Can a Bad Start Lead to a Good Relationship?

bad startThe ideal way to have a healthy relationship is to have things run smoothly from the very beginning. It doesn’t mean some problems don’t occur at a later stage (some always do), it only means that the relationship has a good foundation before they do. I do know people, however, who after a bad start ended up in long term relationships. Does it mean that a bad start can lead to a good love story?

First of all, just looking at the statistics, it’s more of an exception than a rule. Think about all your girlfriends who were complaining about their relationships in the beginning. The complaints could refer to anything: lack of commitment from the guy’s side, too much of it, the guy’s jealousy issues, him not being entirely over his ex, his bad temperament, just sex no talk, bad sex, his unhealthy attachment to his mom… The list would never end. Most of such relationships end in no time after a bit of back and forth. The point is that because in the beginning of the relationship people tend to be at their best behavior issues get worse not better with time. If something is truly irritating you in the first few months when you still have a horde of butterflies in your stomach, it’ll drive you crazy a year down the line.

This is why you should be unapologetic about things that are important to you, given that you want something serious that will last and enhance your happiness. This is, however, not always the case. Is your goal to be in a relationship because you’ve never been in one? Sometimes experience is worth the trouble! If you don’t know what is bad, you won’t know what’s good either. Perhaps having children is more important to you than anything else and you’re willing to settle because of it? Be honest with yourself about such issues. If for whatever reason you decide that a relationship is worth going for, you need to be able to accept whatever it is that constituted the bad start.
Just remember that believing that you may “change him” is lying to yourself. If you’re a devoted Catholic and you start dating an atheist who gets angry every time you mention the Church, where do you think this is going? At the same time you may still end up having a valuable lesson out of this experience in whom you should and shouldn’t date. What you are willing to accept or settle on is up to you, but be aware that long term big incompatibilities mean big problems.

Compatibility is one thing and good chemistry (not attraction) another. Some relationships are difficult from the start because of the lack of the latter. You and your partner just keep missing each other. You have misunderstandings, you don’t communicate well, you fight. You want different things and one of you has to be constantly compromising. In short, you’re not really having the honeymoon period as you should. Perhaps you’ve ignored the deal breakers or things looked perfect during your online conversations but when you met him in real life something was just off.
Such situations are much easier to deal with, if one of you will be honest and just say something like: “You’re really nice but it’s just not working like it should” or just “I think something’s off and I don’t think more dates will change it”.
It’s much more challenging if both of you really want that relationship to work out or if attraction between you is very strong. It’s simply easier to leave someone who treats you badly. If they’re nice and do all the right things (even if half-heartedly), it may feel like moving one means you’re being too fussy.
What’s important to remember is that in most cases such relationships end somewhere further (but not too far) down the line, anyway. The tears and drama could have been avoided on date three, but hey, (hopefully) you’re not a divorcee and/or a mother yet!

Some of “bad start” relationships don’t end up early, though.
I know this one guy who was so committed to a girl, he chased her half around the world. Eventually after years of her half-hearted dating him and insisting on an open relationship, she did marry him and told people “What I was supposed to do? He loves me so much!”.
I know another girl who caught her now husband cheating on her in the very beginning of the relationship. Eventually regular phone checks, epic scenes and fights exhausted him so much that he stopped pursuing other female interests.
The danger of such situations is of course the implications it can have on the future. Won’t the girl in the first story leave the guy, if she meets someone who she, herself, “loves so much”? Will the husband in story no. 2 never cheat again? And even if they don’t, won’t the other partner always live in fear they could?
Another couple I know used to have intense fights since very early days of their relationship. They would usually end up breaking up and then dating other people for a bit. By the time they got married they broke up at least 10 times. They seemed fine for a while and even had a baby. Not even two years after their son was born the wife discovered that her husband was having an affair, but… wait for it… she wasn’t innocent either as by that time she was already pregnant with another man!
Success is relative. All fairy tales finish the moment people get married, but real life carries on. Don’t push for marriage if things are not right. Getting married is just a part of a love journey.

I’m not sure whether there’s a remedy for relationships that started with someone being disrespectful, unfaithful or abusive (other than a break-up for good, of course). Going forward with is a bit like buying a rotten apple in a shop, hoping it will unrot with time. Common sense would say, you should have enough self-respect to move on. Why to waste your time with someone who doesn’t appreciate you, if someone else could love most of your little quirks? Do you want to be their second best?

Having said that, there’s a difference between a slow start and a bad start. That you’re not saying “I love you” on date two, shouldn’t worry you. As long as the ship is sailing in the right direction, it’s all good. Just to give one example, for people who were single for a bit, some things may take longer than they would take serial monogamists.
At the same time I do think that it’s important to have continuity. If a guy sees you once goes quiet and pitches again after three months, perhaps it’s not the best sign.

To sum up, bad beginnings can lead to good things but very rarely these things are good long term relationships. If your goal is the latter, you should try to look for things that work and not try to desperately fix what’s broken.

What do you think, Dear Rinser: Can a bad start lead to a good relationship? Do you have any examples? What’s your take on the matter?


  1. Firstly : ‘The tears and drama could have been avoided on date three, but hey, at least you’re not a divorcee and/or a mother yet!’ – LOL !!!

    Secondly : ‘If a guy sees you once goes quiet and pitches again after three months, perhaps it’s not the best sign.’ NOT TRUE. Do you not know it is possible for a man to go into hiding to contemplate what an epic impact you had upon his life on that very first date? He could spend three months pining over you and planning on how to propose? A modern day fairytale!

    Finally, things you mentioned like cheating and abuse are pretty clear cut as bad signs for the future. There are stories where the cheater really does see sense and actually stays faithful but can the person who is on ever stop looking over their shoulder. Would you really want to live forever like that? Then there are other things that can make the start of a relationship really tough but they actually in the long-term help create a partnership. Perhaps, you are both struggling artists that can’t even scrape together the money for a decent dinner but you guys keep the prize in mind and struggle towards it. Perhaps one day you’ll own that art gallery and make millions, looking back fondly on those broke ass days that really tested your commitment to each other. A more common scenario. Long distance relationships. Sometimes you fall for someone while on holiday and you realise the chemistry is so strong that you want this to be more than a fling. You know the distance issue isn’t going to give you the ideal start but you go with it and make use of what little resources you have at your disposal. You settle for skype dates while your friends are having hot passionate sex with their significant others. Sure, it’s not great but at least when the two of you do eventually find a way to be in the same place at the same time you have no doubt that this thing is the real deal. Perhaps there is just a fine line between TOUGH starts and all out BAD starts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your secondly needs a wink eye, Rinsers may not get it 😉

      I wouldn’t mention money issues as something that can be classified as a bad start. If you’re both struggling artists than most probably you have a lot in common and you’re still in a good relationship, just a poor one. On the other hand, if you’re Miss Money Bag and your struggling artist partner never contributes to your life together and rinses you, letting you work yourself to death while he’s “following his dreams” it may be a bad start.

      Long distance relationships may also flow nicely via Skype and other channels if you’re compatible but far away from one another. It’s not a bad start it’s just a more difficult as you say. However, often long-distance due to all the missing and excitement just prolongs the realization that you and your beau should have been not more than a fling. Been there, seen that in others too. Anyway, planning to write about it soon.

      I think the difference between tough and bad is quite clear. Bad doesn’t have to (but can) mean cheating or disrespect, it may just be clashing or the relationship feeling like a constant chore. If it’s difficult to keep in touch, the banter is forced, it’s tough to have fun, it’s bad too. If there are some rocks on the otherwise smooth road, it’s life 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I had trust issues with my cheating husband cos he was always coming home late and drunk most times. He always excuse himself from me to receive calls without telling me who the caller is to him, my friend then told me to contact ZEUSHACKERS01 at OUTLOOKdot COM who helped me hacked his phone’s call and text and whatsapp messages within few hours at a cheap cost and I was able to know everything I needed to know.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry about your difficult story. Are you guys still together or did you leave him after you’ve learnt?


  2. It depends on what you consider a bad start. Legit bad start is differences in upbringing like how men see women and how women see men. For example my ex wife and I started off bad or maybe better word slow…her mom was in charge of the household and they were always moving so there was no stable home life. Me on the other hand had stable household lived in the same apt for more than 12 years by the time we met and started dating. I had a father and mother both strict and tough yet loving , ex had no father and the men in her mother’s life were abusive so there was mistrust because it was thought all men was like that and I would be l8ke that too…she was wrong! But we made it work for a long time so I guess it depends on what you consider a bad start and a slow start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get what you are saying but whether it is upbringing or just different relationship experiences I think we all come with a past. I know there is this belief that people from bad/abusive homes are full of issues and probably will repeat the same patterns their parents did but yes, in a lot of cases that does happen but there are also situations where you see people making a concerted effort to do everything in way that is the totally opposite to what they experience they had so it really is hard to say. Everyone has some sort of baggage (some really worse than others) but if you were ruling out potentials because of their past we’d probably all be single…no one is a blank canvas.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think that someone had a bad start in life doesn’t mean they will necessary have bad relationships. I know from my own experience it’s very difficult to grow from certain issues. Absentee fathers make it very difficult to trust men and girls from such homes often are trying to get the love that daddy didn’t give them in their men. They choose absent (cheating, emotionally or actually unavailable) men and try to make it work. It’s a failed mission. Sometimes they do it forever and sometimes they manage to break the pattern and start a relationship with someone trustworthy. Your ex-wife did, I did, there’s plenty of proof that your past doesn’t have to be your future. On the other hand, a person with issues has to work on themselves and not just wait for someone “to save them”. I’ve had relationships when the guys would say my trust issues were too intense and they couldn’t handle them. They were intense and I needed to work on them before I could stop mistrusting my partners on every step. You were either an angel or you met you ex at a stage when she was ready to try to trust someone. Imagine your ex-wife would make a scene and hit you every time you were 5 minutes late, accusing you of cheating on her, in the very beginning. I guess that’s something I’d define as a bad start. All in all, there must be more positives than negatives, especially in the beginning. Otherwise, what’s the point?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Atteaction went a long way…lol . She didn’t accuse me of cheating but she was very impatient to the point I was 5 minutes because I ran into a friend and he needed to talk …i tried to excuse myself but didn’t want to be rude. Yet she didn’t understand that at the time and refused to go out on our planned date.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As in most situations in life – it depends. If it started out with cheating, abusive behavior, etc then no. My guy was going through his mom dying in hospice when we met – it was a difficult time and i was there for him throughout it. It has taken him a while to heal and for his family to heal, she was an important person in his life. Our relationship sputtered for a bit (long story) but we never had any animosity between us. We are finding our way back and we have openly discussed what we want and expect from each other. You have to honestly communicate if you want to move forward as a couple. I also believe that people who have multiple breakups because of big issues may have a harder time staying together in the long term. Sometimes being apart for a bit may help but if they or you are constantly leaving and it’s hurting you emotionally then it is time to reassess and move on. Life has a way of throwing all of us off course now and then, it is how you deal with it and how you and your partner deal with it together that matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing. You’re a great person to be so supportive in the very beginning. I agree with all you said there. My acquaintance was diagnosed with cancer in the first month of her and her now husband dating. She survived but it was very bad at a point. Tough beginnings because of circumstance are not necessarily bad. I think sometimes they can be, though. It all depends on people and on expectations between them. If you’re going through tough time and you’re not constantly a ray of sunshine with your new partner, that’s understandable. If you’re miserable all the time and make your new partner miserable because of it, it may be too much emotionally for a new person. As I mentioned in one of other comments I used to have very bad trust issues and I had people walking away on me because of that. It hurt back then but now I’m grateful to them, because I did sort my shit out and now I’m in a healthy relationship.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. […] First of all, some things are easier to forgive than others. Being in any long-term relationship (be it romantic or not) certainly gives you opportunities to forgive for the simple reason that people aren’t perfect and sometimes they make thoughtless mistakes. It’s easier to let go if you know that person’s heart is in the right place. Sometimes it isn’t, though. For instance, when my frenemy was hitting on my then boyfriend and it was obvious to the point that he started to feel uncomfortable and communicated it to me, forgiveness didn’t come easy. Even when it did the trust was still broken and I didn’t want to continue the friendship. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to keep a person in your life. In fact, especially if they’re a repetitive offender that would be silly. The same goes for big bad things happening in the beginning of knowing someone: you should strive to forgive but walk away. If you saw a mirror was broken in a shop, you’d rather buy another one, wouldn’t you? Exactly. No wonder many of us doubt that a bad start can lead to a good relationship. […]


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