Now, hopefully your partner's baggage doesn't include a surprise child, but we have heard worse. The biggest type of baggage which will stop the best relationship in its tracks? Unresolved emotional issues. All of us carry around wounds we've received as children, or in past relationships, but the key is how willing you are to examine them, understand them, and work through them. Left unchecked, you'll likely encounter the same problems in every relationship you start. Self-exploration is a wonderful thing!
"Things started out great! He planned nights out, made me dinner, and now I can't get him off of the couch!" Some people put their best feet forward when trying to woo their partners, but once they are feeling comfortable, they stop putting any thought or energy into the relationship. This can be a fatal error. Both partners have to give in a relationship, and that means sharing responsibilities, thinking up date ideas, and providing dinner (even if it's take-out!).
A once-fantastic relationship can turn negative when one of the parties starts picking apart the other. There really isn't room for this in a flourishing relationship, where both people should be lifting one another up—not tearing them down.
It takes time to form the healthy emotional circuits needed to sustain a lasting relationship. Trust and the willingness to commit can't be rushed. But surging sexual energy can short out a potential partnership if switched on too early. Becoming physically intimate can open up a large amount of issues that put pressure on a fledgling relationship, so proceed at a pace that feels right for you.
An emotionally distant partner can be frustrating, which is why it is important to keep the communication flowing. When the talking and sharing stops, an invisible wall goes up, which can lead to some very unhappy endings.
When it comes to a long-distance relationship (LDR), it can certainly work, usually if there is an end goal in sight (knowing that eventually you will be living in the same city!). If you are entering into a LDR and you happen to be jealous or insecure, then you are in for a tough road ahead. It's best to really consider whether you can handle these types of challenges—or not.