I think it’s safe to say, everyone loves love, whether you’re all about commitment or prefer to fly solo. The initial stages of a relationship can have you feeling like you’re on cloud 9 - the excitement, the butterflies, the attention, you know the feeling! However, once the “honeymoon" phase” has worn off and some time has passed, reality kicks in and certain relationship pitfalls can land you in hot water if you don’t know how to navigate them.
Making a relationship last for the long haul can be incredibly difficult! People naturally evolve and change and, unfortunately, sometimes, they aren’t able to do it together. That said, relationships are a choice and, while severing ties can be healthy in many instances, if you’re both in it to win it, playing for keeps can still be done.
Here are some relationship landmines to steer clear of on the path to forever.
Living in Absolute Certainty
Certainty is the end of a good relationship in most cases. Certainty leads to taking people for granted and that leads to increased friction and, ultimately, a break may occur.
Acknowledging and accepting change is important (even if it leads to the end of a relationship). It will help you appreciate your significant other more and see them as someone to continue to fight for.
The secret to a healthy and long-lasting love is actually somewhat simple, but it requires each party to being fully accountable for their role. When it comes to conflict, couples often focus on how their significant other has wronged or hurt them. The sooner people learn that the only thing they can change is themselves, the better off they’ll be.
Without work from both sides it is almost impossible to fix a relationship. Getting couples to see the problem as something they both created, and not just making it about the other person, is one of the first aspects of relationship I attempt to change.
Ignoring Love Languages
Knowing the little things that your partner responds to - touch, words of affirmation, quality time, thoughtful acts, etc. — is pretty crucial in keeping things healthy and happy over time.
The language you most respond to is also the vehicle in which you express your love. If you don’t know what the other person responds to, you give what you want. In doing so, however, you slowly lose understanding of your partner, which can lead to a disconnect.
Attacking Each Other Instead of the Problem
If you continuously attack each other, you’re slowly stripping your partner of their dignity. Put your issues on the table and keep your focus on that. If you just throw a bandage on top of a dirty wound, it’s not going to heal correctly or fully. It’s when you pour the antiseptic solution on the wound that it’s purified and can heal well.
For instance, lack of communication is a popular pitfall in long-term relationships. It’s not about ‘We don’t know how to communicate’; What they should be asking is, ‘What did we lose in the communication process?’ and ‘When did I stop feeling safe?’ It gets deeper and what is actually lost is safety.
At the end of the day, relationships — no matter how healthy or peaceful — are work. You have to be game to put your all in if you’re running toward the finish line.
Relationships are not 50/50, they should be 100 percent. Always bring 100 percent of yourself.
If you live in the Los Angeles/Westlake Village area and are interested in therapy, I invite you to contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org . I provide a complimentary consultation. Contact me now to see if we might be a good fit to work together! Or book your appointment now!