The beginning of a new relationship can be one of the most wonderful experiences. Everyone is on their best behavior. We wear our best clothes, we speak in our best voice, and we do whatever it takes to ensure our significant other knows how much we love them. Now, I would say somewhere around 2 to 5 months into our relationship, our evil twin shows up. You know, the one you hide in the closet until the coast is clear. That's when we turn into "Jekyll and Hyde" and wonder what happened to our lovely, new romance?
Well, let's be honest. Every last one of us has a side to us that we try to hide long enough so that we can make a great first impression. I haven't met one person who doesn't have both positive and negative qualities about them, particularly when it involves interacting with other people. I believe the key here is how we have managed them in our lives.
For example, if you have a lot of anxiety about relationships, then how have you managed your anxiety so that it doesn't impact your mate? If you are afraid of being hurt, then how have you reduced your fear enough to have a loving relationship? Managing these qualities and minimizing their impact, especially the negative ones, is key to having a long lasting relationship.
With that being said, I do want to identify a few specific things I see people do over and over that will destroy a great relationship (almost each and every time). Almost all of them are due to deep-seated fears and anxieties in which the person is projecting outwards in the relationship. This not an all-inclusive list, just a few things I've been noticing with my clients that I wanted to bring to your attention too. Below, I have listed six things that can easily ruin a great relationship.
1. Having Sex Much Too Soon
I think if there was one area in which I would warn new lovers, this would be it. I know you love the person and cannot stand to be without this person but just think about how nice it would be if you just waited until at least you knew his or her last name and their favorite color! I see so many young couples have sex too soon and one of them, usually the woman, later have regrets because the relationship changed shortly afterwards. If you didn't get to know the person well enough before sex, then this certainly isn't going to happen after you've exchanged bodily fluids. Sex is a wonderful experience to share but only with those who have earned your trust. A good tip is to treat your body the way you treat your money. If you don't just give away your money to people, then why would you give away something even more precious-your body?
2. Telling Your Partner What to Do All the Time (Aka Being Bossy!)
Okay, so I know Beyonce and others have started the campaign to ban bossy from our repertoire of English words to use but try to bear with me for a minute while I make this point. It's never really a good idea to boss anyone around because you'll be seen as being too controlling. But this is especially true with men. The fastest way to end the relationship is to constantly tell a man what to do. When women do this to men in relationships, they emasculate them. And an interesting thing happens, she starts to assume the more dominant, masculine role, which women complain they never really wanted in the first place. Once you set this precedent in a relationship, it's really hard to change it. Why not take a note from the "ban bossy" campaign and ban it from your own relationship altogether.
3. Being Too Nice To Your Partner All the Time (Aka. Being A Doormat!)
If you didn't notice, this is almost the opposite of telling your mate what to do. Here, you are essentially giving your partner everything they ask of you. You may ask what would be the issue here. Actually, being nice to the one you love is not a bad thing. It's being too nice that it's the problem. You know, your partner says jump and you ask how high. You do everything they say without hesitation. You believe everything they tell you without thinking for yourself. When you allow yourself to become a doormat for someone, you begin to lose your own identity. You are a unique, individual person with his or her own thoughts and opinions and a great relationship would allow you to share those thoughts and opinions. Interestingly enough, your partner needs you to have your own identity and challenge them when they are wrong rather than agreeing with them or believing everything they say without appropriate feedback. This is what helps to build a strong, long lasting relationship.
4. Not Being Very Supportive
This is an area I've seen in long-term relationships or marriages where one person gets so busy with their own lives that they neglect how the other person is feeling or doing in their life. They become like "two ships passing in the night." Alternatively, let's say one person has a long-term dream and wants to pursue it and the other person in the relationship isn't very supportive of it. Usually, this conflict doesn't show up right away but slowly builds over time and when the lack of support becomes a problem for one of the partners, they may start to seek outside help from an unwanted source (aka the other woman or man).
5. Not Having a Life Outside Of The Relationship (Aka Being Clingy!)
This usually happens to young lovers, particularly teens to mid-20-year-olds. Love is a fresh and new experience to them at this time and they usually obsess about it a lot. Of course, I've seen women in their later years obsess about it as well but I believe when you're older you have more obligations and responsibilities so you have less time to be clingy. Nevertheless, the time when you should really have a life (or get busy) is when you're in a relationship. This may sound odd but you should focus on getting a life so you don't overwhelm the other person. People need their space and the more time you spend with them, especially excessive, the more time you will suffocate them. I know this can be unintentional but try to have outside activities you do with your family and friends away from your mate. This way when you do spend time with him or her, you'll always have a fresh and interesting perspective to come back and share with them.
6. Not Being True To Yourself Or Your Partner
Honesty is always the best policy in a relationship. This entails being honest to yourself, to your partner and about that relationship. If the relationship is a "dud," it may be time to be honest with yourself and let it go. If there is something bothering you about your partner and you haven't said anything, maybe it's time to have that talk with him or her. You would only be hurting yourself and eventually your relationship if you did not communicate your feelings to your mate. Alternatively, maybe you are not being who you are in that relationship for fear of hurting the other person or fear that the person may want to leave you. Either way, you are denying who you are and you cannot sustain this for a long period of time. In a great relationship, a person should be able to express themselves fully while also feeling comfortable to be open with their partner as well.
Listen, I am the biggest champion for new and existing relationships. I want to see two people be successful in love. That's why I wanted to come up with my top six list of things I've seen people do to destroy their relationships so your relationship (or your next one!) will survive. Please don't feel bad if you've read this list and checked off a few boxes that you know you've done in your past to destroy your relationship. We've all been there and done that! Just learn and grow from that experience. As the great American author, poet and writer, Maya Angelou says, "when you know better...you do better..." Good Luck!
For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services here. Please do follow me on twitter or on Facebook to find out the release of my new book Live Love Aspire!
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