At some point in our lives, we’ve all given our hearts (and souls) to that one guy who’s far from ‘the one.’ At some point in our lives we’ve all known one intelligent, attractive, funny… basically wonderful girl in a bullsh*# relationship. At some point in our lives, we’ve all exclaimed, “I don’t know what I was thinking at the time…” Or, “That girl deserves so much better…”
Fact is, we’ve all been disillusioned and disregarded at some point. And it’s not pretty. I recently walked out of such a relationship. In hindsight, it’s been my biggest learning experience ever. Ladies, if you haven’t been there, thank your stars and never get there. If you’re there, after reading this, you should hopefully know better than to stay put…
1. Never apologize for who you are.
You are who you are. You like sappy films or you hate sappy films. You like romantic gestures, making them and wanting them. Or, you don’t like making them and don’t want them. Either way, your likes, your beliefs, your views, your actions, they set you apart from the rest. Yeah, you can develop a liking for the things he likes. Yes, you can probably adapt and do more of the things he likes to do or expects of you. But don’t give up on the stuff you want or like. And never apologize for it either. If you can do what he wants or expects of you, he can do the same for you. A relationship is a give and take process. Not just an only give or an only take process. It’s a 50-50. The balance flailing can lead to destruction. And the first thing that goes, is your peace of mind.
2. Don’t second guess yourself.
Always questioning yourself about the way you’ve behaved or the thing you’ve said? Or always asking for ‘his’ approval on how to behave, what to say or not to say? Always wondering whether he’ll get offended or upset by what you do or say… Then you’ve got yourself in a position where you’ve indirectly given him the permission to put himself above your own individuality. And that’s not a very good thing, either for your self-esteem or for your relationship. Be confident of who you are. Don’t second-guess yourself. If he loves you, he’ll love you anyway. We all say and do silly things sometimes and its okay. We live and learn. But you can’t constantly live in fear or saying or doing the wrong thing.
3. There’s nothing like ‘too much love.’
There really isn’t. Neither on the giving end, nor on the receiving end. We have various ways of expressing it. And it’s never too much when it’s with the right person. If he makes you feel like you’re overdoing something or you’re always too emotional, then he isn’t the guy for you. Find yourself a guy who connects with your emotions and your mojo. Believe me, he’s out there. If you don’t let go of the one who isn’t for you, how will you find the one that is? And let that guy find the one who’s less emotional and less loving, if that’s what makes him happy. From personal experience, it won’t. We all want love, whether we accept this fact or deny it, is up to us.
4. Believe a man when he says he’s not interested, or something like it.
Has he ever indirectly or directly told you something like he isn’t up for an emotional commitment or that the both of you are at two different stages of life? But then, gone right ahead and given you mixed signals anyway. That, right there, is him safeguarding himself from all responsibility and accountability in the relationship when things get too intense. If he says something of this sort to you, ever, believe him and walk away. Unless you want to become a complete emotional wreck and have him say something like, “But I told you I wasn’t up for it. I’ve been honest with you from the very beginning.” He probably just likes the attention and the ego boost you’re giving him. That’s about all. You could be just another girl giving that to him. Which means you’re attention is replaceable and it shouldn’t be.
5. Stay away from the project cases.
Ladies, please. You can’t ‘fix’ guys. What does that even mean? Why date someone, if you get into it thinking, “My love can change him…” Either you love him or you don’t. And if you want to change him, chances are, you don’t. Or, why date someone who compels you to feel, “He’ll eventually realize my worth and love me more.” No. He won’t. Either he loves you from the very beginning or he doesn’t. And if he makes you feel this way, chances are, he doesn’t. So don’t get involved. Don’t compromise on your feelings. You deserve to get the love you can give. As simple as that.
6. Never compromise on the basics.
The basics are important. The sweet words, the checking in on you, the small loving gestures… the age-old, relationship etiquettes. As clichéd as they seem, they do make you feel important. They do indicate love. They do get you high like nothing else. And above all, they do make you happy. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about, no? Feeling happy. Feeling loved. And feeling cared for. Don’t struggle for the basics. If the fundamentals aren’t in place, will the relationship ever be?
7. Busy is another word for asshole.
Greg Behrendt is right. No one is too busy to reply to a text or return a call or keep a date. If he is, he isn’t really worth your time. You deserve better than to be cancelled on at the last moment with a text message or a call. You definitely deserve better than to be stood up. If he can’t respect your time or your feelings, do you really think he respects you? He can be the most important person in his job but if he’s always making up excuses to spend time with you, except when it’s convenient to him, run away, run far away. He doesn’t care enough. He probably never will. Struggling for his time and attention is something you should never have to do.
8. Your happiness matters too.
Yes, you want to go out of your way to make him happy. Because you love him. The courting period was great. He was always there. But he isn’t anymore. He isn’t doing all that he can to keep you happy. You’re still living in the past. And you believe that if you keep him happy, one day, he’ll realize it and do the same for you. Sorry to burst your bubble but he won’t. A healthy relationship is about two people being equally happy and content. Two people putting in equal effort to make it work. We all deserve happiness. Keeping someone else happy at the cost of your own is toxic. Believe me, I’ve been there, and it only leads to one, big explosion of emotions, which you’ll probably regret later.
9. Actions speak louder than words.
They do. No matter what he says, if he doesn’t come through, let him go. He can promise you a 1000 ships but till you don’t see them, don’t believe him. Same with even the smallest of things he says to you or promises you. If he says you’re one of the most important people in his life but he treats you like you don’t exist… That’s a red flag right there. He can’t tell you that you’re caviar and treat you like catfish. If he says he cares for you but goes ahead and treats you like he doesn’t. He doesn’t care for you. Period.