I’ve been in a fair share of relationships. I️ know I’m only 26 and most people would say “what do you know? You’re not married, never have been. And your relationships don’t last”. My response to those people are simply, you’re right. Ever since I️ was younger, I’ve learned from others’ mistakes better than my own. Seems like when I️ make my own, I️ don’t even realize it but I️ can sure point out when someone else makes one. For example, my brothers always whine about the fact that I️ was the one in the least amount of trouble when we were younger. I️ saw what they did and the consequences of them being stupid, so I️ decided to be smart or play smart. I️ could do what they did, but differently to receive a different outcome (God I️ hope my kids aren’t this smart). Pretty much it’s the same thing with relationships. You’re supposed to learn from the past ones so you don’t make the same mistakes in present ones. Easier said than done right? We find it easier to point out what’s wrong in everyone else’s relationship, but not our own. We fantasize about the relationship goals that everyone else has without even considering the fact that the couples only document their perfect times. Because why would you publicize your arguments and downfalls? There’s a select few on social media, but do you see the responses they get? People telling them to handle it off of social media, delete everything, and come back when you’re happy. If you break up, delete his or her pictures and keep it moving. Relationship Goals only.
My current relationship is far from perfect. We started in the worst way possible. Definitely not the Cinderella story I️ was expecting. I️ haven’t talked to him about sharing that story so that will have to come at a later date. One thing that I️ can say is that we are constantly working on ourselves, preparing for a future that we don’t know what it holds. My friends have applauded us and said we were “relationship goals”. I️ laugh because we’re far from it, but we’re learning. Our communication sucks and the way we handle arguments is all wrong. Just two stubborn individuals trying to grow up. I️ still love him and according to his mom he still loves me too. I️ try not to repeat mistakes from my past relationships and things I’ve seen in the relationships around me. I️ decided to be as transparent as I could and see where it leads me because that it something that I have never done. We always say that we’re waiting for something to throw us off track, but I️ think we had that in the beginning and aren’t due for a couple years, if he’ll have me for that long.
I️ never had that role model relationship to look up to. My parents went through a long and divorce. They announced when we were in middle school and didn’t finalize until we were in high school. I️ try to remember the good times when my dad brought home flowers randomly for my mom and one for me, when he came in and kissed her as she cooked in her overly sunflower decorated kitchen, or when we did yearly family vacations. Those were the best and probably what I️ miss the most.
From those days and a few heartbreaks of my own, I️ put together my own #relationshipgoals:
The one thing that I ask any person of interest is how do they feel about cheating. You know when someone is bullshitting you about their answer. There’s usually a well thought out answer justifying cheating or explaining how wrong it is. After that, I follow up with, “well have you ever cheated?”. Again, another overly explained situation where he cheated and a justification on why he did it. Lastly, I ask why he didn’t just break up with her. They usually don’t have an answer because it is just too easy to spare someone the heartbreak and break up when you get bored.
I’ll never understand it, just be single if you’re not ready or willing to give your heart to one person. Being the one getting cheated on does something to you. Yes, it strengthens you eventually, but that comes after the tears, sadness, depression, anger and other emotions. In the end, the decision is up to you whether to stay or leave. That decision has to come from you and your brain only. Not your heart because that asshole will have you going backwards instead of forward. If you chose to leave, take the time to be alone. Date yourself and learn who that person is as an individual. You don’t truly know yourself until you spend some quality time with you. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to masturbate. It keeps you out of trouble and provides good bonding time.
I did this after my last failed relationship (the being single part, though the other stuff happened too, but that’s not the point). Doing this helped me figure out what I really wanted and deserved from a man. I chose to accept nothing more and nothing less. There isn’t anything wrong with having standards as long as they are reasonable and realistic. If he’s not willing to do it for you, someone will. Believe me.
The Power of Attorney Over Your Heart
Be your own. Be in control of who you love and why you love them. Don’t allow the other to manipulate you by telling you what you what you’ve always wanted to hear. This came up in a recent conversation and I found myself wanting to be the power of attorney for someone else’s heart because the last thing that I want to do is see someone hurt. At the same time, we know what we are doing and no one else has control over that.
At times there are dire situations where we have to leave the decision up to someone else. Someone who knows every side to the story and can help you make a sound decision. My best friend is the power of attorney over my heart as I am hers. I know she only wants what’s best for me and she wants me to be happy. She will tell me from the outside looking in, when something isn’t right, she has the “fuck him” attitude whenever I don’t have the strength to, but also respects my final decisions. No matter how stupid. The same for her. I was in a situationship recently and it got to the point where she told me that it’s time to let him go. “You’re working way too hard for someone who hasn’t budged for you,” is what she would say. After a night of heavy drinking, I was done. It was that simple.
Too many times I found myself radio silent on the things that truly bothered me about a person. You have to speak up! Now, I’m not saying point out every little thing that they do that bother you. For example, if she’s in the shower longer than you, but you don’t have a water bill, why are you complaining? JOIN HER! She’s probably waiting for you. Speak up on shit that actually matters, like the lack of love and affection, or the lack of effort. He’s not a mind reader, so he doesn’t know unless you say something.
Honestly, I’m the worst at this in every relationship I’ve ever been in. Because I don’t speak up, they usually begin to walk all over you. This one time (at band camp) my ex was on Facetime with another woman. I was right there! In my head, I was thinking about how much this man has lost is everlasting mind. He was telling her to move the camera so he could see what she had on and she was telling him no because she wasn’t wearing much. I told him to hang up the phone (with a few more choice words) and just looked at him. He tried to justify his actions by saying that she lived in London so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I don’t remember the exact items that were thrown at him, but it was a number of them. I went took a shower to calm myself down, because that’s where I clear my mind the best. For a moment I was proud of myself for sticking up for myself. It was something that I hadn’t done the entire time in that relationship, but it made a big difference. He knew that I had enough and the end was near if he didn’t get himself together. Which he didn’t, so I left.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
I read somewhere that the worst thing that people do in an argument is constantly tell the other person what they are doing wrong. The word you is overused while the accuser doesn’t own up to their role in the situation. I see this a lot in men and it drives me nuts. He can tell me everything that I did, but nothing that he did. Half of the time I did nothing wrong, but yet I’m the reason why he didn’t come over, I’m the cause of traffic, I’m the reason why he’s too tired, and it’s my fault that he doesn’t have gas. It’s such a turn off for me, I start to hate the person. I’m no longer interested or no longer wish for your presence. I guess it’s just easier to blame someone else, but seriously that shit is childish. I’m going to end this here because it’s going to make me mad at my boyfriend just for being a alive.
No Relationship Is Perfect
I feel like between social media and the movies, people think that their relationship will have this crazy turn of events and everything will turn out perfectly. I have fallen victim to this one too many times. You know when you first start out there aren’t any arguments, just laughs and good times. Money doesn’t matter, you just want to go out and escape with your new beau. The first argument happens and things get awkward. You’ve never seen him like that before, you said things that you didn’t mean, and he said something that you will never forget. It was as if he’d been waiting to say those things for weeks. It was stored in the back of his mind waiting for the perfect time to launch.
So there you are, sitting on your couch or bed watching Sex and the City, trying not to text or call him. By the end of the episode, someone realizes how wrong they are and apologies are exchanged. That doesn’t happen in real life. I’m convinced. He may say that he overreacted, but getting that apology is like pulling teeth because it is an admittance of being wrong. Boy is that a pride killer. Even though it’s not fun to argue it happens and it’s not a bad thing. Its ok to disagree, it’s all about how you handle it. Most of the time, she’s probably not trying to start an argument, but if that’s how you take the statement then an argument is bound to happen. It’s all about how you respond. Respond with a smart ass answer, expect one in return. If you don’t get one in return just know that you deserve one #petty.
I learned that a perfect relationship doesn’t exist a long time ago. I remember bragging that my ex and I didn’t argue. We were happy, didn’t argue, went out all the time, just perfection. Then I realized we weren’t arguing because things were left unsaid. Things like the other women he was seeing, or what he really thought about me that he told everyone else, but me. After all of that came to light, the arguments began. To this day, I get insecure if I don’t know if my man still feels the same about me. Even if he tells me, I can’t help but think if he really feels that way. If he doesn’t, I’m fine with that. I just need to know so I can move on with life.
Consistency Is Key
I’m not sure about everyone else, but I require consistent verbal and physical attention. Now I don’t need you to be up my ass because that’s annoying. The constant attention shows that you missed me or you’re thinking of me. Don’t worry, I reciprocate because I drive on a two way street. One ways shouldn’t even exist.
Consistency just shows that you are committed and dedicated to the person. I’m sure most people would agree that if someone weren’t consistent with their pursuit, they would move on. To me, it’s the fastest way to lose someone.
I was in a “relationship” where he would go M.I.A for months at a time. He wasn’t big on texting, but he called often. I was in a vulnerable place, so I allowed this to happen. The sound of a new relationship was nice but in reality I wasn’t ready. So a partial relationship would do. He lived in another state and he visited quite often enough to keep me interested. I had hope for it, but looking back I don’t know what I was thinking. When he was around, he said everything I wanted to hear. Then he would disappear, talk shit, and say things to make me hate him. Then reappear like nothing ever happened. It was a situationship after my relationship with my son’s father. In reality I was just looking for someone to keep me from going back to his ass. That was a huge mistake because I left the relationship weak and damaged. I was just a convenience for him. He never intended on being anything more which is why he wasn’t consistent. Silly me for being young and dumb.
Don’t Lose Yourself
I’m going to end it with this one because I think this is the most important. Out of everything that I wrote, I prefer you to only remember that title. There has been plenty of times when we gained the attention of another by pretending to be someone else. We usually don’t dress a certain way or wear make-up or act a certain way, but it had someone interested. Naturally, we keep that persona because it’s what they liked about you when you met. At what point do you become yourself? You find out what they like and pretend to like it too, next thing you know you’re doing things that you would never do. You get stuck being this person, but when that relationship is over, you don’t even know who you are anymore. You have to find yourself all over again. All the work that you put in before trying to better yourself has to be reestablished. Stay true to yourself. You know what you like, what you don’t like, and what you want. Don’t change that for anyone! You deserve to get what you want and more!
I’m no relationship specialist or anything. I’m just a girl who’s been through some things. These are the key things that I’ve learned and how I learned them. I love love and that’s a blessing and a curse. A part of me wants a forever lover, but the other part of me believes that there is no such thing. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m excited to continue this journey.
P.S. Please be advised that I’m aware that every gender does the things mentioned above. I’m not saying “all men” this and “all women” that.