There are so many mistakes to be made when it comes to dating and relationships. And often times, we learn, grow and even heal from those mistakes.
But there are also times when mistakes we make can be detrimental. And often times, the worst of mistakes are ones that can easily be avoided with a little guidance, wisdom, and planning ahead.
As a relationship specialist, I get emails and messages from people from all over the world struggling through relationship mistakes. Here are some of the most common dating mistakes that I deal with across the board; mistakes that I believe can be avoided if we know ourselves, set our boundaries, and take our time along the way.
Here are some mistakes that you just HAVE to stop making if you’re looking to find a healthy relationship along the way.
LETTING FEELINGS LEAD THE WAY:
Feelings are a great compass that can guide us in the right direction, but they aren’t an accurate road map. In fact, considering all the things that influence our emotional world, feelings can’t always be trusted. Letting “chemistry” and pure emotion be your guide to relationships is asking for trouble. Feelings come and feelings go, and so a healthy relationship is ALWAYS based on so much more than that.
GOING TOO DEEP, TOO FAST:
It’s tempting to let go and bare your heart and soul when you find someone that you genuinely connect with. But giving too much of yourself prematurely is a recipe for disaster in the making of a relationship. Healthy relationships are formed little by little, with the natural give and take that comes with the unfolding of time. Every good thing takes time to blossom, so don’t rush a relationship by giving yourself too quickly. Trust has to be earned one step at a time.
ALLOWING FEAR TO INFLUENCE DECISIONS:
I recently took a survey that revealed that many Millennials admit to making relationship decisions based on fear. Fear of abandonment, fear of being alone, fear of rejection, fear of getting hurt – we end up staying in bad relationships, or leaving great relationships, simply because we’re afraid of the unknown. But if we’re to really open our heart to healthy relationships, we have to be driven by faith, not by fear.
GETTING STUCK ON SEX:
Want to bring major confusion into your relational world? Bring sex into the picture. Hands down, the number one thing that has left people confused and broken in dating relationships is the binding power of sex. Sex is like super glue in a relationship, and outside of marriage, it has the power to “bind” you to someone you were never intended to stay with. It’s the emotional novacaine that numbs you to problems, flaws, and deficits in your relationship rather than allowing you the unbiased opportunity to work through those things.
BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN FRIENDSHIP AND RELATIONSHIP:
We live in a culture of ambiguity. Relationships are undefined, sex is casual, and commitment is old-fashioned. But following culture’s rules is a sure-fire way to end up feeling used and abused in the end. Scripture teaches us to let our “yes be yes, and our no be no”, meaning that talk is cheap, so it’s important to make sure your actions are backing up your words. Don’t allow yourself to walk the line of ambiguity, wasting months, or even years of your life in a relationship in which you don’t know where you’re heading or how the other person is feeling. A healthy relationship is made up of clear communication, and deliberate actions that follow suit. Don’t be that person that gets strung along for life. Take control of your relationships before they take control of you.
Relationship mistakes are everywhere. But with a little planning and wisdom, and a few protective boundaries, you have what it takes to avoid these relationship pitfalls and choose better for yourself. What’s holding you back?
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life. You may also recognize her voice from her 100+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!
1. Are you ready for Love? Take my FREE Quiz right now to find out!
2. Want to learn how to date in a healthy way that will help you find and keep love? Check out True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life! Plus, read the Top 25 Dating Questions of All-Time answered in Section 4!!
3. The #1 Mistake singles reported making last year was not taking a risk to start a relationship! Why do Christians tend to be so passive when it comes to relationships? Check out the the top lessons I’ve learned in my career as a Relationship Counselor, and totally change your love-life in 21 Days! Learn more: 21-Day Program to Jump Start Your Love-Life!