I am sure we have all been there. We are in a relationship and we know things aren’t perfect but we let it slide because we believe in that person. We are optimistic of what the relationship could be and we are hopeful that this to will pass and things will get better.
I am an internal optimist. I usually try to keep a sunny disposition and shy away from conflict. In relationships, I am an open communicator. I tell my partner how I feel, voice my concerns and hope that we can reach a compromise. In my various tumultuous relationships, I do tend to want things to work out, or at least give it my best shot.
In a previous relationship, I had a boyfriend that was overly controlling. He would fly off the handle anytime I would get a text message from anyone of the opposite sex and he would be borderline abusive when I would hang out with my guy friends. I had done nothing to break his trust. He told me that he had been cheated on in the past and that was why he was overly protective. He would do anything for me, so even though my mind told me, this guy is loco, run fast, my heart told me that I was going to make this wounded soldier a believer.
The control issues started with small things, he would make me feel guilty about spending time with my friends and not spending time with him, he would text me all day while I was at work and check in on me, and he would read through my phone messages while I was sleeping and then question me about them in the morning. I knew these were all unhealthy habits and not the relationship that I was looking for. I told my friends and my parents that things would get better. I wanted it to work, so it would work. It took me a long time to realize that I couldn’t do the work. I couldn’t force him to trust me, and I soon learned his trust issues had nothing to do with me but with himself. He didn’t trust me, because he did not trust himself. He was cheating on my the entire course of our relationship. I wish I could say I had no idea, but apart of me knew.
After that relationship, I swore off men. My little heart could not take any more trampling. I met the kindest man, who pursued me for months. Against my better judgement I decided to give him a chance. He spent all his time trying to make me happy and would do whatever I wanted. He was so sweet and so kind, but six months passed and I didn’t feel I could get to the point where I would fall in love with him. Another three months passed although I really cared about him, I wasn’t feeling a spark there. I expressed my concerns to him, but he was determined that we should be together and he was going to prove it to me. Every time I tried to end the relationship, he promised me that things take time and we would get there. I thought again, eventually things will get better, I trusted that he saw something that I couldn’t see. Things didn’t get better, they just got worse. I couldn’t commit to the relationship and eventually he ended it because he wanted me to see a future there.
Relationships are hard. I would say I have no backbone or I am insecure but somehow although that may be a small part of it, I think it really comes down to me being a romantic. I trust that if someone is investing the time and telling me everything is going to be okay, they have good intentions. Hurting someone is very hard, so I need to be absolutely sure of all my decisions. If the relationship is not giving me what I need and want, I will discuss with my partner and try to address it. Men, in my experience are not like this. They do not discuss. They make decisions on the relationship and leave the woman in the dark. My girlfriends and I always talk about being blind sided by guys. I always want to fix things, and hope that a tweak here and there will make all the difference. When it comes to flight or fight, men chose flight every time.
All you girls in the “things will get better club” meet the boys in “when time are tough, run club”. While we are hopeful that the issues we have in our relationship will resolve after careful discussion and the relationship will grow and evolve. The men are already deciding that times are hard and they are ready to make the next move. I don’t want to sound jaded, but sometimes no matter how badly you wish it, things don’t get better. The more chances you give that person in your life, the more opportunity they have to disappoint you. Putting work into the relationship is the responsibility of two parties.
Its a tough reality, and its hard to not get jaded by terrifying love stories. A guy tells you he will give you the world, then the next day he decides on his own the relationship is too much work. We all watched The Hills and LC didn’t go to Paris because she wanted to give Jason a chance, we all know how that worked out. The editor of Teen Vogue would not let her live that one down. We make mistakes and then we learn from them. Give chances sparingly and make these men appreciate how precious time is and how important it is to enter a relationship with your best foot forward.
The better relationship is the one you can have with yourself. The energy that isn’t going to go to waste. Surrounding yourself with people who will cherish you and not leave you wanting more.