Treat ’em right

Tamara wrote:

Sean,

Why can’t I find a guy that can treat a woman right?  I’m not saying I need to be pampered or anything, but I’d like to be respected, loved, and treated as an equal.  I even ask to be treated right in my dating profile but I end up finding a$$holes. Is this just too much to ask these days?

Tamara

 

Tamara,

The fact that you feel you have to ask people to “treat me right” in your profile says to me that you’re not finding the right people to begin with.  Being treated “right” is a basic principle of any relationship, whether it’s romantic or not.  What you may not realize is that toxic friendships and toxic relationships are more closely related than you know. You see, if you have toxic friendships or family life (i.e., constant drama and chaos), you are making yourself a target for people looking to use/abuse you.  They pick up on your need for peace/equality/respect and they feed on it, eventually pulling you back into chaos time and time again.  What you may also not recognize is that you actually have control over this situation..you can choose whether or not you associate with these people in the first place.  I’ve heard so many people say things like, “she seemed nice in the first place.  It was refreshing..” or “yeah, we have our weekly issues, but he can be so nice..” and I just have to shake my head.  Yes, I know relationships aren’t a fairytale, but it shouldn’t be “mainly drama with spurts of calm” either. Here are some signs you’re in a bad relationship:

1.  He/she lies- I’m not talking about him saying “no” when you ask if your bubble butt looks big in the jeans you wore in high school (though I’d tell the truth there anyway).  I am talking about hiding things like severe debt, health issues, a past mistake, legal/financial issues, a secret marriage/children, drug use, etc., and their constant ability to cover things up, discount it, or to brush it off.  You can tell if: You catch one or more lies or secrets, you notice unexpected changes in behavior, your partner no longer values openness.

2.  Constant drama-  It shouldn’t be a fight to stay together.  You shouldn’t be struggling to not give up. Relationships aren’t easy, but they shouldn’t be that hard either. You can tell if:  Your partner devalues you, your partner constantly accuses you of things, you feel the need to walk on eggshells.

3.  Constant competition- If you have to compete for each other’s attention, you’re in the relationship for the wrong reason.  No one should have to “earn” time to spend with their partner.  Relationships are two sided and should be balanced, not a struggle for control or power. You can tell if: Your partner verbally bashes you or has an inability to celebrate your successes.

4.  Idle threats- If you are throwing out threats (or getting them back) such as “I swear to God I’ll leave if you don’t..” or “Either you change ___ or I’m outta here!..”, then it’s followed by sweetness and kindness the minute one of you tries to leave, you’re in a toxic relationship.  You can tell if: Your relationship is a constant battle about someone leaving and you’ve both expressed that you’re both not happy on multiple occasions. 

It may be hard for you to admit you’re in a toxic relationship, but you’ll need to make that admission and close that chapter of your life.  From that point on, you will need to evaluate things and look for signs BEFORE you enter into any sort of relationship to make sure it isn’t toxic.  Once ALL of your active relationships are free of toxicity, things will be easier and your life should find more of a balance.  Most of all, you need to love yourself and be comfortable with who you are and what you have to offer.

Again, you should never have to ask anyone to treat you right..it’s a basic foundation of any relationship.  If someone can’t give you the basics, it’s time to find someone that can.

Sean

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Spoilage

DNN wrote from Minnetonka:

I have recently begun dating a woman who is extremely wasteful to the point that it’s gotten on my nerves.  To illustrate HOW wasteful this woman is, I’ll just say that I don’t recycle, I am okay throwing away leftovers when they’ve gone bad, I even throw away batteries and lightbulbs in the garbage.  I am the average wasteful person.  THIS WOMAN, however, will try a new mouthwash and if she doesn’t like it, toss the whole thing.  She’ll try on shirts and if they don’t fit, she’ll throw them rather than return them.  She’ll make dinner for the both of us and toss everything we don’t finish..not even leaving the chance open for leftovers (which really bites because she’s a great cook).

I don’t know how to bring this up with her.  We’re still “new” so I don’t want to ruin things, but I need to let her know I am not okay with everything she’s doing.

DNN in Mtka

 

DNN,

This is the passive aggressive thing that Minnesotans are famous for.  If you have a problem, bring it up.  I have native Minnesotans tell me all of the time that they find my honesty refreshing (and some find it annoying), but it’s only because I was raised to approach an issue when it comes up, not two weeks after it happened.  This issue or ANY issue should be dealt with immediately.  It doesn’t have to be an argument, you don’t need to talk about it with other people first (but thanks for emailing me, really..), you just need to politely call her out on it.  You don’t have to be mean or blunt about it, but bring it up casually and turn it into a conversation.  Let her know that you’d gladly keep the leftover food or that you’d be happy to go with her to return the clothing.  Try to figure out why she is so wasteful and let her know that it may be a pet peeve of yours that went unrealized until now. Then, after you’ve worked things out with her, consider recycling your batteries and glass items at the very least. You’re welcome Earth.

Sean