I’ve Screwed Up A Lot of Relationships But Not This Time — Here’s What I’m Doing Differently

Dating wasn’t always easy for me. I protected myself and swore off guys so I could focus on loving me and being happy alone. When I finally accomplished this, it was a revelation. I didn’t need a guy in my life at all to be happy. But when you came along — a complete accident of fate if you ask me — I wanted it all with you. I’ve screwed up too many relationships before, but I vow to do these things differently with you:

  1. I won’t judge your decisions. Whether you want to waste a good chunk of money on something ridiculous or switch careers completely, I won’t judge you. Those types of decisions won’t affect how much I love you because they have nothing to do with why I do. I’ll do my best to understand your point of view and support it even if it differs from mine.
  2. I’ll call you on your BS. I have a tendency to avoid conflict at all costs and when that comes to relationships it can lead to some harbored resentment. But with you, I promise to communicate with you fully and openly when you’re doing something I don’t agree with. I won’t attack your character but I will call you on things you’re doing wrong, even if it leads to an argument.
  3. I’ll tell you what I want when I want it. Instead of acting as though you should read my mind and know what I want, I promise to tell you what I want so that you won’t have to guess. It’s not your job to know what’s on my mind and I know that if I don’t tell you what I want and need, being mad at you for not giving it to me is my own fault.
  4. I’ll never assume a rough patch means there’s something better out there. Whenever I was with the wrong guy, I would always assume during the rough times that there was better out there. Now that I’ve found the right guy, I’ll never have those feelings again. I promise to always stay true to you and our relationship regardless of its ups and downs.
  5. I won’t shut you out if I’m dealing with my own stuff. Often times, it’s easy to shut the ones you love out when you’re dealing with something internally, but I promise never to do that to you. I will always be open enough with you to let you know what’s going on with me and why I need to deal with it alone.
  6. I’ll watch stupid movies with you and love it. This goes for any sort of activity that you want to do that I’m not all that thrilled about it. I’ll do it with you because I love you, not because I’ll love what we’re doing together. If something is interesting and important to you, I’ll care enough to get to know about it, even if it’s not my favorite.
  7. I’ll practice understanding when you’re being a pain in the ass. In prior relationships, if my partner was being a pain in the ass or just mean, I would immediately jump to the conclusion that they were a loser and eventually internalize their rudeness. But when it comes to you, instead of taking everything personally I’ll go above and beyond to understand and get to the bottom of why you’re acting like an idiot when I know I didn’t do anything wrong.
  8. I’ll give you your space. If you need to pull away for whatever reason, I’ll know to let you do so without hounding you for answers as to why you don’t want me around. I know that you’ll come back to me if I allow you to have your space so that’s what I plan on doing.
  9. I won’t let past experiences shape our future. In my last relationship, I was emotionally abused, played with and cheated on, but I refuse to let anything that my ex did to me shape how I see you. I know you’re different and I know that if I trust you, you’ll rise to the occasion and treat me with the respect and admiration I deserve.
  10. I’ll never withhold love if I’m mad at you. Even if you’re acting like a jerk, I’m going to still plant countless kisses on your face and hug you until you feel better. They may be angry kisses, but I’ll never withhold affections for you regardless of how I’m feeling.
  11. I’ll never stop loving you. Through the good times and the bad times, I’ll love you just the same. I won’t ever stop because I know that you are the one I want to be with for the rest of my life.
Angelica Bottaro has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Trent University and an Advanced Diploma in Journalism from Centennial College. She began her career as a freelance writer in 2014, racking up bylines in The Good Men Project, MakeWell, LymeTime, YouQueen, and more. She eventually shifted her focus and began writing about mental health, nutrition, and chronic disease for VeryWell Health.

You can follow her on Facebook or check out her website at AngelicaBottaro.ca. She also posts on Instagram @a.ct._b and Twitter @angiiebee.