Relationship psychologist shares time to discuss 'non-negotiables' and red flag to avoid

Although no relationship comes with a guidebook, there are ways to make things run a bit smoother in the long run – with this in mind, a relationship psychologist has shared some dating mistakes to avoid

Young couple arguing at home
An expert has shared dating mistakes to avoid (stock photo)

A relationship psychologist has shared a number of common dating mistakes to avoid in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, helping couples to dodge rows and misunderstandings on the road to true love.

Following multiple shock celeb splits in recent times, psychologist Emma Kenny has offered some pearls of wisdom on how to keep your relationship on the right track in the long run.

As This Morning’s resident psychologist, Kenny regularly delves out life advice to viewers and has more than two decades’ worth of experience in the field of psychology. If anyone knows the inner workings of the loved-up mind, it’s her.

It’s best to avoid speaking to new partners about your old relationships (stock photo)


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Speaking with The Sun, Kenny, first of all, advised lovebirds not to wait too long before having the big important conversations, emphasising that “everyone needs to understand the kind of relationship that they are looking for and their non-negotiables”.

Kenny explained: “Research shows it’s nine months before a relationship gets to the negotiation stage but laying out where you stand on the big stuff such as marriage, kids, or where you want to live could prevent heartache further down the line”.

The expert has also advised against choosing a partner based on sexual chemistry alone, stating that a “relationship needs to survive three stages – lust, attraction, and attachment”.

According to Kenny, the ‘lust stage’ comes to an end at around the five-month mark and those without a lot else in common outside the bedroom will be unlikely to stay together after this point.

Emma advises having those important conversations early on to avoid heartache (stock photo)


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In what might not come as too much of a surprise to some, Kenny advises against harping on about your exes, explaining that “in new relationships, it is best to leave this very much in the past”.

Kenny told the publication: “A red flag which shows you let past relationships affect you is when you compare your new partner with your exes and project your previous partners’ flaws onto them. This is disrespectful because your new partner had nothing to do with the past. No one wants to spend time with a new partner dissecting their previous love affairs. It is a turn-off”.

When it comes to the tricky business of actually choosing a partner, there’s plenty of interesting biology involved. Kenny interestingly advises against making such decisions while ovulating, noting that women will often opt for the “archetypal bad boy” mid-cycle.

Biologically speaking, our bodies are telling us who will produce offspring. However, such choices might not be the most sensible when searching for someone whose in it for the long haul.

Tweaking a person’s dress sense or moulding them into the image of who you want them to be is also never a good idea, with Kenny asserting that, “accepting a partner for who they are is the only solution to guarantee you that long-term relationship success”.

Likewise, your relationship probably won’t last more than a few months if you keep your dating apps whirring away in the background, harming the possibility of forming a meaningful connection.

According to Kenny, if you’re comparing your current partner with those you’re seeing online, “you’re creating the myth of a man you desire”, causing you to “disconnect with the relationship you should be trying to build”.

Finally, Kenny advises to “let small irritations slide”, warning that being hypercritical of your partner isn’t a good sign when it comes to lasting happiness.

Kenny said: “Finding reasons why a partner isn’t perfect – especially when one person can’t be expected to meet your every need – is a recipe for relationship disaster. The antidote to this is to let go of minor faults and instead focus on the positives”.

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