Big Mistakes I’ve Made As A Girlfriend That I’ll Never Make Again

I don’t claim total responsibility for any of my failed relationships, but I fully accept that I made plenty of mistakes. Luckily, identifying them has helped me grow as a person and as a partner. Here are a few of my past mistakes I made as a girlfriend that I won’t be making again.

  1. Not setting boundaries early Setting boundaries at the beginning of a relationship is hard. We all want the other person to like us, and listing your needs can feel demanding and even selfish. But boundaries are crucial, and the earlier you set them, the more comfortable you will be. You don’t want to get six months down the road with a partner only to discover that they don’t respect your personal space, cross the line sexually, or refuse to listen to you when you express emotion.
  2. Staying too long No one wants to admit that they’ve wasted their time on a relationship they cannot fix. As a result, we stay with people who are wrong for us and ignore the obvious: that it will never work and a breakup is inevitable. There is no “good” time to end a relationship. Breaking up only ever feels right when it’s over, so don’t wait for it to feel right before you do it. As soon as it’s over, you’ll realize just how good a decision it was.
  3. Wanting to get serious before knowing him well enough For years, my self-esteem was so low that I felt compelled to date anyone who liked me. I was flattered that anyone would want to be with me, and questioning whether or not they were right for me hardly crossed my mind. Now, I make sure that I know enough about a person and what they bring to a relationship before I commit. Since making that shift, my relationships have been more stable and long-lasting than all my previous relationships combined.
  4. Avoiding confrontation. Burying your doubts and frustrations does not get rid of them. We all know this, and yet, when it comes to changing our behavior, knowing it is useless. I spent far too long avoiding arguments, hoping that spending more time with the person would dissolve my very real anger and insecurity. It never did. When I learned to communicate my feelings, I realized how much unnecessary emotional weight I had been carrying around.
  5. Trying to change him. No amount of love or determination will make another person change. Only they can decide whether or not to do so. A part of me was attracted to broken people because I felt that, by fixing them, I could vicariously fix myself. Every time the relationship failed due to their unwillingness to change, I saw it as a personal failure. If you get into a relationship expecting to change or rescue the other person, you are setting yourself up for failure.
  6. Faking orgasms. I don’t know a single straight woman who hasn’t faked an orgasm. Some people even do it for years. But let’s be clear: faking orgasms helps no one. It doesn’t help you because you’re not experiencing the most pleasurable part of sex, and it doesn’t help your partner because he/she isn’t being given the opportunity to learn how to give you (and potentially future partners) pleasure. It also harms your relationship because faking orgasms is a form of dishonesty. Everyone loses.
  7. Pretending I didn’t like sex to seem more ladylike. It’s okay to like sex. Sex is fabulous. The world runs on sex. Humanity persists because of sex. Any man who is hypocritical and misogynistic enough to want sex from you while also not wanting you to be “too sexual” is so far beneath you that he should not get within an inch of your body, clothed or otherwise.
  8. Relying on the relationship for emotional security. An ideal partner is emotionally supportive, but you shouldn’t rely on it or stay with the person just because you feel incomplete without them. Feeling as though you couldn’t cope without your partner is a type of co-dependence, and can never be part of a healthy relationship. I had to be single for a while before I could be in a relationship and not rely on my partner for emotional stability.
  9. Moving in too quickly. People move in together for a variety of reasons, some of which are purely practical. It’s probably a lot cheaper to share bills and rent, and it’s easier to spend time together when you don’t have to commute to each other to do it. But it also makes it a lot harder to exit a relationship. As soon as you start mixing belongings and finances, breaking up is complicated. The longer you can wait to move in, the better you’ll be able to determine whether or not the relationship is actually a good fit.
  10. Not listening to my friends. Your friends know you better than anyone. They may also know your worth better than you do. Every boyfriend I’ve had who my friends had doubts about turned out to be a big mistake. If I had listened to my friends and considered their concerns, I would have saved a lot of time and tears. Now, they’re the first people I go to when I’ve met someone new.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.