It’s been said that single people give the best dating advice, but can’t take their own. Despite being the queen of that sentiment, this longtime single lady has learned many things along the way. The most important thing I've learned in my many (many!) years of dating? To live a healthy life, you need to love yourself. And in order to love yourself, you must stop dating people who treat you like crap.
We’ve all had those boyfriends, quick relationships, or last minute Tinder dates that left us feeling hollow inside. These are the individuals who turn confident women into insecure beings and appoint us the title of "crazy." When the need to feel loved gets in the way of a clear head, the ability for someone to take advantage of you becomes effortless.
Don’t let love/lust take away from your own self-love. No matter how attractive or smooth-talking your date is, it's paramount that you continue to embody the confident, kickass woman you know you truly are.
Here are three rules to maintain your self-respect when the person you’re dating isn’t showing you any.
1. If you're second guessing whether this person likes you, it's time to end it.
The minute you start making excuses for why he hasn't texted. The minute you question whether he likes you. The minute that gross pit of doubt forms in your stomach. That's the minute it's time to move on.
You are strong and smart and beautiful and funny and amazing. You should never have to wonder whether someone likes you, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Those first months (nay, those years) should be totally devoid of doubt when it comes to how you both are feeling.
Questioning whether your partner is into you is a slippery slope. Don't let anyone else determine your self-worth. The longer you hold onto someone you know isn’t into you, the more insecure you'll become.
2. Don't be the giver all the time.
Whether it's traveling to his place or always picking the restaurant, being the partner who makes (or has to make) all of the decisions eventually adds up and can leave you feeling like the relationship is one-sided. When you start to notice a pattern like this, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate.
To avoid playing games, communication is key. Talk to your partner and discuss that you'd like the effort to be reciprocated. See if they're willing to do the work. The person who is right for you will travel to the moon and back to see you for just a few minutes, no matter how busy their schedule.
3. Maintain your identity and friendships.
A confident partner will love that you have a life, friends and interests outside of the two of you. Listen, I get that it's difficult to make time for all of the things in your life you want to give attention to. And whether you've just started dating someone or are in a long-term relationship, independence from each other can sometimes be hard.
You're either head-over-heels in the honeymoon phase and can't stand to be apart, or you've been together for so long that it might feel strange to make plans separately. But maintaining a sense of yourself that isn't connected to your partner is crucial, not only for your own sake, but also for that of the relationship.
If your partner doesn't understand how you could make plans without him or her, can't fathom why you'd want to do something on your own, that's a red flag. If the person is right for you, he or she won’t keep you away from the life you had before, or from new things you take an interest in.
Just because you're in a relationship doesn't mean you have to share the same exact interests and friends. Discuss your passions and continue to keep them a priority. There's nothing more attractive than a hardworking person who has passion for life and friendships.
Because I am a single woman who has gone through the gamut of awful dates and experiences, I know what not to do now. Nothing good ever comes from continuing contact with someone who doesn’t respect you; it will never end well.
Dig deep and remind yourself that you deserve better. The right person will realize your worth and show you qualities about yourself that you haven’t already seen.
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