In this lesson, I’d like to talk about how to avoid long-term pitfalls in newer relationships.
Let’s say you have had some success in building a friendship or two, or dating, and you are building that relationship for the long-term. Fairly early on, you are building patterns that you will have years to come. Whether it is just a good friend or a dating situation, it’s good to think about those patterns so you can avoid the long-term pitfalls.
- Jealousy. If you start to get into a relationship filled with insecurities and jealousy, where you check on the person all the time and are always worried about who they look at and talk to, that is a pattern that will continue for years to come and lead to a lot of problems. You may have insecurities, but it is a mistake to develop them into the relationship.
- Insecurities. Work on your insecurities alone. You do not have to let them manifest in the relationship. Don’t Facebook stalk them or make them constantly check in with you. Avoid building patterns of insecurity and jealousy. Work on building trust in the relationship. If you have trust issues, work on that with your partner.
- Being passive-aggressive. This is when you want something, but don’t say you want it, and when you end up not getting it from your partner or friend, you start to make the person feel bad in a round about way. This is not a healthy pattern. If you feel like you want to do this or start doing it, stop yourself. Act like a rational, sane, secure person who does not need to do those kinds of things.
- Guilt-tripping the other person. Guilt-tripping is another common one. Maybe this pattern has been built up over past relationships or in the way you were raised, but you do not need to continue. Bite your tongue and stop yourself. Do the opposite. Accept them as they are. If they start to do that to you, nip it in the bud and stop that pattern from developing. Catch it early because it is a hard pattern to break after years of doing to each other.
- Being clingy. Needing to be with them all the time, always asking for attention, not giving them space. The other person feels like they can’t have any breathing room, and that you’re too needy. Don’t let yourself fall into this pattern, or if you are, take a breath, and step back a little. Let them miss you. Let them have a life separate from you. Find something you can do on your own and become whole without them. Then when you come together, you can both be whole together.
- Playing games. These are passive aggressive guilt-tripping games. If you are in a relationship with someone like this, nip it in the bud. Don’t allow this to continue. Get counseling to get out of the pattern. You may want to get out of the relationship if the other person does not know how to stop that. This is common in people who were raised with that or developed with another partner. It is not healthy in a relationship.
- Taking someone for granted. If you are not showing appreciation and you feel like you are taking them for granted, stop and show them that you care. Show that you appreciate them. This needs to be a two-way street. Why are you in a relationship if you do not appreciate how wonderful they are? Remind yourself to show appreciation. Have a gratitude session where you journal about what you are grateful for in your life, what you are grateful for about yourself, and the gratitude for the other people on your life. How can you show them that?
- Over-doing the gratitude. Over-display of affection that are over-the-top and are constant and never end. If it is so grad and crazy, it may put a lot of pressure on the person. Some people appreciate that and others don’t. In general, it is about finding a balance. Appreciate the person but not over-doing it.
- Violating trust. Don’t lie or hide things form the person. This doesn’t mean you need to share every single thing about yourself to the person. It does mean that you share enough and they can trust you. It should go both ways. If trust is violated, talk about it and show you care.
- Not revealing your authentic self. Not being able to be open with someone is related to trust. If you feel like you can’t share who you really are, because you need to be who they want you to be, you are in a pitfall. Talk to them and get to the point where you can really share who you are. You also want them to be open with you to the appropriate degree.
We can avoid all of these by developing good patterns early. I wish you the best in developing the friendships and romantic relationships that you want to develop. Take the information in these lessons and start to practice over the long-term! Your skills will improve, you will hopefully have less anxiety, and your confidence will develop.