The national length of marriage in the United States is about 8.2 years. This year I celebrate my 35th wedding anniversary! This puts me in rarefied air. Is my relationship perfect? Hardly. Is any relationship perfect? NOPE! That’s number ONE of the five biggest mistakes women make in relationships.
They wait for the PERFECT relationship
We are surrounded by reality TV and tabloids detailing cheating partners and rocky relationships. Yet many women still believe they’ll find a prince charming who will sweep them off their feet, fulfill their desires, never disagree and live happily ever after with them. Despite reality media, we’ve been raised on a steady diet of saccharine commercials, Hallmark cards, and childhood fairy tales.
Writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie once said, “When dealing with people we are not dealing with creatures of logic but creatures of emotion.” Logic tells us nothing is perfect, but we yearn to be the exception. And sometimes we waste months, years, decades jumping in and out of relationships that don’t feel like the fairy tale.
They compare and despair
We see a relationship we admire and despair if ours looks different. Instagram and Facebook are new breeding grounds for despair! Why doesn’t HE buy me flowers? Take me on surprise trips? Pose in front of a dessert bar and look like he’s happy to be there? I can’t remember what year into my marriage it was, but one day I had this realization. No two relationships are the same! Stupidly obvious, right? But until then, I was comparing and despairing. I had bought into the myth that there was a one-size-fits-all way to have a relationship and mine wasn’t measuring up.
What we really have to do is learn to understand ourselves and our partners. We need to learn what our communication strengths and weaknesses are, what our emotional triggers are and what we need to feel fulfilled in a relationship. And only compare your relationship today to your relationship yesterday.
They assume and doom
You know the saying, to assume makes an ass out of “U” and “Me.” Most men do not communicate as often and as fully as women do, so women like to read between the lines. And because of how the brain works, we tend to assume the negative. Sometimes he’s not talking because he’s really upset about that baseball score. Sometimes he hasn’t complimented you on that new hairstyle because he really didn’t notice it. (It’s a neurological fact that women have more perception receptors than men do.) Instead of spending hours texting and talking with your BFF trying to “figure out” what it means, ASK. Save yourself time and angst.
They misread men’s emotions
It’s taken me a while to realize that when my husband seems angry, it often means he’s hurt or sad about something. We know girls and boys are acculturated differently and therefore we express emotions differently. And scientists have recently figured out that we all feel emotion differently depending on how or when we first experienced that emotion. Bottom line, emotions are complicated! Next time he loses his cool, try to figure out what else may be going on.
They want to run before they walk
You met a great guy. Terrific. Don’t start planning the honeymoon! I know it’s tempting. But jumping to the future too fast is the kiss of death for many relationships. Even if you never ask the “where is this relationship going” question, human beings have these things called Mirror Neurons, so men can virtually “smell” when you are anxious about settling down. Stay in the present. Take up meditation if you have to.
Most of all, stay true to you
Successful relationships are comprised of two individuals being the best them they can be. Subjugating any part of yourself is the biggest mistake of all.