Do You Make These Relationship Mistakes?

It would be brilliant if relationships came with an instruction manual. They could work something like a car’s dashboard—warning lights flashing early enough in advance so you could pull out the manual and see what was going wrong and how to fix it.

In reality, there are many, many mistakes we can make along the course of our relationship. Most of them, we don’t pick up until it’s too late. Many can be avoided with a little effort and forward-thinking.

Here are three common mistakes that may just sound familiar.

Sky-high expectations

Oh boy, am I a sucker for this one.

I have to work really hard to keep my expectations in check, especially around big life events—like my wedding.

You see, I often have this vision in my mind of how things “should” be (usually colored by stupid Hollywood rom-coms, I’m ashamed to admit) and when they don’t play out perfectly, I can get a little (read: a lot) cranky.

For instance, after my wedding I expected the honeymoon period to last for months. As blissful newlyweds, I thought we’d be surrounded by a special loving glow, wouldn’t be able to keep our hands off each other for months, would stare into each other’s eyes for hours (okay, that one I’m joking about, except for one teensy, soppy part of me that would kind of relish it) …

In reality, it was only day three of our honeymoon when my husband got food poisoning and the dream was instantly crushed. I was left walking the beach at sunset alone while he broke out in cold sweats back in the hotel room.

Having unrealistic expectations will only lead to bitter disappointment. Be realistic about things. Your partner is not a mind-reader. Of course there are certain reasonable expectations that every relationship needs to survive: fidelity, intimacy, and trust are but a few. Next time you’re feeling disappointed or let down in your relationship, ask yourself if your expectations were realistic or not.

Letting romance slide

It all starts out great, with romantic dinner dates and bunches of flowers. But there comes a point in every relationship when suddenly it’s less wooing and more leaving the toilet door open.

Romance is a beautiful thing and we do need to work hard to keep it around after the first stages of love disappear.

I bang on about this all the time. “Romance” is really just code for “making an effort.” The very nature of romance is that it’s impractical, thoughtful, and often spontaneous. When we no longer have endorphins to inspire our romantic gestures, we need to dig a little deeper to bring it out.

Go and do something romantic and impractical and spontaneous for your partner today. It can be as simple as a text message telling them you love them, or as elaborate as telling them to dress up and meet you in town, then surprising them with tickets to a show.


You and your partner must keep talking. Always. Otherwise you’ll turn into one of those couples you see in restaurants who sit there in silence, poking their food with their forks.

Keep in the habit of having discussions. About anything and everything. Sit and read the newspapers together and chat about stories in there. Find some conversation-starters, and turn to them when it’s been a boring week. Have a little break away from each other for a night or a weekend so you have something to talk about when you reunite.

Verbal communication and socializing is one of the great joys we have in life. Stay in the habit and you’ll be firm friends forever.

These are just three common mistakes in relationships. Got any more for us?

About Emma

Emma Merkas is the co-creator of couples' inspiration website $30 Date Night and author of the 'How Was It For You?' relationships and dating column in Australian newspaper, mX. You can also find her at her own blog or on Twitter @30dollardate.


  1. Hi Emma,

    Great tips…I feel like many people are caught up watching TV and lose touch with reality in the dating world. When I didn’t date much in the past I thought that everything has to be perfect and certain events had to occur to make everything the way I want it to…However as I started dating more and meeting more women I started to get more in touch with reality and started to understand relationships better….

    Also, communication is very important to keep the attraction in a relationship or even if you are on a date. I think that lack of communication comes from having low-self confidence. However, if you want to have a healthy relationship, it is important to say what you feel like saying and what is in your mind

    Thank for sharing..


  2. if i could add, communication includes not just talking to each other, but also “active listening” – i.e not just hearing what the other person is saying, but listening to what they are trying to say, and being present in the conversation 🙂

  3. Hi Emma,
    I believe that having “reasonable ” expectations about ourselves and our partners would cut the divorce rate in half. Having an open dialogue without arguing would also be beneficial.

  4. I know it’s basically the point being made, but it’s not so much just having discussions that matter. It’s incredibly important that you have genuine interest in what your significant other has interest in.

    If they are talking to you about something it’s not enough to want to care. You have to care.

    And if you don’t care about things that are important to them, it’s time to start practicing. Get into it. And love it.

    Maybe not everything, but definitely at least a few.

  5. sheldon says:

    Hi  have mest up things whit my girlfriend an i dot no how to get she bark in my life i love her a lot in my heart can someone hellp me i need to no how i am just feelinh life lest

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