No one sets out to be taken advantage of, but if you’re not naturally outspoken or find it hard to stand up for yourself sometimes, it’s bound to happen. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to just accept it — you’re strong, smart and you deserve better. If you recognize any of the following signs, it’s time to wise up and stop accepting guys’ BS:
- You’re always repeating the same mistakes. You never learn from the mistakes you make while dating and continue doing the same things while simultaneously expecting change. Change only occurs when you choose to do things differently, and that obviously isn’t happening if past mistakes are a typical routine for you. That kind of behavior makes you an easy target for manipulators who want to take advantage of you.
- You don’t believe you deserve better. Crappy self-esteem makes you fragile and creates fractures in your personality that allow terrible people to seep in. When you don’t even like yourself, other people probably won’t like you either. If they don’t like you, why would they respect you? Respect is a fundamental aspect of relationships and its absence can easily lead two people to interact with each other like bored teenagers in unmoderated comment sections.
- You’re bad at spotting BS. Every person you have ever dated has been an insufferable dirtbag. Instead of seeing a terrible person for who he truly is, you make excuses to avoid the truth for months or years for reasons that will never make sense to anybody. It’s so rare for your partner to do something nice that when he does do something nice, it stands out like a hard-on in a field of daises. That one single nice thing seems to wipe your memory clean of all the bad things that the guy has done to you and you trick yourself into thinking you’re in love.
- You tend to ignore red flags. Instead of seeing red flags as obvious signs to leave, you just take them in stride while you sink further into misery and wonder why your happiness packed its bags and skedaddled. “He’ll change” is a thought that crosses your mind multiple times a day. Change is an exciting thing to wait for, and while you’re doing that, your manipulative significant other has plenty of time to take advantage of your hopeful nature.
- You turn a blind eye to being treated badly. Your latest boyfriend/disaster could massacre your entire family and paint your house in their blood and you would still make up some kind of excuse for him and continue to ignore the way he’s treating you. Whether you’re used to being treated horribly or you choose to ignore it out of desperation, it’s destructive as hell and you’re the only one who has the power to change it.
- Your friends roll their eyes when you announce that you have a new boyfriend. It’s the same situation over and over and over and over again and your friends are sick of hearing about it. You get into a new relationship, eventually realize you’re being treated like crap and then spend copious amounts of time complaining instead of actually doing something about it.
- You put up with far more than you should. You’re a doormat. You let everything slide and you never speak up when something is bothering you. “I’m sorry baby” is enough to make you forgive, no matter how nasty and dysfunctional things have become.
- You’re incapable of making decisions. You let your boyfriend make all your choices for you and you never stand up for yourself. Letting someone else have that kind of control over your life guarantees that you will be taken advantage of. There’s nothing wrong with trusting someone to make a decision for you in your absence, but if that person has become a full-blown puppetmaster over every aspect of your life, it’s time to freak out, because everything about puppets and their dead eyes is creepy.
- You can’t stand being alone. You always have to be dating somebody. Your partner could be the unkempt alcoholic down the street who yells at clouds or the ill-tempered gorilla from the local zoo-you don’t care as long as you can start at least 90 percent of your sentences with, “My boyfriend…” You hate being alone because you hate yourself and you can’t tolerate your own company. With that kind of desperation, it’s embarrassingly easy for every scumbag in town to take advantage of you.