I started dating from a very young age.
When it comes to relationships, there isn’t much I can say I haven’t experienced.
I’ve been in long-term relationships and others that lasted no longer than a few months. I’ve dated older guys and also younger. I have made countless mistakes that resulted in me hurting and betraying the trust of people I cared about.
Looking back, I can see why things went wrong on my behalf. Having failed relationships has taught me how to make things work in my current two-year relationship.
Now, I am no relationship expert but I do believe experience is the greatest teacher. So, from my experiences I’ve come up with five ways we sabotage our relationships and why I believe that paying attention to these five things is fundamental to a healthy relationship.
1. We stop focusing on and doing things for ourselves.
When getting deep into a relationship we tend to stop doing things for ourselves. We get comfortable and bettering ourselves becomes secondary.
I’ve realized a relationship shouldn’t be based on two people becoming one person but on two people supporting and motivating each other to better their individual lives and at the same time create a life together. When we’re unhappy with ourselves, we will find ways to project our problems back onto our partners. We will blame them for something completely irrelevant, instead of realizing that it’s ourselves we need to focus—which can result in arguments.
2. We give up too soon.
A few months into my current relationship, things were challenging. On many occasions, leaving felt like the easiest option. When it gets tough, giving up always seems like the easiest way to go, instead of trying to work through the hard times.
We set these expectations that it’s all meant to be perfect: no fights and no disagreements. Relationships inevitably will have their ups and downs and there will be things that will challenge us and our relationships. Like anything in life, we need to build things for them to be great.
If we give up when things get tough, the relationship will never grow or get to touch the point of greatness.
Personally, I’m grateful we decided to focus on our love for each other and push through the challenges instead of giving up.
3. We expect from our partners instead of accepting them.
We tend to have expectations of our partners and this image of who we want them to be, instead of accepting who they already are.
The thing about expectations is, if our partners aren’t acting in the way we expect them to, it leads us to feeling disappointed in them. This isn’t a good feeling for anyone involved.
We need to accept exactly who they are in all moments. There is nothing worse than being around somebody that wants to change you. Love is accepting everything and anyone as they are.
We stop, or never even begin to tell our partners everything—and I know from experience that this withholding kills trust and connection in a relationship. No matter what it may be, it is healthy to share all our thoughts and feelings with our partners, both good and bad.
We create a distance and space between ourselves and our partners if we are unable to share how we feel and what we think. Assumptions will arise and resentments will gradually form. Honesty really is the best policy.
My partner is not only my significant other but he is my best friend. We have said things that have unintentionally hurt the other but we can always rely on each other to be honest.
5. The relationship lacks sex.
As a parent, I do understand that sex can seem inconvenient and it is not always a priority. But it should be.
Lack of sex decreases the passion and connection in a relationship and relationships are about connecting on all levels: emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.
Although my partner and I do not have a perfect relationship, I am glad I am able to use my mistakes and to be aware of what I can do to make it work.
If you have someone who you love and feel is worth having in your life, like anything you do you should give it your all. There is nothing worse than not trying.
How not to sabotage your relationship:
Author: Celeste Garcia
Editor(s): Khara-Jade Warren & Alli Sarazen