Whether you’ve been married for several years or you’ve just started dating, chances are you’re making one of these five relationship mistakes that will take you from feeling like honeymooners to being “honey-moaners.”
Following the golden rule
Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you.
It’s practical wisdom and general instruction when teaching compassion and communication. But to really win in your romantic relationship, it won’t work. Instead, follow what Kenneth Benjamin calls The Platinum Rule, “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”
Treat your mate the way they want to be treated, not as you want to be treated. Let’s face it; if men are from Venus and women are from Mars, and I treat my husband the way I want to be treated he won’t be happy. Listen and learn to love your mate the way they desire.
Not saying what you (really) mean
Kids still say the darndest things, but they rarely ever say something they don’t mean. Innuendo and inference are learned behaviors. Once my son and I were getting out of my aging car and he asked when I would get a new one. I responded, “I’m going to drive this thing until the wheels fall off.” To which he replied, “But you’ve had the tires changed hundreds of times.”
When you don’t say what you mean, for fear of rejection or simply out of sarcasm, you send mixed messages that are difficult to decode. And ladies, trust me, your man is not going to play this game very long, even if he has the special decoder ring. Be clear, concise, and direct in your communication. It’s much easier than you think.
Related Post: 3 Communication Tips to Get What You Need from Family
Playing the guessing game
When I was a kid I had a habit of shutting down when I was upset or hurt. Not because I didn’t want to share or talk about my issues. But it made me feel valued when someone spent time and effort to pull it out of me. It was my way of getting the attention I desired.
Don’t do this with your mate. He/she will tire easily and leave you upset with your face cracked and your feelings hurt when they stop guessing and move on. I refer you back to #2 in this list of relationship mistakes.
Caring too much
How can one care too much in a relationship, you ask? Very easily. You can care too much about the wrong thing. If you give too much credit to what people outside your relationship say or think it has negative impacts. The most important opinions and views of the relationship belong to the people in it. Caring too much about the feelings and opinions of others can send the message that you care too little about the opinions and feelings of your significant other.
Acting a donkey
And I don’t mean a display of over the top behavior. There’s a saying about what assuming does to you and me. Don’t be an ass.
My favorite quote is by George Bernard Shaw. He states “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” When you assume the other person knows and understands your message and intent you are taking a huge risk.
In the movie Philadelphia, Denzel Washington’s character repeatedly states to his clients, “Explain it to me like I’m a fourth grader.” He’s really saying don’t assume I understand what you mean. Don’t assume your mate gets it, even if you feel like he/she should.
These five relationship mistakes can turn a good one bad, and make a bad relationship dead. When you stop making these communication mistakes you can begin to experience meaningful change with your partner almost immediately.
What relationship mistakes have you made? How did you fix them?