Love should be the easiest thing in the world.
By Elizabeth Overstreet — Last updated on Oct 09, 2023
Photo: Polina Zimmerman | Timur Weber | Pexels / alphaspirit.it | Canva
When you are at the beginning of a relationship, it can be challenging to figure out if it is the right fit.
Part of this is because we get so many confusing messages about what love is and what type of relationships you need. But, love doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are 9 ways we make love way more complicated than it really is:
1. Not determining the type of relationship you want
It is the most important thing you need to focus on so you are in the right relationship. Stop comparing and looking to others for guidance. What works for two people who are in a different relationship might be the opposite of what you want and need for yourself.
Do you want to be in a monogamous relationship? Do you want an open relationship? Are you looking for something casual? The clearer you are about what you want and need right now, the easier it will be for you to find someone similar. Trying to fit into a mold that doesn’t work for you even if you kind of like the other person will lead to a temporary relationship and unnecessary heartbreak.
2. We overthink it
Sometimes in a rush to determine where your relationship is headed, it’s easy to become short-sighted. You miss clues and red flags of incompatibility. Even the strongest and best relationships are built over time and through experiences. Disagreements, at the beginning of a relationship, can be a positive sign. Why? Because you are both being honest about your needs and expectations.
Next time you are trying to figure out if someone likes you, or why things aren’t moving quicker, take a deep breath. Be present in the moment, the very beginning of the relationship. You’ll never get to relive these moments. Enjoy them and focus on what’s happening now and this will help you to determine if there is indeed a future.
3. We assume a lot based on how we would react
It’s funny to watch a new couple navigate communication and disagreements. But, here’s a way to keep things less complicated.
In a healthy relationship, couples will feel comfortable stating their viewpoint even if it makes the other person uncomfortable. And instead of assuming why the other person is doing something they will ask the question why?
You each have your unique views of the world based on your own experiences and past relationships. Act accordingly. When your significant other does something you don’t understand, ask them about it. Then listen. Early assumptions have ruined a lot of what could have been potentially good relationships.
4. We overcompensate early on in the relationship
Most relationships start off great. You put your best foot forward. You are all about impressing this person you like. You compromise. You wine and dine them. But, then several months pass, and you may drop the ball.
It’s natural at the beginning of something new to be excited about it. And it’s normal to want to impress someone you like. But, be fair and consistent not only at the beginning of the relationship but as it progresses too.
No extreme treatment of another person does any good. It’s nearly impossible to do something to the extreme continuously. Ease into the relationship, make a good impression, and most importantly be consistent with your words and actions. Consistency is extremely sexy!
5. You let things fester
Open communication is vital in a relationship. It can’t be overstated. So, I will state it again. Open communication is vital in a relationship. When you and your significant other have a challenging moment, learn to be vocal and get it out in the open early on as opposed to letting it build inside your mind.
When you don’t get it out, and you allow your mind to go through those bad moments over and over numbingly, it can create a personal grudge between you and your mate. If you are better at putting words to paper than verbally saying them, use technology to do so. Send a text, email, or jot down your thoughts on pen and paper. Give it to your significant other and follow it up with a discussion. Getting things out in the open between you two is better than keeping them inside.
6. You self-sabotage
It’s so easy for you to walk away from something than to work towards making it work. With all of the access to potential new partners, it’s easy to have FOMO. It’s weird but true.
When you are feeling someone, it’s raw, and it’s scary to have exposed feelings that haven’t been completely validated. But, this is what happens when you fall in love with someone. There is a level of vulnerability, even when you care about someone, which is sometimes hard to handle because you have to open up yourself to them.
Before you decide to give up, look at your relationship patterns. How did your past relationships end? What was your breaking point? What part did you play in making the connection fall apart? When do you tend to break away? Has the person you are currently seeing done anything to warrant you leaving? What would your life look like without them? Without accountability and changing your dating patterns, you can’t grow or move forward. So you are not stagnant,
7. We want to stay in the honeymoon phase
The beginning of a relationship is the best. You are in the ‘fantasy zone.’ You love the energy and good feelings that a new relationship brings to you. But, the honeymoon phase is just that. As a relationship matures, and every relationship does, you have to go through a series of changes as it evolves.
Every day can’t be picture-perfect. Real life is going to impact you and your significant other. It’s normal. While the honeymoon phase can feel so freaking good, you can look forward to experiencing more of those good times ahead.
Ask any couple in a long-term relationship, and they will tell you that they have had their good and challenging times. But, often they were able to weather the storm and are usually glad they had the willingness to see things through with one another.
8. Relationships are uncomfortable and can be dull at times
Yes, they can be romantic, fun, and exciting. But, as the saying goes, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Once you are past the honeymoon phase we mentioned above; it can be easy to have days where you want just to run away. And that is normal.
Relationships have a way of exposing who you are in totality. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to have someone in your life to have access to all of your stuff. You can’t run and hide from those things. But, when you start having this thought, remember that you’re lucky to have someone who loves you unconditionally despite all of your stuff. The more a couple is honest with one another and exposes who they are in totality, the more amazing growth happens in their relationship.
9. We merge family and friends too soon
I know you are excited. You have found someone you want in your life for a while. But, before you bring them completely into your life and merge them with your family and friends, give you and them some time to establish your relationship.
Make sure you have something substantial. Get to know the other person. Then, slowly expose them to your friends and family. Sometimes having too much in the mix early on in the relationship can complicate things. Take it slow. If it’s meant to be and the relationship is working, you’ll have plenty of time to introduce them to your friends and family.
Next time you are looking to hit that door before giving your relationship a chance, think about un-complicating the way you approach love. Take it slow, recognize where you need to have improved, and use your past experiences to create better future ones for you and that one who you just might end up making it work.
If you still find dating and falling in love to be a wee bit too complicated, maybe I can help.
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Elizabeth Overstreet is an author, speaker, and relationship coach. She is the podcast host of Bedtalks, and she has been featured in Thought Catalog, Black Doctor, Garland Journal, Texas Metro News, and more.
This article was originally published at Thought Catalog. Reprinted with permission from the author.