Do your relationships continue to fail no matter what you do? Are you attracted to all the wrong partners and all the wrong romantic possibilities? Our relationships fail because we make the same mistakes over-and-over. From failing to recognize our needs, to creating competition where we should be seeking solace — if we want to be happy in love, we have to correct our romantic mistakes with integrity and mindfulness.
The relationship mistakes you have to stop making.
Does every one of your relationships fail? Do you keep choosing toxic partners? When romance never works out, it generally comes down to the confusion and chaos we keep investing in. Do you fail to set boundaries? Do you even know what you want in a relationship? These are the relationship mistakes you have to stop if you want to be happy.
What exactly do you want out of your romantic relationships? Have you ever taken any time to actually consider it (realistically)? So many people jump into relationships before figuring out who they are and what they want. Rather than doing the work to improve themselves and pinpoint their needs, they jump from relationship-to-relationship in an effort to numb the pain they’re running from. There’s zero introspection. They don’t do any work on themselves before committing to someone else.
Failing to set boundaries
Are you someone who constantly gets abused, dismissed, or taken advantage of in your relationships? Do your spouses always call the shots over your life and theirs — turning your relationships into more of a parent-child relationship? This is because you cannot set boundaries with your partner. Seeing that you aren’t willing to stand up for your needs, your partner will begin to take advantage of you regularly.
Involving other people
Building relationships involves more than just the direct partners. Our social circles and our family members also become parts of that relationship in a limited way. When you allow this involvement to become too great, however, you can run into serious clashes in your partnership. That’s because you’ve opened your relationship up to interference. In order for us to stay focused on one another, we have to make sure we don’t allow others to take power in our partnerships.
Are you someone who really struggles with being honest about their feelings? Will you sit in unhappiness before you’ll share a grievance? This isn’t healthy, and it isn’t noble. We can’t avoid honesty if we want partnerships that are worthwhile. When you’re not being honest about your feelings, you allow negativity to build and create divides in your relationship. That can lead to passive aggressive behavior, resentment, and conflict of all sorts.
Overloading the basket
Our partners are only human, with all the faults that come with that endeavor. They’re not magical, and they don’t have superpowers that we ourselves aren’t capable of possessing. When you put all your happiness eggs in the relationship basket, you put too much pressure on your partner / partnership. We are the only ones capable of making ourselves happy. Expecting a relationship to suddenly provide fulfillment is a mistake.
Love shouldn’t be painful, and it shouldn’t require us to change who we are or what we want from life. If you’re giving up everything that’s important to you in order to be in a relationship with someone, then you’re making a bad choice for yourself. Fulfilling partnerships complement who we are. They encourage us to go after our dreams, and they make us better for being in them. Sacrificing yourself isn’t a sign of love. It’s a sign of a toxic relationship in the making.
Demanding a fairy tale
A lot of us were raised on fairy tales — especially when it comes to romantic love. Our parents and society told us all about “perfect” relationships, and how smoothly thing run when “it’s right”. This of course took all the personal accountability out of building a partnership as a team and created the idea that romantic relationships could magically fix us. That’s not how it works. Relationships take work for “smooth sailing”. They’re not a magical fix at all. You can’t throw a fit and give up if you want something to work out.
One of the biggest mistakes we make in our relationships is that of creating competition. When couples don’t communicate (or cannot maximize their self-worth) they can find themselves at odds with one another and competing for “top spot”. This leads to resentment, frustration, and increased conflict, which makes it impossible to connect and even harder to value and support one another. Working as a team is the only way to create a mutually beneficial life together.
How to get back on track in love.
Once you’ve accepted the mistakes you’ve been making, you can focus on bringing genuine change into your love life. Do you want happier relationships? Partnerships that last longer than a fortnight? Get yourself back on track in love by addressing your mistakes, setting boundaries, and being honest about what you want and need.
1. Figure out what you need
There’s little point in jumping into a relationship if you don’t know what you need or want from a relationship. Too many of us go all-in on partnerships that make little sense from the first day. We do this because we’re more desperate to have a relationship than we are to be happy. Of course, in the long run, this only leads to even more heartbreak and upset. Truly happy and long-lasting partnerships happen when you figure out what you need and refuse to settle for less.
Take some time to figure out what you need and want from a partnership and the people you choose to bring into your love life. Prioritize the things that matter and forget all the superficialities and pressure that society (and your loved ones) are putting on you. Question the root of what love actually means to you.
Do you want a partner that’s physically present a lot? Do you want a partner who is emotionally supportive and mentally present? What do you need from sexual compatibility? What do you want in terms of family, social circles, or even the experiences you share as a couple? Before you invest in any relationship, you need to have a clear picture of what the ideal partnerships looks like to you. Only then can you pinpoint someone who has what it takes to build a successful life with you.
2. Create better boundaries
Boundaries are a crucial part of every successful relationship, whether that relationship is romantic. Our boundaries allow us to better connect with people that meet our needs, and they help to communicate our expectations and protect our wellbeing. Creating better boundaries enables us to create more powerful and rewarding relationships that are authentically aligned with our needs.
Establish iron-clad boundaries for yourself. Figure out how you need to be treated and refuse to compromise on that. Draw lines around the behaviors and needs that make you happy. Then communicate these new boundaries to your partner or spouse.
Your partner has a responsibility to respect your boundaries. They should want to help enforce them as a part of your happiness. If your partner can’t expect your boundaries or what you need from the relationship, then it’s important to consider that they may not be the right person for you. With love, respect is pretty black-and-white. We respect our partners and we respect our needs. Anyone who can’t do that doesn’t deserve to be in our lives.
3. Commit to real change
You can dwell on your mistakes all day long and you can think about how you want your relationships to be different. None of that will happen, though, if you don’t actually commit to real change. That means taking action to correct your thoughts, your behaviors, and the way you react and interact in love. Manifesting better relationships is a matter of action, not thought alone.
The fact of the matter is that your relationship will continue to fail unless you commit to real, lasting change. That change doesn’t come by changing our thoughts alone. We have to actively chance our experiences and the way we approach everything from communication to attraction.
Be willing to take action and change — even if it means you have to change yourself for a better outlook on life. If what you’re doing isn’t working, figure out what is. Shift your perspective. Stop seeing relationships as an accessory, or as something that you have to achieve in order to be worthy. Your relationship should reflect the happiness you’ve already built for yourself. Commit to overhauling your relationship goals from the ground up and go after what you really need and want.
Putting it all together…
When our relationships continue to fail, we have to take a step back to look at what we’re getting wrong. While we certainly aren’t to blame for the toxic behaviors of our partners, we choose the best relationships to invest in. Have all your partnerships ended in heartbreak? Once you consider the mistakes that you’re making, you can take action to course-correct when in all your future romantic endeavors.
Step back from all the heartbreak and all the conflict and take an honest look at what you need and want from a relationship. Question yourself and don’t look away from the truth. With these needs to hand, have the hard conversations with your partners and make sure that your needs align before you invest in a serious commitment. Create better boundaries in your partnerships and stop allowing yourself to be taken advantage of or pushed around. Build on what works. Stop focusing on keeping score and become a partner that’s focused on solutions. Above all else, though, commit to real change. Change the way you see yourself and the way you see romantic relationships too. The more aligned you are with self, the better your love will become.
- Lopez-Cantero, P. The Break-Up Check: Exploring Romantic Love through Relationship Terminations. Philosophia 46, 689–703 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-017-9935-8