How many relationships have you been in that have crashed and burned spectacularly?
One (non-scientific) survey found that women on average go through 3 long-term relationships and 2 short-term relationships before finding the one.
So we get plenty of practice in!
We build up our relationship skills so that we know something of what we’re doing by the time we meet the love of our life.
It begs the question, though…
Would you have to go through so many relationships if you knew what you were doing from the very beginning?
What if you knew about ALL the relationship mistakes you could possibly make? Would you go through less heartache?
The jury is out, but if you want your next relationship to be your last, or you want to keep the relationship you’re in, then you’ll want to make sure to avoid these 3 big relationship mistakes women make.
You analyze his behavior.
How much time do you spend analyzing what your guy says and does?
He said X, but did he really mean Y? Why did he choose A when you thought he’d choose B? What is REALLY going through his head?
The reason we spend so much time analyzing men is because that behavior served us when we were dating.
We couldn’t come out and ASK him anything. If there’s one law of dating, it’s that you never ask a man anything up front. You don’t ask him how he feels about you. You don’t ask him whether this is going anywhere. You don’t ask him why he didn’t call.
That’s how the dating game is played. Everyone holds their cards close to their chest.
That behavior is toxic in a relationship.
Relationships are about communication, communication, communication. If you don’t know something, ask him. If something confuses you, ask him. If you’re not sure what he means, ask him.
He’s the ultimate authority on his own behavior. Go to the source.
But we’re so used to avoiding direct communication that we don’t even think about asking him. We’d rather make up our own story about what his behavior means. We’d rather ask our friends what it means. We’d rather google it.
You can’t solve the mystery of a man’s behavior without talking to him about it. So start asking!
You punish him.
When people do things we don’t like, we want them to know it. We want them to admit they hurt us. We want them to apologize.
And if they won’t do any of those things, we want them to pay.
That’s human nature.
In the past, your boyfriends did things you didn’t like. They didn’t apologize. They didn’t think they did anything wrong. And you probably spent a fair bit of time fantasizing about karma coming back to bite them!
We get into such a habit of wanting to see men punished for the way they treat women that it seeps into our relationships with really good men.
He doesn’t do something he promised to do, and you punish him. He forgets an anniversary, and you punish him. He says something thoughtless, and you punish him.
When you punish the man you love, his primal brain gets triggered.
His primal brain is concerned about survival: either something is safe, or it’s a threat.
And if something is a threat, he’s got three choices: put his defenses up, attack back, or escape the danger. (You don’t want him to do any of those things!)
When you punish your man, his primal brain sees you as a threat. It’s an instinctive reactive. His fight-or-flight reaction kicks in.
You think he should sit there and take it, because obviously he did something wrong. But when someone’s feeling threatened, their first instinct is self-preservation, not empathizing with the enemy.
It takes work to communicate without aggression, and it takes work to listen with defensiveness. That’s the work of relationships.
You let yourself listen to fear.
When we’re dating someone, we’re constantly in fear of sabotaging the relationship.
We don’t want to do or say anything that will put him off.
We live in fear that saying the wrong thing or being too needy or confessing our feelings too soon will ruin everything.
So we end up doing a lot of stuff because we’re afraid. We’d rather betray ourselves and keep the relationship than be honest and potentially lose the relationship.
That’s not a recipe for life-long love and happiness.
Don’t listen to fear. Listen to love instead.
That voice of love doesn’t just speak of your love for him. It speaks of your love for yourself, too.
You don’t want to squeeze yourself into the tight box of a relationship that isn’t a good fit for you. It doesn’t matter how much you love him. You can’t do that to yourself.
You’re never going to silence fear’s voice entirely, but don’t let it stop you from doing what you need to do. Ask what love would have you do, both for yourself and for him.