The list of what NOT to do in a relationship could fill the pages of many a book, but we think it’s time to flip the script on these five classic dating “don’ts.”
Part of crafting a mindful relationship is having a keen understanding of what the dos and don’ts are in a relationship. The problem that arises is that much of what is written on the topic is rather biased—it’s almost entirely based on the individual lending the advice and what they like or dislike.
Even experts disagree at times what is a “do” and what is a “don’t” in our relationships, making the notion that there is a single set of rules that ensures total success rather unlikely. As we explore a more modern age of dating that places emphasis on both our personal independence as well as making mindful choices in love, the rules are changing, folks. So much so that many don’ts are becoming dos—or at least should be considered before totally ruled out.
Here are my top 5 dating don’ts that should probably be dos:
Why should this be a do? Simply put, there’s a faulty assumption that arguing equates poor communication. The focus is on knowing how to argue so you can each state your feelings and boundaries without it turning into a fight.
Arguing clears the air, creates spaciousness for total honesty and vulnerability, and allows for stagnant energy to be cleared out. By keeping the conversation civil, and by owning our own feelings, we can use arguments as an opening for healing and greater intimacy in our most important romantic relationships.
Don’t move too fast in a relationship.
Not everyone shares the ideology that to be a healthy relationship it must take a slow pace. I have found in my experience as an intuitive relationship coach that, ultimately, what pace the relationship moves at is best is determined by the people in the connection. While some move rather fast, others prefer a more moderate pace.
In this case, I have found the don’t pertains more to when we enter connections than how fast we move when in them. Too many of us are jumping from one ship to another before taking the necessary time to heal and foster a greater awareness of the self and the previous relationship. Once in a connection, my suggestion is to really get in touch with your core values and what feels right for you. The pace of a connection should be something you and your partner see eye-to-eye on—not something that should be predetermined.
Don’t use texting or email to discuss issues.
A growing number of experts are beginning to see the value of taking issues into written communication—especially in instances where verbal communication skills are not strong. I typically advise that my clients use the medium of texting or email to discuss issues so the discussion can be more structured.
In email and texting, each individual has an opportunity to say their piece without interruption. I find this medium of communication especially helpful for those who find their arguments often turn into fights. With this method, there is more time to truly think and make conscious decisions about what is and is not said.
Don’t be too picky.
I am a huge fan of taking this rule and throwing it straight out the window. If I had a dime for every time a client came to me questioning if a relationship was right for them, yet felt they may just be “too picky” I could have easily retired ages ago.
The fact is, too many of us are not being picky enough. We are so desperate for external romance that we accept far-less than we want and deserve just to fill a void. The pickier we are, being mindful we’re sticking with boundaries that are aligned with our core values, the more likely we are to accept those into our lives and hearts with whom we have the greatest chance of creating a successful relationship.
Don’t bring up the past.
Now hear me out for just a moment before you go into a first date with someone and start laying your every heartbreak and relationship misgiving on the table; understand there is a time and place for everything. In this case, discussing the past is not appropriate on the first (or even fifth).
At a certain point, however, discussing the past is quite important. I want to know where you come from, your relational history, and what your perceptions of those histories are. This provides us with valuable information about who we are getting involved with. Our past may not be the determiner of our future, but it creates a rather telling narrative of what has shaped us thus far—information that can be extremely useful when making sound and conscious decisions on which relationships are allowed in our lives.
The most important thing when we are making decisions about what is a “do” and “don’t” in our relationship is being dialed in on what our core values are. These suggestions are meant to help those who struggle with believing not doing things we are told is bad for our relationships, in the hopes we can foster an understanding that what may be wrong for one may be right for another. We should all feel free to tap into what feels most authentic for us and act accordingly.