When it comes to relationships, communication is key. However, there are some things that should be common sense in every relationship but apparently aren’t. Here is a list of basic things that it shouldn’t require a mind-reader to figure out about how to treat the person you’re dating.
Your significant other may be sweet and respectful to you, but if their friends and/or family don’t follow their lead, it is a direct reflection of them and their inability to stand up for you. This ultimately shows that they don’t actually respect you as much as they claim to. You shouldn’t have to ask them to delete their friend’s rude/gross comments on posts you tag each other in on social media. You shouldn’t have to point out the disrespect you are receiving, then beg your partner to do something about it. This should honestly be common sense, and the person you are with should take the initiative to correct these things on their own. Your significant other may not be able to control how the people around them behave, but they can control the types of people that they choose to keep around them. If the people they choose are constantly disrespecting you or your relationship, then it is evident that you are not as much of a priority to your partner as you should be.
You shouldn’t have to beg your partner to take you out once in a while. Hanging out in bed with some food and Netflix can be amazing, but that shouldn’t be the extent of the “dates” you and your partner go on. You might be a chill person and prefer not to spend a lot of money on unnecessary outings, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for your partner to take your willingness to save money for granted and not even offer to take you out once in a while. If it gets to the point where the only time you two go out is when you offer AND pay, that is not okay.
3. Effort of reciprocation.
If you and your partner are sexually active, you shouldn’t have to ask them to return the favor of putting in the effort of getting you off after you finish them. Obviously this isn’t going to be accomplished every time you two are together. However, if your partner falls in to the habit of consistently rolling over and going to sleep after you get them where they need to go without even trying to help you out with your needs, they are an asshole.
4. Credit where it is due.
If you helped pay for a gift, your significant other should tell others that it is from the both of you. Not just themselves. If they mess up a recipe for a family event and you have to swoop in and take over, they should acknowledge that you at least helped make it when family members compliment the final product, rather than take full credit and claim they made the entire thing themselves. In the end, these small things can add up and end up being big things.
When you’re having a bad day or tell them that you feel like you look like you just crawled out of a crypt, they should at least humor you and try to build you back up, rather than agree with you every time or make another joke at your expense. A sense of humor is great, but sometimes you just need to hear something nice. Your partner is supposed to be the one person who you receive that special kind of attention from. On the days when you need it most, they are supposed to be your source of validation. When you’re not receiving the validation that you should be from your partner, you could find yourself unintentionally seeking it from other unlikely sources without even realizing it. It can escalate to the point where you can become addicted to the compliments of strangers, because they’re the only ones who notice or acknowledge you in the ways that your partner should be doing. And that is sad.
6. To not talk about their ex constantly.
We are human, and we all have baggage in the form of least-favorite chapters of our stories that we carry around with us just in case anyone asks where all of the papercuts in our smile came from. We all have people whose names are assigned to the scars on our back. Part of being with someone is knowing that you aren’t the first person who has ever held them or gotten to wake up to their smile. You have to accept that they carry around the ghosts of people who were there before you. That is okay. That is the risk that comes with loving. However, it is not okay when their ex’s name refuses to leave their mouth. It is not okay when comparisons are constantly being made, or the memories that you are trying to build together are constantly being tarnished by memories that they had previously made with their ex. If their ex’s name still comes up on a weekly basis even though they have been broken up for over a year and the two of you have now been together for several months or longer, it is not okay.
7. To change their behavior toward (or stop talking to) someone who makes you uncomfortable.
If you have previously commented on how it makes you uncomfortable that the same person is always blowing up their phone every time the two of you are together, your partner should have the respect for you and your relationship to let the person know that your relationship is being negatively impacted by the consistent communication. Your partner should take the initiative to put some distance between themselves and the person who you perceive as a threat. Even if that person isn’t actually a threat, the fact that your partner is aware that their behavior is making you uncomfortable should be enough of a reason for them to want to attempt to correct it. You shouldn’t have to bring it up to them constantly, practically beg them to do something about it, or ultimately break up with them before they realize how uncomfortable you are and finally attempt to correct the situation. Things should never have to get that far before your partner takes you seriously.
If your partner makes a whole ass meal for themselves and doesn’t even ask you if you want some, they are an asshole. Then again, my mother raised me not to eat in front of people if I don’t have enough to share or something to offer to them to also eat. I always thought this was common sense.
9. Effort when it comes to the holidays.
There are some situations where it’s the thought that counts. But the thing is, the thought worth counting requires actual effort. You shouldn’t have to ask your partner to spend a dollar on an actual card for you for Valentine’s Day (when they can definitely afford it), rather than a ripped-off piece of cardboard. You shouldn’t have to tell them that if they’re going to get you a little something for your whatever-month anniversary—chocolates that expired three months ago are not acceptable. When it comes to Christmas, your partner shouldn’t need your permission or encouragement to throw together a small gesture of a gift for your parents or sibling when they know that you went all out for theirs. Even if it is just a dollar store concoction, they should at least care enough to do something.
10. To keep their promises.
If you make the personal decision to better yourself in any way and they choose to support you by joining you, you shouldn’t have to babysit them or keep them in check on their commitment to the cause. If they don’t feel the personal obligation to improve themselves in the same areas as you, that is completely understandable, but they shouldn’t waste your time or make your goal that much harder to accomplish by promising to join you if their heart was never in it to begin with. You can’t grow with someone who breaks their promise to take root next to you.