Cupid and I had a few drinks last night. That cute little dude sure loves his highballs. We chatted long into the night above love, lust, and the common mistakes people make when choosing a life partner. We came up with 9 common mistakes people make when choosing a life partner.
1. Jumping in too quick
I’m not anti-marriage. But I definitely am anti-jumping-in-too-quick
There’s a reason why the majority of marriages end in divorce. Most of the time it’s because the couples aren’t right for each other and they didn’t give it enough time to find out.
You’re still in the honeymoon, “puppy love” stage of a relationship when you’re 6 months in. If you get married during that stage, do you really know the person?
I waited ~5 months to even ask my girlfriend to officially be my girlfriend. After that we lived together (still do) and travelled the world for years. I knew her so well after a year, that I knew she was perfect for me.
I plan to “pop the question” in a couple of years (she knows this). We’re saving up for a nice ceremony and building up some financial security so we can build a home together.
Why rush to get married and then deal with all the stress of not actually knowing a person after it’s too late? Better to slow down in the beginning so you can be sure that you will not get divorced due to any personality shocks.
2. Having no standards/boundaries/putt
ing up with nonsense
Isn’t it astounding that people will put up with serial affairs? Most people would agree.
“Why are you taking him back? He keeps cheating on you!”
“I know. But he’ll change. We’re in love.”
This is an extreme example born out of the fact that some people just have no standards when it comes to relationships.
I’m not just talking about cheating. I’m talking about smaller standards. Having things you can’t put up with.
For example, a no-no list for a potential partner might include:
- Getting black out drunk every weekend and not knowing what happened
- Cursing with language that would shock a sailor
- Being sarcastic, bitter, and jealous
- Smoking cigarettes
These are things I can’t personally tolerate. I’m not saying people who do these things are bad. I just don’t want to be hitched to one of them. And yet, I’ve seen countless examples of friends that marry smokers when they themselves don’t smoke. Or they marry someone who loves to hit the clubs and drink until they puke even though they prefer to stay home and watch a movie on a Friday night.
In addition to having a no-no list, a lot of people should have a list of qualities that they actively want in a partner. Stuff like:
- They smile a lot, sing tunes around the house, and are generally happy
- They give you compliments and never put you down in front of others
- They have ambitions but also know how to relax and enjoy life
- They do little thoughtful things for you
3. Choosing a partner based on what others think is right
No one can say who is perfect for you except for you.
(Although mothers often have a sixth sense for these sorts of things. If your mum truly likes your partner, you’ve probably found a winner.)
A partner needs to compliment your unique personality. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all.
If you’re introverted, a partner that is the partying type might not be the best fit. Likewise, if you like to suck tequila out of belly buttons at 2am, a partner that likes books and picnics might not be the best fit either.
4. Not seeing that the circumstances of meeting someone often reveal their true character
If you meet someone in a bar and you go back to their place within 15 minutes of meeting…
If you meet someone studying in a coffee shop…
If you meet someone at the office and you need to convince them to leave their current partner because, hey, they’ve been cheating on them with you for a month now…
If you meet someone on a Christian dating website…
You can fill in the rest. The circumstances under which you meet someone aren’t irrelevant. Sometimes they will be. But most of the time they’re relevant as hell.
You can often see the future of a relationship if you know the circumstances under which the two people met.
So… if you want to meet someone that is right for you, look for them in the places you like to visit or while doing the activities you like to do.
I’m not saying this is a hard and fast rule (nothing on this list is). I know people who are happily married even though they were with other people when they met. And I know people who are happily married after meeting in a nightclub even though one of them hates clubs. But, generally speaking, this is true.
5. Not being comfortable alone/without someone
You’ve got to love yourself before you can truly love someone else.
A lot of people get into relationships as a surrogate for self love. They don’t love themselves so they need somebody, anybody, to love them, to show them they’re worth loving.
You’ve got to be comfortable with who you are. Own it. Be comfortable sleeping alone, eating alone, travelling alone. Then you’ll have a solid foundation for a proper relationship. One without weird attachment or jealousy issues.
6. Hiding one’s true self/not being honest
It seems like a lot of people like to play games in the beginning of a relationship. They like to build themselves up to be more important than they are. They try and show themselves as having certain personality traits that they actually don’t possess. And then… a year down the line, the cracks start to show. Sooner than that actually. Within a couple of months.
Here’s a better approach: be honest with the other person from the beginning.
If you have to hide your true self or lie about your loves and hates and dreams and fears in order to get into a relationship for someone…. they aren’t for you.
Be raw with your partner. That doesn’t mean being a crybaby or a blubbering loser. I mean let them know who you are. Don’t be embarrassed of who you are.
If the other person accepts you and loves you, you’ll know they’re in love with the real you and not some facade. It will also be easier to live with them.
7. Disagreeing on major life issues (e.g. children)
If you want kids and your partner doesn’t, why would you make them your life partner?
In the hopes of convincing them?
You may love them but your true desires are completely incompatible here. This will lead to niggling worries that develop into full-scale misery down the line.
For me, I see the following topics as deal breakers:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Staying in physical shape
If you and your partner are on completely opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to those subjects, I can guarantee you’ll have some problems.
8. Not understanding what “love” is
Don’t be swayed by “puppy love”.
This is why I think people should wait a little while before getting married.
You think you’re going to be with a person forever because they make your stomach flip and you can’t stop thinking about them.
But spending your life with someone isn’t like that. Those feelings subside. A different kind of love arises. This is a mature love. It’s a respect for each other. It’s deep love like you would love a family member.
You’ve got to actually like the person and who they are. You can’t just be taken in by looks and feelings. Because both of those things fade in the end.
9. Thinking they’re the only one
The amount of physical and emotional abuse people put up with because they can’t see there are many more fish in the sea is staggering.
Why do people stay with partners who hit them?
Why do people stay with partners who put them down?
Why do people stay with partners who abuse drugs and alcohol?
I’m sure a lot of complicated factors are at play in those situations. But often it’s an inability to see that there are other people out there. Nice people. People that have their lives together.
Annndddd…. That’s my “Cupid-approved” list. Do you agree?