We have all been there: you find yourself in a new relationship or seeing someone new, and you really like this person…you want them to feel the same. They are everything you have been looking for, they make you feel amazing, and you want them to feel exactly the same way that you feel about them. This is a normal feeling, but many times the actions we take early on in a relationship will set the stage for big problems later on in our relationships. It is important to keep certain things in mind, especially in a brand new relationship: present your true self, be honest no matter what, speak your mind, get to know the person, don’t judge but consider compatibility honestly.
Mistake #1. Presenting an image that is not who you are.
A common mistake in new romances is letting the desire to impress and gain approval from a person overtake your desire to be yourself. Most people don’t like being alone for long periods of time, and a lot of us would rather settle for something ok, than to have nothing at all; when we meet someone who starts paying attention to us, we start feeling better about ourselves and better about life. These feelings can cause us to start changing small things about who we are in order to better mesh with another person. For example: we may hate large crowds of people, yet our partner loves large social events; it is easy in the beginning to tell them how much we love being around people, but if this simply isn’t true it will become a source of contention at some point in the relationship. Of course we should always be open to new things and experiences, and it is highly suggested to use your relationship as a tool to push your comfort boundaries and grow as a person; however, if we know deep down something goes against who we are, its better to speak up now than wait until 1 year into a relationship to do so. People will often be forgiving of differences in opinion if we are up front, but they are not usually as kind when we try to impress early on and suddenly flip it around on them later on. You aren’t doing any favors for anyone when you hide who you are to impress someone else.
Mistake #2. Not being honest.
While not presenting your true self is definitely a form of dishonesty, other forms of dishonesty can be even more harmful to a long term relationship. Even the little white lies we tell to make someone feel better can come back to haunt us down the road. For example: telling your partner that you never dated a friend of yours might put them at ease for now, but if they ever learn the truth, their trust for you will be strained and they might wonder what you had to hide. It’s definitely easier to tell a small lie or withhold the full truth at times, but you should know that there is a good chance even the lies we tell to protect others will make them feel betrayed if they learn the real truth. Honesty is broad, but honesty includes: being your true self, not telling lies, not withholding information, not having a hidden agenda, and just being genuine and transparent in your actions.
Mistake #3. Not speaking your mind.
Its tempting to let things go, especially in the beginning of a relationship, but the things you sweep under the rug might spill out later on. When we feel new love or infatuation we often seek to maintain the good feelings, but avoiding all confrontation and communication will damn you down the road. If your partner is doing something wrong, or doing something that hurts you its better to let them know up front than to hold it in. A trait of an effective person is learning to let go of the small things, but learning to speak your mind and be upfront with your feelings can save a lot of grief, many times negative feelings are tied to a misunderstanding of intentions.
Keep in mind that the things about your partner that drive you crazy might be a conscious effort on their part to make you happy. Most people are not out to hurt you; people seek their own happiness and they don’t usually want to hurt others in the process. If you learn to approach your partners in a caring, affectionate, and non threatening way, you’ll often be surprised at how much they are willing to do for you. Remember though, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so be nice if you have an issue that you just can’t let be.
Mistake #4. Not getting to know a person deeply.
If you want to build a truly successful relationship, it’s important to really understand your partner. You need to understand their values, beliefs, priorities, past, and dreams. What we believe is a combination of the influences of others and our past experiences. It is important to really get to know someone, because it allows us a small glimpse into their world. For example: if we are messy it may be because we were raised in a messy home environment, to us messiness is nothing bad or out of the ordinary; however, our partner may have been raised in a freakishly clean environment where clutter is filth. When we look at what a person believes and holds as important we can try to make choices that will be more in alignment with what is important to them, hopefully they will do the same for us. If you don’t know what is important to your partner it’s going to be pretty hard to keep the relationship a happy one for long.
Mistake #5. Not objectively looking at compatibility.
Compatibility is real and it involves getting to know another person and their beliefs. If you have a very high priority that is in direct conflict with your partner’s priorities then you might have some big issues in your relationships. If you place importance on different aspects of life than your partner, then conflicts will often be never ceasing; Our beliefs and priorities are usually pretty rigid, and they don’t change without a lot of effort. For example: if your partner absolutely wants children and a family, yet you don’t want children of your own this is a MAJOR compatibility issue. Issues like wanting children should be the type of thing we find out early on in a relationship to avoid heartbreak in the future. Its often hard to consider these things objectively, especially when the infatuation is strong, but taking the time and effort to consider compatibility will make your relationships much happier. If a difference in opinion arises, ask yourself honestly if you can deal with this. Don’t expect your partner to change, though its possible they could, you either have to learn to live with the issue, or live without them.