No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to meet a good guy. Instead, you end up with liars, players and all-around players and you can’t seem to figure out why. Sure, you’re not responsible for men’s behavior, but you are responsible for your own, and you’re probably doing something to encourage this kind of BS. Here’s how:
- You reward them for their bad behavior. While it’s noble to be gracious and give second chances to guys, regularly making excuses for them is anything but — it’s stupid and makes you a glutton for punishment. They’ll get in the habit of relying on you to explain away their BS and will get used to not having to face the consequences of their actions. Ugh, stop letting them get away with this crap.
- You act like his mother. Do you sometimes feel more like a mom than a girlfriend? Do you always end up doing a guy’s laundry, cooking his meals, maintaining his social calendar and more? You’re asking for him to be a jerk. He’s a grown man and he already has a mother. You’re looking for a partner, not a child to look after, so what are you even doing?
- You do all the relationship legwork on your own. Making conversation, planning dates, reminding him about upcoming anniversaries… all taken care of by you. Why? If he values you, he’ll want to do the work. If he’s not interested in participating in a relationship he makes up half of, he’s not worth your time. You shouldn’t have to give ultimatums or put up with a less than 50/50 arrangement. You can’t build a solid foundation on your own, and forcing it is only giving him leeway to be a total jerk when he turns around and throws in your face that it’s been all your doing all along.
- You look for reasons to start fights. You’ve been screwed over before in relationships, so you’ve pretty much come to expect that with every new guy you meet. This might tempt you to pick fights or start drama for the sake of either a) getting him to prove that he loves you/reassure you or b) end the relationship now before things go any further. Either way, you’re basically giving him the green light to be a total jerk to you since you’re kinda being one to him.
- You incessantly nag him. Talking to him at great length, having opinions, and asking him to chip in are NOT nagging. However, constantly pointing out things he’s doing wrong, telling him what he could be doing better, and complaining about ways you wish he was different ARE nagging. No guy is going to take that very well, so you’re asking for trouble. If he’s really that bad, don’t stick around — break up with him and move on.
- You don’t respect or value yourself. Women – more than men – feel the need to put ourselves down on the regular. If you downplay your accomplishments, hold yourself to a ridiculous standard of beauty or play dumb to avoid conflict or make others comfortable, you’re setting the tone for people to disrespect you because you don’t respect yourself. Jerks will spot that from a mile away and will take advantage of that without a doubt. Don’t let them.
- You’re in a constant state of jealous rage. Stop spending so much of your emotional energy comparing yourself to other women and convincing yourself that the guy you’re with would rather be with them. He’s with you! If he’s not actually cheating or flirting, don’t project your insecurities on him. Chances are, your insecurity will poison your romance faster than any other woman ever could. A guy can only be accused of cheating or being interested in another woman so many times before he follows through.
- You’re passive aggressive. Never forget that one partner’s actions set the tone for the other’s. If you’re always passive aggressive, you give him permission to be too, and that relationship sounds a lot like slow suffocation. Relationships don’t work without communication, to speak up and be upfront about what you’re thinking or feeling if you expect him to do the same. If you are communicating clearly and he’s still not interested in doing the same, kick his butt to the curb.
- You don’t set boundaries. This is especially important in the early stages of relationships. Boundary-setting is a great way to gauge his respect for you. Is he patient with you? Is he looking for something long-term like you are? Without boundaries, you’re inviting miscommunication and wasting time. There are certain things you should never compromise or sacrifice for the sake of a relationship. If you do, don’t be surprised if you end up with the crap end of the stick.