10 Most Common Relationship Mistakes to Avoid

Updated on December 16, 2017
Kaitlyn Lo profile image

Kaitlyn has a background in psychology and writes articles that teach you how to lean on your body, mind, heart, and on those around you.

While maintaining a successful romantic relationship isn’t the only avenue towards happiness in life, having a healthy romantic relationship has been proven in studies to be beneficial to our physical and mental health. If your relationships aren’t working out as well as you would like, you could be making some of these common relationship mistakes.

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid For a Successful Long-Term Relationship

By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons.
By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

1. Not knowing when to protect boundaries

When you’re in an intimate relationship with another person, it’s normal to feel comfortable enough to share your deepest, darkest secrets with each other. And that’s a great thing. As long as you make sure that you can trust each other with your secrets. That includes never telling your partner’s secrets or airing dirty laundry to your best friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. The guilt, anxiety, and paranoia that may arise from spreading gossip just isn’t worth it and can cause irreparable tension in your romantic and platonic relationships.

2. Not taking your partner for granted often enough

It’s a good idea to be independent and avoid inconveniencing your partner if you can do something without help, but it’s also important to rely on each other at times as well. Feeling like you’re needed can provide a much-needed confidence boost, and being able to do something for the person you love will help strengthen emotional bonds.

3. Taking your partner for granted too often

While it’s healthy to take your partner for granted sometimes, going overboard can erode a relationship. How often do you say “please” or “thank you”? If you say “please” or “thank you” to strangers, why do we often forget to do that for the people we love? That’s just one example of how you can show your appreciation during your day-to-day interactions with each other, but the point is to make sure you continue to show appreciation, affection, concern, and interest through the little things. You don’t have to bake a big “thank you” or “I love you” cake every time you want to express your feelings.

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By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons.
By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

4. Resorting to passive-aggressiveness

Aggressive behavior is toxic to any relationship. This includes passive-aggressiveness. Passive aggressiveness is a type of indirect hostile behavior that can include but is not limited to, implied insults, sulky attitude, stubbornness, or deliberately not fulfilling your responsibilities. You may think that it’s better to avoid direct conflict with your partner, but you would be closing off the door to communication and creating many more opportunities for further misunderstandings down the road.

So if you realize that you tend towards passive-aggressive behavior, you should reflect on the problems that are bothering you so you can discuss them openly with your partner.

5. Complaining about your partner to those around you instead of talking to your partner

There are situations where you’ll feel more comfortable talking about your relationship problems with your friends, family members, your dog - basically anyone but your partner. The problem is, it’s often healthier to approach your partner about your issues directly. If you’re not telling your partner about what’s bothering you, how will they know what they need to do to solve it? Also, if you continue to complain about your relationship problems to people who can’t solve the problem for you, repeatedly going over negative ideas about your partner will make those negative aspects appear more serious over time, and you may become blind to their positive qualities.

6. Always being insecure about your relationship or constantly questioning it

Do you always obsess over every tiny expression, every change in tone, watching for signs or evidence that your partner could be losing interest? Are you scared that you would say or do something wrong that could ruin the relationship? If you’re constantly questioning your relationship, it means that you doubt whether the relationship will last. This doubt can translate into how you act around your partner, and you may cause a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t believe the relationship is the real deal, then it won’t become the real deal.

So be confident in your relationship. If there are no major red flags or glaring problems, trust the positive signs and enjoy yourself.

It’s important not to fall into a hopeless mindset where any minor disagreements become a reflection of irreparable flaws in the relationship.

7. Not believing in and supporting your partner enough

In a long-term relationship, you will go through individual hardships, challenges, and other obstacles. It’s during those times that your support is the most needed, but it’s also when both of you may be feeling the most stressed. When it seems like the entire world is against your partner, it becomes crucial that you believe in and support them so they can overcome their hardships. While it can be tempting to run away and let your partner deal with their problems alone, providing support will strengthen your bond and will help you grow as a couple.

8. Giving up on the relationship too quickly

You will also encounter problems unique to being in a relationship along with your individual challenges. These relationship problems could include differences in values, personality, lifestyle, misunderstandings, and even infidelity. It is also easier, in these situations, to choose to walk away and end the relationship. But a strong relationship is built on learning how to overcome difficulties together. While I’m not suggesting that you should stay after being cheated on, it is, however, important not to fall into a hopeless mindset. When you feel hopeless about your relationship, any minor disagreements will become a reflection of irreparable flaws in the relationship, and anything that is even slightly less than perfect could make you think that the relationship just isn’t “meant to be.”

Focus on the good and understand that it’s normal for a relationship to encounter problems and to go through ups and downs. Understand that it’s NOT normal for a relationship to be perfect all the time.

9. Not prioritizing your partner and your relationship enough

If you find yourself spending much more time at your job, with your friends, and other engagements instead of spending time with your partner, you could be under-prioritizing your partner and your relationship with them. Of course, you need a life outside of your romantic relationship, but there is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained.

At social events, if you find that you habitually leave your partner to mingle with others, it’s likely that your partner is feeling snubbed, rejected, or undervalued. Even if your partner doesn’t admit it, taking time to prioritize your romantic relationship and your partner on a regular basis will make them feel more appreciated. Learning to fit your romantic partner into your life is crucial for a successful relationship.

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10. Getting too comfortable in the relationship

Relationships can be a wonderful place of refuge, but they’re also a lot of work. Sometimes you just want to throw on your worn out but super comfy pair of sweatpants and pass out after a long day at work, but you have to make an effort to dress up for your promised night out with your partner. When you’re not happy about something, you have to make an effort to find a more tactful and loving way to express how you feel.

So, while feeling comfortable with your relationship and your partner is a great sign that you’re secure in your relationship, getting too comfortable can be detrimental to the long-term health of your relationship.

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By picjumbo.org. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

© 2017 KV Lo


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    • profile image

      Vox 3 weeks ago

      You’re right; you need to rely on your partner as a resource, but so much that he or she doesn’t have any time to do other things. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Cassie 4 weeks ago

      This is a great post! This could be helpful to so many couples. #2 and #3 are so important and I feel like people forget to do these things too often. I enjoyed this read!

    • profile image

      Zedric Earl Ramada 4 weeks ago

      Very interesting and worth-reading.

      I can relate at how people struggle to overcome no. 10.

      Personally, i admire people who treat their partners as their bestfriends. I believe that in times as we grow older, eventually we will find ourselves not in that romantic passion anymore. What important is to maintain a good partnership with presence of transparency, dignity and respect.

    • Kaitlyn Lo profile image

      KV Lo 5 weeks ago

      @dashingscorpio Yes, that's very true. It's so important to keep being flirty and as you said: "maintain a fire" in a long-term relationship. The idea that flirting, romance, and "passion" is only reserved for the courtship phase explains why so many are reluctant to stick around or claim "commitment issues". Not all long-term relationships are boring, and nor should they be.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 weeks ago

      Great advice.

      In my opinion #3 and #10 are the silent killers of many relationships. As one adage goes:

      "We treat the (new) better than the tried and true."

      For a lot of people "real love" is when they get to slack off or stop putting in the effort to do the things that won their mate's heart without the fear of him or her leaving them.

      The flirting with each other stops, the wet kisses dry up, no more taking showers/bubble baths together, no candlelight dinners at home, surprise token gifts and cards "just because", or going for walks and holding hands...etc

      They reserve that for the courtship/infatuation phase only. Essentially if their relationship ends they go back to doing all those things with a {new person} until their mate is emotionally invested in them to form a commitment.

      It's almost a cliché to hear someone say:

      "He/she is not the same person I fell in love with."

      It's easier to maintain a fire than it is to reignite a spark!