I would love to take credit for writing this list, but alas, I cannot…
However, it is too good not to share and expand upon, which I did. I admit, I did take out the ones I didn’t agree with and changed around others I felt needed some tweaking.
So here is the list with my thoughts following each one – most learned from my own experiences. Listen well all you young ladies out there. These lessons may save you some heartache.
- If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he does not want you, nothing can make him stay. Stop trying to change yourselves for a relationship that’s not meant to be.
Unfortunately, this may be THE hardest idea to accept. The best movie I’ve seen that completely explains this is “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Watch this movie and you will see exactly what I’m talking about. The main character is someone I saw in myself when I was young and started dating and wanted every relationship to work. I didn’t care if he was the one for me, if my needs were met, I just didn’t want to feel rejected. I would sacrifice myself and my needs to stay in a going nowhere relationship. You see the main character grow and begin to understand, with the help of a guy, how to stop her behavior, be aware of what SHE wants, etc. It completely demonstrates what this bullet states.
- Never make excuses for a man and his behavior.
When I read this one, I’m not quite sure why anyone would do this to begin with? Then I think about how some of my friends had been in a relationship I could tell was not so great, but only when they break up do they tell you the truth of what was really going on the whole time. Then you remember back and realize the excuses they made for things that happened.
A man is responsible for his own behavior. If you don’t like what he’s doing, walk away and let him own it, let him make his own excuses. If you choose to stay with him in a situation where you feel like you need to make excuses for him, you need to get out.
- Allow your intuition (or spirit, or gut feelings, or red flags) to save you from heartache.
With every relationship, breakup, etc., you learn things. You internalize them. So when you get that gut feeling, something is saying there’s just not something right, or you see some red flags go up, it’s best to just cut bait and leave. Why go through any more stress or heartbreak necessary?
- Slower is better.
Wow, how I can attest to this one! I have jumped in so many times way too fast, only to find out you really don’t fully see who a person truly is, in every way, until around six months of dating. So, to avoid mistakes such as moving in together, getting finances tied up together, getting too invested, go really, really, really slow.
- Never live your life for a man before you find what makes YOU truly happy.
Now this one I would rephrase a little, because first of all you should never be living your life for a man. What I think they meant to say was don’t give of yourself to someone else until you have everything for yourself. Now THAT I agree with… Make sure you have achieved everything for yourself and never back off of your goals and dreams for anyone else. Keep your eye on the prize.
- If a relationship ends because he was not treating you as you deserve, then no, you cannot “be friends.” A friend would not mistreat a friend. A friend would not talk to you like you are anything less than you are.
I have to admit, when you’re friends before you get into a relationship, a breakup can be doubly hard. Not only did you lose your partner, but you lost that friend you had before. Time sometimes heals wounds and maybe further down the road you may be able to be friends. One element of this, though, is talking about what happened (as friends) and reflecting on what your own part was in the failed relationship. It takes forgiveness and letting things go, which is a great part of healing. Harboring pain and anger can only make you sick. And then after all of that, you may be able to be friends. It will never be the same, but you may have a friend back you had before.
- Do not settle.
This is a simple one. Why would you? Dr. Phil has a GREAT book he wrote named Love Smart. It takes you through many exercises where you learn about types of men and dealbreakers and how to figure out your own. Then it helps you figure out exactly what you’re looking for. Once you’ve made this list, he tells you to accept 80%. Now, this is not settling… This is saying that you may never find Mr. 100%, but being able to find Mr. 80% should be what your goal is. There are surely 20% of things on your list you can “give” on, just as long as they are not dealbreakers. So my suggestion – read the book. I wish I had read it at 18. I would have never dated any of the people I did…
- If you feel like he is stringing you along, he probably is.
This again goes back to listening to your gut, watching for red flags, and not accepting anything less than you deserve. If he’s giving you excuses and you can see the warning signs, cut bait! There are other fish in the sea.
- Do not stay because you think “it will get better.” You WILL be mad at yourself a year later when things are not better and you have wasted a year.
This is simply said. Following the advice above can keep this from happening. Don’t waste a single day because each day is a precious gift.
- The only person you can control in a relationship is you.
The only person you can control at ALL is you. The only person who can control how you feel, how you act, how you respond is YOU. Do not let others make you think otherwise. A wise woman once said to me “Don’t ever let anyone rent your mind for free.” Amen!
- Avoid men who have a lot of children by a lot of different women. He did not commit to them even when they became the mother of his child. Why would he ever commit to you?
Well, even if he has one child by another woman, find out the backstory. Was it a one night stand? Is he involved with the child? Does he get along with the mother? You do NOT want a man who does not stand up to his responsibilities. Let’s say it was a one-night stand. You would not expect someone to marry someone they don’t know just for the sake of the child. However, you would expect a real man to pay child support, visit the child regularly, be 50% of that child’s life and no less. You do NOT want to get involved with someone who shows you they are not a responsible person. Past behavior is a direct reflection of future behavior.
- Always have your own set of friends separate from his.
When a relationship begins, there is always the issue of “friends” and how they are to be involved in this relationship. Be weary of his “friends” that are girls that he is not excited for you to meet. It’s normal for guys to have guy friends and girls to have girl friends, and even vice-versa, but to have friends you don’t want the other party to meet? No, that’s not acceptable. Don’t let go of your friends or be “that girl” who gives up their time with them for every guy they meet. Having your own time with your friends is healthy and necessary.
- Set and maintain boundaries in how you allow others to treat you. And if something bothers you, speak up!
You know how you should be treated – like a queen. Never let anyone treat you any less. If you let it happen once, it’ll happen again. Speak up the first time, and if it happens again, then you need to get out. Never lower your standards and allow yourself to be treated any less than how you should.
- Never let a man know everything. He can and will use it against you later.
Hey, girls do this, too! Just be sure if you have secrets that can hurt you later, keep those secrets to yourself. Some of us had to learn the hard way… Some men can actually turn into little 5th grade girls when they get hurt. They try to find ways to strike back out of anger and will use those secrets against you. In the days of social media, this can be horrific! So keep your mouth shut.
- You cannot change a man’s behavior. Change comes from within.
This is true for everyone. You don’t want to change someone else. You want to find the one that does not have to change. Just as you don’t want to have to change for someone, you want them to accept you as you. Change comes from within and the desire must be there. Just as you don’t want someone to change the person that makes you YOU, don’t ask or expect anyone else to.
- Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are. Even if he has more education or a better job, he is a man – nothing more, nothing less.
Enough said. What a person does or how long they went to school does not define them. What’s inside makes you who you are. No one person is better than another for any reason whatsoever.
- If he cheated WITH you, he will cheat ON you.
Yes, my dear, it’s true. If you won the battle and he left her for you, you’re setting yourself up for a life of paranoia. What makes you think he won’t always be looking for something better? Why would you want to be with someone who is a cheater to begin with? Ask yourself all of these things. If he’s taken, move on.
- You need time to heal and reflect between relationships. There is nothing cute about baggage. Deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship.
Yes, breakups are hard. Some say the best way to get over it is to jump into the next one. WRONG! You need time to heal and reflect and be YOU again, that is if you lost yourself to begin with. Take time, though, for yourself. Rethink what it is you’re looking for. Yes, breakups are hard, but you know what? If you think of it as, “Okay, what’s next?” then you can look forward to the next adventure with someone else. When one door closes, another one opens.
- Never look for someone to complete you. A relationship consists of two whole individuals who are complimentary of each other, not supplementary.
- Don’t fully commit to a man who does not give you everything you need mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Again – know what you want and do not settle.
- Keep him in your radar but get to know others.
If you just met, remember to go slow. Don’t commit to one person right away. Don’t limit yourself to one person until you know you’ve gotten past any red flags, you have no hesitations, you’ve seen every side of him, you know his friends, etc. Go slow and get to know.
“It takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, and a lifetime to forget them.”