You might have made a mistake here and there in your relationship and went “damn, I’m such an idiot!”
Take heart—even smart people make mistakes! And many of them might be more relatable than you might think.
Here are 10 relationship mistakes that even smart people make.
1) They let too many things slide
It’s a bad idea, in general, to be too critical of your partner. You don’t want them to feel so choked up around you that they feel like they’re walking on eggshells.
Do that and no matter how much they love you they WILL turn to others. Everyone wants comfort and peace of mind after all.
But there is also such a thing as too forgiving.
And if you make a habit of just sucking it up and forgiving your partner for something they did even if it has clearly become a habit, they’ll eventually abuse it.
2) They try to wait out problems
Conflicts are a natural part of any relationship, and sometimes it can feel tempting to just sit out some of them instead of confronting them.
Time does solve a lot of problems, after all, and simply letting small conflicts slide can be the right thing to do sometimes.
But at the same time, simply standing back and waiting for things to get better can be the last thing you want if the problem you’re dealing with is far from petty—like if you’re starting to have a dead bedroom or if your partner is not earning enough.
And the problem is that sometimes, even smart people misjudge and try to sit out some things that they should be trying to address instead…just because they don’t want to deal with difficult topics.
3) They disregard their own happiness
Love motivates us to do some incredibly insane things—things that, even though we know they aren’t exactly good for us, we do anyway for the sake of love.
And one of those things is the idea that you should set aside your happiness for the sake of your partner.
After all, personal sacrifices are only to be expected in a relationship, right?
Unfortunately this way of thinking will only leave you open to abuse and—let’s be real here—not every relationship is going to work out. Sacrifice yourself for the sake of your relationship and you’ll have a hard time when you actually do break up.
What’s funny is that doing this can actually erode (and not strengthen!) the relationship because you’ll become co-dependent.
Ah yes, even smart people fall victim to this every now and then. Love is well known for making even the most reasonable people do unreasonable things.
4) They allow their partner to violate their privacy
One particularly harmful trope that people have come to simply accept as part of being in a relationship is that you should have no privacy.
It’s almost expected that people share their passwords and phones with their partners, for example. Not doing so would make them feel they’re untrustworthy.
This is something that fundamentally betrays a lack of trust in the relationship and opens them up to abuse.
And the fact that this is simply taken for granted by a lot of people means that sometimes, even smart people end up making this mistake.
Simply being smart doesn’t make one immune to relationship mistakes after all.
5) They let their partner make decisions for them
Being in a relationship means that you aren’t always going to get your way. Compromises have to be made, after all.
But sometimes people simply take this a bit too far and simply let their partner make decisions for them instead of trying to find a compromise.
This can happen when their partner is especially loud in their objection and they simply decide that it’s not worth it to stand up for themselves.
Eventually their partner learns that simply being loud means they’ll get their way done, and through that they manage to have their way every time.
And well.. Being smart doesn’t mean being also immune to this kind of manipulation, unfortunately.
6) They deprioritize the relationship
Life is hard, and as much as we want to, we simply can’t all afford to make our relationships our number one priority. And that’s fine!
The problem starts when we start prioritizing other things sooo much over the relationship that it gets pushed down into last place…or second to the last, or third.
It might start simple, deprioritizing the relationship for important things like work and emergencies.
But if one isn’t careful about managing their priorities they can easily end up prioritizing even mundane things like a trip to disneyland or a brand new car over their relationship.
Just because someone is smart doesn’t mean they can avoid this mistake every time.
7) They expect their partner to always understand them
As couples get more comfortable with one another, a lot of people—including normally smart and cautious ones—make the mistake of assuming they know one another more than they actually do.
Because of this, they would start assuming that their partner will simply “understand” them based on the tone of their voice, the way they stare, and the alignment of their zodiac stars.
Communication breakdown like this starts small, slowly getting bigger and bigger as time goes by. And sometimes even people who should know better simply don’t notice it.
Clear communication is a very important part of any relationship, and without it you can expect things to go downhill fast.
8) They’re scared of getting clingy
While some people mess up their relationships because they break their own boundaries for the sake of their relationship, others mess up by being too afraid to commit.
They might think that they’ll be seen as too needy or vulnerable if they express their desires or feelings a bit too openly… so they close themselves off and act cool.
This leads to them coming off as cold and guarded.
Their partner eventually starts thinking that they’re simply playing hard to get, or are simply not interested, and might even call off the relationship.
Being cautious about coming on too strong is a good thing in general, and knowing how to pace oneself in a relationship is important.
But there is such a thing as “too cautious” and, given that exactly where that line lies can be different from person to person even smart people end up messing this up.
9) They think about the future too much
As a rule of thumb, thinking about the future and planning ahead is a good idea.
But be careful, lest you end up counting your chickens before they hatch as the old saying goes. The future isn’t set in stone and sometimes no matter how hard you try even the best plans end up foiled or delayed.
The tragic thing is that by being too obsessed about the future, you can easily end up neglecting to enjoy the present.
Ironically this might actually be the reason why your plans would fall through—got plans about marrying your partner of 5 years? Well sadly they’ve been feeling so neglected in the present that they decided they’d rather break up with you.
10) They stop flirting with each other
The honeymoon phase of a relationship is full of a lot of incredible tension and attraction. Eventually, it ends and things start to calm down.
That naturally means that people will slow down a bit with all that flirting that they did so often at the very start of a relationship. Nobody can maintain that kind of energy forever.
But there are people who think that simply because they are already secure in their relationship that there’s no need to flirt with their partner—that there’s no need to impress and “win them over” anymore.
That’s rubbish, of course.
Flirting shouldn’t be because you’re trying to win your partner’s affection, after all, but because you want them to feel special and sexy. So go and try to make them feel like a million bucks!
It’s easy to think that surely smart people would know better and just avoid doing all those small, seemingly obvious mistakes you do. But even smart people are just people, and are capable of making the same mistakes everyone else does.
Sure they might avoid making some mistakes, or make them less often than others, but even they can end up sabotaging their relationships.
What marks smart people as different from the rest of us isn’t that they don’t make mistakes. It’s that they try harder to learn from their mistakes so that they can avoid doing them again in the future.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
Take the free quiz here to be matched with the perfect coach for you.
Click the above link to get $50 off your first session – an exclusive offer for Hack Spirit readers.