If This Is How You Love Me, It’s Also How You’ll Lose Me

Every person loves differently, which I understand and accept. However, that doesn’t mean I have to tolerate mistreatment. Sometimes, if a woman is strong, her partner chooses to love her in a way that is actually intended to control her, diminish her, or subdue her. It’s not always deliberate, but either way, it’s unacceptable. If this is how you love me, it’s also how you’ll lose me.

  1. If you condescend to me, we’re pretty much done. You don’t need to talk down to me. Sorry if you’re feeling threatened or inferior, but that’s not my problem. Dude, don’t mansplain at me. Girl, don’t womansplain. Condescension is so unattractive. It presupposes way too much, none of it good, and it’s not a good look if you’re assuming that I don’t understand something without bothering to find out.
  2. There’s absolutely no reason for you to try to dominate every little thing. I’ll never expect someone to act submissive for me, nor will I ever try to dominate someone because of some misplaced idea of strength or superiority. Please extend me the same courtesy. Just because I’m strong, it doesn’t mean that you’re weak — or that I remotely think you’re weak. Respect my strength and I’ll respect yours. We’ll butt heads sometimes, but so what? That’s exciting.
  3. I’m not your territory, so please don’t piss all over everything. I can’t lie — I think a little jealousy is cute, but there’s a line. Please don’t treat me like your territory. We’re two people in a relationship; we’re not the Couple Monster. I’m not ever stepping out on you, because I’m not a cheater. I will never give you a reason to worry about infidelity, so how about you stop marking your territory?
  4. We’re equal, so don’t treat me like I’m lesser. We both contribute to this relationship. Maybe you make more money, but maybe what I make takes care of gas and groceries and life’s little luxuries. Maybe you’ve got a more high-profile job, but I excel at something I love. All things being relative, we’re on equal footing. I promise not to hold you to ridiculous standards if you swear to do the same.
  5. Don’t insist that I need physical protection while ignoring any semblance of emotional support. Here’s a secret: I can take care of myself and if I feel like I can’t, I’ll either do what I need to do so that I feel more secure, or I’ll ask for help. Emotional support from my partner is much more essential to me. That’s what I need. I want to know that I can rely on you for anything, not just some outdated notion of physical security. I’m good there.
  6. Trespass over my boundaries and you can bounce. I have boundaries, and they deserve to be respected. Perhaps you’re the magical key that will open all the locks to all the walls I put up around myself; I don’t know. Guess what, though? It’s up to me to decide that, not you. You can’t go bulldozing over my boundaries like they don’t matter, like I’ve just been waiting for you to come along. That doesn’t make you my One True Love. It makes you like a bull with mad cow disease in the china shop of my emotions.
  7. Take your indifference and go, please. I have no time for a lack of passion. It doesn’t matter to me if we agree all the time. My parents raised me on arguments and yelling matches; I’m cool with that. I can tame my temper and keep it civil, too. However, if all you have to offer is apathy — about our relationship, your life, your goals, our future — then I just kind of need you to leave.
  8. If you denigrate other girls, then bye. Do you know what being a strong woman means? To me, it means having enough self-worth that I’m not threatened by other women. I see them and I’m amazed by them. I want to build up the women I meet, not tear them down. The second I hear you start talking about “other girls,” I’m done – not because I’m jealous, but because now I know how you’ll talk about me if this doesn’t last.
  9. Disloyalty doesn’t fly. I’m loyal. I expect loyalty from others. I’m not going to insult you, cheat on you, throw you under the bus, or talk crap about you behind your back. I stand for you, I stand up for you, and I stand with you. It’s not wrong of me to expect the same, especially from my partner.
  10. Liars need not apply. I’ll be honest: I don’t care as much about little white lies or fibs. Maybe I should, but I don’t – probably because I do it, too. The big lies, however — the fundamental lies — that’s non-negotiable. The thing is, if I have to ask you something serious, I probably already know the answer. There’s no point in lying. If you can’t face your mistakes head on, I don’t really want to talk to you, anyway.
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.