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Top 3 Mistakes Women Make in Relationships

by Kathy Batesel

Young Woman Praying Photography by Petr Kratochvil

Young Woman Praying Photography by Petr Kratochvil

Making Less of Yourself Won't Make Him Something More

Women everywhere sabotage their relationships by falling into three common relationship traps. This may be partly due to the way women are socialized to nurture other people and partly due to the oft-repeated idea that relationships take work. Despite their best intentions, women’s efforts to maintain their relationship status often backfire. By avoiding these three common mistakes, women will find a great relationship far sooner than torturing themselves with the wrong one.

Mistake #1: Giving up her own values, priorities, and beliefs.

It happens insidiously, so slowly she’s not aware she doing it. Nonetheless, somewhere between the first date and the “I do,” she shifted her interests. She stopped spending time with her friends regularly on the weekends because that’s when he was available, even though her friendships have always been important to her. Instead of enjoying weekly manicures, she cooked tasty dinners for him. Because he didn’t like sushi, she hasn’t been to her favorite restaurant in months.

These small decisions add up to self-betrayal. In the past, she valued her friendships and made it a priority to demonstrate her affection to her friends by spending time with them. Her belief that she needed to look her best came into conflict with a belief that she would be valued for doing nice things for him, so she gave up the belief that looked out for herself first.

Before she knows it, the single girl she was is a different person – and the new girl looks very different from the happy girl he met and loves. As she changed, so did his responsiveness – and no wonder! While he appreciates the sweet things she does for him, he hates the way she feels hurt if he doesn’t give her the kind of response she wants; and to be honest, he’s pretty clueless about what to do.

Men aren’t raised to sacrifice their ideals for others. He doesn’t get it when she does this. Heck, it’s such an alien concept that he can’t understand or even perceive such a thing. When she talks about all she has done for him and tells him about her needs, he looks at her as if she’s speaking gibberish because quite frankly, she is.

If she appreciates herself, he's likely to be more appreciative, too. She can give herself permission to indulge her whims from time to time. If she buys flowers to freshen up the room, the visual reminder serves to keep him aware that she is his equal and doesn't have to make sacrifices for him, but sometimes does as an act of kindness.

By taking back her sense of self, she can reclaim her inner peace and find that joy that’s been eluding her lately. She doesn’t need him to agree on sushi, because sushi tastes just as good alone or with a gal pal. What she does need is to celebrate the person she is – whoever that may be.

Mistake #2: Choosing a man who doesn’t choose her.

She wants him to crave and cherish her. In fact, she wants this so desperately that she strives to be the kind of woman he claims to want, but somehow it doesn’t work.

While watching television, he drools over actresses with long hair. She doesn’t realize that her recent decision to grow her own locks is a subconscious attempt to be something he wants. When he jokes with his buddies about women who are wild in bed, she may not recognize it when a week later, she has a sudden urge to strip naked and dance for him in front of the television. She doesn’t realize that for him, breakup sex is just sex – not a path to enlightenment.

Mixed messages bombard this woman. He says he wants her, but doesn’t act like it. He says he loves her, and then treats her unkindly. He once went out of his way to please her, but no longer seems to meaningfully invest in the relationship.

This can happen when a man senses that his woman isn’t the right one for him, but even when he believes she is, he may stop making her a priority. “I’ve got you now, so why should I keep trying?” He thinks that since he has reached his goal, it’s time to turn his attention elsewhere. When this happens, he has stopped choosing her.

When a woman adapts to his tastes in order to keep his attention, he will enjoy her efforts, but it still won’t make him choose her. He has already made his choice – a choice that relegated her to the margins of his life while he looks for his “real deal.”

This isn’t to say he’s a bad guy. If he has never experienced devotion, he may not understand how his behavior differs from a committed man devoted to his partner.

The solution to this problem is simple, but not easy. This kind of relationship has an expiration date. Ending it now will free her up so she’s available to the kind of gentleman that will cherish and adore her.

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More Relationship Topics by Kathy Batesel

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  • Why Do I Feel Single in My Relationship?
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Mistake #3: Believing that relationships take hard work.

This common misperception is true – of bad relationships. Although good relationships require effort, those efforts don’t feel like tedious chores or painful exercises. They feel like opportunities.

Women who regularly make sacrifices for their partner or have a frequent need to discuss the relationship’s shortcomings could benefit from recognizing that all that hard work is a red flag. It’s not a sign of commitment or an indicator that her partner is emotionally stunted.

If she insists on believing this myth, she would benefit from focusing all that work on herself – not in an effort to be someone she isn’t, but to celebrate the person she is. By setting goals for herself and achieving new milestones her life, she will be the kind of successful, happily fulfilled woman that characterize every man’s vision of an ideal mate.


jellygator (author) from USA on April 25, 2013:

Me, too, AmandaJon! Thanks for commenting.

Amanda Jones on April 25, 2013:

Very good hub and a great point of view! I am cinvinced that it is necssary to love yourself before loving someone else.

jellygator (author) from USA on March 23, 2013:

Yep, yep, yep! It's funny sometimes how when I stand firm on my opinion even though it's directly opposed to his, my husband'll announce to everyone in earshot that it's one of the reasons he loves me. Thanks for reading and commenting, Cathleena. Hopefully not all women will take twenty or thirty years to get the kind of education we've earned!

Cathleena Beams from Tennessee on March 23, 2013:

Spoken like a very wise woman. So many of us have done these very things and learned our lessons the hard way from the school of hard knocks. I agree that we shouldn't change who we are to please someone else and it usually back fires on us when we do. One thing that I learned through all of my mistakes is that a woman should view herself as the prize and not the guy. If he's the prize and she's trying to win him, he's likely to run, but when the tables are turned and she's the one he views as worth winning, then he's all in it to win. Don't make it all about him. Most guys are attracted to women who don't need them rather than the one who center's her whole world around him.

jellygator (author) from USA on March 23, 2013:

Thank you, Rain!

Elizabeth from ATLANTA,Ga on March 23, 2013:

Food for thought. Great hub!

jellygator (author) from USA on March 21, 2013:

Thank you, khmohsin!

khmohsin on March 20, 2013:

Very informative and really true hub. Every female should read this hub and evaluate herself if she's doing any mistake one of them. Thanks Jelly for sharing such an important hub :)

jellygator (author) from USA on March 20, 2013:

Take great care of yourself, Emily! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Emily Nemchick from Phoenix, AZ on March 20, 2013:

Perfectly true. Relationships are about being yourself and being loved for who you are, not about changing yourself to fit another person. I'm a little guilty of giving things up for my husband so reading this is a nice reminder to indulge my own whims once in a while.

jellygator (author) from USA on March 07, 2013:

Thank you, hosiyat!

hosiyat on March 06, 2013:

Hmm, the tips appear to be so practical, ..thanks to the hub author.

jellygator (author) from USA on January 22, 2013:

Thanks, Savvy! These points are also easy to forget!

savvydating on January 22, 2013:

Yes! Celebrate yourself first! It's the only way to attract and sustain romantic relationships. All three of your points are so simple, yet true (and effective). Thanks for a wonderful hub, jellygator! (Voted Awesome and Up)

jellygator (author) from USA on January 22, 2013:

Thanks, IDW! I look forward to getting to know you!

idigwebsites from United States on January 22, 2013:

Hello, jellygator! I'm guilty of having done all of these three things and then some. I'm glad it's not too late for me to recover myself and regain my individuality. Thanks for these advice and encouragement. Up, useful and a following. :)

jellygator (author) from USA on January 21, 2013:

Thanks, Stina! I hope you'll learn to navigate this tricky path between being good to our partners and to ourselves at the same time.

Cristina Cakes from Virginia on January 21, 2013:

This is great writing and solid advice. I think a lot of us women are guilty of doing at least one of these things. I personally am guilty of two of them!

jellygator (author) from USA on January 14, 2013:

Very welcome, Ticks!

Talha Rehman from Lucknow India on January 14, 2013:

Thanks for sharing!!

jellygator (author) from USA on August 30, 2012:

That's a great idea. I'll follow up on that as soon as I'm able.

ThisisShe on August 30, 2012:

I love this hub. You've hit the nail on the head.

What needs to be discussed now (possibly in another hub) is why women think and act this way. For instance, your first point, you mention that men aren't raised to sacrifice their ideals for others, but women are certainly expected to adapt and change to please others. So frequently I hear mothers telling their daughters to smile because it makes other people like them more. They tell them to do this and change that to make other people happy. Women are raised to believe that the only way to get people to love them is to change who they are when in fact - as you said - this just isn't the case.

Perhaps if we raise our daughters differently and show them how these points you've presented set them up for heartache later in life.

jellygator (author) from USA on August 02, 2012:

Thanks LLMLM!

Lovelovemeloveme from Cindee's Land on August 01, 2012:

Thank u! i enjoyed this very much. Good refresher. I was surprised there was only 3, but these sure do sum up the 3 most common ones.

jellygator (author) from USA on July 30, 2012:

I love seeing proof that there are plenty of great men out there, Mr Love Doctor, and you've just supplied some. Thank you!

Mr Love Doctor from Puerto Rico on July 30, 2012:

Wow, this article is not only spot-on and pithy, it is a useful refresher even for those of us guys who "get it" when it comes to women. I have to admit, I took away a few things when it comes to the items my wife has given up for me. I have some work to do . . .

jellygator (author) from USA on July 20, 2012:

Thank you prektjr!

Debbie Carey from Riverton, KS, USA on July 20, 2012:

Very good and very on point!

jellygator (author) from USA on July 03, 2012:

Thanks, Dr. Pooja! I suspect you're right about everyone being able to recognize themselves in at least some of these things. It's so much more peaceful not to fall into these thoughts, though!

Dr Pooja on July 03, 2012:

Am sure we all can identify with this in some way . Voted up and shared.

jellygator (author) from USA on January 21, 2012:

What a nice compliment! Thank you, Debra.

Debra Verville from USA on January 21, 2012:

Explained perfectly and this should be given to all girls heading into relationships!

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