This month marks a year since I’ve been free from a three-and-a-half year toxic relationship. And when I say toxic, I mean Jersey Shore ocean water toxic.
The situationship was so bad that I spent more time crying and in pain than I did actually enjoying that stupid maf#%ka.
But do I regret it?
Nah. Here’s why: I learned what I value in life and relationships, how I expect men to treat me in the future, and realized a few important things about myself. So as I revel in my freedom and gained wisdom, I’ll take the time out to share all the lessons learned from that rollercoaster of a (far-from-perfect) romance.
Check it out…
1. Know Your Worth
Probably the most common mistake us women make when entering a relationship is forgetting (or not knowing) or value. When we fall in love, we tend to stumble and lose our brains in the process. We often put his needs before our own and allow his desires to trump our better judgment as we become spineless suppliers.
Although it hurts, we allow him to disrespect, neglect, keep us vexed and cash our checks! (Yes, I’ve been there before.) And what do we get in return? Pain, games, and in need of Rogaine. But once you realize that you are golden–a precious queen on a throne–you’ll learn to put yourself before all else and kick anybody to the curb who doesn’t treat you as the goddess that you are.
2. Never Let a N*gga Get Comfortable Disrespecting You
This lessons goes back to knowing your worth. If you see the value in yourself, then you would never let a man get away with constantly disrespecting you. Once he sees that you’re dumb enough to let him commit the same offense(s) over and over and over and over again: Oh boy! It’ll never end.
3. NEVER Compete with Other Women
This is something I shouldn’t have to say, but unfortunately, the sad reality is that most of us are brainless enough to commit this act of downright stupidity. Once you’ve entered a competition for a man’s attention that you’re already supposed to be in a relationship with, then sweetheart, you’ve already lost.
Yes, if that man has a bunch of other contenders fighting for a place in his heart and you start going the extra mile to prove that you’re worthy—that you’re the one—baby girl, you’ve just decreased your value to a near zero. Don’t ever play yourself (DJ Khaled voice)!
4. Know the Characteristics That Are Important to You in a Man & See If He Measures Up
Pump your brakes, boo! I know you’re all excited that you’ve found yourself a potential beau, but you first need to know what you want and need from this new booty. Often times, we jump into relationships without knowing what we want, and we make things worse by not studying the person to see if they fit the bill. BIG mistake!
Knowing what values and characteristics are most crucial for your partner to have aids you in weaving out all the misfits, deadbeats and waist-of-timers. So save yourself the headache(s) and take things slow. Sit down. Write out a list. And check ’em off as you go along!
5. Know Yourself!
More importantly, you have to know yourself! What kind of personality do you have? What types of personalities do you get along with and not get along with? What makes you tick? Pet peeves: What are they? Realizing who you are as a person is vital in building (and maintaining) a healthy relationship. So break out the thinking cap and get to recognizing!
6. Set Expectations & Boundaries from the Jump, And Stand Firmly Behind Them
Once you’ve realized who you are and what you want from a man, draw up some guidelines! Then, communicate them (AKA: make them clear!).
If you like random phone calls from your man to see how work went, or occasional “Good Morning” texts to get your day started, express that. Don’t like females you don’t know constantly calling his phone or hanging around him and his crew? Then say that. Can’t stand when he puts your plans on hold to be with his friends? Let him know.
Bottom line: Whatever it is that you expect from your man and whatever you feel is unacceptable in your relationship, communicate that to him and stick to it. You shouldn’t have to constantly remind him about what you want or what you find disrespectful—you’re not a parrot, ma. Stop repeating yourself. And if he can’t get wit’ it, then he needs to get lost!
7. Don’t Take His Word for It, Watch Those Actions
He tells you he loves you, but does he show you? He says he’s working on being more romantic, but he drives all around the world for his family, friends, dog, cat, and homeboy’s brother Tim, has he stopped along the way and picked up that bouquet of flowers for you yet? Men will tell you a lot of things; anything to keep you pacified and complacent. But his words mean nothing if he’s not backing them up with some action. Don’t play yourself baby girl. All you have to do is open your eyes…
8. Watch Out for the Signs, Particularly How He Treats His Mom
It’s no secret that how a man treats his moms is often a reflection of how he’ll treat you. My ex’s relationship with his mother wasn’t a good one, which naturally trickled over into his interactions with me. So yes, ladies, beware.
But how a man treats the woman who birthed him is just one of many signs you should be watching out for. Unfortunately, fuck boys don’t come with warning signs or disclaimers tattooed on their foreheads. But If you want to avoid a toxic relationship, beware of the little indicators that if you look closely, ultimately give him away. (Always late, broken promises, constant lies, crazy baby mommas…yeah, you get the point.)
Keep it tight ladies, and love cautiously!