Being in a relationship that all of my friends remained jealous of was an interesting existence. While I met a near-perfect man, they were struggling with duds and always reminding me about how lucky I was to have this amazing person. My ex-boyfriend Carr and I’s relationship lasted for three years. During the three years of us being together, I finished college, started/ended my first job, began my second, and lived with him for a year. Because of this fantastically healthy relationship I had, I became the person people would approach for advice on relationship matters. So, I have compiled a very condensed list of things that helped Carr and I keep an amazing relationship and the things I did that have made me into the strong, independent lady I am today (now, without Carr) hoping it helps some other excellent ladies out there.
This one is easily the most important of them all. I couldn’t be happy with Carr until I was happy with myself. If you love yourself, mind, body, and soul, you will learn that sure, I might be lucky to have this person (in this case, Carr), but they are damn lucky to have me too. Let me count the ways… I am awesome.
This one is easily tied with self-confidence for number one. ALWAYS be honest. As Truman Capote says, “I’d rather have cancer than a dishonest heart.” Men appreciate a woman who is honest and upfront with them. When I say men, I mean the men you want to stick around. You are upfront with your feelings, you are sensitive but truthful. You want them to always be honest with you so you always return with the same courtesy. This is a trait that will benefit you in all walks of life with all of your relationships.
3. Leave the attitude at the door.
There are so many facets to this one that it’s insane. You are an independent woman who doesn’t need this guy. He pisses you off? Tell him (without attitude). Don’t also make him feel like a total asshole for it. I assure you, he already does. Instead of throwing insult after insult which will only drive him away, give him a bit of space (without attitude). You shouldn’t let a guy see your feelings unless he has earned the chance to. Also, the attitude easily starts to be looked at as nagging and we don’t give that much of a shit, correct? Yes. Moving on.
4. If you’re jealous, you aren’t comfortable.
Don’t take your insecurities out on your partner. When I would see some woman hitting on Carr I would laugh. Not in a maniacal way, but in a “that’s cute” kind of way because I trusted him whole-heartedly. We were always open with each other and I didn’t have a single reason not to trust him. We had a special connection, so why would I let some random woman scare me? I wasn’t going to. If he was going to cheat, he was going to cheat. Then, I would have no problem telling him to GTFO. Not only does this establish you as an independent woman who “don’t need no man,” but it also makes your partner appreciate you that much more for trusting him. (Of course if HE is the one hitting on someone…well, skip to number 7)
5. Independence is KEY.
He wants to go out with his friends? Awesome. Have fun. He wants to go on a weekend trip with the guys? Excellent, bring back a souvenir. You’ll be having an exciting weekend/ night-out with your ladies enjoying your time. Will you text him? Sure, if you feel like it. Will they be novel texts about how you miss him? Hell no. You don’t have time for that. I swear to you, most men will feel like they hit the jackpot knowing that their woman wants them to have a good time whether it’s with them or not (after a while, he will choose you over the guys…but don’t let him do that too often. You can’t forget about the gals).
6. Fighting is for the birds.
Carr and I never got into yelling arguments or full blown insult battles. We would have adult conversations about what was bothering us and come to a conclusion. Whilst talking/our version of fighting, it’s important to let him speak; don’t interrupt because you think your point is more important. Getting emotional and breaking off into a melodramatic spiel in the middle of his “I feel like…” sentence is a best way to not ever work through any important problems. Never put all of the blame on one person; that is the perfect way to sound like you’re attacking them and into their shell they shall descend. Let me give you an example:
“You never understand what I am trying to say.” No. Stop it.
“I feel like you don’t listen to me.” Ah, starting the sentence with “I” and using the words “feel” will absolutely make the sentence seem more understanding, inner-directed, and less bitchy and defensive.
Sure, self-worth and self-confidence seem like they are virtually so similar it’s redundant to have them on this list together. But, there is a difference. It is always important to remember that some relationships aren’t meant to work out. Not keeping an open mind whilst refusing to maintain your sense of self value is the sure-fire way to get sucked into an awful relationship. No one deserves or should be in a relationship where there is abuse (physical or verbal), personal attacks, frequent insults, lack of support, a lack of interest, and so forth. Have enough self-worth that if/when you see such a pattern, the trouble it takes you to say GTFO is just taking a breath. Doesn’t mean you won’t be sad for a second, but it does mean you’re a bad enough bitch to not let it wreck your next 6 months. You are deserving of a good relationship and you know it.