When I say need to avoid, I mean it. It’s the need of the hour. And this isn’t because I want you to be happy in your relationships. This is because I want you to be happy. Period. No because. I want you to have a sense of self and power, feel awesome about who you are and what your relationship contributes to you.
All this is coming from a woman who has been there, done that and yet believes so much in love and relationships. I know. I am hopeless like that 🙂
Now in my 40’s I am sharing what could possibly be suggestions or guidelines if you must, for personal mistakes that we all make in relationships of all kinds. I’d say this one blog casts a wider net and isn’t exclusive to special relationships (spouse/lover/live-in partner) but also includes friends, those connections-that-cannot-be-labelled, perhaps even family members. But yes, the focus is those special ones. The one we have a burning desire to spend our life with. So here goes.
Mistake #1: Asking how love should be expressed.
Giving love structure is a futile task. To put it into a box and ask it to be shown a specific way that you consider to be love, is the destruction of your relationship. What you want to feel as love isn’t always the other one’s language. There are 3 main ways to show someone you love them. All others are advanced versions or variations of these 3.
The trick here is to observe and understand how the other wishes to express it. In my case, I do all three because it is comfortable for me to do so. I have had relationships where the man is comfortable in either-or scenario and it’s fine. It bothered me a lot at first but then, these are mistakes I learnt from. If your language of love is money, service and expression, it isn’t going to be necessary that it’s the same with the other.[/highlights] Having a conversation about this openly would go great lengths in understanding where the other stands so you have clarity once and for all.
Mistake #2: Spend all of our time together and do everything together
No one likes a clingy person. And even if they find it endearing at first, at some point it becomes annoying. When women do not have their own life, their own friends, things to do, their own bucket list to complete, the partner becomes the source of everything and the centre of your universe. That is putting undue pressure on the other person to deliver for you constantly. No one likes to deliver without a choice. Get your own time out for yourself. Your “me-time”. Choose to do things that you and your partner do not have in common or maybe do and the other does not have time for it. Get time out with friends and family. Get to your hobbies and to-do list. Places to go list with friends. Time out for your own life. Communicate with your partner on what you both would love to do together. And honour that. But get on with your life otherwise. It does not mean you love the other any less. It means you are willing to love yourself as much as you love the other.
Mistake #3: Not following your own soul’s voice
We think that just because we are in love with someone and in a relationship with them, we trust that they know us better than we know ourselves or even know what is best for us. And even if your partner isn’t dictating that to you but you keep asking them “suggestions” or “advice”, you make it the gospel truth and follow it. No one will ever know you as you do, no one will know what’s best for you, sometimes not even yourself, forget your partner. So what use is your partner really then?
As your best friend, lover, they can be great sounding boards, people you trust that will suggest or open up possibilities and perspectives you didn’t see, be your personal coach and a rooter for your success, they can observe your behaviours and attitudes and bring them to your attention so you can choose something better for yourself. But seeking constant counsel, believing every word they say about you and for you as the truth, blaming them when things don’t go so well because you followed their advice are very disempowering positions to be in.
Mistake #4: Being the same-same couple
Yes, you have stuff in common, but you are not your partner. You may have common goals and dreams too but you are still not your partner. Their life path and yours is completely different. You are not twins. You may want to lose yourself in love and I completely cheer you on to do that. But don’t lose your identity. Don’t become a replica of the other and adopt everything they are, they do and they say as your own. It is often said in-jokes on long-time married couples that they even start to look and behave like brother and sister. Pretty incestuous line of thinking, but is true. Losing oneself in love is being totally vulnerable, open and willing to love wholeheartedly. It does not equal blurring boundaries, being a doormat and a copycat, and erasing your personality, likes and dislikes. So, you both are very different there, chalk and cheese perhaps. Keep that going strong. Don’t lose it. It adds so much more perspective, objectivity, possibility and choice to the relationship. Having differences should be welcomed and loving through it is wholehearted loving. Not being “oh we are so much the same, that’s why we love each other” … ho-hum, boring. What’s the point? I say. Opposites, tangents, weird and weirder are all welcome in the palace of love.
Mistake #5: Bending over backwards to a point of breaking
This is for both men and women. If you are an empath and most of my reading list is filled with them, there will be a tendency to put the loved one first. And since we have established earlier that we tend to make the other the source of our everything, putting them before us comes quite naturally without even realizing. So, putting them first here translates to doing things for them before we do them for us. Being protective and subservient to them, to a point of causing harm to ourselves. Letting them have their way and not setting boundaries. Now if you have a partner that is compassionate then there’s much greater hope of no self-abuse. But if your partner isn’t empath sensitive nor an empath themselves, it can set up a whole foundation for abuse without them even realizing it. They will keep crossing boundaries and you will keep allowing it.
Practising self-care is mandatory for any relationship to thrive. The willingness to say no when it feels too much or staying away when it’s feeling toxic or burdensome or even suffocating. Asking for time and space away from being together all the time that you seem to be managing them more than your own life. Self-care means always asking if you are truly and deeply willing to do what the other is asking. And that any kind of no from within should be honoured and expressed without a fear of losing them. If you do lose them on the basis of self-care and boundaries, congratulations, you just gained freedom and self-love and could do with a lifetime supply of that vs. who left you.
Mistake #6: Giving up on your career/education/growth
Just because you have someone to be with does not mean you give up on your career, dreams, goals and the impact you can create in the world. So many women I know sit back, put up their legs and live with unexplored potential for the rest of their lives. By all means, have kids and manage the family, but please also create something that is unique and individual to you. You are gifted and talented in an area that is your speciality and no one else in the world has that. If a job isn’t what you want then be an entrepreneur. Start something you’d love to contribute to the world. The joy that comes from being on the edge of creation is unparalleled. It will change you as a person and make you more grounded and attentive in your relationship with your loving partner. Fulfilling your needs on your own, you can contribute better to the relationship with a sense of being a happy person.[/highlights] A happy woman is a happy wife, a happy mother, happy daughter, etc… You get the idea.
Mistake #7: Judging the other and projecting onto them
We all have our days. Frustrations, setbacks, failures, shameful acts and words, guilt trips and probably something that triggered some old stuff too. We tend to use the nearest ones as a punching bag. We dump our anger, guilt, shame, blame, regret and everything else on them and judge them for not being able to deal with our tantrums. This is your partner. Not your trash basket. Please respect their contribution to you instead of taking a swipe at them every time something does not go your way. Get off the judgment panel and sort your own stuff out. The kindest thing would be to ask them if they can take some time for you so you can vent out your stuff. Let them know it’s got nothing to do with them and that you’d just like to be heard and may be held. Communicating exactly what is going on is key. In short. Take them for gratitude, not for granted.
Relationships can be your natural boosters. They can bring out the best in you and allow you to work on your worst. Use the relationship to evolve and make both of you the best versions of yourselves.Avoiding these 7 mistakes can take you a long way there. Experience love at its best and yourself in the process.
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