Let’s be real: relationships can be tough. As someone who has had her fair share of experiences with men, I know that building a strong and healthy connection takes effort and time. And let’s face it, we all make mistakes along the way. I sure have!
Through my own personal journey, I have made mistakes that have had negative consequences for myself, my partner, and the relationship. However, through self-reflection and learning from these mistakes, I have come to recognize some common pitfalls that women often fall into in their relationships with men.
In this blog post, I want to share some of my mistakes for you to learn from. I believe that by being aware of these mistakes and taking active steps to avoid them, women can increase their chances of finding a fulfilling and healthy relationship with a man.
❌ Going the extra mile for a man.
We women often feel like we need to go above and beyond to make our partners happy, even if it means sacrificing our own well-being. This can include doing things that we don’t enjoy, compromising our own values or beliefs, or neglecting our own needs and desires. This approach can lead to an unhealthy and unbalanced relationship.
I knew this from personal experience. I used to be someone who would go above and beyond to make my partner happy, even if it meant sacrificing my own happiness—I surprised them with thoughtful gestures, paid for my own travel to see them without expecting them to contribute (although in hindsight, I should have asked for their share to see if they were truly committed) and initiated most of our plans to spend time together. However, despite my efforts, I received less in return. The energy didn’t reciprocate. That’s when I realized I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate.
Now, if a guy isn’t making any effort to be with me, and isn’t communicating effectively to give me some level of certainty, then I wouldn’t do anything either, even if I have strong feelings for him.
❌ Believing that a man will change for love.
When we are in love with someone, we often keep our eyes closed. We tolerate their bad behaviors in the hope that they will change someday. This approach is often unsuccessful and can lead to disappointment and frustration.
Listen, people rarely change, and it is not our responsibility to change someone. Again, it’s not our responsibility. People will only change if they really want to—maybe after life gives them something to learn, not because you want them to. That’s why it’s so important to accept our partners for who they are and to establish clear expectations and boundaries in the relationship.
❌ Believing in what he says more than what he does.
We all know how charming and persuasive men can be, but at the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. As women, we need to pay attention to how our partners treat us and not turn a blind eye to any red flags or warning signs in the relationship.
Building a strong foundation of trust and respect requires actions, not just words. Communicate our needs and expectations to our partners and hold them accountable for their actions.
❌ Carrying the relationship alone.
A relationship is a partnership, and both parties have a responsibility to contribute to its success. Each person should take an active role in maintaining the connection, and this can be achieved through open communication, compromise, and mutual support. This means sharing the responsibilities of the relationship, from planning dates to taking care of household chores to providing emotional support.
When both partners contribute equally to the relationship, it creates a sense of balance and reciprocity. This helps establish a healthy and respectful connection, where each partner feels valued and appreciated. So, instead of carrying the relationship alone, it’s important to work together and find ways to support each other, creating a partnership that can withstand any challenge that comes its way.
❌ Believing that I am not good enough.
No matter what mistakes your partner makes in the relationship, it’s not a reflection of your worth or value as a person. If your partner cheats on you or treats you poorly, it’s not your fault, but rather their choice and responsibility. Believing that you’re not good enough can be a damaging and self-destructive thought pattern.
You are enough and deserving of love and respect in a relationship. If your partner makes you feel otherwise, it may be time to reassess the relationship and consider moving on. On the other hand, if your partner tells you that you’re too good for them, it’s important to take their words seriously. If they are not willing to work on themselves to be a better partner and meet your standards, it may be time to let them go and find someone who is willing to meet you at your level.
❌ Letting a man control my life based on his preferences.
Allowing someone else to control your choices, preferences, and even your behavior can be detrimental to your personal growth and can lead to an unbalanced and unhealthy relationship.
Set clear boundaries and communicate your needs and desires in a relationship. Both partners should be willing to compromise and make decisions together that work for both of them. Giving up your autonomy to please your partner can lead to resentment and regret in the long run. Remember, a healthy relationship is built on mutual respect and trust, and both partners should feel valued and respected for who they are as individuals and not change themselves to fit into a relationship.
❌ Being with a man who doesn’t understand my interests or passions.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that it is very important to have someone who not only accepts but also supports and encourages your interests and passions. For example, I had a crush on someone who is into sim-racing which is clearly a world that I’ve never been exposed to before, so I learned about sim-racing to better understand him and support him. Likewise, the same goes for me. If anyone likes me but doesn’t show any interest in my passions or even puts them down, that’s a major red flag. You know someone genuinely likes you when they’re willing to learn about your interests.
Communicate your passions early on to see if they’re open to exploring them with you. Find a balance if they don’t share the same interests, and don’t let them dismiss or belittle your interests. Working together to find a solution that respects both your needs can lead to a stronger and happier connection. It leads to a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
❌ Letting a man belittle me as a joke; mentally and emotionally abusing me.
In a relationship, you deserve to be treated with respect, even when joking around. It’s not okay for your partner to constantly belittle you as a joke because it can really hurt your self-esteem and make you feel small. A relationship should be built on mutual respect and support, even when it comes to humor. While playful teasing can be a fun part of a relationship, it’s important to set boundaries and speak up if something crosses the line. If your partner continues to belittle you despite your boundaries, it’s time to reconsider the relationship and ask yourself if it’s truly a healthy and supportive partnership.
I had a partner once who would make comments like “You’re not pretty, you’re just average” or “Your face looks like it’s full of dirt” as a joke or even call me “pussy” just because I didn’t want to do something he asked me to do. It made me feel so low and worthless. He also blamed me for things that he couldn’t do, manipulated me for the mistakes that he did, invalidated my feelings, and often compared me to his ex-girlfriend, which was incredibly hurtful. This behavior is considered abusive. Don’t lose sight of this.
❌ Not setting boundaries.
Boundaries can come in many forms, including physical, emotional, and personal boundaries. Physical boundaries may involve personal space or intimacy, while emotional boundaries may involve communication and vulnerability. Personal boundaries may involve individual goals, values, and beliefs.
When boundaries are not respected, it’s important to have a conversation with your partner and express how their actions make you feel. Be firm and consistent in enforcing boundaries. It may be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary for mental and emotional well-being.
If you’re in a committed relationship, it’s important to be aware of the boundaries between you and other people. You shouldn’t allow anyone to come between you and your partner. Doing so would be morally wrong.
❌ Not respecting my time and feelings.
It’s important to feel heard and understood. If your partner doesn’t respect your feelings, it can lead to frustration, hurt, and ultimately damage to the relationship. Mutual respect is a key component of a healthy and fulfilling partnership. Communicate your feelings to your partner and work together to find a solution that respects both parties’ needs and desires. If your partner consistently disregards your emotions, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship and consider whether it’s a healthy fit for you.
Excuses like “I’m too busy to text you” don’t cut it. No one is too busy to check in with someone they care about. Some people think that checking in is controlling. It’s not about controlling; it’s about respecting each other’s time and feelings. When you’re busy, it’s very important to give your partner a heads-up so they know what to expect. Going an entire day without checking in is disrespectful and unacceptable. I’ve been in a situation where I stayed up all night waiting for a response, and it was incredibly hurtful. I won’t tolerate that kind of behavior ever again.
It’s important to learn from past mistakes and use that knowledge to build healthier and more fulfilling relationships. By being aware of these pitfalls and actively working to avoid them, you can increase your chances of finding a strong and healthy connection with a partner who respects and values you. Remember to prioritize your own well-being and happiness in a relationship, and don’t settle for anything less than the love and respect you deserve.
X, Hani. ❤