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What Are the Common Mistakes in Relationships That You Should Avoid?

A woman bundled up in a blanket and reflecting on the list of mistakes she made in her relationship
People make mistakes and that's normal. However, learn how to avoid making it a habit.

“What am I doing wrong in my relationship?”

You’ve noticed that your partner suddenly started distancing themselves, which prompted you to ask this question.

Most of the time, this kind of behavior is not sudden nor is it caused by a one-time mistake.

The moment you see signs that your partner has changed, it’s possible that they’ve had enough of all the mistakes you made or the misunderstandings that occurred in your relationship.

Yes, people make mistakes and that’s okay. But it’s a different story when you fail to acknowledge your mistakes and make them a habit.

If you want to preserve your relationship, be aware of the common mistakes and make it a point to self-assess every now and then.

So what are the common mistakes in relationships?

Common First Relationship Mistakes

Navigating your first relationship is like sailing through uncharted waters.

There are times wherein your inexperience drowns you in the storm or pushes you to sail back.

That being said, you can set sail for the long-term and establish a stronger bond with your partner by avoiding these first relationship mistakes.

Putting on a Performer’s Mask

It’s normal to put your best foot forward.

However, avoid putting on a performer’s mask and acting as if you’re the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend.

Allow your partner to see the vulnerable side of you - one wherein you fumble at times, complain, and sometimes are not able to look your very best.

This way, you’ll avoid exhausting yourself and setting false expectations for your partner.

Revolving Your Entire Life around Your Partner

If one were to ask, “What’s a common mistake that young people in relationships make?” the answer would be revolving their life around that of their partner.

As you’re deeply in love, it’s normal to want to be with your partner all the time.

However, avoid scheduling your life around them to the point that you’ve cut off your family, friends, and other support systems, or disregard any hobbies you have in order to cater to theirs.

Create a healthy distance and live your own life.

Not Setting Boundaries

Your first relationship is bound to go smoothly the first few months. With that, you may think that there’s no need to establish clear boundaries.

However, doing so can help you get into lesser arguments and easily navigate through them.

Be brave enough to tell your partner what you’re comfortable with and encourage them to do the same.

A man wearing a performer’s mask, reflecting one of the many first relationship mistakes
One of the most common first relationship mistakes is putting on a performer's mask.

What are the Common Mistakes in Relationships between Long-Term Couples?

In your time together as a couple, you may have already faced different problems and challenges. Yet here you are, still going strong.

Or so you thought.

One fine day, your partner angrily confronts you out of nowhere. You rack your brain, forming a list of mistakes you probably made and trying to figure out which ones set them off.

You eventually realize that they’re angry about you forgetting to get the groceries.

This is an example of how simple matters or issues can turn into big problems if left unaddressed over time.

With that, the following are some common mistakes made by people in long-term relationships.

Making Promises You Can’t Fulfill

Did you forget to get the groceries when you promised to do so? Or did you ask your partner out for dinner then canceled at the last minute?

You may have your reasons, but continuously making promises you aren’t able to fulfill can break your partner’s trust.

Instead of making promises you can’t keep or saying yes to anything your partner requests, consider saying, “I’ll try my best.”

Lying about How You Feel

Little white lies are okay as long as they’re harmless, such as saying a different price for a new household item you impulsively bought or pretending you weren’t the one who spilled coffee on the sofa.

What makes lies damaging is when it makes your partner anxious about your feelings, causing distrust to form in your relationship.

For example, you lie about feeling satisfied with the amount of affection they show you despite actually feeling overwhelmed.

However, your partner notices how you subtly pull away at times when they invade your personal space too much.

Because you lied about how you felt and refused to communicate your boundaries regarding physical intimacy, you’re causing your partner to think whether or not you’re satisfied with them or if you’re seeing someone else behind their back.

Instead of lying, be honest about your mood and how you feel about certain situations.

Lacking Consistency

At the beginning of every relationship, it’s common to constantly make various gestures of love to your partner.

But after spending years together, you may assume that it’s okay to take it easy as you’re past the stage of “working on your relationship.”

That’s when you begin to lack consistency and make your partner question whether they still matter to you.

Remember, working on your relationship is a continuous process. Make it a point to show affection and appreciation to your partner, even if it’s through simple gestures like buying them coffee or cooking them dinner at home.

Assuming You Know What They Want

Did you make a decision without consulting your partner? Or did you try to speak on their behalf?

Although your decision might not affect both of you financially nor will your comment on their behalf affect their image and relationship with others, you don’t get to say what your partner wants.

Being their spokesperson when they can clearly stand up for themselves is one of the worst things you can do in a relationship. It should be part of your list of mistakes to avoid.

Yes, you’ve spent years together and you feel like you know everything about them. However, they might have had a change of perspective.

Always ask and involve your partner in situations that they’re a part of as well.

Two hands joined together to make a pinky promise
What are the common mistakes in relationships? Making promises you know you can't keep and thinking that your partner won’t be affected by it.

Types of Mistakes Made in Relationships

Now that you’re aware of the common mistakes in first relationships and in long-term ones, learn how to classify them according to their type. This way, you’ll have a better idea of how to correct them.

Positive Types of Mistakes

Stretch Mistakes

Stretch mistakes are those that you unintentionally do as you’re working to develop yourself.

For example, you want to match your partner’s ideal type, so you put on a performer’s mask.

To address your stretch mistakes, apologize to your partner for setting them up for disappointment. Then, learn and adjust based on your capabilities.

A-Ha Moment Mistakes

Sometimes people make mistakes because they lack knowledge on which actions to take during certain situations.

An example is making assumptions about what your partner wants.

It may be out of confidence that you’ve known them for years or the thought that they’ll appreciate you speaking on their behalf, but then you realize that they saw things from a different perspective.

In this case, before acting, try to see the situation from different angles. More importantly, learn to communicate more.

Negative Types of Mistakes

Sloppy Mistakes

Sloppy mistakes are those that you make because you’ve become too comfortable or lost focus.

An example of this is lacking consistency in your efforts in the relationship.

In some cases, sloppy mistakes don’t immediately fuel an argument. However, it gives you the wrong impression that everything’s fine, allowing you to become complacent and make more of them.

To address your sloppy mistakes, take note of what your partner’s current interests are, use a planner to set dates, and set reminders to never forget important events like birthdays or anniversaries.

High-Stakes Mistakes

High-stakes mistakes, such as lying to your partner, are often major deal breakers in a relationship. This is because they can cause irreparable damage.

But in case both you and your partner are willing to fix things, take accountability for your actions, take the time to rebuild trust in your relationship, and consider seeking the help of a professional.

A person countering his sloppy types of mistakes by jotting down important relationship dates on his notebook.
First relationship mistakes are normal. Here's how you can overcome them together with your partner.

Is it Normal to Make Mistakes in Relationships?

Making mistakes is normal. It’s part of being human.

However, mistakes are there so you can learn from them and better yourself.

Avoid making the same common mistakes in your relationship. Learn to acknowledge what you’ve done wrong, be mindful of how your actions may affect your partner, and take responsibility.

Remember, being in a relationship does not only mean being committed to your partner. It also means being committed to your personal growth.

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