Do you ever look back at past relationships and wish you could have done some things differently? I aim to not have regrets, but inevitably I’m trying to grow as a person and examine along the way how I could be better is one way I do that. Here are 10 things I’d do differently in my past relationship if I could.
Not cheat This one’s a no-brainer—who wants to be a cheater? Granted, I always told him every single time I cheated, but I still was a cheater. I did it regularly, too, and I made excuses for it like it was no big deal. Ultimately it ate away at me, though. I wish I left the relationship when I became too unsatisfied. Really we shouldn’t have been together anymore and I stayed in it anyway, using cheating as an outlet. That wasn’t cool.
Not make excuses for my behavior As I said, I was a cheater and I had every excuse in the book for it. I also had excuses for when I got angry at him or when I retreated. No matter what he confronted me with, I always had some BS to back it up with. I really wish that I had the wherewithal to be self-aware. I wish I could have seen where I was wrong and owned up to it.
Not expect him to read my mind Oh man, I was the queen of being quiet or saying everything except what really needed to be said. I expected him to know what was wrong with me through mind-reading or something. It was crazy! In hindsight, I really wish I was just honest, straightforward, and vulnerable. These things were very difficult for me but I know now that they’re worth it.
Not be passive-aggressive This was my signature move: be super passive aggressive so that I didn’t have to deal with problems head-on. I’d start fights in little ways about something he said, then I’d make it about what I was really mad about. Or, I wouldn’t start a fight at all and I’d just be miserable to be around. I wish I could have done this differently. I would have just dealt with problems truthfully and in a vulnerable way at the moment.
Not start fights to get his attention When I was feeling starved for attention from him, I’d start a fight. I’d find something to get mad about and I’d make it a big thing. This way I could pull him away from work or school to have him focus on me. Instead, I wish I just reached out to him and told him that I missed him or wanted to talk to him. I also wish I knew how to self-satisfy my desperate need for attention.
Had more sex We stopped having so much sex (as many couples do), partially because it was beginning to not work out with us. Our relationship was falling apart but we tried to keep it together. Sex became pretty much a no-go at the end. I wish that I either had more sex or got out of the relationship when it was time. I think I could have had more sex, though, if I let myself be vulnerable with him (sensing a theme here?).
Not tried polyamory When our relationship was on its last leg, we decided to try out polyamory. We thought it might save what we had, not that we saw it that way at the time. It was a disaster. I hooked up with a bunch of people and raged when he kissed one girl. I now know I’m not cut out for the poly life. I wish instead that we just addressed the real problems that were at hand instead of trying to add other people to the mix.
Not tried to control him He smoked a ton of pot and I absolutely hated it. I wanted him to stop but I’d never flat-out tell him. Instead, I’d just make a lot of comments pressuring him to stop or cut back. I really wish I didn’t try to control his life. Instead, I wish that I acknowledged that what he was doing was a deal breaker for me and just ended the relationship.
Valued him more He was a really great guy. He spoiled me romantically and even money-wise. He was just a really good person. I wish that I knew what I had when I had it. Not saying that I want to be with him now, I just wish that I valued the person he was when we were together.
Left when it was time I’ve alluded to this, but one of my biggest troubles was that the relationship maybe shouldn’t have even started but definitely should have been over way before it was. I wish that I was able to pull the plug far before I did. It would have done us both a service to be free from something that wasn’t working.
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