One of the biggest mistakes that someone makes going into a relationship is thinking that everything will be perfect once he or she changes. You cannot force someone to change over the long term without incurring a lot of resentment.
That doesn’t mean that people in a successful relationship are the same as they were when single. They may have changed in many ways. A guy who was a player can become committed. A woman with maxed-out credit cards can learn to budget for shared goals. They changed because they valued the relationship more than their previous behavior.
Everybody is on their best behavior, or should be. If not, it’s time to move on. At this point, the relationship has no depth because it’s not real. It takes earned trust to risk exposing your vulnerabilities and flaws. That hasn’t happened yet. It’s fabulous and fun, but that doesn’t mean it will last.
Getting to know you
This is when problems creep in. They might be minor like leaving toothpaste in the sink or more significant like bad fights or spending very little time together. There are issues you can deal with long-term and those that are deal-breakers. Everyone has traits that annoy the other person in the best relationships. If you stay together long enough and love enough, they may even become endearing.
A hot temper or cheating are deal-breakers for many people. Lying should be a deal-breaker unless there’s a very good reason for the lie. A deal-breaker is something that shows a lack of respect to you and the relationship. Over time, it will probably be repeated. If you see enough value in the relationship to continue, then it’s time to talk about what happened. People usually deserve second chances, but not multiple chances.
Even the best relationships take work. Love brings change, but it begins with you. Nagging, threats or manipulation have an expiration date. People change because they choose to, not because they’re forced to.
A long-term relationship is a lot easier to find and maintain if you start with someone who has the same values you do. Differences can add a lot of spice to a relationship and really work long-term, but you should agree on those values that matter the most.
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