love jar

There is no doubt that being in a relationship can be a wonderful thing. A partner can provide support during the worst times, and someone to share the good times with. Finding and keeping a relationship is more of a challenge, and so here is a selection of some of the biggest and most common mistakes which cause relationships to fail.

Being too desperate

This is a very old relationship mistakes, but like all classics, it keeps showing up. Whenever you begin to feel desperate to find a relationship, take a moment to consider what it is that you are actually looking for. Wanting to be in a relationship is a very different thing to wanting to be in a relationship with a specific person. This really does need to be stressed. When people get too obsessed with the idea of merely being in a relationship, they have a tendency to throw themselves at the first remotely available person they come across.

Stop. Breathe a moment. There is no need to rush into a relationship. For a start, the best partners will be put off by anyone who comes across as desperate. Starting a relationship with anyone just to be in a relationship is usually a recipe for disaster – you need to give yourself and your potential partner the space to discover if you are actually a good fit for each other if you want the relationship to last.

Repeatedly picking Mr/Ms Wrong

This one is very easy to team up with the above mistake. The wrong people will love the desperation thing, because it gives them an almost instant hold over you.

Don’t get me wrong, absolutely anyone can fall into one of these relationships. This is because early on in a relationship Mr/Ms Wrong can be very attentive, and in the early stages of a relationship everyone drops their guard a little. So don’t automatically assume that being in a bad relationship once means that you are making a mistake.

However, if you stay with Mr/Ms Wrong once the signs that they are not the person they originally suggested they were become obvious, or you deliberately choose people with features or characteristics which match those of someone you’ve had a bad experience with in the past, then you are making a serious mistake.

The best thing to do if you find yourself in this sort of pattern is to try and work out why. Knowing what your reasons are is a good first step to changing them.

Game playing

This is a very common mistake, from both sides of the relationship. It comes about because either one or – in the worst cases – both of the partners within the relationship see it as something which has to be won.

In today’s competitive world, it is very easy to see everything through the lens of competition. Treating everything as if it is a competition which has to be won may be a common trait, but it is death to a relationship. If a relationship begins with game playing, it is very unlikely that there will be any sort of a winner in the long term.

Instead, if you want to have a good quality relationship, try being honest and upfront with your partner. Turn things around so that the competition isn’t between the two of you – it’s between both of you together and the rest of the world. That way, win or lose, at least you can be sure that the relationship should hold.

Wanting too much too soon

Let’s face it. Very few people enter into a relationship for the short term. However, there are things which will put most people off – and checking how committed they are to the relationship too early can make your partner feel insecure. Worse yet, it can make them flee altogether.

Signs of this mistake tend to be fairly subtle, and they shift within each relationship depending on the couple involved. However, it is fairly safe to assume that declaring your undying love for someone on a first date is going to be too much too soon.

Thankfully, this one is one of the easiest mistakes to avoid – if you are aware that you are on the verge of making it. Just hold off for awhile. Get to know each other a little better. Everything has a natural time scale, and a relationship is no different. Work with this, and keep to the comfort level of both you and your partner.

Acting insecure

This one can be a challenge to avoid, particularly if you have had bad experiences in past relationships. No matter how you feel, however, acting too insecure can switch off a relationship before it ever has the chance to blossom. Resist that nagging temptation to constantly check on your partner. I know, if you really like someone it’s natural to think about them – just remember that they have a life of their own, and they still need the space to live that life.

The best way to handle this is to pay attention to your thoughts. It is natural to ffeel worried about accidentally breaking something which you feel is precious. However, the surest way of breaking a relationship – particularly in the early days – is to try to hold onto it too tightly. Relax. Both you and your partner will be better off for it.

Don’t look for specifics

Don’t be taken in by the lies of Hollywood and Disney. Real life is seldom as pretty as the movies would like us to believe. Don’t be so fussy that you overlook the possibilities for genuine relationships.

Just remember that in a relationship that truly lasts, the outer packaging is rarely as important as the personality which goes along with it. Just keep an open mind about what you are looking for. You won’t ever find anyone who matches the ‘idea’ partner your imagination provides – but if you keep an open mind, the person you find is likely to be much better.

Don’t try to change them

Again, this is a classic mistake. Treating your partner as if they are a pet project which needs to be improved will make the person feel like you don’t appreciate them for who they are. It also begs the question of why you began the relationship in the first place.

Give your partner the space to be themselves. They might not be your ideal person, but they aren’t going to fit themselves into that mould, either.

Being in a relationship is fun, exciting and enjoyable – or it should be. Keeping an eye on what you are doing and thinking in the early days of the relationship will help you to gauge if this is one that is worth putting the time and effort into making last.