Lately, relationship talk has been floating around in my circles. Despite being open about mental health and things I’ve learned in life, I’ve never talked about relationships before.
Before reading on, just know that I have no regrets about anything. I take full responsibility of my choices. Even in relationships that didn’t work, there were plenty of happy times.
Don’t ignore red flags
I can not count on both hands and feet how many red flags I’ve ignored.
There were times I was so determined to make a relationship work that I’d sweep red flags under the carpet. There was a time I believed the problem was with me and not the relationship.
A major red flag for me is when my partner would rather do what makes me happy than what’s good for my wellbeing. Someone who truly sees you as an equal is not afraid to call you out tactfully. They wouldn’t make you happy just so you’d stay with them. They would want you to be your best self even if they have to argue and nag.
Another red flag is when our love languages are too different. The link is to a short video that I’ve found immensely helpful and have shared with friends.
You cannot be with someone who you want to change
Growing up, my mom would always tell me that you can’t change someone. And I reacted the way any teenage girl would- in one ear and out the other.
When I reflect on my past relationships and the experiences of my friends, my mom is 110% right. It’s healthy to want your partner to improve, but you have to like them as they are. If you’re thinking “I’m not totally sold on them right now…but if they do X, Y, and Z, I’ll be crazy for them!” well….you’re in for a bad time.
This goes both ways. If your partner sees that you’re not happy with certain aspects in your life and wants to help, that’s great! But if they make you feel like you’re not good enough as you are, that’s a problem.
Knowing when enough is enough
When we were young, we were told that we could do anything. But as we grow up, we’re told to settle. I often feel like women are especially discouraged from being ambitious and selective. How many times have us ladies felt pressured to do something to be nice? How many times have been been been called a bitch for not indulging a guy?
When it comes to relationships, it would be a shame to throw away a good thing. But if you always feel like you have to work sooo hard to be happy and compromise sooo much, it may be time to call it off. Going back to my first point, sometimes we get so focused on making it work that we don’t realize it’s just not meant to be.
Ultimately, we’re all our own person. Nobody is entitled to you making yourself miserable to stay with them. Whenever one of my friends pipes up about being unhappy that they’re single, we’re all quick to tell them that being in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re happy.
Hugs and kisses
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