If your relationship is on its last leg, then this isn’t the article for you. You haven’t avoided the biggest mistakes in building a relationship. Instead, you’ve fallen head-over-heels into every relationship pothole you’ve come across. But if you’re just entering a fresh, new relationship, or you’re in the midst of one, read on.
Don’t Confuse Infatuation with Love
In order to avoid the biggest mistake in building a relationship, you must know the difference between love and infatuation. Being that love will be the foundation of your partnership, confusing it with those fluttery butterflies you get when the coupling is in its early days can be a death sentence. The heart-skipping whenever you receive a text message is puppy love, it’s the honeymoon phase, it’s infatuation. Real love is different.
Infatuation is obsession, and obsession inevitably dies once reality clears the floating hearts from your sight, and you know your partner through and through. Love, on the other hand, is wanting to stay with that person once you do know every little detail about them, loving that person for their many flaws, and working to build a lifetime together. Infatuation is easy. Love is work. But it’s worth it.
Do Keep the Flame Alive
This is not to say that you shouldn’t still feel infatuated with your partner once you’ve fallen in love – in fact, you should still smile when you receive their texts and feel butterflies every so often. But those butterflies and heart flutters may be few and far between, so you must put forth the effort to keep the flame alive. Instead of taking your partner for granted and allowing the relationship to nose-dive, feed the relationship to keep it healthy. Make it a point to spend quality time together. Do romantic things for each other. Have pet names and inside jokes. The little things are what keep a flame burning.
Do Bite Your Tongue
While it’s always best to be honest in a relationship, sometimes the bitter bickering and nagging can eat away at joy until there’s nothing left. Learn when it’s good to speak your mind and when it’s better to bite your tongue.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Anyone who’s been in a relationship for a certain period of time can develop a pet peeve about their partner…or many pet peeves. Whether it’s that she hogs the blankets or he snores like a drowning bull, instead of letting these quirks stack up and weigh on you, let them go. Working yourself up over the small things is just as much of a choice as forgiving them.
Do Fight Fairly
The best of times are easy. It’s the worst of times that can kill a relationship. And the way a couple fights can do even a good relationship in. You will fight. Every couple fights. But avoid one of the biggest mistakes in building a relationship by fighting fairly. Don’t repeatedly dig up old issues that have already been resolved. And don’t poke and prod the sore spots. You know where to hurt them most. Don’t ever do it.
Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs
If you can see the frays in your relationship, don’t ignore that it’s at its breaking point. Your girl doesn’t smile anymore when you get home? This is a warning sign. Your guy doesn’t include you in his plans? This isn’t working. Like a home, you’ve built this relationship, and you must maintain and even sometimes renovate everything from the foundation to the paint chipping on the walls in order for it to remain standing.
For more on how to build and maintain a relationship, read our article, “15 Ways to Keep Relationship Working.”
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