There’s no denying the fact that relationships are hard, even in the best circumstances and under optimal conditions. However, there are ways that you can make any relationship more successful, and that’s through avoiding the following mistakes that most people have been guilty of in their lives.

1. Making comparisons between your significant other and past partners

This is one of the biggest mistakes in the book. Not only is the ‘grass is always greener’ unrealistic, it’s incredibly unfair on your partner. They are who they are and they will never be anybody else. How would you feel if you found out that they were comparing you to somebody else, especially an ex? In addition to how horrible this is, it can also lead to cheating. Firstly, because you may get frustrated and go looking for someone who fits the bill. Secondly, because your partner will feel unwanted and go looking for acceptance and intimacy somewhere else. If you want them to be someone other than who they are, you shouldn’t be with them.

2. Staying silent when you’re uncomfortable or unhappy about something

No matter how solid your relationship is, your partner will annoy or upset you at some point. That’s okay, you’ll undoubtedly do the same to them. The problems come when you don’t say anything about it. This doesn’t mean that you should automatically scream them down; instead, you should simply mention it to them. If you don’t, you may let the issue stew inside of you until you start acting erratically, and by then your partner will have no idea why they’re suddenly in trouble. People can’t know if there’s a problem unless you tell them, so give your significant other the benefit of the doubt and let them know if something is bothering you.

3. Not being honest about who you are from the start

This behavior is unfair to both you and your partner, because if you do this, your whole relationship will be based on a lie. They thought you were a certain type of person and subsequently decided to commit to you. Do you really want to continue acting for the rest of your life? Do you think that’s even possible? Most importantly, don’t you want to be loved for exactly who you are? A relationship built on such lies simply cannot last, and certainly won’t be happy.

4. Asking too many questions and being distrusting

Constantly questioning your partner on their whereabouts and not trusting them is one of the fastest ways to destroy a relationship. You may be in a couple, but you’re both still individuals who have a right to your own lives. Just because they may spend time away from you doesn’t mean they’re cheating or doing anything suspicious. Asking too many questions can be both irritating and insulting to your significant other. Acting in such a fashion also has the potential to escalate into spying, even if it’s just texts and Facebook messages. Snooping may seem harmless, but it’s rude, invasive and unfair. If you distrust your partner when they haven’t given you a reason to, you need to look to yourself for what the problem may be.

5. Becoming overly clingy

This is another issue that relates to the one above. If you feel like you have to be with someone 24/7 then there’s a issue, and it’s not likely to be with them. Both you and your partner need time away from each other. As previously mentioned, you’re individuals and you need to act like it. Clinging to a person constantly will get old quickly and you may find your partner getting bored or irritated with you. Let them have a chance to miss you.You want to be able to enjoy your time together, not resent it. On a related note, never get a joint Facebook or email account. There are two of you—behave like it.

6. Being in a relationship just to avoid being alone or bored

This is one of those selfish moves that most of us have probably made at some point or another. Like so many of these mistakes, it’s unfair to both yourself and your partner. They aren’t being loved for who they are and are potentially missing out on meeting someone who will. Do you really want to do that to them? The same goes for yourself. What if you met your soul mate whilst you were already in a relationship you didn’t care that much about? I can also guarantee that at some point, your significant other will find out. Relationships can be sensitive and you’d be surprised at what people can sense beneath the surface. Being alone can be difficult, but it’s not worth hurting people just because you want something to do on a Saturday night.

7. Letting money become a problem

If you’re in a committed relationship, particularly one that involves living together, money has the potential to become a serious issue. This is often because people are used to being financially independent. Both you and your partner need to remember that you’re financially connected now, and that means that you both need to know about each others spending habits, as well as your financial history. This may sound a little invasive, but you need to be able to trust each other with money. Keeping financial secrets from one another, such as large loans or credit card debts can lead to a lot of trouble once they come out. Not only can it incite distrust, but it can also put a lot of stress on both yourself, your partner and your relationship.

8. Not having sex anymore

Regardless of what some people say, sex is an incredibly important factor of a relationship. Yes, it will fade with old age, but if you’re still decades away from that point then there’s a problem. If you and your significant other aren’t intimate anymore, you need to ask yourself why. Have one or both of you gotten a little lazy, is the sex becoming boring or is there a deeper issue at play? If you know you truly love each other, put a bit more effort in. Not bothering with sex can lead your relationship down a dark and dangerous road—you both have needs after all. Perhaps spice things up by shaking up your usual sexual routine or try opening up to your partner about your fantasies. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

9. Becoming lazy in the romance department

Speaking of sex, it’s possible that it’s faded due to a lack of romance occurring within the relationship. People can often become too comfortable with their significant other and forget to bother with romance or making each other feel special. This doesn’t necessarily restrict you to unaffordable dinners and dozens of expensive roses though. Personally, I would find a PS4 game far more appealing than a bouquet. Romance, like people, comes in all shapes and sizes, and isn’t restricted to the ladies. Men like surprises too. Pay attention to what you partner enjoys and think of ways to incorporate it into your relationship—whether it be through a date or an unexpected gift. Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune. Even a picnic with their favorite foods in the lounge room, or a walk along the beach can be a nice change for a relationship.

10. Being too distracted by your devices

This is something that most of us have been guilty of at some point in time. Being constantly attached to your phone, laptop or iPad can be extremely detrimental to your relationship. Your partner can be left feeling unimportant and not worth your time if you’re always glued to a screen when you spend time together. Put down your device and start spending some quality time with your significant other. They deserve it.

11. Not being open and honest about things

This last point can be directly to almost all of the above. If there’s an issue, you have to be able to talk to your partner. You can’t be too scared or distrustful to be open and honest with your partner. Most of the time when there’s a secret, they will eventually find out or at least detect that you’re hiding something. This can do serious damage to a relationship and sow permanent seeds of distrust.

If you want a happy relationship, read this: 12 Powerful Habits of Happy Relationships

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