Sometimes, when you’ve been alone for too long, it’s easy to seduce yourself.
Here’s a guy. He’s got flaws, but who doesn’t have some? Surely I would want him to love me no matter how annoying or bitchy I get. And okay, so he’s not great around my friends, but that’s because he’s shy and since when is shyness a bad thing?! Wasn’t I shy once?
We see a lot of potential. We don’t see that we’re putting in way too much work for a relationship that isn’t even official yet. That’s why, when you finally meet someone you don’t have to make excuses for, it feels… well, it feels like a revelation, honestly.
Suddenly, you’re not dreading introducing them to the people in your life.
Having a partner you can just bring to coffee or a game night without further concern is magic. You don’t worry about what they might say, who they might piss off, and having to translate every grunt that comes out of their mouths. You know they can hold their own in a conversation, and they will do their best to get along with your friends.
You know exactly where you stand with them.
There’s guys who don’t bother with pretense. You may not be Facebook official yet, and you don’t care, because they make it abundantly clear that you are the only one they’re seeing. They treat you with respect. They talk about you to their friends. They behave as though you are a couple, and there’s no hysteria about getting “tied down” too soon.
You’re not afraid of being yourself.
Sometimes it’s tempting to soften our harsher sides in a relationship. To hide away the parts of oneself that are a little unconventional, a little brash, a little “too much”. Not with the right person, though. Just like you never have to make apologies for them, they never make apologies for you. They like you for you, and they are with you for you.
You can count on them.
Question: How is it that some guys can hold down high-power jobs, but cannot run a vacuum without a step-by-step tutorial? Answer: They just don’t care.
When you date the right person, shit will get done. Not because it’s convenient for them, or because it makes them look good, but because they want to make your life easier, and that is motivation enough.
They will treat “no” as a complete sentence.
Haven’t we all met one of those guys? The ones who hear “no” and behave as though a negotiation has been opened up? It doesn’t matter if you’re vetoing some sex act you don’t like or a choice of vacation spot, they will turn every refusal into an attempt to get their way.
The right person will hear “no” and move the fuck on. You won’t have to make excuses for them because they will never trample your boundaries.
You will start feeling a lot better about your other relationships.
Unfortunately, when we date people we have to make excuses for, it puts a strain on everything in our lives. We feel like walking into battle when we hang out with friends, or go to work, or consider a new hobby. The habit of excusing bad behavior warps our own self-perception, and trying to accommodate someone who treats us badly ends up lowering our self-esteem. He’s mean to me because I deserve it, is an impulse a lot of womxn are trained into.
A person who lifts us up is a different matter. When you don’t have to make excuses for your partner, you also don’t have to make excuses for yourself. You stand this little bit taller. You feel this much better about your convictions. Your boundaries are strong and there are clear lines in the sand. You can see clearly, now that you are no longer gaslighting yourself.
And that is a feeling beyond compare.