Lesson Learned The Hard Way: 10 Things I Will Never Do Again In The Name of Love
As 2012 came to a close, I had much time to sit and reflect on various trials, triumphs and lessons that I’ve learned up until this point in my adult life. One area in which I am constantly learning is my love life. It’s been a long time coming since love and relationships were equated with crumpled up slips of paper that read : Will you go out with me? Circle yes or no. These days things are way more complicated, but all in all, I am pretty grateful for the lessons that I have learned and am still learning along the way. Among the lessons I’ve learned are things that I will never do again for the sake of being in a relationship. Check out some of my love faux pas. You just might recognize some of these from your own life as well.
Beef with other women
I was never really an extremely confrontational person, but there were points in a couple of my relationships where I felt justified in “checking” other women over my man. As I continue to grow and mature, I realize that certain things are really unnecessary and fighting with other women over a man is one of them. If you have to fight over him, then he isn’t really yours.
Tolerate or turn a blind-eye to cheating
Have you ever reflected on a situation from the past and wanted to kick yourself for being so foolish? That’s how I feel whenever I reminisce on the times where evidence that my man was cheating was staring me in my face, yet for one reason or another I chose to ignore it or allowed him to somehow talk me out of using the common sense that God gave me. The foolishly in love woman is a role that I refuse to assume anymore.
Ignore that gut feeling that says “something ain’t right”
Women’s intuition is a subject that has been pondered by some of our country’s most intelligent minds. The biggest question is whether or not it’s a myth or a reality. Dr. Ronald E. Riggio over at Psychology Today suggests that it is a reality that is based on our intense nonverbal communication skills.
Of course, we didn’t need a psychologist to tell us that, but many women (myself included), have a tendency to ignore those intense “gut” feelings. We are good at trying to talk ourselves out of believing certain things, all the while our inner-woman is screaming at the top of her lungs that something isn’t right. I don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to love and relationships, my intuition has yet to steer me wrong. Whether or not I chose to take heed to those gut feelings is another story…
Accepting those “gray area” relationships
I’ve found myself in the awkward fog of being in a “gray area” relationship twice in my life. If you’re unsure of what a “gray area” relationship is, it is a relationship where you are never quite sure where you stand with a man because he has failed at making his intentions known. It is a relationship where you do couple things; however, no commitment has been made and conversations regarding commitment and titles are generally avoided. In most cases, a guy who places you in the gray area is playing games, doesn’t know what he wants or is simply not that into you. Therefore, he allows you to be his pretend girlfriend until he finds something better. The woman who settles for this type of relationships rarely ever wins.
Be a social media “lurker”
I’m a reformed social media stalker. No, really, I am. I used to be the queen of keeping tabs on my man, his exes and any other women trying to infiltrate what me and my dude had going on. I’d whip up a fake Facebook or Myspace page in a heartbeat to gain a bird’s eye view of whatever woman I considered to the latest threat to my “happy” home. I wasn’t above cracking my guy’s social media passwords either. Simply put, I was a complete lunatic. Eventually, I realized what a psycho I was being and have since let go of my stalkerish ways. For reasons that I’ll never completely understand, I felt that staying “on top of things” would somehow keep the relationship from going south. I’m so glad that I’ve recognized the error of my ways. Besides, social media lurking was literally a full-time job.
Lose myself in a relationship
I used to be one of those girls who barely recognized herself after she got into a relationship because I almost always got lost in them. I would completely submerge myself into the guy that I was seeing and his interests and of course, that the girl that I used to be prior to entering into the relationship would be lost in the abyss.
Settle for a man who’s only half-interested
There’s a huge difference between a man who likes you a lot and a man who only likes you enough. Every woman deserves to be with a man who sincerely desires to be with her. I’ve learned the hard way that it pays to give your heart to the man who celebrates you, not the one who merely tolerates you.
Become bitter over failed relationships
God knows I used to be able to hold onto a grudge. I mean I used to grip a grudge so tightly that when I got ready to finally let go, the grudge would turn around, look at me and go “Oh, no girl. We’re in this for the long haul.” But, as I mature, I continue to learn that seasons change, people change and life goes on. Everyone wasn’t meant to remain in your life forever. Even if the relationship did end on negative terms; even if the person did do you wrong, you owe it yourself to forgive them and resist the temptation to become bitter. I hate to resort to cliché sayings, but bitterness is literally like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Let it go and move on.
Apologize for being the woman God created me to be
I once dated a guy who became extremely critical of me as our relationship progressed. If he wasn’t telling me that I was too emotional, then he was telling me that I was too nice. If he wasn’t telling me that I was too shy, then he was telling me that I talked too much. There’s nothing wrong with accepting constructive criticism from your significant other, but when they’re asking you to completely change who you are, something is wrong. I’m glad I learned that there is no future in a relationship with a person who doesn’t allow you to be yourself.
Lay down with a man who isn’t my husband
This one was a personal decision that may not apply to everyone. Anyone who knows me knows that one of my most prized possessions is the abstinence ring that I received in front of my entire church congregation on my 20th birthday after I made a vow to abstain from sex until my wedding night. It’s a simple silver ring that I wear on my left hand that reads: I’ll wait. The ring serves as a constant reminder of the promise that I made to God to patiently wait for the man for the man that he designed specifically for me. Remaining celibate has not been easy all of the time, but it is most certainly worth it.