15. Biggest mistakes to avoid in a relationship.

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    Most of couple do not planning for their engagement shoot. They always get engaged, start planning their wedding and think “we’ll get our engagement photos done later” or potentially not even consider it at all. Simply because they haven’t planned an engagement shoot, they miss out on capturing those once in a lifetime precious moments. It’s important to think that your engagement shoot is the first impression people have of your wedding. It sets the foundation for what’s to follow. It’s a great opportunity for you to do something different and unique.


   Until this time, Clinical studies and surveys of married couples indicate that the single largest problem in most relationships is depression in one of the partners. We are not talking about a bad mood. We are talking about depression so severe that it causes personal and relationship problems. Depression is a recognized disease, and is much more than just moodiness. People who are clinically depressed are so down that their thoughts are often of suicide.

According to the “DSM-IV”, the manual used to diagnose mental disorders, depression occurs when someone has five or more of the following symptoms at the same time:

  • A depressed mood during most of the day, most evident in the morning
  • A feeling of fatigue and lack of energy every day * Feelings of worthlessness or guilt nearly every day
  • Inability to concentrate * Indecisiveness, even regarding simple decisions
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
  • Noticeably diminished interest in normal activities * Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • Restlessness, psychomotor agitation or retardation of activity Significant weight loss or gain of more than five percent in a month If five or more of these signs are apparent for more than two weeks it is considered to be clinical or major depression. None of these symptoms should be attributable to drugs or other medication to be considered part of the depression. Also, if these symptoms occur within two months of the loss of a loved one, they usually won’t be diagnosed as depression.

Minor attacks of depression will usually be characterized by some or all of the following symptoms. The severity, frequency and duration of the attack will vary from individual to individual:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details or making decisions
  • Decreased energy and fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or other formerly pleasurable activities
  • Irritability
  • Apparent loss of pleasure in life in general
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Frequent and persistent aches and pains
  • Digestive problems.

The last type of depression is bipolar or manic depression. Bipolar 1 occurs when someone has at least one manic – extremely high or elated episode. Bipolar 2 occurs when someone has at least one hypo-manic  mildly high or elated  episode. Both sexes experience the same symptoms of this misunderstood affliction.

One of the biggest mistakes made in relationships is not dealing properly with a depressed partner. Sympathy and understanding are crucial. It’s important to engage the depressed partner in some form of pleasurable physical activity as this promotes an improved feeling of self-worth.

Most depression is treated with drugs; antidepressants or mood levelers like Prozac are often prescribed. Some feel, however, that there is a tendency in Western medicine to just medicate a person’s symptoms instead of treating the underlying causes of the disorder.

In these cases, there are some natural remedies like St. John’s Wort and Omega-3 fatty acids that can be good alternatives to standard pharmaceuticals. If your partner shows symptoms of depression for any noticeable amount of time, encourage them to seek medical treatment.

Be gentle with them and encourage them to seek activities involving interaction with other people. Try and reassure them that you are not the cause of their depression, though they may try to blame you or other outside sources for their problem.


    As partners become familiar over time, some of them tend to take their mates for granted and don’t pay them the attention they deserve. They don’t pay homage to the relationship and to the importance of their partner in their lives. The person being taken for granted begins to feel excluded and finds other outside interests and soon each partner has developed a separate life and they drift apart. These couples often stay together, but they begin focusing on their own individual interests, friendships and activities for pleasure and entertainment.

A relationship is a partnership and each person must contribute an equal amount of effort in order for it to be meaningful. If there is an imbalance of commitment and effort, the party putting forth most of the work begins to feel abused and often becomes resentful. Both parties in the relationship must work at keeping the other as the central point of their lives.

Make a point to think positive thoughts about your mate. Keep their picture on your desk, on the sun visor in your car, and in your purse or wallet. Make yourself notes to do little acts of kindness, like bringing unexpected flowers or fixing a favorite dessert. Remember birthdays and your anniversary, of course.

Surprise your sweetheart with a mini-vacation or a weekend in the country. It is the little things that keep the romance alive and well. Remember all the little things your partner likes, as well as the big events. Make your intimacy an adventure at times by doing something your partner likes that’s different. Men usually have the biggest problem with these little things. Women are generally much more thoughtful and caring, but guys can be a little obtuse at times.


    The weak communication is a biggest mistake in a relationship as many people think that communication should be the number one most important issue in a relationship.

Nonetheless, many surveys of married couples and long term partners cite dealing with depression and addressing the lack of fun in the relationship as more critical for maintaining the health of your partnership.

Men and women sometimes seem to speak a different language. I may say the same things but mean something altogether different. It could be because we think with different parts of our brains and respond to things with different emotions.

In the early phases of our relationships we are “in discovery” and are making contact on most of the same levels. As the passion subsides a bit, we have to open new levels of communication. We have to try and understand the other person and how they communicate their desires, their wishes, their feelings and even their contentment.

We all have different ways of expressing ourselves and part of the wonder of discovery with a partner is learning all of these means of expression. We also have to expose our wants, desires and feelings with each other as well so that we’re sharing our most intimate details. This is private communication of the most secret sort, so none of it should be shared outside the relationship.

Nothing will harm a relationship more than for someone to learn that their very personal feelings and memories have been shared with their partner’s friends or relatives.

Learn how your partner communicates and establish common levels of contact.

Be open and sharing with each other, but keep the details “in-house.” Communication is much more than talking. It also includes moods, gestures, attitudes, body language and caring enough about the other person to be considerate and understanding.

Important is to  know the needs of the other person and respond to them with love, affection and interest. Be a real partner in the relationship – it is not a one-way street.


    The most common complaint about relationships is a lack of shared interests and activities. Sometimes we get so involved in our careers and forms of personal gratification, like playing sports or being sports event spectators that we forget to involve our partners. Men, don’t spend all of your free time with your buddies fishing, playing golf or going to the ballpark.

Ladies, don’t spend all of your free time with your girlfriends shopping, schmoozing or hanging out without your mates. The quality of a relationship is measured by how well it meets the needs of all of those involved in it. An occasional meal together and a little sex do not make a relationship. Being together and enjoying activities is part of a healthy partnership.

It is about shared activities, shared friends and families, and having fun together. Develop some hobbies together, play sports, go boating, or go camping or hiking. Ladies, go to the ballpark with your men, and even if you know all about the game, let them play the “expert” and tell you all about the intricacies of the sport. It’s a guy thing that they think they are the only gender with sports interests. Men, learn to like shopping.

But at least learn to like some of the things she does. A relationship should have some common interests. There are many activities that you can enjoy together, such as music events and watching movies.


    Many couples look at other peoples’ engagement photos and think “that’s beautiful but I’m going to feel uncomfortable if I do that”. The reason why they feel this way is because they’re comparing themselves to another person’s idea/concept/relationship. If you copy someone else’s idea you’ll look awkward because it isn’t authentically, individually you! The key is to design your engagement shoot based on your personalities.

It’s about capturing who you are. What you mean to one another. What’s unique about your relationship? Showcasing your love. And doing something that is distinctively different to anyone else.

Another very common mistake is following an industry or media fad. For example: one of the biggest fads at the moment is lots of props. If these reflect and support your personality and your theme that’s fantastic. But if they don’t, don’t employ them in your shoot. Your engagement shoot should be based on you. It should highlight the qualities that make you unique as a couple. Avoid fads that don’t reflect your personalities.


     In a relationship , both partners share in the decision-making. In an intimate relationship, there is no senior partner who sets the tone of the partnership. Although there is usually one personality that is more dominant, all decisions should be made with equal participation.

Anything other than that is not a true partnership. Major decisions like purchasing a plot,  house or new car are things that should be discussed. Although men are often more informed about automobiles and women are most often the homemakers and decorators, the decisions about these purchases need to be shared between both partners.

Decisions about vacations are definitely a shared duty as well, particularly when there are children involved. It is a huge mistake for one partner to assume all of the responsibility in the decision- making process.

Even if the less dominant partner generally defers, all major and many minor decisions should be discussed. It is part of good communication as well as respect for the partnership that dictates this action.

In cases where the dominant decision-maker dies, the other person is often adrift like a boat without a rudder because they know nothing about the couple’s affairs. Sharing decisions and important matters is also showing respect for the relationship and your partner, making it a true partnership.


   Before, during and after your wedding. This mistake is a critical one. Some couples leave it far too late and they’re limited by how much they can use their engagement photos in the lead up to their wedding. It ends up being a last minute rush and they then wish they had done it sooner. (A) Not using your engagement photos in your wedding (B) Not sharing your photos online (C) Doing nothing with the engagement photos after the wedding


    Too often in a relationship there is interference from outsiders and external activities that divert attention from the relationship. Good friends and family are important and should be a shared focus of the relationship, but when relationship matters are involved, it should only be the partners who participate.

When two people marry or partner in an intimate relationship, their circles of influence overlap, with both of them together in the center. As they each develop separate careers and interests, their personal circles expand beyond their shared circle. If too many outside interests are cultivated by each individual, their common circle becomes a smaller and smaller part of their lives.

Finally, they have so little in common they are like ships that pass in the night. The outside interests have been allowed to interfere in the relationship, diminishing the importance of the partnership. Some of the strongest relationships are those in which there are many common interests, both personal and business. Family businesses in which both partners contribute to the operation is a good example.

The more a couple’s circles of influence overlap and include each other, the stronger their relationship tends to be. But there are also instances in which a couple is able to compartmentalize their careers and home lives so they don’t interfere with and improperly influence their relationships.

An example of this would be where one of the partners is in government service and privy to matters they cannot share with their spouse. They have to keep this part of their life separate from their partner. Outside career interests are often more easily understood and dealt with in a relationship than are recreational and leisure time pursuits that don’t involve both partners. For example, the man is hanging out with his friends at the pub watching sports, or he’s at the ballgame, or he’s fishing or playing sports.

The woman is off with her girlfriends.A huge personal outside influence that affects relationships occurs when one or both partners develop friendships with members of the opposite sex at work or play. These “friendships” very often led to sexual affairs, particularly if the couple hasn’t been interacting well. Both men and women have affairs, but it is a more frequent occurrence when the man strays.


        For some couples, they’re embarrassed to tell their friends they want to do something unique for their engagement shoot. They don’t want their friends to laugh at them just in case the photos/ideas/concepts don’t turn out. They’re ready to give up.


      During the beginning of the romance, both parties are on their best behavior. They cater to each other’s whims and they are attentive, affectionate and loving. As they become more familiar with each other and move out of the “honeymoon phase”, they let their guard down and many of their personal habits cause irritation in the other party.

Classic causes of irritation may be as simple as where you hold the tube of toothpaste when you squeeze some onto your toothbrush, to leaving the toilet seat up, to being slow in getting ready to go out and to being late to everything. These issues arise on both sides of the partnership with equal frequency.

Some of these annoyances are a “male thing” while others are committed by women, but they basically exist in equal proportions. Serious issues can be caused by annoyances such as poor driving and directional skills, not sharing the household chores, leaving a messy bathroom and food issues such as bad table manners.

Other common annoying bad habits include poor clothing choices, bad personal hygiene, being critical of the other person in public, control of the television remote and choice of channels, and other inconsiderate behavior. For some people, minor irritations come with the relationship and are to be ignored.


        Disagreements are common in any intimate relationship. You will run into conflicts with family and friends, sometimes over the most insignificant things. Conflicts may be handled if you approach them properly. Here are several actions you can take to settle a dispute:

  • Try to turn the argument into a discussion, or even postpone the argument by saying, “We are too heated up to think rationally; let’s talk about this in an hour.” You might defuse the issue by suggesting another venue to have your discussion, one that is favorable to settlement, such as a favorite pub or a bench in the park.
  • Acknowledge that you are having a dispute. Sometimes people try to ignore their conflicts because they think it reflects poorly on them. If you admit there is a conflict, then a solution is close at hand.
  • Admit it when you are wrong Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge when we are on the wrong side of an argument, but owning up to our errors will often settle the issue right there.
  • Offer solutions to the dispute, focusing on those in which no wrongdoing is admitted and which are fair to both parties. Be diplomatic, not aggressively contentious. Encourage your partner to offer their solutions and listen to them.
  • Settle the matter on a good note. If no complete settlement is forthcoming, then call a truce and schedule the matter for discussion at a later time. End the conflict with a hug and a kiss to show there are no hard feelings.

    Personal appearance is often the force behind the initial attraction, particularly for men (men tend to be more visual, while women respond more to emotions). As a couple grows closer and more committed, appearance is less important. While not as important, though, concern about appearance can still be an issue, particularly if one or both of the partners lets themselves slide. Weight gain is usually the main issue.

Men often see nothing wrong with having a beer gut hanging over their belt, but have a problem if their mate gets a little broader in the beam. While a man’s belly may not be as big an issue for a woman, personal grooming often is. And that beer belly is often part of the grooming issue. One of the best ways to solve the issue of weight gain in your partner and yourself is to join a health and fitness club together.

Physical appearance does play a part in how attractive you are perceived to be, but it is not the most important issue. The dominant power behind your attractiveness is how you think of yourself. A confident, self-assured person who is well-groomed is attractive to others.


        Almost all couples have money problems, particularly during the early years of their relationship. Usually they are just starting out in their careers and their take home pay isn’t very much, or they have very bad money management problems, because before they were married they had no commitments or discipline to rein them in.

When you are single, you can find a lot of things on which to spend your money. When you are a couple you can find more than double that number of things on which to spend money.

So what you have to do is work up a financial plan. The first item on the credit side of the ledger is the list of both of your incomes. Then you begin the debit side. The first item should be a deduction of ten percent of the combined net wages.

If you are not planning on combining your earnings and financial matters, you should still establish a plan. List all joint expenses, plus establish a budget for food and beverages.

The total of this will tell you how much each of you should contribute to the household fund. You may each arrange for a direct deposit of your share of the household expenses into a joint bank account from which all these bills will be paid.

You should each have an ATM card on the account so that you may pay for groceries and other household items from your joint account. Each of you should pay your own individual expenses after first “paying yourself.” At the end of the year, or at a predetermined time, any excess funds in the joint account can be used to throw a party, place in a joint savings account (the smartest move) or buy something nice for the house

  1. Dishonesty.

       Lying is a major issue in some relationships. All of us have told a few “white lies” from time to time. Most often it is to keep someone from being hurt  “She really didn’t mean to say that, dear”  or to keep yourself from being hurt “No honey, that dress doesn’t make you look fat.” But some liars do so without concern for the people they are affecting.

Dealing with a liar is problematic. Avoid a relationship with a pathological liar at all costs. When you are involved with a compulsive liar, encourage them to seek treatment. Have an intervention with them, enlisting the aid of friends or family who they respect. Convince them to change their ways, but understand it is an easy habit to fall back in to.