"Relationships need work!" We hear this a lot.
Often we confuse this to be work that has to do be done together and we forget that there are two individuals involved here. But, what really makes for a lasting and happy relationship is the work that we have to do on ourselves. This is commonly called the "space in the relationship".
Khalil Gibran put it beautifully when he wrote, "And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart."
So here are the common relationship mistakes to avoid:
Lose your identity. It's easy to get carried away when you're first starting out. Your whole life revolves around this person, and you can't imagine your life without them. You start dressing in the way your partner likes, listen to the kind of music he or she likes most of the time you're together, you become a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian to bring in the feeling of togetherness.
These might seem like benign adjustments that you are making to bond, but they really become the foundation of your relationship. Where even the bigger decisions become more about how your partner wants to do things and you begin to question your identity.
Feel compelled to do things you don't want to. We often fall into this trap to avoid conflict and confrontation. Your partner does not like you hanging out with friends of the opposite sex. A few of them might be your closest pals, yet, you take the decision to cut them out of your life. Your job is too demanding, you need to cut down your responsibilities or worse, quit. There will be many occasions when you will need to find the middle ground but it should be clearly stated that some things will be sacrosanct, and you both need to figure out how to work around your own insecurities to make it a relationship of trust, respect, and equality.
Thinking that your friends are also his/her friends as well. Your friends are an integral part of your life, and that's great. But, assuming that your friends will become his/her friends is a big mistake. They have their own friends, and they're definitely interested in meeting and hanging out with yours, but to expect to have a similar level of friendship is an ask that actually just does not make sense. In fact, you should not even ask questions like "do you like my friends?" or "why don't you like my friends?" Always know that this relationship is between two people and there is no room for a third, even if you have children.
Everything should be done together. One of the best parts of being in a relationship is learning things about each other and doing things together. But, there's no need to drag him to your girls night out, and there's no need to make her sit through a cricket match. It's great to carve out a little time for yourself, it will definitely work wonders for your relationship. It not only gives you time to grow as an individual but it also brings in a fresh breathe in your relationship. And, the fact that it allows you both to miss each other, only tells you how much you both are into each other.
Take things for granted. This is perhaps the biggest mistake, and what's ironic is that we only do it with people we love. None of us like to be taken for granted by anyone in any relationship. Why should we stop noticing small or big things we do for each other- making that morning cup of tea just the way you like it or taking the longer route home so that your favourite song can finish playing or even packing your bags for an emergency business trip.
If only we appreciate these meaningful gestures in our own way or with a simple "Thank you" that acknowledges that you noticed, will make a relationship that will always remain as strong, loving and romantic.
Falling in love and being in a happy relationship is one of the best feelings in the world and what makes this feeling last is the simple and small things that we do to course correct the journey.
Note: Simran Mangharam is the Co-founder of www.floh.in, a platform that connects singles in real-life.