11 Things I’ve Learned Never To Tolerate In A Relationship

They say you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince, and it sure seems like I’m paying my dues. While not all of my exes are terrible people, they have put me through a few terrible things. I might have put up with them in the past, but now, I’ve learned to identify certain crappy behaviors that I refuse to deal with in a relationship ever again:

  1. Being told there is something wrong with my body. Yeah, I’ve got a lotta love in my love handles, and yeah, my calves are oddly large for someone my height, but so what? I love my body for both what it can do and what it looks like. I can’t believe I once put up with a guy telling me all the things that were wrong with the way I’m built.
  2. Using my anxiety as a scapegoat for a genuine concern. I’m pretty open about being diagnosed with anxiety, so if you decide to use that against me when I’m worried about how sketchy you’ve been with your phone recently, go screw yourself. That type of accusation might have worked before, but now, I know myself enough to be aware of when my brain is just working itself up and when something is actually wrong.
  3. Snooping. I’m a loyal-ass girlfriend, and if you need to ask to look through my messages for proof, I won’t stop you; I have nothing to hide. But so help me, if one more dude decides that he feels the need to violate my trust by sneaking into my phone or computer, I’m going to lose my mind.
  4. Refusal to communicate. In the past, I used to get more than a little upset when a boyfriend would walk out of the house in the middle of a civil argument or ignore my messages because he was pissed at me. Next time, though, I’ll hold the door open for him as he leaves. I’m so over dealing with “men” who can’t talk through their problems like adults, so if he wants to play that game, I’m more than happy to let him win.
  5. Being a substitute for his mom. I admit that I’m a bit of a caretaker. I like knowing that the people that I love are tended to and yes, even a little spoiled. However, I’m sick and tired of allowing guys to take advantage of that nurturing side of me. So yeah, babe, I’ll cook for you, take care of you when you’re not feeling well, and help you out when you need it, but if you’re expecting me to be a second mom to you, you’ve got another thing coming.
  6. Being compared to other women. If you like that girl’s style or hobbies or attitude so much better than mine then by all means, go date her instead of me. It blows my mind how I’ve managed to date multiple guys who have thought it wise to suggest I do something differently “like that girl does,” but I’ve promised myself that if it happens again, I’ll just laugh in his face instead of becoming self-conscious about it.
  7. Talking badly about my guy friends. Those boys have been with me through thick and thin — and no, I haven’t slept with any of them. Really. Not one. If a future boyfriend ever forces me to choose between him and them like previous boyfriends have done, it’s going to be an easy decision… and not one that he’s going to like.
  8. Being shamed for my past. I was never a “crazy” girl, but yeah, I’ve made some choices in my past that I’m not entirely proud of. Haven’t we all? However, there’s literally nothing I’ve done that makes me worthy of being shamed by my partner or being told that I’m “messed up.” I’m damn proud of the woman I am today, and if it took a few mistakes to get me there, I’m proud of them, too.
  9. Being told how to dress. I’ve been a jeans + t-shirt kinda girl my whole life, but I’m by no means a slob. I consider myself pretty good at dressing for any occasion, but I’ve still been told that my everyday work-from-home wear isn’t “feminine” enough. Yeah, I’ve let it get to me, and I’ve wondered if I should maybe sacrifice comfort for fashion even while I’m home alone. But now, I’m older, wiser, and more confident that my style isn’t the problem — sexist ex-boyfriends are.
  10. Keeping the relationship a secret. If he calls me his girlfriend to my face, but his “friend” to his family and friends, I’m out. I’m more than willing to wait a while before being introduced to important people in my partner’s social circles, but I’m walking right out the door the next time a man tries to keep my relationship with him hush-hush just for the sake of appearances. If you’re not proud to call me yours, I refuse to be yours.
  11. Being told how I “should” feel about things. I don’t care if I shouldn’t be mad, or sad, or excited about something; my feelings are my feelings, and they’re just as valid as anyone else’s. I’m a pretty chill human being, but past boyfriends have made me feel like I was a nutcase because they refused to admit that their actions were a lot crappier than they’d believed. The next time I wind up un-single, I’m going to allow myself to feel however I want… regardless of whether it’s “right” or not.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.