15 Things I’m Promising Myself About My Next Relationship

At one point, my dating life sucked so much that I realized I needed to put my foot down. I’m not going to believe in all the Disney fairytale garbage men seem to like to spew at me. Rather, I’m going to believe in the only promises I know will be kept: my own. Here are some of the promises I’m making to myself about the next relationship I’m in — if there even is one.

  1. I’m not going to do exclusivity until a ring is on my finger and a date is on the calendar. I’m done being exclusive with men who won’t actually man up and marry me. Unless I’m married, I’m going to continue to date other men. If they want me as bad as they say they do, they can put a ring on it. If they whine about it, well, they can find someone stupid enough to deal with them.
  2. I will have a F*ck Off Fund.” In other words, that guy is not going to be my paycheck and I’m not relying on him for shelter. If I need to walk, you damned well better believe I will do so.
  3. The minute a guy mistreats me, I’m out. Actually, this has been a thing for quite some time with me. It’s just a promise that should always be kept, you know?
  4. I’m going to expect the guy to have clear boundaries with his family. After having dated a bunch of Mama’s Boys, I can say with confidence that my tolerance for doormat boyfriend behavior has gone down to zero. Either he establishes healthy boundaries with his family, or he can kick rocks.
  5. I will use the Doberman test on men. The Doberman test is simple. I look at the guy I’m seeing, and ask myself if his commentaries are smarter or stupider than what a Doberman Pinscher would say. If he’s dumber than a dog, it’s safe to say I’d be better off with the dog. Sadly, a lot of my exes would fail this test.
  6. If I marry him, there will be a prenup. Kanye had the right idea. Prenups protect everyone involved.
  7. I won’t propose to him. I’m so done chasing guys who don’t see my value. I’ll be very direct about my exclusivity stipulation, though. If he wants to make that jump, he can buy me a ring, book a wedding venue and ask my parents’ favor.
  8. I won’t date anyone that my friends and family don’t like. So far, they’ve been on point about most of my exes. Most of my exes were total douchebags and will probably die alone — just as my friends told me.
  9. If he wants to be serious, he’s going to have to be sexually compatible with me on all fronts. Even the kinky stuff. Yep. That’s a tall order, and that’s one of the reasons I doubt I’ll be married.
  10. I will keep a very close eye on his temper, and won’t hesitate to break up with him over it. A bad temper is an immediate dealbreaker for me. It’s a key indicator of an abusive person, and it’s also a key sign that he’s bad news.
  11. I won’t take any “bad boys” seriously, regardless of their intentions. Even if they do want a wife, they don’t treat women with respect. Even though I’m incredibly attracted to bad boy archetypes, I’ve come to the point where I realize that a full relationship with them doesn’t work. They just have too much baggage, too many hangups, and too low an opinion of women.
  12. The minute a guy tries to manipulate me emotionally is the minute I’m done. No more whining. No more silent treatments. No more begging, wheedling and topic diversions. I’m done with that crap.
  13. I’m not footing his bills. It’s going to be 50/50 all the way. If I lose my job or he loses his, I’ll allow a maximum of three months before I assume it’s over.
  14. The moment that we stop being each other’s priority is the moment I will walk. I’m so over being a guy’s last priority or being taken for granted. If I get the feeling that he’s not seeing me as a #1 priority, I will happily make someone else my #1 priority.
  15. I refuse to tolerate misogyny. I’m not going to sit through another bitter idiot talking about how “all women are crazy.” It’s just not happening. If he hates women so much, why doesn’t he just date men?
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.