stop playing yourself in relationships
I've still got the love bug leftover from February, so as I transition into March (a little late), you'll be seeing some more content about love and relationships.
Today I wanted to get super honest about all the times I have played myself in relationships in the hopes of letting y'all know that you're not alone. At the same time, I want us to grow together out of these bad habits and hopefully not make the same mistakes over and over again. This is me being super transparent, and I thank you in advance for not judging me.
1. i have fallen in LOVE with POTENTIAL.
Potential has always excited me. I love the idea of who a man says he is, and this has tripped me up big time in relationships. I've made the mistake of believing who a man says he is, instead of taking him at face value and figuring out who he really is. And this doesn't just go for men. If you think about it, when we're asked who we are, or to tell a little bit about ourselves, we always embellish just a bit, or we present the absolute best version of ourselves. The truth is, nobody is that best version of themselves everyday. The key in relationships is learning about and getting to know that everyday version of the other person, so when that extraordinary version of themselves does pop out, we fall even more in love. If we go about it the other way around, and we fall in love with the extraordinary version of someone else, when that everyday version of them stops by more frequently, we start getting disappointed and the love fades.
I remember in church one day, the preacher said, "potential doesn't exist". That hit me hard and stuck with me, because it doesn't. Whatever you're hoping that person becomes does not exist presently. You can't fall in love with something that isn't there yet. So, if all you love about that person is their potential, you'll be stuck waiting for that to manifest, rather than enjoying what is already there, or letting that dream go and finding what you want in someone else.
2. I have BoUght FROM DREAM - SELLERS.
A lot of times my relationships / situationships go like this. After hanging out with someone a few times and they seem to meet all my basic requirements, they love God, they're funny, and they're attractive, I start catching feelings. Then we start discussing things we're gonna do together, we start amping up the frequency of our communication, and in my head, I start making a life for us. Sounds dramatic, yes, but this is really what happens. Then, as time goes on, I start to realize that this dream that I bought and then amplified myself, wasn't realistic. Most of the time, not only is the guy not really the best option for me at the time, but I always neglect to have him sign off on this dream that I created. Yes, he may have contributed to some of the plans, but once I run with the ideas, I never run them back by him and allow him to say "yes, this sounds great", or (more often than not) "no, you're doing too much...we're not there yet". I think, as women, we can sometimes live in this fantasy world that gets us into so much trouble and causes us to break our own hearts.
When I finally acknowledged this pattern, I promised myself that I would slow down. Now, I take every relationship one step at a time and halt all fairytales the best I can. I have broken my heart way too many times by ignoring my common sense, and I refuse to continue to damage myself any further.
3. I HAVE COMPROMISED MY BOUNDARIES.
My parents always taught me to have boundaries. My mom always says, "a man will only treat you how you allow him to treat you". When I was younger, I never really understood that. I thought, anyone can treat you how they want to, I have no control over that. But, that's not the case. People can treat you how they want, yes, but we have a choice on whether or not we accept that treatment. The way we carry ourselves and treat ourselves often sets the tone for the ways in which other people approach us. The same is true for relationships. I used to make my boundaries clear and known, but then when those boundaries were tested (as they always will be), I often wavered on them. No matter how seriously I communicated my boundaries to the other person, when I didn't enforce them, they became null and void.
This one is still hard for me as I am always redefining my own boundaries. I'm still working on saying what I mean and meaning what I say. I have found that if someone is constantly pushing my boundaries, it is clear that they don't respect me, and they have to go. Straight like that. Once you allow yourself to waver once, this gives the other person the green light to keep trying you. Don't let them try you.
4. I have MAdE EXCUSES FOR AND ACCEPTed THE BARE MINIMUM.
Some people are totally okay with making excuses for, accepting, and even falling in love with the bare minimum. Whether it's being with someone who has no goals, accepting disrespectful treatment, becoming immune to cheating, or chalking all unacceptable habits up to "that's just the way they are", the bare minimum is a dangerous space to navigate. It's really an issue of knowing what you deserve. At times, I have found myself settling for the bare minimum and every time I have done it, I knew that I was letting myself down for the sake of not being bored or alone. For me, the bottom line is, if I am not inspired, encouraged, fully loved, and respected by my partner, anything else is the bare minimum. You have to define what your "bare minimum" point is, and refuse to accept anything below that point. Eliminate making excuses for it. Address it head on and find ways to step it up, or let go and move along. You deserve love that is extraordinary, not the bare minimum.
All of these steps require time. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself an opportunity to change these habits, but at the same time, require more of yourself and others. Make your wants and needs known in your relationships and don't waver on your boundaries. Stop playing yourself. Your heart really does depend on it. I love you for reading.