1. Not knowing when to apologize and shut up. Sometimes it really is your fault, so accept it, own it, and move on. Dwelling on a point, arguing, or over-explaining does no one any good. In the same line, if your partner messes up, accept the apology and LET IT GO.
2. Keeping score.
“I did the dishes three times two weeks ago, you only did them once last week.”
“You got a new video game this month, why didn’t I get something?”
It’s never going to be completely even, things ebb and flow. Both sides should feel like they’re getting a fair shake overall but if you keep track of every little thing (even if it’s just in your head, I don’t necessarily mean like an actual list) it’s just going to guarantee that somebody is always “losing”. It’s not a competition.
3. Not speaking up the first, second, or third time your partner does something that bothers or harms you or makes you uncomfortable, etc. The longer you wait before saying something, the more ingrained it will become for them and the more likely you will fly off the handle over it later.
4. Lie. Don’t do it. The uncomfortable situation you avoid now is far better than what’s down the line.
5. Being unhappy before a relationship and going into one thinking it will make you happy.
6. “Things fall apart if you don’t look after them.” – Professor Langdon in Inferno. It’s easy to get so comfortable in a relationship that you take it (or the other person) for granted.
7. Not being able to communicate. You need to be able to voice when you are hurt without them taking it as an attack. You need to be able to hear your partner.
8. Labeling your partner the source of all your happiness and joy.
9. Trying too hard to avoid potential arguments to avoid conflict rather than hashing it out before the issue becomes too big to handle.
10. Assuming your partner should know what you want if they love you.
11. Ignoring blazing red flags. Like holy hell, my ex had some and I gave them the benefit of the doubt. And I ignored them. I dumped him when it all came to light.
12. You should be putting more work into your relationship at 3-5 years+ rather than just in the beginning.
13. Changing everything about you to fit the relationship. Eventually, it ruins everything.
14. Focusing on the bad days. Guess what? Fairytale relationships are just that. Fairytales. In real relationships, we fight, we argue, we scream, we stomp our feet, we throw ice-cream on them, we have worse days and we have better days. Don’t measure your relationship by something you see in a movie or read in a book. Don’t let the bad days define your relationship. Revel in the good days. Enjoy them like they were your last.
15. It’s not 50-50. It’s not give and take. If each of you is putting in 50% of the effort in everything then you’re both going to fall short. Instead, every time try giving it your 100%. Obviously, this is supposed to be mutual and goes both ways. And this is where communication comes into play. Live each day with the intention of making your partner proud.
16. Laugh. Make each other laugh. Crack jokes. Fart. I don’t know… whatever floats your boat. Laugh and laugh often. Be the reason for their joy. My favorite sound in the world is the sound of my wife laughing at my jokes.
17. Overthinking and second-guessing everything to the Nth degree.
18. Your SO is not your mother/father. If you cannot take care of yourself on your own, maybe you shouldn’t try to have a relationship with someone.
19. Loving someone in your love language and not theirs.
20. I’ve always heard “Don’t go to bed angry”. Don’t take that advice. Most times, you’re both tired and it’s late. Sleep on it and continue the conversation the next day.
21. It’s not you vs. me, it’s us vs. the problem. You are a team.
22. There is no perfect person out there for you. There are only people who are easier or harder to live with. No one is so perfect that they don’t have any quality that annoys you, even if it’s that they have no bad habits and that makes you feel guilty about your own.
23. Support each other in public. You’re a team, and teammates on winning teams don’t trash each other.
24. Don’t fight over stupid shit. Let things slide off your back if they aren’t really important. And if your SO insists on escalating fights over silly things, that person should not be your SO.
25. Neglecting their friends in a relationship.
26. Seeing your partner too much or too little.
27. Treating dating as a game you’re supposed to win instead of playing just for the fun of it.
28. The inability to appreciate the fullness of what your partner is communicating because your mind is crowded with thoughts – the result of being self-absorbed instead of encouraging mutuality in the relationship.
29. Co-dependency. You have to be comfortable with yourself and you need your own interests, goals, and desires separate from your partner. Invest in yourself first!
30. Not listening and being defensive. When your partner is upset about something you do, really listen to them. Resist the urge to always defend yourself. Take a pause. Evaluate and try to understand how something is making them feel.