Stop Focusing On His Actions & Start Focusing On Your Response

Your boyfriend has pissed you off or the guy you’re seeing has gone AWOL. You wish you could change what he’s done, but forget that. You get to change the game by choosing how you deal with it. Here are 11 things you should do instead of trying to change him, which will get you nowhere anyway:

  1. Speak up. If he’s done something to piss you off. Instead of just being quiet about it, call him out on it! He should know that you’re not happy. If you have to censor yourself then you’re sacrificing what’s important to you, and a guy who loves you wouldn’t want you to do that.
  2. Show him your standardsEveryone has certain standards they need to uphold for healthy relationships. Show yours. They might be that you won’t put up with cheating, or lies, for instance. Whatever they are, don’t let them buckle just because your guy has broken your heart but claims to love you. Once your standards are gone, you might as well call it a day because you have nothing.
  3. Be clear about boundaries and consequences. You need to have certain boundaries in place so you don’t get taken advantage of. If your BF crosses these boundaries, then there are consequences. You get to choose what boundaries you want to ensure that you’re not giving too much of yourself. If he crosses these boundaries, that’s his doing, but he has to know you won’t stick around for it.
  4. Don’t be a victim. If you feel like you’re a victim in the situation — for instance, telling yourself he’s always making you feel like crap — you immediately make yourself helpless instead of strong. Yes, he’s done things that aren’t cool, but you get to turn the situation around by standing up for yourself.
  5. Know that you can leave at any time. Don’t think that you have to stay with the guy. Sure, you might love him, but just ask yourself: is love honestly enough? Sadly, it sometimes isn’t. Remember that you can choose to leave the relationship any time you want and no one can hold it against you. It’s your life.
  6. Accept that you’re only responsible for your life. You might feel that you and your BF are a team and should support each other. That’s true, but if you’re always the one taking the rap for his mistakes or supporting him when he doesn’t do the same for you, then you’re basically carrying him on your back. That’s screwed up and will only make you miserable. He needs to be in control of his life and act like a grown-ass man, FFS.
  7. Realize that fighting for a relationship isn’t always a good thing. You might think you need to fight to keep your relationship going well, but honestly too much fighting can be a bad thing. If you’re the only one putting in the effort to keep the relationship in a good place, for instance, that is unfair and the guy you’re with doesn’t deserve your effort.
  8. Don’t stoop to his level. If he’s being a jerk, don’t be an jerk back, even though it’s often tempting. Some jerks want to push you until you lose your cool so that they’re not the only ones at fault. It’s totally messed up but true, so stay calm and stick to the facts. You’ll rise above the drama you don’t need in your life and, as a special bonus, it will drive him crazy.
  9. Don’t just blindly accept all his flaws. Yeah, you love him, but who said you have to accept all his bad habits? If they’re hurting you, then you can tell him to deal with them or GTFO. For instance, if he’s afraid of commitment but has told you that he loves you, there’s a problem. The flaw here isn’t his fear but how he’s using it as an excuse to give you mixed messages or keep you holding on for him. That’s screwed up. You don’t deserve to have to deal with it.
  10. Remember that compromise isn’t the same thing as losing yourself. Compromise is a good thing in a relationship because it means you and your BF are in a balanced game of give and take. But don’t let this dude tell you that you need to compromise if you know that doing what he wants you to do is compromising your values, beliefs, life, happiness or anything else important to who you are. You can’t control that he’s selfish, but you don’t have to give into his greediness either. He’s welcome to leave if he wants because that’s better than losing yourself. Hell yeah.
  11. Refrain from riding the emotional roller-coaster. Just because he’s not replying to your texts, he’s gone AWOL or he’s stood you up for a date, you don’t have to let him control how you feel. Of course you’re going to be mad and hurt about what he’s done, but don’t let yourself feel bad about yourself because of him. No one is allowed to have that power over you.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.