Dating can be fun and exciting when you first start out with someone new. But a lot changes when you switch from only worrying about yourself, to being concerned about your partner as well. I’ve watched my friends go through relationships where I could tell they weren’t being themselves anymore. It scared me even more when I got into my first serious relationship and I felt like it was happening to me, too.
Here are the nine relationship mistakes to avoid so you don’t change from who you were before the relationship.
1. Don’t forget your friends
You know those friends who get into a relationship then you don’t see them for weeks afterward?
I’ve been the abandoned friend before, and it’s hurtful to feel like you’ve been traded in by a best friend for someone they just met. My boyfriend and I take days off from each other just to hang out with our friends so that we aren’t neglecting them. I understand wanting to spend time with your partner but don’t forget that your friends came first and they will most likely be the ones there for you until the end.
2. Don’t lose sight of your goals
I know how easy it is to become so distracted by a relationship that you suddenly don’t have time for anything else. I’ve always had a plan for the future, but that had never included a guy before, so I was completely blindsided by this new development.
At first, I tried adjusting my plans around him, which was already taking away from all that I’d been working towards. Stick with what you’re passionate about, then your partner can always celebrate your accomplishments.
3. Don’t spend all your time together
No matter how much you like each other, everyone needs their personal space. I’ve had problems with being too needy and always craving affection to the point that it’s hard to spend time alone. That’s when I have to take a step back and remember who I am as an individual. I enjoy having a busy schedule so even if I’m not with my boyfriend, I can still make other plans. When you do take that time apart, you learn to appreciate each other more during times you are together.
4. Don’t bottle up your feelings
Some couples are all about the shouting contests, but I’m personally too shy to admit there’s a problem in the first place. Especially in a new relationship, I only think about appeasing the other person. Telling your partner that nothing’s wrong is never a good idea if you want the relationship to last. I got closer to my boyfriend by sharing how I felt and when I was upset so, now, he can understand me better as well. Remember, communication is key.
5. Don’t constantly text
Texting is part of my daily routine with my boyfriend, but it’s not to the extent where I can’t put down my phone. I used to reply immediately and update him constantly which always kept me looking down. I’ve realized that texting him long paragraphs about everything that goes on in my day not only consumes a lot of time, it also leaves me with nothing to say when I actually get to see him. Leave a little space to enjoy what’s happening around you in between texts.
6. Don’t plan out your whole future together
Every girl has her fantasies, just don’t let those fantasies get too out of hand. I try to focus on the present with my boyfriend because you never know what will happen. Instead, I like to make short-term goals like buying tickets for future concerts or discussing movies we want to see when they get released.
It’s common to think about things like marriage and having a family but if you get too invested now and it doesn’t work out, it will only be harder when your expectations aren’t met.
7. Don’t be obsessively jealous
Relationships are built on trust, though, so as long as I trust him, I know it shouldn’t make me insecure. We still playfully tease each other about being jealous, because a little jealousy also shows your desire towards that person. Having some sense of possessiveness is fine, as long as you don’t get controlling about it.
8. Don’t talk about your relationship too much
This was a hard one for me. When you get into a relationship and you’re so happy you just want to tell everyone about how awesome you’re doing. But to everyone else, it just sounds like bragging. My friends were happy for me, of course, but they didn’t have boyfriends of their own so it was kind of hard for them to relate. You should also be careful with how much you share with other people. You could end up spilling some private details you might regret sharing later.
9. Don’t keep secrets
If you’re hiding something from your partner, there’s probably a reason for it. I get scared to tell my boyfriend details about myself that he might not like, but it bothers me more to think that there’s something he doesn’t know. You never know what their reaction might be. When I actually did tell him, he was quick to accept it.
Hiding something crucial now will only make it worse if your partner finds out later. You should always strive to be upfront about yourself.
Nobody’s perfect, but some mistakes can ruin a relationship faster than others. Once you fall into one of these traps, it can be tough to get out. Stop the problems before they can begin and, overall, always remember to be yourself.