Okay, so young adults aren’t the sole owners of these mistakes. Anyone inexperienced in dating, regardless of the number of candles on their cake, is likely to commit these sins.
I made some of these mistakes, your momma did, your doctor did, and your second cousin twice removed probably still does.
1. They Don’t Know How to Pick Their Battles
You know how it’s normal for small children to create petty fights over having control of something or to be so emotionally immature that they act on their first emotional responses to everything?
Unfortunately, many of us don’t actually grow out of this until well into adulthood. Twenty-somethings are notorious for fighting arrogantly over every difference of opinion, because they are usually still fighting for respect and autonomy from their parents and society, so they feel the need to prove themselves.
It’s a crucial step toward emotional maturity learning how to recognize what you’re feeling as you feel it, taking a step back to consider how to respond to it, and to decide whether it’s worth fighting about or even bringing up to your mate. Here’s a personal story that exemplifies this well.
My hubby is a wonderful man who doesn’t have Neanderthal views about gender roles, so he does his share of household chores, like laundry. However, he’s less fussy about how they get done, so he’s likely to toss all the clothes together without sorting by color or type.
One particular afternoon, I was putting away the clothes he had washed and discovered my sexy black mini skirt had shrunk to epically mini proportions. Let’s just say, only a 9 year old could wear it now. My immediate emotional response was frustration. I wanted to march into the other room, hold the skirt in the air, and snap “See why it’s important to separate your clothes and read labels! This should’ve been washed in cold water and air dried!”
That’s what twenty-something me would’ve done, which would’ve predictably provoked my man to get defensive because he would’ve felt attacked. What I did instead was take a step back to examine my feelings, and I realized that I am thrilled to be married to a man who doesn’t expect his wife to be his maid, and that it wasn’t worth getting angry about a replaceable piece of fabric.
So I went into the other room, showed him the skirt, and joked “Well, this skirt is probably out of style now anyway.” He immediately apologized and offered to get me a new one. No quarrel ensued, no contempt, no bad moods resulted.
2. They Go Running to Friends and Parents Whenever They Have a Fight
Twenty-somethings haven’t learned yet that if they want to be taken seriously as adults, they need to solve their relationship issues on their own (barring help for domestic violence, etc). Independent, mature couples know that to spill all of their quibbles and quarrels to their loved ones only invites judgment, and can sometimes give them a skewed view of your relationship. If you’re usually only talking about your man when things go wrong, they will see the two of you only in a negative light. It’s important to develop healthy new boundaries with others as a couple.
3. They Create Scenarios to Make Their Significant Other Jealous, Sabotaging the Relationship Because They Enjoy the Ego Boost
She flirts too much with the hot guy at the bar, he hugs his coworker too often and begins a friendship with her, she talks too much about her ex, he cheats to remind her that he’s still attractive. All of this unnecessary drama erodes trust, leads to insecurity, and is one of the primary reasons for #2 above. Of course you’re going to run to other people all the time when you’re with someone whose manipulative, confusing behavior needs to be deciphered! Plus, you need to hear someone remind you that you’re not crazy.
Have you made these mistakes? I’d love to hear about your experiences!