5 Mistakes to Avoid in a New Relationship

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Navigating new romantic relationships can be tricky. Technology and rapidly changing cultural rules when it comes to love and dating can make building a new romance even more challenging. Here are five simple things to avoid in a new romance that can make things a bit smoother.

 1. Don’t use texting a primary communication.

The overwhelming impact of texting on new romance has been primarily negative, particularly when it comes to navigating the very beginning stages of dating someone new.  Texting and other electronic communication very often result in misunderstandings, miscommunications, misinterpretations, erroneous assumptions, rash decisions, and other negative complications and obstacles in new relationships.  We lose all of the very important information about a person’s emotions that are communicated through things like tone of voice, and the more lengthy and complete style of communicating we use when speaking with someone. Furthermore, a very important problem with texting is the glaring lack of commonly accepted meanings and significance of things like the response time taken to answer a text message. The meaning of these things can, and usually does, vary dramatically from person to person. Avoid using texting as the primary means of communication when first getting to know someone.  If you must use it at all, limit to simple practical messages rather than lengthy conversations. So much can be gained early on in a relationship by just speaking to someone on the phone rather than excessive texting, and many unnecessary problems can be minimized or completely avoided.

2. Don’t disclose too much too soon.

Be aware that excessive self-disclosure early in a new relationship can be a warning sign of someone who has poor boundaries, high emotionality, dependency issues, or difficulty with managing their own emotional state effectively. It’s a good idea to start out with less sensitive disclosures and pay close to attention to how they are received.  It can also be telling to note how someone discusses sensitive disclosures about others.  However, too little disclosure can compromise intimacy and make it difficult for relationships to grow.  Having similar comfort levels for disclosure is often a good indicator as to whether or not two people might be well matched. Distinguishing between too much and too little disclosure isn’t usually difficult. Both typically involve negative emotions in one or both people in the relationship. Fear, anxiety, frustration, hurt, and anger may all be signals or alarms that too much or too little disclosure is an issue. So, pay attention to these signals and adjust your disclosures accordingly.

3. Don’t share information about romantic relationships on social media.

Simply choose not to share this kind of information on social media at all, and also ask your romantic partners early on to respect your wishes and do the same when it comes to sharing information about you.  Romantic relationships can be challenging enough to navigate without these added complications. Finding ways like this to simplify or minimize potential pitfalls is a great rule of thumb to follow. Share personal information with those that are important to you through more direct and private means.   Eventually, you will very likely be glad you did.

4. Don’t be overly nice.

Although being kind and thoughtful with your love interest is always a good idea, researchers at Columbia University found that more subtle gestures are more likely to have a positive effect. Making very grand or obvious gestures is more likely to produce feelings of obligation and stress, and can even diminish the positive effects you are trying to create.

5. Don’t play games.

Avoid playing games that somehow masking your true emotions and intentions. For example, if you really like someone, don’t pretend otherwise so as not to appear too eager or interested. Having the courage to be honest and straightforward about your thoughts and feelings is the best way to build a foundation and increase the probability that a healthy relationship might grow. Although game-playing can appear to be effective in sparking interest or otherwise influencing how a person seems to feel about you early on, people that are vulnerable to this kind of influence tend to not be well-suited for longer-term, healthy, fulfilling relationships.  So, if playing hard to get or feigning disinterest seems to get immediate results from some people, remember that over the long-term the relationship is less likely to work out. Be honest and avoid games to get to the true potential of a relationship much quicker and more effectively.