Written By| Jamie Cabral
I have most certainly done my fair share of dating in just a quarter of a century of being alive, and let me tell you– high school really should have offered some sort of course on real world dating/love/relationships/life. It really is quite complicated.. not because it’s naturally complicated, but more so because as human beings we complicate the simplest of things and turn it into some sort of out of this world enigma. Why are we doing this crap? And after lots of dating and one failed relationship after another, we still don’t learn. We just continue to make things even more complicated and ruin our relationship even with the next go-around. Didn’t Albert Einstein say it’s insanity to repeat the same thing over and over again, and expect a different result? Duh. The man knew a thing or two, about a thing or two. So here’s a thing or two, or nine.. on what you need to stop doing wrong in your relationship before you end up permanently.. alone.
1. STOP HAVING IMPORTANT CONVERSATIONS VIA TEXT/EMAIL Put your cell phone down and have an adult conversation with your significant other FACE TO FACE. Yes, your face facing their face. Social media and our cell phones have turned us into socially awkward human beings who no longer know how to communicate effectively in person. Having serious conversations/arguments/whatever via text leaves far too much room for reading in between the lines and miscommunication.
2. NOT COMPROMISING You must realize you are NOT in a relationship with just yourself. It can not always be what you want and what makes you happy.. you are involved in a two person party. You don’t have to have all of the same interests or enjoy doing all of the same things, but you better be willing to go to that art exhibition in SOHO on Saturday night, that your boyfriend is excited about (even though you generally have zero interest in art) because on Sunday, you know he’ll sit through a three-hour Sunday brunch with you and your girlfriends as you chat about fashion and celebrity gossip, while sipping on your mimosas and boring him to near death. That’s a relationship. That’s compromise.
3. TRYING TO MAKE YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER JEALOUS Why people do this to people they care about is beyond me. When you’re out in public, don’t make your partner jealous, rather make other people jealous of your significant other! Don’t play flirty eye games with the person on the other side of the bar. Don’t check out the girl who is passing the two of you while walking down the sidewalk, that you are practically undressing her with your eyes. Of course it’s human nature to look at something that is attractive, but there’s a difference between looking and looking.
4. OVER ANALYZING EVERYTHING We’ve all done this at some point. Shit.. I mean i just did this at the beginning of the week myself! You dissect certain conversations that you had, looking for hidden meanings in something your significant other said, their body language, and so on.. before you know it, you’ve over analyzed something, that more than likely wasn’t even a problem in the first place, into some elaborate, heart shattering, teary eyed, complicated, non-existent mess. In other words, you are creating problems when their never was a problem to begin with. Stop making yourself look like a lunatic. Crazy is not cute.
5. NOT TRUSTING If this list was in order of importance, this would be number one. Relationships should be built on a solid foundation of respect and lots of TRUST. Unless the person you are with has ever given you a LEGIT reason to not trust them, take their word for it and trust they are doing what they say they are doing. I understand it’s sometimes easier said than done, especially if you’ve had past relationships where you’ve been lied to or cheated on, but your significant other shouldn’t have to deal with you being a distrustful, raging nut, thanks to your previous ex girlfriend that you found in bed with your roommate.
6. NOT ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE VULNERABLE This is the generation that has built something similar to the Great Wall of China around their heart. To be in a relationship, to fall in love, to experience all of the greatness that comes from a happy relationship, you’re going to have to tear down the massive walls you’ve built up. If you’ve experienced the pain of a real heartbreak, the thought of risking such a thing again is truly a horrifying nightmare. Do it. The risk is worth it.
7. NOT ACCEPTING FLAWS Perfection doesn’t exist. Your significant other isn’t completely flawless, and you sure as hell aren’t any better. You don’t have to love or even like a persons weird little flaws, but you need to learn to accept them.
8. GETTING LAZY Whatever you did to get the person you are with, you’re going to have to do ten times harder to keep them. Once we get settled in a relationship and comfortable with the person we are with, it’s as though we suddenly feel that we no longer need to try. We don’t have to try to impress them. We don’t have to stay in shape anymore. We don’t have to surprise them on occasion anymore with this or that like we use to when we first started dating them. We aren’t holding the car door open or calling randomly anymore to just say ” I was just thinking of you and wanted to say hi.” It’s the little things that keep the spark alive. Relationships require hard work.
9. NOT BEING HONEST WITH YOUR FEELINGS I found a quote the other day, I’m not exactly sure who said it, but they said it in such a simple way. “I wish people could just say how they feel like ‘Hey I really don’t like when you do that to me’ or ‘Hey I’m in love with you’ or “Hi I really miss you and I think about you all the time’ without sounding desperate. Why can’t everyone be painfully honest and just save people the trouble.” The art of being honest with your feelings is quite liberating and makes for a healthy relationship.