In relationships, every person needs to be loved differently, but both people need to be compassionate, considerate, and willing to adapt to their partner’s love language. As I learned more about my boyfriend’s past and that he’s been cheated on more than once by his exes, I started to do certain things differently than I had in previous relationships.
- I’m honest to a fault. I’ve always believed in honesty and tried to be a transparent person, but since my boyfriend has been lied to and deceived by ex-girlfriends, I make a conscious effort to tell my boyfriend everything, even little details or things he might rather not know like things about my past relationships. However, even if it hurts to hear, he appreciates the fact that I’m completely open with him and I like that I feel secure enough to be.
- I remind him often of how attracted I am to him. My boyfriend isn’t insecure by any means, but I make it a point to let him know how handsome and sexy I think he is. He never has to wonder if I’m interested in anyone else because he knows I only have eyes for him.
- It doesn’t bother me when my boyfriend is involved in my life in a way that might have annoyed me in a past relationship. Even though my boyfriend doesn’t have “trust issues” per se, I do understand why it’s difficult for him to blindly trust me. I’ve worked hard to build trust throughout our entire relationship and continue to build it every day. He’s never questioned me or made me feel like I was untrustworthy, but I completely get why he sometimes might ask who I’m texting or what I’m up to.
- I make a genuine effort to be better at communicating. Communicating wasn’t always my strong suit. I used to be super passive-aggressive in relationships and instead of being straightforward about how I was feeling or what was bothering me, I would hint at it and then get upset when my ex didn’t understand what it was I wanted. I realize now that by avoiding confrontation and refusing to be direct, I was being confusing and could have saved a lot of time and stress if I had just been upfront. With my boyfriend now, I consciously try to communicate my emotions to make sure he doesn’t have to second guess how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking.
- I don’t flirt with other guys ever. I don’t think flirting is necessarily cheating and sometimes it can even be harmless. However, it definitely can give someone the wrong impression about your intentions and it can be hurtful to your significant other. I have no desire to flirt with anyone else, and if a guy did try to flirt with me, I would shut it down quickly. I don’t want to entertain anyone else at all and I don’t want my boyfriend to think that I would ever do that either.
- I appreciate the fact that my boyfriend doesn’t let his past affect our relationship. He truly trusts me even though doing so has led to other people screwing him over before. I’ve been in toxic relationships where my boyfriend at the time was controlling, manipulative and draining, and blamed it all on being hurt in the past and having trust issues now. I truly appreciate how my boyfriend treats me like he’s never been hurt before even though I know that he has. He’s never been jaded towards me and doesn’t ever assume I’m doing something shady just because his exes were.
- I’m consistent as much as I can be. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that consistency and being reliable is super important in relationships. In the past, I’ve struggled with this and I think that was partially why a lot of my relationships had so many ups and downs. I’m not perfect by any means and I make mistakes just like anyone else, but with my boyfriend now, I make an effort to be consistent. By this I mean, I don’t act super into him one day and then indifferent the next. I also try not to let my emotions skyrocket and consequently fall quickly or change up my opinions and activities randomly. I want my boyfriend to be confident in the fact that he knows exactly who I am and that he can rely on me.
- I’m vocal about the fact that cheating is disgusting and that I would never do it. We’ve talked about cheating in relationships and I’ve made sure to emphasize how I think it’s not only an awful thing to do to someone, it’s something I would never, ever do. I don’t think about us breaking up, but I have definitely let him know that I would sooner break up with him if I became unhappy to the point of cheating.