Getting to know a new person is one of the most exciting times in a relationship, but can also be the least honest. In the race to ‘win’ we sometimes can find ourselves doing exactly what the other person wants us to do, rather than being our true selves. Here are a few of the most common mistakes couples can make when playing the dating game.
Lack of communication – This is the number one relationship killer. You can’t talk with someone or expect that you are being heard while the TV is on, or the computer is sitting on your lap, or you are checking the latest Twitter feed. If you find that it’s time to talk, make an appointment with each other that doesn’t include kids, phones, TV’s or the internet.
Learn how to communicate effectively – Shouting doesn’t help anything, and will only make things worse. Allow your partner to finish their thought and do not interrupt; always insist on the same respect. Do not start a sentence with “You never” or “You always”. No one ever ‘always’ does something, so don’t exaggerate to make a point. Make eye contact while the conversation is occurring, don’t stare out of the window or act uninterested. When your partner finishes their comments, make sure to let them know that you understand their point. If things get too heated, walk away for a while and let thing cool down before continuing the conversation.
Know when to drop it – Someone once told me “never go to bed mad”. What a bunch of hooey! There’s nothing more aggravating than a partner who won’t let you go to bed at two in the morning because they want to keep arguing. Sometimes letting it go overnight will allow you both to see that in the light of day, the problem was not as dire as you thought.
Get some professional help – At some point you may realize that neither of you are seeing the others side of the issue; this may be the time to enlist professional help. A third party who is not related in any way to either partner can hear both sides objectively, and can help you to see through the red haze of anger.
Communication is the most important part of every relationship; without communication we cannot know how the other side feels or what they are thinking. Never submit to a person or relationship that is hurtful; this pertains to emotional pain as well as physical.