Freedom, you’ve gotta give for what you take

Being newly single comes with freedom and responsibility.  It may feel like a free-for-all but you might want to curtail your indulgences.  Yes, you are free to do as you choose but that doesn’t take away your common sense.

Freedom can be heady but you have a responsibility to keep up your life.  Do not go out and get so drunk on a Tuesday night that you can’t go to work the next day.  Don’t sleep with your friend’s ex just because you can.  Maintain your life and your discipline because it can all quickly spiral out of control.

So what can you do?  Take calculated risks and make wise decisions.  Do nothing on impulse.  You can be spontaneous but don’t be stupid-spontaneous.  Weigh out the pros and cons of each decision and know what you’re getting yourself into.  Have fun, but make sure your bases are covered.  Give yourself a bit of time to think and breathe – the opportunity will still be there tomorrow.  And if you think something is a bad decision, it probably is.

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I ain’t yer momma

Some men just refuse to grow up.  For whatever reason, they are children inhabiting the bodies of fully grown men.  It could be that their mother took care of their every need thinking they’d find a woman to do the same.  Or it could be that they think if they do not grow up they will not have to fulfill the responsibilities of being an adult.  Or it simply could be that they simply don’t understand what they’re doing is wrong.

You may not recognize a manchild when you first see one.  You may find his boyishness charming or even freeing from the weight of your responsibilities.  He may be an adult in some ways and a child in others.  He may appear to have it all together on the surface but his shortcomings become apparent with time and knowledge.

Now, every relationship comes with compromises but you have to ask yourself, can you live with him exactly as he is?  If he never grows up, takes full responsibility for his actions (or inactions), or fixes what you deem to be flaws – can you fully commit to him as he is?  If not, you need to recognize him for what he is and not waste your time.

There is no point in having a relationship where you are half-in and half-out.  This is a recipe for frustration and unhappiness.  Rip the band-aid off quickly and move on.

Are you on the right team?

Much of the time we’re so busy living our daily lives that we forget to ask ourselves if we’re being treated the way we deserve to be treated.  Fully believing that you get what you give, are you treating your partner the way that they deserve to be treated?

Don’t get so caught up in the minutiae of your day-to-day life that you forget to ask yourself some hard questions like, is this really the right relationship for me? Do I feel supported in this relationship?  Are my needs getting met in this relationship and if not, is that likely to change in the future?  Is my partner happy and fulfilled in this relationship?  What are my responsibilities toward improving this relationship and am I willing to commit to those responsibilities?

Every relationship will ebb and flow (if it doesn’t then one of you is not being honest).  Knowing when to stick it out and when to call it quits can be challenging but everyone should give 100% until the game is called.  Difficult times will build character and unity so the benefit of strife should not be discounted.  On the other hand, one can not live their entire life without some sunshine warming their skin.  Remember, you are not a victim in this relationship – you are choosing to be there.

Never compromise on this

Compromise and negotiation are valuable tools in a relationship however there are certain things you should never compromise on.

  • Your sense of self – Who you are is not up for negotiation.  It’s one thing for him to comment on your new hairstyle, it’s another thing for him to ask you to dye your hair black and take up smoking.  While none of us are perfect, anyone who nitpicks constantly or is attempting a whole person make-over, this is not the person that you need to be with.
  • Your safety – If he puts you into dangerous situations, he needs to go.  Full stop.  No discussion.
  • Your finances – Love doesn’t conquer all if it’s draining your bank account. If he’s taking the food out of your mouth to buy himself toys or if he’s wanting to gamble with your financial security, his priorities are so screwed up that he will never be capable of taking care of your future together.
  • Your legal liability – Going to jail or being sued is not sexy.  Be down for your man but scraping rock bottom?  No thank you.  He doesn’t have the right to endanger your civic future (voting, getting a job, not living a life on the run,etc.).
  • Your responsibilities – Your family, your job, yourself.  If he’s trying to stop you from taking care of your responsibilities then he wants your life to be just as messed up as his is.  He’s not thinking of making your life better, he’s not in the relationship for you.
  • Your trust – A relationship will weather a lot of storms over the years but when trust is gone, so is the relationship. The moment a man tries to manipulate you into trusting him, you should run and not leave a forwarding address.