed. Maybe it’s just a smile that reminds you of your partner’s unconditional support and admiration. Sure every now and then you might want your partner to be more expressive, to tell you every day that they want to be with you. But what really matters is that when they do it, no matter how infrequently, it’s with absolute sincerity.
- Evaluate your partner by their actions, not just their words. Words can occasionally lose their meaning or be misinterpreted. And it’s easy to lie with one’s words, but never with actions. Pay attention to how your partner treats you, how they care for you, whether they respect you…that’s true love.
- If you’re the kind of person who really needs that daily expression of affection and feels like “they love you less than you love them,” you need to talk with your partner. Tell them exactly what you need.
2. Love doesn’t mean you have to give all of yourself away in exchange for nothingThis is a trap that a lot of people fall into, so to speak. They think that loving their partner means giving away everything, offering themselves unconditionally and without limits. But be careful.
- It’s important to love someone with wisdom and balance. You give yourself to another person with the knowledge that you’re going to be a “team.” You offer yourself, and they reciprocate. You enrich their life, and they yours, based on your maturity and individuality, you become one being that grows day by day.
- If you’re giving up everything for the other person, there will come a day when you feel not only empty inside, but also frustrated. You’ll realize that without evening knowing it, you boxed yourself into the relationship and now there’s no way out.
- Expecting your partner to do things for you isn’t selfish. At the end of the day, each partner is looking out for the other, and you’re equally responsible for the level of happiness in your relationship.
3. If something’s bothering you, don’t sit quietly and wait for the other person to realize their mistakeHumans don’t know everything. A common mistake people make in relationships is to think that when something is hurting or bothering us, their partner will know.
But because of this, rather than expressing what’s bothering them, some people choose to remain silent and eventually become angry. They feel ignored by their partner and they punish them, silently.
This is a very immature strategy. If something’s bothering you, don’t stay silent. And certainly don’t throw “invisible daggers” at your partner because it just continues a vicious cycle of senseless anger.
Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. If you’re upset about something, say so. If you’re hurting, express your hurt. If you need something, ask. Your partner is the person you’ve chosen to be with. You need to create harmony between you through dialogue and cooperation, not a battlefield.
4. Don’t build “your whole world” around your partnerThink about it this way: when you’re entering a new relationship, both of you are like children. You want to focus your entire world around that person. And that’s okay, because you’ve chosen to begin a new life with them.
But bear in mind the following:
- It’s important to continue to grow personally. That means that every day you need to keep learning, experimenting with who you are. Don’t neglect your education, your friends, or your work.
- Relationships are of course important. But so are the other aspects of your life, including exercise, your social circle, and your personal space…all of this helps enrich you as a person. And that in turn builds your self-esteem and security.
- Having high self-esteem helps make a relationship happier. It’s more mature. If you only focus on your partner and neglect your professional or personal growth, eventually you’ll start to feel frustrated and even blame your partner for your unhappiness.
You grow as an individual, and you grow as a couple. That’s how you’ll find true happiness in life. It’s well worth it.