11 relationship mistakes smart people never make twice

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Relationships don’t come with a manual. 

They certainly don’t come with a capable choreographer to teach you the right moves at the right time, either. 

You are just expected to learn the dance as you go, clinging to the hope that you don’t stumble and trip too much. 

Treading on toes is inevitable, but the key to making the dance look smooth is learning from those missteps and making sure you don’t fall in the same places all the time. 

Let’s take a look through 11 relationship mistakes that smart people never make twice. You’ll find communications blunders and trust issues as we explore the path to relationship wisdom.

1) The need to ALWAYS be right

Needing to be right all the time is literally a relationship killer. 

No matter how intelligent you are — no one can possibly be right all the time. 

As infuriating as it is, we have to learn to back down and embrace the art of being wrong in our relationships. 

Because we will definitely be wrong at some point.

Smart people realize that admitting a mistake, apologizing, and moving on is the quickest way to resolve an issue.

They know not to cling to rigid ways of thinking and accept other points of view that differ from their own.

Having a peaceful and harmonious relationship is more important than winning arguments and being right.

2) Ignoring the power of communication

Talking through tough subjects can feel absolutely daunting, especially if you are in a new relationship. 

Smart people will have been through the experience of brushing everything under the carpet — and discovering that this causes more trouble than it avoids. 

Communication is a cornerstone of healthy relationships. It’s the difference between resolving conflicts or leaving things to fester for days and days.

Those that learn from communication blunders are able to realize communication is the lifeline of any relationship. They know that active listening, expressing innermost thoughts, and creating spaces for open dialogue is a recipe for relationship success.

3) Neglecting personal space

Oh, the blissful honeymoon period. The desire to be with each other every moment of the day. The aching when you are apart.

This is all very well in the early stages, where everything is swoony and magical. But let’s get real here. 

We all need personal space. 

Smart people know that smothering a relationship is a surefire way to put it out completely. We need space to breathe and come back to ourselves sometimes.

Healthy relationships need room for individual growth and rejuvenation. A weekend or even a month apart can revitalize a stagnant relationship.

People who have learned from previous mistakes recognize the beauty of maintaining their own interests and actively encourage their partners to do the same.

4) Failing to prioritize trust

If your relationship is a house, trust is the foundation you build it all on. Smart people know this and understand its significance. 

Once burned by mistrust, a smart person will never take it for granted again. 

People who’ve learned the value of trust in relationships tend to be much more transparent and reliable. They’ll lay their cards on the table and walk away if it looks like the trust is shattered.

5) Falling into the “I’ll fix you” trap

Smart people know that a relationship is not a DIY project, and their partner is not a problem to be solved.

It can be easy to try and “fix” your partner if you want them to fit into a preconceived idea of perfection. 

However, smart people know that you need to embrace imperfections and ride the waves of individuality on the journey to getting to know each other better. 

Besides, who needs fixing when you can just enjoy all the quirks and eccentricities of being in a loving relationship?

6) Overlooking compatibility

It is painfully easy to overlook compatibility — especially in the throes of passion in a new connection bubbling with chemistry.

Smart people have been there and done that. 

They know that a spark can blind you to fundamental differences in core values, lifestyles, or future aspirations. 

Love alone isn’t enough to sustain a relationship in the long run; you need to be compatible in a lot of other areas, not just in the bedroom. 

People who learn through this mistake will always choose a partner with shared values and compatible goals they can fulfill together. Shared dreams create the kind of passion that lasts a lifetime — not just a few steamy nights.

7) Falling into the comparison trap

Comparing yourself to others is just downright dangerous. It leads to feelings of inadequacy and measuring up against idealized standards. 

And let’s face it — we are all utterly unique and should embrace that instead of trying to fit into someone else’s ideals.

Smart people know that comparisons can poison a relationship. Maybe in the past, they’ve compared a partner to an ex or some stranger they’ve got a crush on.

Big no, no.

Once a smart person realizes the damage that comparisons can cause, they’ll learn to appreciate all future partners for who they truly are. 

So what if a person doesn’t have the body of a gym addict? Who cares if they don’t have that high-flying job?

What’s more important is that you’re with someone who is happy and joyful in their skin — and encourages you to embrace your own uniqueness.

8) Neglecting boundaries

Boundaries are kind of like guardrails that protect the parts of you that need extra care.

Smart people will never make the mistake of neglecting boundaries twice. They’ll notice how much it affects someone and vow to respect them in the future.

Establishing respect for someone else’s boundaries is akin to not trying to get into a house’s locked and guarded rooms. It would be best if you had an invitation to explore.

The landscape of another is not something you get to roam around freely. You need them to be there with you. Guiding you around and letting you know when you’ve hit a border.

Recognizing that fosters trust and a sense of safety in a relationship. 

A smart person who learns from mistakes will make an effort to clearly communicate their needs and honor the boundaries set by their partner. And they won’t keep pushing.

9) Disregarding quality time

The old saying, “Quality over quantity,” is a universal truth. And it applies to relationships. 

Spending every minute together is a recipe for stagnation. You need to carve out special times to be with each other.

Sitting in the same room scrolling on your phones absolutely doesn’t count.

Smart people will make an effort to be consciously present with their partner and cherish those special moments. 

They’ll ask questions. They’ll show interest. They’ll turn off distractions and focus on conversations and activities that deepen their connection. 

Spending one full day of quality time together is richer and more connecting than seeing each other every day but not really paying attention. 

10) Sweeping issues under the rug

Conflict is inevitable.

And smart people know from experience that it’s better to face things head-on. 

Avoiding conflict leads to all kinds of pent-up resentments and frustrations, which are corrosive to relationships. 

A smart person will address challenging issues with empathy and compassion. They’ll listen attentively to grievances and work with their partners to find mutually beneficial solutions. 

Even though conflict might feel uncomfortable in the moment, addressing the issue will strengthen the bond.

11) Taking each other for granted

Gratitude in a relationship is oh-so-important.

And expectation can be the ruin of an otherwise lovely union.

Smart people never make the mistake of taking their partner for granted and will express appreciation regularly.

They also won’t expect dinner to be on the table every night at 6 pm sharp and get grumpy if it isn’t.

They won’t expect their partner to pay for everything on a date.

They won’t expect their partner to clean the whole house without any help.

But, when those things are done, they’ll most certainly shower their partner with gratitude. 

They know that appreciating their partners creates a healthy, flourishing, and loving relationship. And, when someone gives us our dues for doing something lovely, we are much more likely to do it again.

Final thoughts

Relationships aren’t about striving for perfection. They are about a willingness to learn from mistakes and create solutions that enable your connection to thrive.

Smart people understand this deeply. They know that relationships require effort, growth, and enthusiasm for constant reflection. 

By avoiding these ten mistakes and integrating the lessons learned when you do slip up — you too can be well on your way to a fulfilling and long-lasting partnership.

Amy Brangwyn

Amy has a background in literature, poetry, health and wellness, and nutritional medicine. She loves to explore spirituality and self-development in her writing, and hopes her words inspire others on the journey of growth. She loves helping people to connect with each other on a deeper level, dissolving borders and fostering greater intimacy. When she's not at her desk you'll find her writing poetry in the forest or swimming in the ocean.

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