All Articles Tagged "bad relationships"
Behind closed doors, women whisper to each other about intuition. We say that we have the power to feel the molecules change in a room, and we know when our children are somewhere they shouldn’t be. Our hearts have ears attuned to the dishonesties of silence. This intuition, which I believe rises from somewhere ancient and divine, keeps us safe. Maybe it’s our direct communication with God.
The problem is, however, we misuse it.
Abusing our intuition manifests in two ways. First, we sometimes ignore the still small voice that beckons us toward something better. Secondly, and more often overlooked, we mistake our personal fears and biases as intuition. We use our judgments about things we don’t understand and pretend our “gut” told us to steer clear.
When talking to my best friend over drinks, she confessed feeling a deep level of calm at the pace of her new relationship. She was going super slow, but her new boyfriend worried that she was holding back. The thing was, he wasn’t exactly a new man in her life. She was in a new relationship with an old lover.
“I don’t know if I’m being guarded or trusting my gut,” she says. “I hope I’m not closed off to love.”
The friend in me wanted to shake her. I wanted to tell her that she needed to trust herself. I knew their history, and I wanted to tell her that her pacing was fine, but deep down inside, I realized that I had my own questions about my intuition. In an effort to be a bit wiser than I was the day before, I find myself slower to act, and I frequently wonder if my discretion is good sense or if I’m not open to new possibilities. I couldn’t give her advice that I couldn’t stand behind, so I just listened. But I was left wondering, how can we tell the difference between our intuition and our caution? It’s an ongoing experiment for me, but here are a few ways I try to keep myself honest:
I journal. A friend of mine is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for many years. When rereading his old journals, he discovered that he’d written that he was an alcoholic almost a year before he found himself in recovery. “My journal was the only place I could be honest,” he’d said. I find this is true for myself as well. Our minds are so chaotic that honest thoughts get mixed in with the noise. If we can find ways to get our thoughts out, we’re more able to see the difference.
I ask friends to listen. Sometimes, when I’m confused, I ask a friend to listen to me and repeat back what she’s hearing. Now, this doesn’t mean your friend is going to give you advice or tell you what she would do. That’s not what you need. He or she is simply meant to listen to you while you rant, and then report back what they’ve heard you say. Often, our words in someone else’s mouth can bring us clarity. “Oh sh*t,” we think as our friends tell us what they’ve heard. “Did I really say that?”
I pray on it. I’m not an overwhelmingly religious person, but I cannot think of a single time when I’ve asked God for guidance and didn’t receive some insight. I am able to live more openly than most because I truly believe that life won’t let me go too far down a path that is ultimately not for me. Granted, this is a two-way street. I try to live my life righteously and do the best for everyone I meet, but ultimately, I can live a little more openly because I know that I don’t walk through this life alone.
Only my friend knows if she’s holding back out of fear or intuition, but when I find myself holding back in the name of emotional danger, I like to remember that I am the descendant of those who survived. I come from a lineage of strong and powerful people, and carry the genes of the strongest of the strong. So often, our caution does a disservice to this strength. We protect ourselves as if we’re more fragile than we are. In the end, only you can decide when something is safe, but my hope is that we can all get closer to our intuition and further away from guardedness so we can love and live more freely every day.
Patia Braithwaite is a New York City-based relationship writer. You can follow her ridiculous tales of love, life, and travel on her personal blog, Men, Myself, and God. She also tweets and ‘grams whenever the mood strikes her @pdotbrathw8.
It always amazes me when beautiful, intelligent women let their emotions lead them down a path of destruction. What happened to all that knowledge you were dropping at work during your presentation, all that advice you were giving your girls when they were in bad relationships and all those street smarts you picked up as a kid? I mean…how far did those degrees really take you in you’re always the fool in love?
Enough is enough and it’s time to stop making excuses for being emotionally led. I get it, women are emotional creatures. We love hard, we feel strongly about our significant others and of course we want our relationships to work, but at what cost? When did relationship statuses start being more valuable than relationship happiness?
The bottom line is if you want to begin attracting better, you have to begin selecting better.
God blessed us with intuition that never fails. If only we heed the warnings, acknowledge the red flags and actually ACT on them instead of making excuses for bad behavior and sweeping it under the rug.
There are 3 major reasons you may have a hard time letting go of a loser:
Boredom. You’re so desperate for a good time, so infatuated with the Instagram relationships that you are willing to settle for far less than you’re worth. If this is you, if you get caught up with less than worthy men because you think you have nothing better to do. WRONG! You have plenty to do! The truth is, unhappy single women are still unhappy in relationships so if you can’t even stand being alone with yourself, why on Earth would a man want to be alone with you? Take time to become a little more interesting..find a hobby, study a topic of interest and DATE YOURSELF until a worthy suitor comes along. But, by all means do not keep accepting date invitations from men who don’t even deserve your time just because you have nothing better to do…create something better!
Lack of self-love. I believe 100 percent that all healthy relationships begin with a healthy relationship with yourself. When you know your worth, recognize your greatness and acknowledge the beauty and blessings God has given you, you’ll stop selling yourself short in relationships. Women who get stuck in undesirable situations time after time should really take the time to evaluate themselves so they can increase their self-love. What’s there to love about you? What special gift did God bless you with? Once you’re able to identify the special qualities and characteristics that are unique to you, you will begin to love yourself so much more! You’ll finally begin to understand the type of man who’s really worthy of your love. Remember, you can’t give away what you don’t have..so if you are lacking love, you won’t have any to give your King.
Your “clock” is ticking. The myth that you’re “at the age” when you need a man is setting up so many women for failure! I even heard a young girl say “whoever lays down with me at 30 is going to be my baby daddy.” I was shocked, disturbed and disgusted BUT this is the reality a lot of women live in. Our biological clock should not determine who we create a future with, let alone who we procreate with! Just because society has an opinion on what you should be doing, who you should be doing it with and how you should be doing it doesn’t mean that’s what you should live by. This is YOUR LIFE. Plus, if you really feel like it’s time that you find the one, become everything that you’re seeking in your King. If you want to attract the man for you before you “get too old” then invest the time necessary to get relationship ready so that when he does arrive, you’ll be prepared to receive him!
The bottom line is: You are worthy of a King, stop settling for clowns.
When you’ve found yourself unhappy in a relationship but also terrified of being alone, you’ve probably told yourself some pretty bold-faced lies to justify staying in that relationship, like the following ones:
As the last couple of weeks have shown, relationships can be hard to decipher. Sometimes we can ignore certain red flags, and make up excuses for unacceptable behaviors like: “Well, he was just having a bad day,” or “she was tired,” or “he/she was stressed.”
Sometimes those excuses come from the fact that we want to hold on to the person that we first met, fell in love with, and became very attached to. However, there are people who will wear a mask to draw you into a sense of complacency before hurting you.
Now let’s be honest, not everyone is going to be happy and patient all of the time. We’re all human, and we will all, occasionally, miss the mark. However, if the following things happen, PLEASE re-evaluate that relationship.
This list is courtesy of information from a local domestic abuse center in Illinois, and if you find yourself in any type of abusive relationship (physical, verbal, emotional, financial), there is help for you to get out. PLEASE call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, and visit their site for more information about healthy and unhealthy relationships.
“But I love him.”
“We have so much in common.”
“I feel like I can tell him anything.”
That was all well and good but when it came to the things that actually mattered, the things that would lay a strong, solid foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship – we struggled.
1. Our core values were very different
In an attempt to just get closer to someone who made me feel good and loved, we ignored the fact that we had very different beliefs. I suppose I thought it would all work out if we cared about each other enough, but it didn’t. My faith is the biggest part of my life but whenever I brought it up, I could see his body language change. He really didn’t want to discuss it. Our views on sexual intimacy were very different too. While he had a much more liberal and casual take on sex, I always believed it to be a much more personal, intimate and even sacred encounter. Did these red flags plague me? Absolutely. But I moved them to a far corner of my mind and tried to focus on all the other ways in which we seemed to work because after all, we had such a great time together. Right?
2. We were both afraid of being alone
I didn’t get to know him that well before we began spending all of our time together in the beginning. I was fresh out of a jacked up relationship, trying to numb the hurt of it with his company. It turned out that we really did enjoy each other’s company, but we were using each other in an attempt to avoid loneliness. He had a string of short, sporadic relationships, one after the other. I was coming out of a years-long on-again off-again tug-of-war with a guy I thought I would marry at one point. Instead of taking time to embrace being by ourselves, to heal, to dig deep and learn the lessons from our previous situations and patterns, we filled our days and nights with one another. We tried to chase away the feeling of emptiness with each other. And it worked–for a while. But it was just a stop-gap measure.
3. We had no direction
We casually sauntered toward each other and took hold. We didn’t know our core values individually. We didn’t sit down and discuss how we wanted this thing between us to go. We both had doubts about each other underneath the long philosophical discussions over pizza or the pillow talk about our families and career aspirations. It was so much deeper than we knew how to get to because we didn’t clearly assess our situation before we jumped into it. Wanting closeness was no reason to be with someone. Having unparalleled physical chemistry was no reason to stay in something that had no direction, no spiritual connection, and no purpose.
4. I compromised more than I should have
I noticed myself leaving God at the door whenever I would visit him and leaving Him at home whenever he would come to take me out. I couldn’t share the biggest part of my life with someone I was in a relationship with because I was afraid it would make him uncomfortable. How backwards is that? To top it off, I compromised myself intimately. I knew our views on sex were very different, but I figured that if I just gave a little slack in that area, things would come together. He’d see things my way.
How wrong and silly of me. If at any point you find yourself compromising things that are sacred to you, you are not in the right relationship. I loved him and I still do. I believe he is a good man despite our many differences, but loving him was not enough when I look back and see how ill-prepared and incompatible we were for our relationship.
I think of him often and pray that he is growing as I have been as a result of knowing and being involved with him. I still care for him deeply from a distance and that’s all right.
When friends and mentees ask me for love advice, I urge them to learn from my mistakes. To have the tough conversations at the very beginning. To allow time to reveal all things. To assess the person they are interested in. We don’t make monetary investments without assessing risk, so why invest our time, energy, emotions, and hearts into a relationship that will not yield mutual benefit and joy? Love is wonderful and necessary, but it does not stand alone in creating a solid, long-lasting relationship.
La Truly is a writer, college professor and young women’s empowerment enthusiast. She mixes her interest in social and cultural issues with her life experiences to encourage thought, discussion and positive change among young Women of Color. Follow her on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and check out her site: www.hersoulinc.com.
It’s not unusual to hear a bruised woman say, “Eff love, I’m through with it” and carry a negative attitude about men for from then on. I mean, there are tons of songs based on sorry men and damaged females, TV shows that highlight good women turned cold (Snapped anyone?) and male-bashing movies that crucify men like they are the worst things next to the devil (ahem, Waiting to Exhale). Don’t get me wrong, those evil heart-breaking men do exist—I’ve ran into quite a few, witnessed them in action, and experienced some of my own, not to mention the ones in my family (sheesh!)—but letting those bad seeds dictate your outlook on men is the wrong thing to do. Here’s why:
Number one, everything that happens in life should be a learning experience. No matter how many guys have cheated on you, lied to you, hurt you, or manipulated you, learn from it and find peace. Oftentimes, the people we attract are a reflection of who we are, or just a case of bad judgment, so look within yourself and see if there’s anything that you need to change. (Hint, hint—you can’t keep dating guys who disrespect their mothers and sisters, walking around with tattoos that read “money over b**ches” and think that he’s going to treat you like a queen—yeah, probably not going to happen). Analyze each situation, pinpoint the problem(s) and realize what you might have ignored, what you could have done differently and can do differently in the future.
If cheating men have always been your problem, let’s not forget that we as women are not perfect and, believe it or not, sometimes give men reasons to step out—not justifying it, just stating facts. You could have left your man feeling lonely and unwanted, or maybe you weren’t supportive at times. Whatever the case, own up to your faults and make sure you don’t bring them into your next relationship.
But even if you were the picture-perfect girlfriend, fiancée or wife, you can still take away good out of a relationship that was bad. He lied to you? Get smarter. Now you know what questions to ask your new man, what to look out for, and to be more careful with whom you let get close to you. He beat you? Yes, he may have bruised you physically, but don’t let it destroy your spirit; grow from it and know the signs to look for in your next mate so that you stay clear of an abuser. Let all of his mistakes guide you to a wiser, stronger, better you so that you will be the best woman possible for your Mr. Right.
Which brings me to my next point. Harboring bad feelings from painful relationships can and will cause you to ruin your chances of finding a great guy—but only if you let it. If you keep holding on to every little negative thing your last partner did to you, you won’t give a good man the chance to love you like you deserve to be loved. It happens all the time. You get so wrapped up in the ideology that all men are dogs that you allow yourself to become angry, weak, and insecure, looking for everything you possibly can find to run a decent man away. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens, he books, and fast. Don’t be that bitter sista who remains so blinded by past rage that she won’t learn from her past and be too afraid to open up her heart and try again. I know it’s hard ladies, but just remember, staying bitter won’t benefit you in any way. Don’t be the butcher of your own happiness. Let it go honey, let it go.
When you’re dating, you never know what type of mess you’re going to find yourself in.Wouldn’t it be great if we could see the type of baggage potential partners are carrying before we get involved? Yeah, it would certainly help. But unfortunately the cookie doesn’t crumble that way. Instead, we have to go through it. We asked our Facebook followers, which things they wish they knew about their romantic partners before they ever got caught up. There are some outrageous stories. Check them out.
Diandra: He liked guys too.
Vanessa: That’s he’s full of shyt!! EVERYTHING that came out his mouth was a lie.
The month of February encourages us to celebrate the love we feel for others, and to respect and acknowledge Black history. Well, with these things in mind, we can put ourselves on the back burner and instead of learning from our own past, we look at it with disdain while not learning from it; and for a while I did that. I am a strong believer in using introspection to help others, and I hope you allow me to do so at this time.
Relationships can be such a beautiful thing to experience. But with every rose you run the risk of being pricked by a few thorns. Most of us have experienced the break ups, the promises of “baby, I’ll do better,” and the annoyance that you feel with yourself when you believe the line and the person continues to behave the exact same way, but you stay. For me this type of annoyance I had for myself began to turn into self-loathing after one bad relationship after another.
I’m a very strong person, but I found myself overwhelmed with emotion thinking about the violation, the disappointment, the self-anger, it all bubbled in me. But after promises of “It’ll never happen again,” I stayed, with internal disappointment at myself because this wasn’t how I was raised. Living in a two parent, upper-middle class household where my father told me he loved me constantly and he and my mother were both such supportive influences in my life. What would they say?
After ending a particularly horrible relationship, as I took inventory of the courtship I realized that I hated myself more than I hated him. I was the stupid person that stayed. Why am I such a people pleaser? My sisters aren’t suffering with this. What is wrong with me?
After months of feeling this way, I had to learn that hating myself wasn’t helping me at all. If anything, it was continuing the destructive affect he had on my life. I had to learn that instead of being angry with myself for staying as long as I did, to be proud that I, at least, took a step forward to getting better by leaving. I had to learn that the only love that’s really important is the love that you give yourself.
After situations like these, it’s so easy to beat yourself up, and over look the small victories, of moving on, and beginning to like who you see in the mirror. But you HAVE to notice those victories, because they are the silver linings. They are the encouragement to do more, to be better, to learn from the past. Hindsight is always 20/20, and you’ll always be able to see what you did wrong when you look back on the situation, but if you just fixate on the problems while badgering yourself, you’re not finding a solution.
You have to get back to loving yourself, because YOU are worth it. YOU are amazing and YOU do deserve so much better than you’re getting.
Kendra Koger loves herself. You should love her twitter account @kkoger.
In a relationship, there is always the risk that it’ll end, either mutually, or because of you, or because of him. Not all relationships have happy endings and sometimes those ends come after plenty of warning signs and red flags. If you’re in a relationship with a guy that is going down-hill, there are some definite signs to look out for. Here are 14 signs that your boyfriend is breaking up with you in the near future.
Even though emotional abuse doesn’t leave physical marks, it is said to be the hardest type of abuse to understand and escape. Emotional abuse can occur in the many relationships and for those impacted, stick and stones may break their bones, but words will never hurt them. Here are 15 signs that your relationship is emotionally abusive.
He puts you down.
Us women love compliments, that’s a fact. If your guy talks down to you and makes you feel like less than who you really are, it’s time to reconsider. No man is worth losing your self-esteem or self-confidence over.