The 5 Biggest Relationship Mistakes I Ever Made

“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep … Wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you’re just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky his is to have you … The one who turns to his friends and says, ‘That’s her.'” — Unknown

Everyone makes mistakes in relationships. The trick is not making the same relationship mistakes over and over and over again. I’ve made my share of relationship mistakes along the way. Here are mine, so you don’t have to make them. 1. Not Getting Out When I Should Have. Unfortunately, this happened more than once. You’d think I’d learn. But when it comes to relationships, old patterns are hard to break. The first time, we broke up after a couple years. That was my chance. At that point, the relationship was already too fraught, too unstable to work in the long-term. He broke up with me, and I should have moved on. We kept communicating, he regretted his mistake, and within a month we were back together. The second turn lasted another two years. I wish I could have those years back. When you know things between you are screwed up, that’s not the time to figure it out. It’s time to get out.

2. Looking The Other Way When He Probably Cheated. I don’t know for a fact that any of my exes cheated, but it’s possible one or two did. There was a trip one took where, I surmised, something weird happened. There was the time one disappeared, never called, and didn’t offer up an explanation when he returned. For a variety of reasons, including selfishness and stupidity, I dealt with those question marks by shrugging my shoulders and averting my gaze. It wasn’t the cheating; it was the avoiding. That’s like closing your eyes and walking through a minefield. Eventually, something’s going to blow up in your face.

3. Trying To Be The Perfect Girlfriend. Most of my exes told me I was a good girlfriend. Most of the time, I was. Now, I think my dedication to being “good” was one of my biggest relationship problems. I would rather whistle Dixie than get into a heated debate with my significant other. This isn’t “good.” This is operating a relationship under the premise that if you don’t fight, there’s nothing wrong, right? It doesn’t work. Arguing is a normal part of a relationship, and if you’re not doing it, you’ve got a problem.

4. Taking Way Too Long To Get Over It. You know your girlfriend who keeps babbling about her ex? You know how you want to shake her shoulders and shout: “Get over it already!” I’m here to let you know you’re exactly right about that. If there’s no use in crying over spilled milk, why the hell would you want to sit around ruminating over a relationship that went sour? It’s over. The longer you drag it behind you, the longer it will be before someone better shows up to fall in love with you.

5. Picking The Wrong Guys. I think I wanted what I wanted to be right for me, not what was really right for me. I wish I’d wanted the things that I needed, not the things that I wanted. I wanted to be taken care of, but I chose guys who didn’t know how. I needed a man who was constant; I ended up with men whose emotions came and went like the wind. I wanted a man, yet I found boys. My problem, no doubt. If I’d been more honest with myself, I would have spent less time with a string of Mr. Wrongs on my way to Mr. Right.