Ten Things I Wish I Had Known About Relationships Before I had Relationships…

What a Great Relationship Actually Looks Like
Not to mention that it might not look exactly as you’d expect. Kissed a fair few frogs before I stumbled on my prince, and when I finally got him turns out he’s going to call me “bitchtits” and throw his pants at me. But he’s also never going to let me down as long as we live and just generally compels me to be a better person on a daily basis, it’s swings and roundabouts honestly.

You Can Break Up with Someone Just Because You Want To.
This is one I’ve run into a couple of times. I think women especially feel like if you’re going to break up with someone you need to justify it for them and lay out a 12 point diagram of where it went wrong.

Here’s the thing, Nobody gives you permission to walk away. A relationship is a unique and wonderful thing, in that it exists just because you both say it does. When you say “I’m done” it’s done, regardless of how the other person feels. It doesn’t matter how many decades you’ve been together, “I’m just not feeling it” is always good enough.

to the left

Speaking of decades…

Time Investment is Not a thing.
A relationship isn’t wine , cheese or diamonds, it won’t increase in quality and value as the years pass. Staying with someone just because you’ve racked up a lot of years is nonsensical- it’s like saying “well I’m unhappy now so I’d best just be unhappy forever, I don’t want to make a fuss!”

MAKE. A. FUSS.

In the words of the Lego movie, “everything is awesome when you’re part of a team”. If that’s not true a good 90% of the time* light the fucking beacons because something needs to change.

the beacons

*even in the best relationships there’s a ten per cent margin where you could swing for them

How to Argue Well
The silent treatment is emotional abuse. Think about it- someone upsets you and you won’t tell them what they did, you just make them grovel and guess. It’s vile. I had one boyfriend who liked to just get into bed and go to sleep during a row.

You should be able to argue with your S.O, and you should know what the pair of you will tolerate during that argument, which by the way is inevitable, people argue. You have to get up every day and look at the same damn face again, life happens, and so does the sentence “ you are being such an intolerable bag of fucks right now”. You shouldn’t have to raise your voice to be heard, but equally nobody should make you feel like a crazy loser for having the feelings you’re having. Hammer it out – no mind games, vengeance or malice. If you’re wrong be wrong and if you’re right don’t be a dick about it.

If Someone Tells you Something about Themselves, Listen
I can’t count the times I’ve heard “I’m going to break your heart” or “ I’ll be bad for you” and have I listened? Have I hell. I’ve gone bounding in head first , throwing fistfulls of pure blind adoration at the muppet in question and it always ends in someone’s clothes burning on the front lawn. The people who say these things know they are toilet – they aren’t telling you because secretly underneath that smouldering heartbreaker there lurks a good, kind creature that just needs to be loved into existence, they are telling you as a catch all disclaimer for when you eventually find them in bed with your sister.

Boundaries! Boundaries for days! Boundaries forever!
Know what you will and won’t put up with. I dated a person once, for a long time. One night all his mates were going out to a strip club. “Have fun” said I “but no private dances please!” That right there- that’s a boundary. I love a boundary, I’ve got bloody loads of them, I’ve been cultivating them like prize pumpkins my whole adult life. Boundaries are just a series of simple equations that allow you to go through life having already made a lot of your decisions.

Anyway, the person in question decided to return at 7am the next morning, with eyes like dinner plates, having spent his last pennies on having a stranger’s baps pressed lavishly into his face. Alas , my boundary had been breached. Being that I was younger at the time, I didn’t know any other way to handle this than grabbing the nearest item to me ( a box of shoes) and pelting them at him one by one , followed grandly by the box.

I called round all my friends, male and female alike and asked them for their opinions, shoeswanting desperately for someone to just tell me what I already knew ( if you hate it that much and you think it’s foreboding of his future behaviour, then just fucking leave him). What I should have realised was ; it doesn’t matter whether other people think it’s ok, if it’s a problem for you, it’s a problem. And you get to decide how big of a problem-  I shouldn’t have thrown the shoes. I should have put a pair on and sashayed away.

Break Ups are Literally the Worst Thing since Syphillis
Nobody likes a break up. There’s no point in me even talking about this because you’ve either had a break up and you know, or you haven’t had one and nothing anyone says will adequately prepare you. I remember only being able to watch “Poirot” for weeks because there was never a hint of romance and my black heart needed to see someone get murdered every day. I remember not being able to listen to playlist upon playlist because it felt like someone was dragging a white hot poker across my heart, and marvelling at how long three minutes was to be left with my own thoughts while waiting for a bus. And the shower-crying- OH my God the shower-crying.

You can’t Polish a Turd
If you don’t love him as he is, you don’t love him, and vice versa. It does not matter how perfect he will be when he gives up drinking or smoking weed or realises how great you are:  run run run! If you eventually do manage to rescue someone you will probably hate them for it by the time they’re “saved”. You make yourself, you don’t sit around waiting for someone to sort you out. If you want to be better for someone else, great, but it doesn’t count if they have to do it for you. If you’re reading this and the boy in question is over twenty one, stop waiting, it’s not going to happen

Love Isn’t Enough
If love was enough you could marry anyone half decent. I’ve been in love a few times, and I’m not afraid to admit, I fall hard. Things which have scuppered previous relationships have been as big as “you’re never going to meet your potential and I can’t stand another day of watching you suck” and as small as “you aren’t nice enough to cats”. There’s a bunch of other stuff that has to fall organically into place; trust, priorities, sexual appetite, lifestyle. Love is just the bit that hurts the most but generally speaking it’s the least of your worries, the real questionable stuff is like, is he nice to his Ma?  If he had to choose between Halloumi and Paneer which one would he sacrifice? Is it fun to stay in together?  Do I give a shit if he dies because of lag on Player Unknown Battleground? THIS is the stuff dreams are made of.

pubg

Don’t Settle.
And again for the people at the back: DON’T YOU DARE FUCKING SETTLE. I shudder to think how my life could have become if I had done what was easy instead of what felt right. There are almost 7 billion people in the world, and 0 reasons to compromise. You need to be with someone who makes you feel the way you do when you see your food coming in a restaurant, whose key in the door makes you happy, and who loves you enough to tell you when you are being a dildo.  DO NOT SETTLE.

 

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