We’ve all been there before, head over heels in love and sure our partner is “the one”. We spend every waking moment together and dream about what the future will bring. We’re sure this is the deepest love we’ve ever felt. And then the day comes when the relationship doesn’t work out. Those breakups can be the most painful and often leave us asking ourselves, “what happened?”
When you’re young, it can be easy to commit the biggest relationship mistake in the dating world: Thinking love is enough to sustain a relationship. Patty Smyth had it right when she sang, “Baby, sometimes love just ain’t enough.” But don’t worry. You’re not alone. Everybody experiences this relationship mistake at one time or another. It’s all part of learning more about ourselves.
How to Avoid the Biggest Relationship Mistake
Maybe you’re thinking, how can the biggest relationship mistake be thinking that love is enough? What more could a relationship possibly need? The answer is: plenty. When you rely on love alone to sustain your relationship, it can be easy to forget about some other very important factors. But don’t worry, we’re going to take a look at just what’s missing from these relationships.
Trust provides the solid base upon which relationships are built. Both partners must be committed to creating trust in order for it to work. It takes time and effort to create a trusting relationship. A relationship has trust when partners: listen to each other, show mutual respect, avoid controlling each other’s actions, and resolve problems in a healthy way. 
Along with trust, having understanding in your relationship is more important than having love. The longer you’re in a relationship, the more your partner (and you!) will develop and change as a person. This means that even your personal needs will change and having understanding for your partner helps you accept those changing needs. 
Part of avoiding the biggest relationship mistake is making sure you have constant respect for your partner. Remembering that both you and your partner’s feelings and values are important is crucial for maintaining respect and a healthy relationship.  Showing this respect during inevitable arguments is just as important.
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: communication is key. Communication is more than just talking, it involves listening, too. It involves knowing that you can express your feelings without criticism, feeling that you are being listened to, and trusting that your needs will be met in the relationship. 
Be Able to Spend Time Apart
Wanting to spend all your time with the person you love is perfectly natural. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly the healthiest thing you can do in a relationship. It’s important to remember to be yourself and enjoy spending time with yourself as well. This helps you retain your self-identity. You are not his/her boyfriend/girlfriend – you are you. If you or your partner need to spend time alone or with other friends, it’s important to be supportive of this decision.  Being able to spend time apart helps counteract the biggest relationship mistake.
What if you decide to give up your office job and pursue painting? Would you want a partner who supports you in that decision? Probably so. Unconditional support lets your partner know they can always rely on you. You can always feel confident that the other person is interested in your hopes and dreams.  Support makes you feel safe on an emotional and physical level.
Featured photo credit: SplitShire via pexels.com
|Strategic Psychology: Importance of Trust in a Relationship
|Psychology Today: Couples Need This Even More Than Love
|Love Is Respect: Healthy Relationships
|Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence: What Is a Healthy Relationship?
|Huffington Post: 7 Ingredients of a Healthy Relationship
|Huffington Post: 6 Phrases More Important Than, “I Love You”