You Don’t Get What You Give—You Get What You Accept

It’s nice to think that all we need to do is give it our all in a relationship and we’ll get it in return from our partners, but that’s sadly BS. Bad men and toxic jerks still happen to the best women. However, WE decide if we put up with it or not. Here are some things to remember so that you can achieve the most satisfying relationships.

  1. Giving all of yourself leaves you with nothing. You can give all your time, money, and resources to someone, but honestly, whether they’re good or bad people, exhausting yourself is never a good thing. You’ll end up forgetting about yourself and what you need. That’s a guaranteed way to get depressed and end up in mediocre relationships with men who take advantage of you.
  2. You show people how to treat you. Your boundaries speak volumes about what you will and won’t put up with. If you meet a guy and he disrespects you by negging you and you put up with it, you’re telling him you’ll welcome that crappy behavior. On the other hand, if you call him out the minute it happens, you tell him he’s got to watch himself or else GTFO of your life.
  3. You have to lead by example. Another way in which you show people how to treat you is by treating yourself well. If you’re always putting yourself down and treating yourself like you’re worthless, you’re telling people to do the same to you. They’ll know that you’ll accept their behavior because you accept it from yourself.
  4. It’s impossible to change anyone. If you accept a lot of relationship crap, you might think that you can change those toxic men into valuable ones. Ha, keep dreaming. People show you who they are and they won’t change for you or anyone. If you accept their drama, you’re paving the way for an unhealthy and unsatisfying relationship.
  5. The small behaviors multiply. Often, a toxic guy doesn’t treat you like shit the minute he meets you. He’s amazing and charming and makes you think he’s great. Then he starts to show you what he’s really like. If you turn a blind eye to the small behaviors that hurt you, you’re just welcoming more. That’s why you’ve got to stop accepting lazy AF boyfriends who don’t put in any effort. They’ll just get worse.
  6. You’re only a victim once. After that, you’re a volunteer. You can’t moan about how crap your boyfriend is if you’ve been allowing or ignoring his bad behavior. Why are you accepting it? Instead of changing him, which won’t work, you should be changing your standards and getting out.
  7. You deserve happiness. It sounds like such a simple idea to say you deserve to be happy, but it might be a tough idea to believe. But, if you go around believing that you don’t deserve happiness, you’re going to act and speak in a way that shows you lack confidence. You’ll accept less than amazing relationships because you think anything better is out of your league. That’s ridiculous.
  8. Intentions matter more than deeds. You might think your boyfriend’s great because he does good things for you but look at the intentions behind them. They should be marked by respect and real love. That’s what you should accept and nothing less, otherwise you’re just fooling yourself into thinking your boyfriend’s a good person—and screwing yourself.
  9. Move on instead of moan. You might moan to your girlfriends, “But I’m so good to him and he just treats me like crap!” No matter what you do for a guy, he won’t appreciate it if he’s a jerk. Period. But, make sure you’re not using your good deeds to manipulate him. You might think you’re being nice, but maybe you’re trying to impress him or persuade him to be a better man. That will backfire. You’ll be putting in loads of hard work and effort, for something measly in return. Nah, you’re worth more than that.
  10. Don’t blindly accept the terms and conditions. You know when you read Ts & Cs and you scrutinize them so that you don’t get screwed over? Well, there are also Terms and Conditions when it comes to relationships, but they’re just invisible. You might be accepting them without even realizing it! Make sure you analyze the relationship and person you’re giving your time, energy, and love to before you get serious. You should only accept what’s best for you, and if the Ts and Cs are bullshit, you shouldn’t sign on the dotted line.
  11. Live according to what you want to attract. If you go around thinking that desiring a great partner is enough to attract him, you’re headed for disappointment. Yes, when you step up and improve yourself, you can attract the same qualities in a partner—but it doesn’t happen magically! It happens because you’re changing your thoughts and behaviors. You’re thinking confidently and not losing your values. You’re acting in a way that shows the world you’re not going to bow down because you stand tall. This weeds out the losers you should never bring into your life.
  12. “You accept the love you think you deserve.” This quote by author John Green still gives me the feels. It doesn’t matter what happens to you. You still get to decide what it means, if you want it in your life and if the love you’re receiving is what you deserve. You’re in control here so make your choices count. Your happiness depends on them.
  13. Create your own happiness. Now that we’re on the subject of happiness, if you can make yourself truly happy, you won’t need a relationship to the point where you’ll be desperate AF for it. When you’re trying to find happiness elsewhere, that’s what can make you accept less than what you really deserve. Happiness is an inside job. Fill your own cup with champagne and you won’t need anyone else to. Drink to that!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.