It’s so easy for us to give up faith in relationships. Many of us have thought about quitting several times. People will tell you, “When you fall off a horse, you have to get back on.” That’s provided you haven’t concluded that you don’t even want to be on that damn horse. Relationships can be like horses. Some people think they’re beautiful, remarkable, strong and elegant creatures. Others think they’re stinky, stupid, wild and really not all that important to their lives. There’s many ways to view relationships; the key is that we’ve all got to find ourselves in self-examination when relationships fail or don’t work out. Yes, there are many times when it wasn’t our fault, it was their fault. However, there are times that regardless of who’s fault, it’s time to examine why it isn’t working out.
1. You don’t know when to shut up — There comes a point where making your point becomes harmful. There are times when your sentence could end and be just as powerful, but is ruined because of a motor mouth.
2. You tell everybody your damn business — Your friends are your support system, but they are a gift and a curse. They can be there for you when you’re hurt, but they can also pacify you when you need to teethe.
3. You refuse to accept that you’ll need to make some changes in your life — “I’m not going to change for anybody” is always the extreme of not knowing what “How can I be better?” really means.
4. You expect others to put up with your problems — “You should accept me flaws and all” is only half true. I’ve always said, “I accept that you have problems, but that doesn’t mean I’ll make them my own.”
5. You’re inconsistent — You say you know what you want, you say you know what you don’t want, but you allow the two to mix sometimes. You can’t profess that you’re ready to settle down at one point and then shout “YOLO!” at the next.
6. You’re not ugly, just unattractive — Too often people confuse looks with attraction. I know plenty of beautiful women who are not attractive. It may be personality traits, or they have only heavily relied on their looks and haven’t focused on their entire being to become completely whole.
7. You’re too judgmental — Your perfect ten is probably not the person you envision them to be when you jot it down on paper. You also can’t expect them to come off-the-shelf like that too. You’re knocking down potential and people who may meet your 80%, just because you find minor flaws.
8. Your network is not helpful — You are the company you keep. You have to have positive reinforcements in your life. It doesn’t mean that you have to have married friends, or friends with children. It means you have to have a positive network that is beautiful, instead of looking like a war zone of love.
9. You haven’t learned to let go — Acceptance is a part of life that we always struggle with. We have to learn that we’ll have to accept things in our past and leave them there. We hold onto things because we think that if we let them go it’s like we’re saying it’s okay. We’re not, we’re accepting it and allow ourselves to move past it.
10. You’ve got too much pride — Pride will stand in your way. It will make you quit a relationship because you feel slighted at a certain point, rather than doubling down and making it work. When you start concerning yourself with how you look to others instead of how you feel on the inside, you lose.
11. You want what you deserve, but don’t want to earn it — Everybody thinks they deserve the world. Everybody thinks they’re awesome individuals. Then they make everyone pass all these tests before they’ll prove it. The world wasn’t made in a day – you have to put in the necessary work too.
12. Your past becomes baggage instead of lessons learned — Everything that happens in our life, happens for a reason. At times, we acknowledge that something happened, but don’t understand the reasons and lessons we can learn. It becomes a story that ends with the occurrence and not what came of that experience.
13. You digest entirely too much trash instead of daily bread — Whether it is too much reality TV or trash on the radio, learn to balance when you digest. Everything in moderation, but honest moderation. You can’t possibly know all the characters on each reality show, but can’t tell me one great book (heck, author of an article) that was written in the last year you’ve read.
14. You make poor investments — We’re all guilty of investing our time and effort into things we know won’t bring us any closer to happiness. We tell ourselves, “just this last time” but we know it’s a guilty pleasure. We also put time and effort into investments that haven’t yielded any results in some time — learn to walk away and stop making those in the future.
15. You allow yourself to be enabled — This one is huge — we become guilty of enablement. We say that “I’ll land on my feet,” “There’s plenty to choose from,” or we tout off how many degrees or how much wealth we have as reasons why we don’t have to make changes. Or, we make mistakes because we know there aren’t consequences, or don’t believe there are consequences. Don’t allow yourself to be enabled, always challenge yourself to do good despite of whether you’re held accountable for it or not.
I swear to you, this list started out with five points, then it was seven, and then it was ten. I thought for sure I was done with the list. When I began to transform a few points scribbled down on paper into an actual post and talk to friends about the points, it expanded to fifteen. I also realize that this list is not exhaustive – there are several other points that could be made. A few other things about this list; 1) The reason why I started each point with “you” is because when we’re single that’s who we should focus on, not the other people, 2) This list is unisex, it wasn’t for women or men, and 3) You may suffer from one or you may suffer from all. If it doesn’t 100% apply to you, don’t toss it aside as not applicable.
Last, I’m not sure that you can solve these flaws overnight. That’s okay, not too many things work that way. Most times, it takes hard work and a concerted effort to reconcile and fix these. I think the first step is to tell ourselves that we have a flaw or an opportunity for improvement. Can you be in a relationship and work on yourself? Absolutely, but only to the extent that it doesn’t become a burden on the person you’re dating. Regardless, I don’t think there’s anything on this list that we can accept as a personal character trait and move on, that’s literally why our relationships continue to fail.