By David Joel Miller.
Relationship regrets you may be able to avoid.
When your relationship ends there are often lots of regrets. Some of those regrets are simply unavoidable. Things happen, things change and some relationships need to come to an end. There are lots of different kinds of relationships. Friendships, working relationships, and most importantly romantic relationships. You would expect that the closer the relationship, the more careful we would be when getting into one. Unfortunately, close relationships often start with the smallest amounts of preparation. Turns out there are some relationship regrets that can be avoided. Take a look at the list below, the things that people have said they should have done in order to avoid the regrets that come with ending a relationship.
Investing the time at the start of the relationship.
A great many relationships begin with almost no thought. You meet someone and since you are not currently in a relationship, getting with that person seems like a good idea. It’s important to spend some time getting to know that the other person before you are so far into the relationship that you can no longer see the exit.
The things you didn’t talk about damage relationships.
Many people fail to talk about most basic and important things at the beginning of their relationship. Did you and your partner discuss what your expectations were? Couples often come for relationship counseling because one of the people has done something the other person finds totally unacceptable.
Did the person you’re in a relationship with a flirt when you met them? The picture you had was that together you would expect them to stop been friendly and outgoing with members of the opposite sex. The picture they had was that you liked their flirty outgoing personality. Most couples never discussed with their expectations are.
What you didn’t listen to comes up again in your relationship.
Many people do hear their potential partner saying things. They just choose to disregard what was said. Don’t think that once you are well into the relationship that partner will automatically forget about some of those things they said were important to them. If you start off a relationship believing that once you two are together you will get them to change their mind, you are creating a giant regret.
Not trying hard enough on your relationship.
A great many people, after the breakup of their relationship, report that their major regret was not trying hard enough. When things are difficult it’s easy to believe that the problem is your partner. But what we discover is that when you change partners you get a new set of problems. Relationships are hard work. Be sure that you’ve tried hard enough that there will be no regrets should this relationship end.
Trying to change them instead of understand them.
An incredible number of people get into relationships planning on changing their partner. Turns out that changing other people is considerably more difficult than it looks. Investing the time at the beginning of a relationship to genuinely get to understand your partner eliminates a whole lot of regrets later on.
Being unwilling to change. Expecting them to change.
When relationships fail it often is because one or both parties expected the other person to do all the changing. In life we all change. Sometimes that change is for the better and sometimes it is not so good. Once that relationship has come to an end many people come to the realization that they’ve been unwilling to change.
Making your relationship a win – lose contest.
Relationships of any kind should not be a win – lose contest. Unfortunately, too many people come to believe that life requires that one person has to lose for another to win. Successful relationships discover that when conflicts arise the best solution is always finding one in which both parties win.
Not owning and fixing your part undermines relationships.
No matter how much the other person is at fault in a relationship the only part you are able to change is your part. What people in successful relationships discover is that fixing themselves first often produces exactly the kind of change they wanted to see in their partner.
Attacking your partner as a person damages relationships.
When conflicts arise it is important to talk about the differences. Make requests of your partner for what you would like to see changed. Attacking your partner, using put-down’s to attempt to get what you want, can cause irreparable harm to a relationship. Asking for what you want is much more productive than blaming your partner for what is wrong.
You will regret not making relationship repair efforts.
Relationships that succeed over the long haul are the ones in which people make repair efforts when there’s been a disagreement. Relationships, where people hold onto resentments, are headed for trouble. Make sure that when you’re having conflicts in your relationship you are the one that makes the repair efforts. Don’t be the one that has to have the regrets that they never did make the needed effort.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books