Sex + Dating

The Most Common Mistakes for People in Their First Real Relationship

relationship mistakes
Evan Lockhart/Thrillist

The butterflies. The excitement. The giddiness. Your first relationship is like nothing else.

Falling in love for the first time is the best feeling in the world. You can't sleep because you're up all night talking. You can't think because they're taking up most of your mind.

Then, things inevitably go south. Our inexperience leads to all those happy moments turning into blowout fights, insane drama, and that ridiculous feeling of thinking you'll never love again. It's the f'ing worst. Here are the most common mistakes we all make in our first serious relationship.

Thinking you should be treated like royalty

Yes, you should be treated with respect, kindness, and love. But no person has to get down and worship the ground you walk on. If your partner is going to put in a ton of effort to make you happy and do the things you love, then you need to learn how to reciprocate.

Too many of us get it in our heads that romantic comedies are somehow accurate. We think guys should show up at our windows with a boom box and get all Lloyd Dobler on our asses. Sure, they should do things that are romantic and caring, but when you expect too much from a guy, the pressure will break him.

Expecting way too much from the person you're with without appreciating or returning the favor is great for one thing: getting dumped.

Acting jealous

Jealousy is the byproduct of a lack of trust and an overly active imagination. A mistake many of us make in our first serious relationship is thinking that a significant other wants to hook up with every woman he talks to. We assume that just because he's friends with a girl, he wants to be with her and not us.

This way of thinking is pretty damn harmful. Jealousy only ever leads to possessiveness, arguments, and restricting freedoms on a person we supposedly love. And it makes anyone in their right mind want to run as fast as they can in the opposite direction.

Getting physical before getting comfortable

Sex is great, don't get me wrong.

It's a huge part of any serious relationship and should be taken seriously -- but only when it's the right time. When you're in your first relationship, passion runs high and mighty. It can even stop you from feeling other things that are probably more important, like the fact that maybe you're not ready to be having sex with this person just yet.

Too many women jump into bed because we're so "in love" and we don't think about how we'll feel after. We get way too physical before we're even comfortable.

Bad idea.

Thinking your partner is the same as you

Ladies, guys do not have the same thought process as you. Not even close. One mistake a lot of us make in our first serious relationship is thinking they feel and think the same way we do. And so when they don't react to something in the way you think they ought to, you get frustrated and upset.

This leads to arguments that your partner will, quite frankly, not get and therefore be unable to fix. Sometimes you literally have to spell out how you're feeling to a guy if you truly want him to understand where you're coming from. Early on, things being lost in translation convinces many of us that our partner just doesn't care.

Not accepting someone as they are

Why are people so hung up on fixing each other?

I have a novel idea: Find someone who is good enough right now. Too many people fall for partners who are broken in some way, and become obsessed with making them whole again. We put ourselves into a romantic movie of our own and then get pissed when the ending isn't what we expected.

In case you hadn't already heard, people can't be fixed by other people. That stuff comes from within. We are who we are, we rarely change, and chances are, that damaged person you fell for is just fine for someone else.

Making people into projects leaves them resentful for not being accepted "as is." And really, that's not bad logic.

Not all of us are lucky enough to fall madly in love with someone in high school, grow up to marry them, and live happily ever after.

Fortunately, recognizing the relationship learning curve is exactly how we (eventually, maybe, someday) end up with the right person. All that heartbreak we suffer early on prepares us to be better partners to people better suited for us.

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Bella Pope is just your not-so-average introvert extraordinaire. She's a lover of all things food, travel, fitness, and love-related. If you want to see her best disappearing act, just give her a book and a blanket.