There are so many mistakes to be made when it comes to dating and relationships. And often, we learn, grow and heal from those mistakes.
But there are also times when mistakes we make can be detrimental. And often, 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:
Letting Feelings Lead the Way
Feelings are a great compass that can guide us in the right direction, but they aren’t an accurate roadmap.
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 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 what could happen. 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 novocaine 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 surefire 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?
This article was originally published on truelovedates.com
Debra Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates. She's also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or book a session with her today!