It’s a common trope in a lot of romantic comedies – sometimes it makes for a sweet ending after a difficult journey, and sometimes it just makes for hilarious discomfort. That is, of course, unless you’re the one going through. It’s all about going from being in love with someone to suddenly realizing their lunacy; from being sure this person is ‘the one’ to being the one who needs to get as far away from them as possible.
Most relationships start out like a rocket ship. They’re new and exciting – everything is about exploring and novel experiences; hope is high, and all is wonderful. And rightly so, the start of relationships should be like this. If you’re not excited about each other now, there is absolutely no hope for the future. Both parties are usually offering up the best version of themselves and are likely very curious to get to know each others’ minds, hearts, and bodies.
It can be hard to tell where a relationship goes from here; there are so many variables, and again, there is nothing wrong with that. Some people may still be trying to figure out whether they want to be in a relationship, while others my be content with the exciting dating periods and then move on.
Unfortunately, it’s a very human quality, especially for the hopeful and optimistic among us, to stay focused on the positive things and forgive the negative occurrences. It’s like the old analogy about the pot of boiling water; if you jump in when it’s hot, you know something is wrong. But if things start off pleasant, you may be too comfortable to notice everything about to burn down around you.
Here are some things to watch out that may spend doom to any relationship – and things you want to make sure you’re not doing yourself.
The early honeymoon period in a relationship should be free of stress, misunderstandings, or arguments. Watch out for assumptions or expectations that weren’t expressed. Both men and women who are still trying to shake off past relationships, or who are simply trying to recreate them, may project unfair or unspoken expectations on their newfound partner.
Everyone at times can struggle with being honest and direct, but early on when dating someone, it should be easy to be clear. Both parties should be open about their desires, but also allow for the other person to navigate a new relationship in their way too. If someone starts to force you into a routine or questions your social life or time management, things may not end well.
Moving Too Fast
In a similar vein, a partner who forces you to move at a speed with which you’re not ready or comfortable can be a big problem. This is the type of issue that may seem minor in the beginning but build to become a major issue down the road. That’s in part because it will seem harder to fix the further into a relationship you get.
What’s worse, is that pushing a relationship to become more serious, intimate, exclusive or what have you, has the unwanted side effect of potentially building resentment. If someone feels like they are forced, or at least persuaded to do something when they’re not fully ready, and it doesn’t feel good for them, they may blame the partner. That type of anger may be small at first but may be something to simmer and then fester and then explode. By then, the problem has exacerbated and it’s likely too late to salvage anything.
There are any number of reasons why someone at some time doesn’t want to be touched. And they don’t need to explain it to anyone. Those that love and respect the person understand this concept. Respecting not only one’s physical space, but one’s opinion about their own physical space is a great quality in a partner. And if someone doesn’t show respect, that can be a bad omen of things to come.
Just because you’ve had physical contact – be it hugging, kissing, or something more intimate – with a person one time, or even two, three, or twenty times, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed it another time. And you certainly aren’t justified in getting it. Surely over the course of a relationship couples come to set new expectations and develop trust, but in the earlier stages of dating, you need a partner that respects your body and your space.
If at any time they don’t listen to your wishes and accept them in a positive way, then they shouldn’t be with you. If they get mad about how you feel, then it’s not someone you’re going to want to be with down the road because clearly, they’ve established, they don’t respect or understand how you feel and what you want.
Never Talking About Sex
Unfortunately, there are way too many people out there who have been conditioned, by pop culture, politicians, or parents, to not talk about their sexual needs and desires. What’s more, too many people treat desire as a static thing, inside of evolving curiosities and interests. And if you never talk about sex in a relationship – like really talk about it – you’re doomed.
Just like talking about plans for marriage, a family, and careers, potential couples as well as long term ones should regularly talk about sexual expectations. Be honest about what you want and need from your partner and be open to hearing about what he or she needs. We’re all programmed to think a very specific way about sex – that it’s included in your relationship and that somehow your partner’s body becomes your property. Wrong.
Not talking about your sexual needs, and not feeling comfortable doing that, means that you or your partner are going to seek out unhealthy ways to satisfy those needs. That means lying and cheating, which can lead to terrible consequences for both parties. Guilt, paranoia, resentment, hatred, and doubt will arise – not to mention potentially destroying the lives of friends, family and children in the process. So, please, talk about sex.
The ability of someone to control and process negative emotions is terrific quality. It’s never easy, and we’re not exactly a society that helps people express or really respect emotions like sadness, despair, or frustration. Too often we think of melancholy as something pathetic, and anger as a confident, masculine trait, for example. Both are wrong and unhealthy.
The truth lies in the fact that we all need to be able to both accept and express unpleasant emotions. If we can, then they come out in bad ways. If you’ve a partner that can’t adequately express more difficult emotions, then they are bound to come out in different ways. While two partners can work together to over come such issues – and friends and family and support groups can help as well – those who are unwilling to confront such an issue will be problematic later on.
In particular, those prone to angry outbursts should be watched. Someone who gets easily frustrated and turns to physical rage – by punching a wall or breaking something – is not someone who want to be around in the future. A similar warning sign is if your partner is mean towards animals – that shows a lack of sympathy or care for living creatures. It’s one of those things that can quickly turn your relationship from seeking a marriage license to obtaining a restraining order.