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Thursday, December 21, 2006

This one is for the girls... especially for me...

After this post, I intended to write a companion piece to give some advice to all the girls I know. I held back because I truly believed it would be useless. Most girls who need advice are those who'll never take it and I include myself in that category. While I'm normally sane and reasonable, I've been known to fall crazily in love in the past. [Emphasis on crazy] At times like that my common sense deserts me and I'm convinced that though everything everyone says is right, my case is different. Of course my case is different. Everything I've told everyone else a hundred times couldn't possibly apply to me. Could it?

Well now when I'm all sane and balanced and definitely not in love, the answer is a very clear YES, IT COULD. SO I'm writing this post for myself. So that IF I'm ever blind and deaf to everything my friends tell me, I can come back to this post and get a virtual kick on my butt.

1. If you're sad more than you're happy, the relationship is NOT worth it. He may be a sweetheart. Really. But no matter how nice he is, if you are not happy then walk away and find someone who can make you happy and let him go free to find someone who's more suited to him.

2. Don't blame the 'other' girl. [This one I haven't been guilty of so far but I've seen it happen far too often.] If your husband / boyfriend / fiancé isn't as faithful to you as you'd like him to be, lay the blame at his door. Don't say "it's all that bitch's fault. She chases him, etc, etc" There'll always be people out to cause trouble. There'll always be women who'll tempt him and men who'll tempt you. The responsibility for being faithful is his and yours alone. DON'T blame the third party for YOUR bad choice. Because that's what it comes down to. Choice. Choose someone who doesn't betray your trust the first chance he gets. If your boyfriend or fiancé does cheat on you, thank your lucky stars that you found out in time and MOVE ON! There'll be someone better out there. Almost anyone would be better than a cheater after all.

3. Never ever be in a relationship with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself and keeps running you down. If he meant it as a joke but it upset you, then tell him and ask him not to do it again. If he does it again and then says he was joking and that you're not a good sport, the relationship will survive only in two ways. Either you consciously decide to toughen up so that you no longer feel bad about what he says, or else he agrees to lighten up on the criticism. Nothing else will work. In the long run, comments that make you feel bad about yourself, will kill your spirit.

4. Try and have your own life. Try and have your own friends. If you're used to having a lot of male friends, don't suddenly cut them out of your life just cos you're in a relationship. You can't expect your partner to replace all your friends. He'll be in over his head and desperate for air in no time at all.

5. Decide which principles you CAN'T compromise on and make the rules you live by very clear. Be flexible about all the rest. Respect his rules and his principles too. If they clash with yours, then you're going to have some serious problems. It's easy to compromise verbally, but when push comes to shove, if the issue is something you're really passionate about, then it may be best to go very slow or call it quits right in the beginning, when it's easier to walk away. Don't bury your head in the sand like an ostrich and then wake up a year later realising that it's still bothering you.

6. DON'T EXPECT MIRACULOUS CHANGES AFTER MARRIAGE!!! I've seen many girls who've put up with crap, confident that life would be better once they're married. Well so far I've haven't seen any miraculous changes after marriage. Small changes here and there, yes. People who show their adaptability before marriage may change quite a lot after marriage. But people who're stubbornly clinging to something all through the courtship period before marriage are probably not going to be reformed afterwards.

7. Don't ask for more than you're willing to give. It wouldn't be fair and could lead to built up resentment over time. Vice versa, if you're feeling resentful cos you're giving more, then just take a break and stop being such a carpet for him to walk over. Most of your sacrifices are probably unasked for. In fact they may pass totally unnoticed. That DOES NOT mean (a)you should do something he never asked you to do and then (b) tell him about it and (c)expect him to do something equivalent. If you want to do something for him, do it out of love. When you are feeling angry or resentful, stop doing it.

8. Keep any promises you make and watch and see if he keeps his. Trust is the bedrock of any relationship and it's earned by your actions every day. Don't lie to him, even about the small things. If you don't want to talk about something, avoid the topic. But never ever lie. Because when you're caught, things will never be the same again. This applies equally to both, so notice these things. I don't care how dreamy things may be at first. If he lies to you, MAKE A NOTE OF IT. It's best to be alert about these things right at the start. You wouldn't want to wake up 5 years later realising that you can't depend on the guy you've just wasted half a decade on.

9. Take him at his word. Most guys are very literal. If he says he's not sure then HE'S NOT SURE. If he says he needs time to think about the relationship then HE'S NOT SURE. This is a good thing, as long as you don't allow your rose covered dreams to influence what you're hearing. If he says he's not ready for a relationship and needs time, then take him at his word. If you are willing to take the relationship at his pace then don't bitch about it everyday. Wait a reasonable amount of time. If things are not working you always have the option to walk away. If you think he's already had enough time to make up his mind then you can always say "sorry, but I think I have to move on."

10. This one is pretty much covered by the previous ones but I just had to say it again. YOU CAN ALWAYS WALK AWAY. Too many girls I know (and I've done this myself) stay in a bad relationship just out of habit and affection and yes, sometimes out of love. We have to remember that we're choosing our own life everyday. We're choosing to be miserable. We're choosing to get hurt. We're choosing to close ourselves to all the wonderful guys out there by remaining stuck in bad relationships.

Because that's the truth. There are so many wonderful guys out there. Guys who can make you smile. Guys who can be both, men you can rely on and boys who'll make you laugh. Guys who'll let you grow and who will grow with you. Who'll encourage your secret dreams and who'll make you feel like a part of them. I've always wanted a love that I didn't have to question. A love that was without any doubts. And there are many guys out there who are capable of such love. No one should have to settle for less.

Life is a choice. When you wake up some morning 20 years hence and look at who's lying next to you, I hope you'll find that you have a smile on your face. With that picture in your mind look long and hard at the guy in your life today. Have you chosen well?


Anonymous said...

I'm twenty two years old, and I've never been in love, let alone a relationship.
What happens if you think about all these things all the time, and nobody ever measures up?
I is being the cowards. :( *sigh*

Wonderfully written. One is always a tad more caustic when talking to oneself, no?

Anonymous said...

thanks, Karen...it's almost like you wrote this for me!

@Tangled: if nobody has measured up yet, it's called Quality Control, hon. When you get a moment, check out Of Negotiables And Non on my blog.

KD13 said...

@ tangled - Trust me on one thing - The higher the standards you set, the better your chances of getting it right the first time. And in the end that's the aim, right? One 'quality guy' instead of lots of substandard stuff :D

@ OJ - It's just basic stuff but that's exactly what I forget when I'm floating on my clouds... ;)
And I sooo agree with what you said to tangled.

iz said...

Girl you have cracked it.

Anonymous said...

My problem is that I keep wondering if I have any right to demand all I demand...

starbender said...

What great advice! Where were U when I was growing up?
: )

Hope U'r Holidays are wonderful.

Suspect said...

Blah. Can't comment, but missing you nonetheless. Comment later.

Anonymous said...

Should have just posted the list


Anonymous said...

@Tangled: if it's your life, it's your right. yes, it really IS that basic.

KD13 said...

@ iz - Ahhh. It's so nice to hear those words from someone who's got it right :)

@ tangled - No idea girl. I struggle with that question too. I have lots of things I'd love to find in a guy but I know myself... when I 'fall' for someone that 'list' flies right out the window. The guy I love may not even be from the same planet as the guy from my list, in the end.
Thats why this list of things to remember, is so filled with advice on how to walk away from the wrong guy :D

@ starbender - I've learnt a little from my own mistakes, but I've learnt much more by watching others ruin their relationships.

@ suspect - Hey brat, I'm missing you too.

@ MP - :) That list is your idea of what women want. It's not my list. My list is much shorter and much simpler. And it changes every now and then depending on who's caught my eye :D

Anonymous said...

FYI, that list I sent you is not 'MY' idea of what women want.It is the de facto standard. Although your list is short & simple 'The List' is more accurate and beautifully sums up everything in a more concise and practical manner.In other words it was probably written by a guy.No wonder it makes more sense :-P


fedes said...

hey wrt point no 1, what if u like the guy but arent going out wit him? does it still count then?

Ryan Lobo said...

Nice. according to the ny times...

December 17, 2006
Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying

Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?

8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?

9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends?

11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

12) What does my family do that annoys you?

13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?

15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

Anonymous said...

sigh! at 23 i have realized a few things:
1. I am scared of plunging into another relationship because:
a. Guys i really like and give everything to, dont REALLY like me.

b. Guys i dont reallllly LOVE, love me and will be ready to jump off the edge of the earth (!) and that doesn't make one feel great about oneself. the guilt of not loving someone in an emotional PLUS physical level, but who is dear to you all the same, is as painful as not being genuinely loved by someone who says he loves you.

2. I am too confused and wonder (like Tangled did) - do i have the right to wish for more?

3. We all waste so much time discussing all this! I think i love writing MOST about relationships, heart aches and love :-P

4. We (humans) are a weird race