No one becomes #relationshipgoals by accident.
As much as we'd all love for it to be true, relationships aren't like fairytales. Relationships can be tricky and almost all come with some challenges. If you're lucky, you'll notice the red flags before they become too serious. There are the obvious ones like verbal, emotional or physical abuse that are automatic grounds for ending things.
But then there are the less obvious mistakes. The ones that, if left ignored, lead to resentment and could ruin your happily ever after. If you're guilty of any of the below, it's okay. All relationships involve learning from our mistakes and growing.
Forgetting to appreciate your partner and getting lazy with affection/romance
At the beginning of a relationship, you noticed all the kind, sweet things your partner is doing for you and you praised them accordingly. You said you loved each other all of the time and couldn't keep your hands off each other. Once you've been with someone for awhile though, sometimes you tend to get a bit lax when it comes to piling on the affection.
The Fix: When your partner does something sweet for you, acknowledge it! Tell them how much you love them and what they mean to you. Create little routines, like always kissing them goodbye or hugging them when they get home and add in little things, like holding hands, giving them a little head massage during Netflix time or even just randomly touching throughout the day.
No one wants to fight, so sometimes it's just easier to sweep things under the carpet to keep the peace. The problem with doing that is that the problem will continue to fester which will ultimately end up in an argument anyway.
The Fix: You just have to communicate with your partner. If the situation is something you can't let go of then you need to speak up - its hard but it's worth it. Otherwise, those little things that bother you will build up and you'll come to resent your partner.
Not taking time for yourself and being too co-dependent
So many people lose their identity in relationships which isn't healthy. It's important to maintain your own independence while also fostering your closeness (yes, it's possible to do both!).
The Fix: Do your own thing every now and then - have your own interests, hobbies and friends and spend time alone as well. You have to be able to stand on your own two feet.
Trying to change and/or control them
There are always going to be things about your partner that will annoy you, especially if you've been together for a significant amount of time. Maybe you wish they were more organised or weren't such a fussy eater. And while it can be tempting to try and mould them to be the same as us, you need to remember why you fell for them in the first place.
The Fix: You have to realise that you can't change or control your partner. Would you like them to treat you like that? Nope, didn't think so.
Making unrealistic promises
When you make unrealistic promises, you'll probably end up eventually breaking them, and breaking promises is a sure-fire way to destroy the trust you've worked so hard to build.
The Fix: Instead of saying "I will never hurt you" say, "I will do my best to never hurt you."
Not communicating changing needs and feelings
Couples either grow apart or grow together. To grow together, you need to keep getting to know each other all the time, month after month, year after year. If you're not regularly checking in with one another on an emotional level, you'll lose your connection.
The Fix: Talk often and discuss big, important things like jobs, interests, family and kids regularly. Support each other during times of growth and change.
Not putting in the work
Relationships can be hard sometimes and they take a lot of effort, compromising and communication to make them work. It's all part of the game. If you get too comfortable in your relationship and you get lazy, you're in for a bad time.
The Fix: There's no other way to say it, you just have to do the work. Sometimes you have to suck it up and do things you don't want to do. If your relationship and your partner is worth it, you'll put the effort in.
Emma is just your average book loving, tea drinking, story writing, narcissistic millennial on an eternal quest for the perfect t-shirt. Ever since she picked up her first copy of Dolly when she was twelve, she always knew she wanted to work in magazines. She would describe herself as a bit of a hopeless romantic with an obsession for true crime and horror and a love for red wine, whiskey or a stiff gin and tonic. When she's not binge watching Netflix or buying things she can't afford online, she spends her weekends trawling through bookstores and eating her way through Brisbane.