I Was A Critical Girlfriend & It Almost Ruined My Relationship

I Was A Critical Girlfriend & It Almost Ruined My Relationship ©iStock/bogdankosanovic

I’m almost to ashamed to admit it, but in the early stages of my relationship I spent far to many hours worrying about what others thought and ended up almost destroying it all. Now that I’ve had time to think about things and grow up a little, I have a handle on it, but for a little while I was the original Girlfriendzilla.

  1. I justified my behavior because people told me I was a “natural born leader.” I understand just how naive this sounds now, but when I was just beginning to explore the world of serious relationships, I thought that the strong, dominating (read: overbearing) women who freely threw around their opinions without caring what those around them thought were what men really wanted. And when people told me I was just showing of my natural leadership skills, I took this as a validation that I was behaving appropriately. Newsflash: I wasn’t.
  2. I didn’t stop to consider my boyfriend’s feelings. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that being in a relationship meant I had to take another person’s feelings into consideration. I didn’t care that he had no interest in seeming a certain way to the outside world — I cared and I thought the world cared. There’s only one word for my behavior: selfish. It wasn’t until it was pointed out to me how unfair and irrational I was being that I took a step back and reassessed what I was doing.
  3. Outsiders’ opinions were more important than mine or my boyfriend’s. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to think that I would put a stranger’s opinion on such a pedestal, but I did. If I could go back in time and give myself some advice, this would be at the top of my list: the only opinions that should matter are the ones of the people involved in our relationship.
  4. I thought I was doing it for his own good. I can just see every sane woman reading this shaking her head. Believe me, if I could take it all back I would. I felt if I organized his clothes or the way he trimmed his facial hair, I had some control over how the rest of the world viewed us and our relationship. That’s total BS obviously, but I didn’t know that then.
  5. I thought I had to fix my boyfriend. I cringed every time I heard an audible crunch while we were at dinner or a whistle in his inhale. If I could hear it, so could everyone else and that terrified me. It wasn’t long before my not-so subtle eye rolls turned into loud rants about his lack of decorum. Looking back, it’s a wonder he didn’t take off for the nearest exit.
  6. I wanted my boyfriend, but I didn’t want him to be himself. This should give you an indication of just how deep the judgmental, crazy gene ran. I loved my boyfriend with everything I had — the problem was I should have been loving him with everything he had. It didn’t matter that his eyebrows weren’t perfectly manicured or that sometimes he smelled like potato chips — that was who he was and if I took my cray cray glasses off long enough to see that, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.
  7. His friends weren’t among the social elite. Yes, I went there. I hit the poor guy where it hurt, his friends. Don’t get me wrong — they were nice guys. They stood by each other and treated each other right; they did what I was meant to be doing and wasn’t. I never doubted how genuine they were, I just doubted they were classy enough to be associated with. Trust me, apologies were made and a serious lesson learned about not judging books by their covers.
  8. My attitude just plain stank.  I can’t deny it — my self-entitled attitude stank. I had it in my head that what I wanted was what my boyfriend wanted. If I had taken the time to pull my blinkers off, I would have known that the amazing guy I had first fallen in love with also had an amazing personality that didn’t need my assistance. Thankfully, I realized all this before it was too late.
Maggie is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. When she isn't swigging wine straight from the bottle, she is busy procrastinating on her housework. Currently working on her first novel, she is also the creator of The Reverse Housewife and regular contributor to Hub Garden.