After almost 3 years in a toxic relationship that was verbally and emotionally abusive, I lost myself. I lost more than just my (old) friends, family, and hobbies, I lost my own sense of independence and my self-esteem. I’m insecure. I lack self-confidence. I’m paranoid. I’m miserable. I don’t have any friends, I don’t speak with my family, I don’t have any hobbies, and there is nothing that I do on my own or just for myself.
I was truly convinced that I was going to spend the rest of my life with this man, but how can I continue to live a life that is not fulfilling and meaningful? From this moment forward, I promise myself, for myself, that I will never again settle or allow myself to “get overly comfortable” with someone. Here is MY working list of what I will NOT compromise or settle for anything less.
1. Honesty and trust.
There MUST be a strong foundation of both honesty and trust. There should be a level of transparency from day 1. I should never, ever, ever have to think twice about whether or not my significant other is lying to me, cheating on me, or is not being completely and truly honest with me.
2. Someone who COMPLEMENTS me, NOT someone who COMPLETES me.
I am one complete person on my own. I am not searching for my other half simply because I am not half. I am whole. I want someone who compliments who I am as a WHOLE [person] rather than someone who is filling in an empty void within myself.
3. Someone who can be understanding, accepting, and supportive of my mental health issues.
As someone who has struggled with major depression and anxiety for many many years, my future significant other MUST understand, accept, and support my mental health. He must understand that depression is more than just a bad mood and that anxiety is more than just overthinking. He must understand that this is in fact a chemical imbalance in my brain that I was genetically dispositioned to and it’s not just all in my head. He must understand that this does not make me a “crazy person” and that I should not be judged for this disease. He must accept me for who I am and he must accept the mental health issues that I fight each and every single day. Lastly, he must be supportive of my progress and what I need to do to continue winning this battle.
4. Someone who motivates me to be the best me while I motivate them to become the best version of themselves.
My future significant other MUST motivate me to become the best version of myself while I motivate him to be the version of himself! There is always room for improvement and nothing or nobody is ever perfect. Being coachable while coaching is what makes learning and growing so much fun.
5. A physical, sexual, and intellectual connection.
We both need to be physically attracted to each other. We both need to be sexually attracted to each other. We both need to have an intellectual connection with each other. All 3 MUST be present or the relationship will not work out.
He MUST respect me for being ME. He MUST respect me as a human being. He MUST respect me for being a woman. He MUST respect me for my choices and my decisions, both past, present, and future… even if he does not always agree. He MUST respect my friends. He MUST respect my family. He MUST respect my goals, dreams, and aspirations. I am not an object and my feelings and opinion matter just as his do.
7. Effective communication.
We MUST always communicate with one another! We need to be able to openly talk about anything and everything. No topic should be off limits.. It’s important to be able to have an open dialog and to communicate wants, needs, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, issues, etc. We don’t need to be calling and texting each other 24/7 but we must find the balance that works for us.
8. Personal time and space (aka freedom).
We MUST have our own personal alone time. I don’t want to feel like I am “reporting” to anyone. I am not a 14-year-old teenager. I do NOT have a curfew and I do not have to “check-in” with anyone.