"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

My Biggest Relationship Mistake

by Steve M Nash
(Yorkshire, England)

Okay, let me start this relationship advice forum off with a look at my own relationship problems over the years. This is my question, then...

QUESTION: Steve, what's the biggest mistake
you've made in your relationships?

My answer follows, and I look forward to reading your comments on my answers and maybe even your thoughts on your biggest relationship mistake, too.

But Paula Renaye & I also look forward to receiving your answers to other people's relationship questions, and maybe even to receiving your relationship question, too.

It's good to share, it really is. And on that note:

ANSWER: My Biggest Relationship Mistake...

I have made many mistakes in my many relationships over the years, but I've come to believe that they all boil down to one thing: not believing in myself - not believing in the value of myself, AND the value of my values.

And how has this non-belief manifested itself, over the years, then?
  • Well, I have given my power away many times. And women haven't asked me to do this, I just felt bound to do so, to respect the woman and what (I thought) she wanted and to disrespect the man (i.e. me, and what I wanted). This led to resentment and fear-based reactions, amongst other things - never good!

  • I listened to other people's (limited) definition of love, and did not fully believe in my own: that love is far more than any single person can EVER realise, and that my experience of love is as valid as anyone else's...

  • I did not respect myself enough, at times, or the women I got involved with (some of whom I didn't really care that much for). Being in a relationship with 'anyone' was sometimes more important than being in relationship with the right person, or - failing that - with myself alone...

Basically, I either didn't know what I wanted from someone (other than the close and intimate comfort of 'another'), or when I did know what I wanted I was not courageous enough to ask for it.

And now, now I see that self-knowledge is important in any relationship - what makes me tick, what presses my buttons, etc. - but it's especially important in a 'romantic relationship'.

I also recognise that courage to be who you are is also vital.

And you also have to believe that the kind of relationship you envisage for yourself IS possible. It may take work, it may take heartaches, but you DO deserve it - we all do!

I'd also like to acknowledge in this answer - as relationshp non-guru that I am - that relationships bring new challenges no matter how 'advanced' and 'wise' you become. There are no masters in the relationship game, just avid students...

And that's why I include this quote about relationships in my answer, because I believe it holds the secret to a long-term, successful romantic relationship (as well as any other kind of relationship for that matter)...
"Don't rush into any kind of relationship. Work on yourself. Feel yourself, experience yourself and love yourself. Do this first and you will soon attract that special loving other."
-- Russ Von Hoelscher

NOTE: I took this quote from a brand new quotes about relationships page here on Self Help Collective. And all my answers to the relationships problems that you tell us about will usually include one such quote. They sum up things nicely, sometimes... :-) )

Thanks for reading,

Ps Please do get involved with this relationship advice forum, won't you! Ask your question, now, or answer someone else's question (usually by leaving a comment)...

Comments for My Biggest Relationship Mistake

It is never easy
by: Rebecca M.

It is never easy to talk about one's feelings and you made it. Not only that! You have pointed something we often forget about. That when you want a healthy and happy relationship you must learn not only how to love and respect your partner but you must also love and respect yourself. Belittling yourself, dismissing your own needs leads just to trouble and unhappiness. I hope your gonna be happy now Steve and fulfilled!



Relationship mistakes.
by: Jordan Melton

Hello Steve! Thanks for sharing your story. It really takes lots of effort to make a successful relationship. It was quite interesting to read about your relationship. In some stages of life we just lose the capability to take the right decision and it happens with lots of people. At that time it is necessary to take the help of a relationship coach. A coach can only help you to take the correct decision. Thanks for sharing.

Selfishness tears most relationships apart
by: Francis

The whole relationship concept is flawed these days. Many people don't yet realise that a relationship is mostly about two persons who are interested in each other coming together to face down the adversities of life come hell or high water.

Today, it's mostly about sex and other mundane stuff that both parties want to gain from each other. So when those things are a little slow coming or never do, the relationship falls apart.

I've been following you for a while, Steve. And I believe looking in our own backyards for problems that define our relationships or lives is the best way to go.

Have we seen relationships before?
by: Sandy

My Relationship Experience...

I found that my expectations for what a relationship is was guided by conditioning from outside forces. I later found all I wanted to know about "relationship" was right in my backyard.

I had to look no further than the relationships I had with family members and the relationships they had with each other. I could see what worked and what did not work in those relationships and recognize that my thoughts, beliefs and actions have (and continue to be) influenced by that which has been mirrored back to me.

This helps me to see patterns in my relationship with my spouse and gives me things to talk about with him. He does the same. In essence our relationship, among many things, becomes therapeutic and we see that improving our communication is in fact what the relationship is all about.

This works for me. [I have suggested to those who ask for relationship advice] that they enter into a relationship and talk about things like family members and how they react to one another. Over time I recommend they make a conscious decision to talk about "relationship" and to both be open to constructive criticism.

I also add that this "romantic" version of relationships that we often see in movies and on TV is scripted. It's important that everyone can come to acknowledge that [no relationship is "perfect"] and it is an ongoing process. When you find two people who are willing to face this, then it is the foundation for a beautiful and sometimes painful but rewarding relationship.

This works for me and there are always new challenges which cause me to go back to some lessons. But overall, your "relationships" will be richer despite the changes.

Thank you for adding this [Relationships Forum] to the Self Help Collective website.


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