Love is a very beautiful thing that most people yearn for, but aren’t ready to accept. Trust me, I know this very well. Before I became this awesome wife and loving mother – and yes, I do say so myself – I was a train-wreck! As a millennial that is just about to cross over into the thirties, I have quite a few stories to tell. It is a bit too embarrassing to air out my dirty laundry, so I will save you the drama. For now, I will just share the relationship advice that had been hammered into my head. But don’t be fooled, just because it was hammered there, it doesn’t mean it stuck in place. It was like hammering a TV stand into place then expecting it to hold a 500-kilogram elephant. I processed the information, let it simmer, then turned around and walked the other way.
If you are currently in a relationship and keep ignoring everyone’s sound advice, don’t be that person. I’ve made silly mistakes so that you don’t have to.
This is some of the best relationship advice I had been told but didn’t really stick with until I met my husband.
Just be yourself from the start
Have you heard the song ‘Cater to you‘ by Destiny’s Child? You know, the one that goes:
Let me help you
Take off your shoes
Untie your shoe strings
Take off your cufflinks (Yeah)
What you wanna eat, boo? (Yeah)
Let me feed you
Let me run your bathwater
Whatever you desire, I’ll supply yaDestiny’s Child – Cater to you
Well, this girl over here basically took it as the gospel and tried to play the good wife to immature boys. And what do you think was the result of playing wife to a boy? Well, I became his mama. Yep. Ladies, if he hasn’t put a ring on it, you should not pretend like there is one there. And if you still choose to do that for someone who isn’t serious about you, chances are he will go and have his fun then come to you for some TLC. It is a tough job being a player after all!
The other scary thing about setting expectations so high from the get-go is that you actually need to live them up. If I’m being honest, I was not ever going to live up to the ’20s housewife standards even if I was paid to do it. No thank you, sir!
Don’t let the relationship consume you
When you meet your significant other, you will need to adapt certain aspects of your life to factor in the relationship. One thing that I had been warned but refused to listen to was that the person you end up with should complement your life, not take away from it. Do you have that one friend who is just amazing to be around when they are single? But the minute they get into a relationship, it feels as though they’ve left the universe. Yeah… Don’t smack me, that used to be me.
Of course, relationships are an investment and do require a significant amount of commitment. But if you find that you have to change every single aspect of your life for the new-found love, then something is wrong.
Don’t ignore red flags
I will be daring and claim that nine out of ten of you have ignored red flags in a relationship before. If you’re still in that mindset, you need to get out of it ASAP! In my view, dating someone is not just meant to be a time filler. It is something that may eventually turn into marriage or a life-long partnership. Of course, not every relationship will end that way. But it is up to us to decide just how much nonsense we will allow before we head to the door.
When I was younger (and dumber), I forgave a cheater and questioned myself. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing, but when someone constantly shows you who they are, you better believe them. I forgave the same person not once, but many times. Looking back, it was a bit ridiculous, but that’s what I got for ignoring the red flags.
A relationship isn’t ping-pong
Yeah, I’m not quite sure where I was going with that heading, but I’m sure we’ll get there anyway. So here’s the thing, a relationship should definitely be a two-way street. We can all agree on that. But it is absolutely important not to fall into ‘tit for tat’ habits. I’ve given my fair share of silent treatment as a response to being ignored, and it did not end well. It should be common sense that if you are with someone that makes you resort to childish antics, the relationship probably isn’t doing much for your growth. By the same token, you are not adding value to your person’s life by acting like a two-year-old.
I also learned the hard way that you cannot just do nice things when you receive them first. Of course, I am a firm believer in not playing the wife/husband role before tying the knot, but that doesn’t mean you need to be stingy with your kindness. A relationship should bring out the best qualities in you. If it does just the opposite, you probably need to rethink the whole thing.