No matter how you slice it, the break up of any relationship almost always leaves at least one person asking, “How did this happen?”
The people who ask this question are the ones who fail to recognize the warning signs that point to a relationship in jeopardy. The reasons for which can range from being too involved in the relationship to being too detached.
As they say, hindsight is always 20/20 vision. The insight and wisdom you’ve gained, unfortunately, came in too late to do something about saving the relationship.
But that doesn’t have to be necessarily so, IF you are able to identify the problem in its beginnings and take the proper steps to address them.
So what are these warning signs? Below are some of the more common relationship mistakes that you should be aware of so that when they do come up, you’re in a better position to do something about it.
1. Cultivating false expectations.
Nobody is perfect, and yet, for some reason you may expect some people in your life to be just that. So when they don’t turn out to be the way you thought they should be, you become disappointed and wonder what you ever saw in them.
Now, it’s very likely, that you never meant to set the bar so high. But usually, this kind of expectation is set when the person in question is someone you regard very highly, and therefore idealize.
There is nothing wrong about thinking highly of someone, but remember, that they, just like you, are only human capable of making mistakes. So the earlier you incorporate this fact into how you see people and their relationship to you, the better you are at handling their shortcomings when they arise.
2. Assuming they will never change.
As the old saying goes, “The only constant thing in this world is change.” This applies to everything, including people. The person you now know may be totally different five years from now. This is because events and people in his/her life will affect how he/she is as a person. Whether you like it or not, the people in your life will go through changes and you should be prepared for that.
3. Leaving out interests and friends for that person.
Some people assume that for a relationship to grow strong, they need to focus all their attention and energy on that one person. Usually, what happens is that they lose time for other people in their lives, shutting them out.
This is about as bad a move as you can make for yourself. You are doubly at loss because the relationships that you’ve set aside feel abandoned while the one you’re focused on is experiencing a lot of strain. It will only be a matter of time when the person you’ve put so much time on will feel smothered and wants to take time off from you. When that happens, you’ll find that there is hardly anyone to catch you because you’ve left all the others out.
4. Conflicts are bad.
The next time you run into an argument, avoid the assumption that the relationship is immediately doomed. Remember that the other person is someone different from you and ultimately, will have a different set of opinions from yours.
Given this, there will be disagreements, but that does not mean that you cannot resolve it amiably. In fact, conflicts can help the two of you develop a deeper relationship with each other since you discover more things about that person. And as you work around these conflicts a deeper bond is formed.
5. Believing that you need a relationship to become a complete person.
Develop the attitude that you can stand on your own two feet and that you are complete regardless of whether you are in a relationship with someone or not.
Do not allow a hole within yourself expecting someone else to fill it for you. If you do, you go through life feeling incomplete, leaving you jaded and unsatisfied. Be in control of your needs and learn to be satisfied with who you are. Relationships are meant to enrich something that is already complete to begin with.
Being aware of these warning signs and taking the effort to change will save you a whole lot of disappointment and grief. You can only be a better person for it, which in turn, improves your relationships with others. And that leads to a fuller, more satisfying life for everyone concerned.