- Gender and Relationships
Are We Ignoring Our Love Lessons?
Why is it as a children we learn very quickly that once we touch a hot stove/oven to never do it again, however as adults we don't learn the same lessons when it comes to picking the wrong relationships?
Yes, sometimes our egos will make us believe that we have learned our love lessons, especially when we proclaim—out loud—all the things we no longer want in a relationship, but have you really learned when the next guy you end up dating is portraying similar behavioral patterns?
I get that just like a hot stove, realistically since childhood you have most likely burned yourself—by accident—from not paying attention, however most people don't try and burn themselves on purpose—so why continue dating men that treat you poorly—don't make time for you, talk to you disrespectfully, play games, lie constantly or cheat (perhaps much worse)?
Why is so hard for many women to love themselves enough in order to prevent from falling into the same negative patterns—Or, at least when these patterns start to appear, loving themselves enough to have the strength to walk away from a relationship that is obviously not working or meant to be?
Since break-ups and heartbreak are a part of life, when they do happen—after the wallowing, "why and poor me, and should've or could've"—thinking back on the relationship there is always a learning lesson(s) that is there to help navigate you to finding lasting love. Are you really paying attention or just strolling through the dating process with closed eyes?
Love lessons can only happen if you are taking the proper time to evaluate—not obsess—what didn't work for you. This means not jumping into another relationship before you have had time to fully process the last one and heal. Take time to figure out what you truly want—not only in a man but also in a relationship. It can be easy to find a guy who meets your superficial check-list, however that type of list will only go so far before realizing that this list isn't bringing you closer to meaningful love.
Meaningful love isn't about what a guy looks like or his financial status or if he has children or not. Meaningful love is about how a guy ultimately treats you, how you communicate, what values he has, the chemistry between you, that he's there when you need him, your religious or spiritual views connect in some way and how well you get along. But, after many break-ups we forget what's important to us as well as what we ended up learning from our past relationships regarding things that we don't want in our next.
Write, write, write it down…
Get a journal, write on post-it's or whatever works for you to help remind yourself all the things that are important to you for a relationship to successfully work. Stop settling with men who don't fit your important criteria's. Again, let's be clear...this is not a superficial list, it's your "learning lesson list." Unfortunately for many women, the second an attractive guy gives them attention they forgot all the things they claimed they learned. Really?
The thing about looks is that they eventually fade. Yet, for many women when an attractive guy treats them poorly they will make every excuse to justify his crappy behavior—as if he is the last guy on earth that could possibly love them. Not true! Also if a guy is financially successful and is paying for things—dinners, vacations, gifts etc—then there are women who believe that a guy like this owns them and therefore has every right to treat them in whatever manner he (and frankly she) justifies. Are you kidding me!!? Think about it—it's ridiculous and extremely disheartening if you believe your self-worth has a price—It Doesn't. It's even worse if you combine a guy who is attractive and wealthy, some women will completely forget what they really want just to be with a guy like this—ignoring Any and All Red Flags. Yikes!
When you can open your heart to finding a man who will treat you in a loving, respectful caring manner—first—you will be amazed how easily you can also open your eyes to an attraction that might have be missed by any superficial list you created in your head. There are many men that I ended up becoming attracted to by how they ended up treating me. In the same light, men that I had an instant attraction, I also found myself less attracted to when they would began to play emotional games or disrespected me.
If you can't love yourself—100%—why would any guy?
I have a friend that claimed she learned her love lesson after an extremely emotionally disruptive break-up. Her ex was not only emotionally abusive but physically abusive. He would purposely do things knowing that these very things would upset her. He hardly ever took time to do anything special for her and they argued the majority of the time. When my friend finally ended things with her ex she vowed to never date a guy who would abuse her in anyway or treat her disrespectfully. Hearing this was such a relief—as her friend it was hard to watch her go through what she did, however she needed to realize her own self-worth through loving herself in order to finally leave him. But, she didn't...
Although my friend never went back to her ex, when she was finally ready to date again the next guy she dated seemed nice on the surface but then started displaying similar characteristics as her ex. This guy would play emotional games, would never make time for her unless she would go to his place, and he would continually disrespect her. When things ended between them, again, my friend said she had learned her lesson...
Here's the thing about lessons, they will keep repeating themselves until you finally learn them with your entire heart and soul. In order to find someone better you have to believe you deserve them.
You would think that three times would be a charm....not for my friend. She's now dating a guy who thinks it’s OK to treat her disrespectfully, leave her at venues when he gets mad and take his anger out on her through awful text messages and arguments, but because he will pay for dinners and take her on expensive vacations she makes excuses for his horrible behavior. Until my friend can actually learn her love lessons she will continue to attract the same type of men. Poor dear!
Ladies, only you can take the time to understand what you want once a relationship has ended. Love lessons aren't meant to be easy—they can be extremely hard—like someone giving you feedback about your personality that isn't positive, however it's a reality that must be acknowledged if you truly want to grow and find lasting love. Know that every time you ignore the Red Flags of what you claim you don't want to appear in your relationship, you are only holding yourself back from true happiness. Be a smart student and take notes so you will find that A+ man!