I was holding my 3 week old niece yesterday and I told her that I needed to inform her about some life lessons. The first thing I brought up was unhealthy relationships because you can never teach them too early. Of course she looked at me like why did my mother let you hold me, but it was a necessary and humorous conversation. I say that because no one had this conversation with me. I had to figure things out on my own and learn from others. Yes, my parents told us about not allowing people to mistreat us, but it was never in the form of close relationships. And we sure as heck never discussed how to demand respect from those we were dating. I will say that I had to learn that lesson a few times, but now I have it down and refuse to accept anything less.
I do understand that your relationships with close friends and family can be unhealthy as well, so I will start with those. People think just because you are family or that you’ve been friends with someone since grade school, that it is okay to allow boundaries to be trampled. I always say that if a person does not respect your boundaries, they don’t care about you like you think they do. A person who truly cares will respect you, support you, and lovingly redirect you. Bashing you in front of the whole family is not normal, it’s rude. Yes, this can go for parents, grandparents, and your favorite cousins. You have to let people know when you’re uncomfortable or they will ASSUME you’re okay with it. They may even try to laugh it off, but you have to stand strong against anyone who makes you feel less than or tries to shame you.
I can (and will, one day) write a dissertation about dating do’s and don’t’s. I have come to realize that love or lust can completely make us oblivious to right from wrong. A compliment or a sweet smile can just make us forget that we were ever wronged at times. But then we go back to the same issues because we never addressed them from the last time. That is why I am a firm believer in talking things out when there is an argument. You may need your time apart, but when you get through, we need to discuss what happened and why. It’s quite unhealthy that we allow love to blind us and we put up with things we normally would not. The day we love someone to the point we stop loving ourselves is the day we have a problem. When we are scared to talk about a problem thinking the other person will possibly leave, we have a problem. Just like you have boundaries with other people, you need to have them with your significant others or you can have a lifetime of pain.
Love covers a multitude of sin, but that doesn’t mean be stupid. We must remember that just because we love someone doesn’t mean that they won’t hurt us. Sometimes people have such a personality defect that they don’t even realize that they are hurtful with their words or actions. You have to be bold enough to stop letting people mistreat you. It may break up some relationships, but sometimes that’s needed. I wouldn’t want to be connected with someone who refuses to do me right because they think it’s funny or they think they are entitled because they’ve known me forever. Put an end to disrespect, ridicule, and downright meanness. You have to know that you deserve to be surrounded by people who truly care and don’t want to offend you constantly. Tell em’ to BE SWEET.