So you came back for more? Dated me and noticed I left things out? You're right!
Part 2, Game on!
14. Don’t make grandiose statements like “you always...” or “you never...”
One instance of doing something you don’t like doesn’t define your partner or his behavior throughout your relationship. It’s easy for us to want to lump things into patterns, but when you’ve put an issue to rest, mass generalizations open up old wounds. Treat each instance as an instance unless you’re sure you want to move on or have him think you’re a dick.
15. Don’t be passive-aggressive or aggressive-aggressive.
Adult communication requires an adult dose of introspection. Know how you feel and why you’re reacting. Sound like a pipe dream? It may not be easy in the moment, but the more you practice, the better it gets. Meditation is great for connecting you to your deeper self which is where most of our reactions come from. For example, ever notice how your partner does something small and you go from 0-60 in 3 seconds flat?
News flash: It isn’t about him being late AGAIN.
It’s about his action rubbing up against an old wound you have of not feeling respected or a story you’ve told yourself since childhood that you may be abandoned. Whatever it is, know what's your shit and what's your partner’s shit.
16. Don’t stop teaching your partner how to treat you.
You are responsible for your boundaries. This is huge: We teach people how to treat us. If your partner doesn’t walk you to your car at 1 am, it’s because you haven’t told him it’s important to you. When he is late and it secretly drives you nuts, it’s your job to teach him that won't fly. Within those first few months of the relationship, your partner learns your boundaries. You can’t expect someone to observe the boundaries you don’t set.
It’s your job to remember your higher self, your needs, and communicate them appropriately.
17. Have your own life and don’t give it up as soon as you have a relationship.
You need space and you need to pursue a life outside your partner. He signed on for a partner, not a groupie.
18. Don’t guilt trip your partner for needing his own life.
Yup, the same is true for him. You have a life, so why shouldn’t he? Don't take it personally. It isn't about him not loving you. It’s about him taking care of his needs, working on himself, and continuing to grow. Bonus: Let him miss you, it also leads to foot rubs.
19. Don’t use the relationship as an excuse not to grow.
Before dating, you had a ton of hobbies, an active social life and a self-care routine that would make a hollywood starlet jealous. So what happened? You got “comfortable.” Or maybe you started defining yourself through the relationship. Either way, you’ve lost touch with your authentic self. We are meant to evolve. We are meant to grow. When the relationship gets in the way of that, it’s time to reevaluate your situation.
20. Don’t think sarcasm is a form of communication.
The latin scholar in me implores you to remember that the etymology of the word sarcasm is sarcasmos or “tearing of the flesh.” Not healthy.
21. Don’t think you’re smarter than him, even when you are.
When you are waiting for him to shut up so you can start talking again, that’s a sign that you don’t respect what he has to say. Everyone has something to offer, even the ones who aren’t as smart :)
22. Don’t dominate conversations with your story and then ask him how his day was as an afterthought.
Communication is a two-way street. Many people, guys especially, need to know they have the space to communicate and share their feelings. You can’t complain that your partner doesn’t know how to communicate when you never give him the space to do so.
23. Don’t demand that he tells you what he’s thinking.
You’re not being a great communicator when you know something is wrong and you harass him into telling you. Allow him the space to process and the space to communicate. Take it from me, when I pester a guy into a confession, I usually get a war.
24. Don't call bottom.
My ex and I eventually got so lazy that when we got home from a date, the first one in sight of the bed could "call bottom." Yup, just like the way you call “shotty” when you want to sit in the front seat of the car. I tell you this story to illustrate two points: 1) stop being lazy in bed, sex shouldn't be a chore. 2) the sexual rut can disguise itself as the most efficient way to “get it done.” Sure, you know what you like and you tend to have a certain routine, but it won't be long until you overplay that sexual song and wind up in a rut with nothing interesting on your playlist.
25. Know yourself. Always.
Don’t lose sight of who you truly are. You aren’t doing yourself or the relationship any favors when you don’t take the time to ground yourself. Ever notice how when a relationship ends you may have said “who have I become?” Make a meditation date with yourself every day. Staying centered becomes even more important when you’re with someone. You’ll be happier, the relationship will be stronger, and the sex will be better.
The Takeaway: All snarky advice aside, your primary relationship is the one you have with yourself. When you approach a relationship from a place of self-love, things will naturally unfold the way they are meant to.
Note: To my exes, you know that I’m not great at apologies. So consider this the closest thing you’ll get to one :) I thank you for the many lessons I’ve learned and the opportunities for growth.