Romantic relationships are challenging to manage. Although there are hundreds of ways that a couple can struggle, in my therapy practice, I find that this list of 10 mistakes to be the most common ways. Some of them are obvious, standard relationship issues. Others are more subtle and not as obvious. Either way, watch out for these issues in your relationship, and you will be able to improve on your intimacy.

  1. Ignore sexual boundaries. Lying about sex can take the most intimate act and make it into something that creates tension and paranoia. You need to be clear on your sexual boundaries and your partner’s sexual boundaries before you enter a relationship, and during your relationship. If your boundaries change, you need to communicate this with your partner.
  2. Get too comfortable. In relationships you have to be willing to compromise on some hobbies that you don’t love doing. You do this with the expectation that your partner will be willing to do the same for you, which pushes forward your level of intimacy and bonding.
  3. Be right. In relationships, there is often a crossroads where you can choose whether you are going to be right or be loved in a discussion. Rarely can you have it both ways. Focusing on being right in a discussion will create frustration and tension with you and your partner.
  4. Be jealous. Jealousy is a form of control that can get out of hand and destroy a relationship. This is more about selfishness than it is about love. Don’t make the mistake of confusing the two.
  5. Keep quiet. Not talking about the issues that you are experiencing will inevitably end up in resentful feelings. Talking about the problems can be difficult, but beneficial in the long run.
  6. Don’t give personal space. Couples consist of two individuals. If you are not able to cultivate your own personality, goals, and personal experiences, the irritation can overflow into your relationship.
  7. Take no responsibility. Blaming will frustrate your partner and keeps you from understanding your role in the situation. Listening and owning your responsibility in the situation is what promotes growth.
  8. Play the martyr. If you give, don’t expect something in return. Give simply because you want to. This includes both intrinsic and extrinsic gifts.
  9. Try to change your partner. You can only change your feelings and behavior, not your partner’s. Focusing on behavior outside of yourself will make you unhappy and frustrate your partner.
  10. Hold a grudge. If you fail to let go of past arguments and situations, your attitude will be affected, which will impact your relationship. You have to move forward, and accept that how you feel about past situations is your responsibility to own, not your partner’s.

 

 

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