This article was originally posted on Baucemag.com and was written by Monique Gossett.
Relationships fail. It’s a fact of life. We’ve all had “the talk” with someone, and a few of us not-so-lucky ones have received “the text”, “status update”, or another equally trifling method as an end to a relationship. No matter who is at fault, someone wanted out and the relationship has failed. F-a-i-l-e-d. Failure. Ugh! The word is so negative. But guess what, you have the opportunity to get something positive from all the hurt, lies, and tears. Are you willing to see the rainbow after the storm? It does get better. Life goes on. If you can just embrace a few of the following lessons you’ll be a better woman for Mr. Right and be able to kick Mr. Wrong to the curb quicker! So grab a pen and a pad and take some notes!
If you start and end every relationship with this principle, you’ll always know how to make the best decision. How, you may ask? Well, if you love, value, and cherish yourself more than you do any man, you’ll demand the same standard of love from him. He will hold you in the same light you hold yourself in. Make him rise to the occasion!
Did I just say that? Yeah I did. Love is an action word that encompasses friendship, trust, support, accountability … need I go on? Believe his actions over his words. He’s gotta do more than whisper sweet nothings in your ear.
It’s really that simple. Don’t over-think it or try to justify it. Trust – your – gut!
Adore him and seek to meet his every need. However, settle for nothing less than the same from him.
It’s easy to lose your sense of self because you want to accommodate his every wish. Be the “you” that attracted him -- the vibrant woman who had an opinion about things, friends outside of his circle, and could go an evening or (gasp!) an entire day doing her own “thang” and not stalking his social media wondering what he’s up to. A real man wants a partner, not a puppet!
A relationship is a partnership. You must be ready to compromise and choose your battles wisely. But FIRST, have a clear understanding on the non-negotiables of what you must have to feel loved, valued, and respected as a woman. Outside of that list, compromise a bit!
Don’t air his dirty laundry or the arguments between the two of you. You’ll forgive his harsh words/deeds faster than your momma or bestie ever will. If it gets back to him you’ll also fracture the bond of trust and communication necessary to sustain any relationship. So keep everyone happy and keep ‘em out ya business!
When the relationship is deteriorating, leave with love. You were sugary-sweet before him but he’s now turned you into a bitter, scornful woman with baggage for the next guy. Trust boo, the constant scowl and rolled-eyes you’re currently rockin’ are really not a good look! Go back to being the easy, breezy, beautiful woman that initially attracted him, so that it will catch the eye of the next guy.
What do you want in a man? Success? Stability? Maturity? Fit body? We’ve all got our “must haves”, but how much of that can you check off for yourself? If you don’t embody most of the qualities you seek in him, work on yourself first. It’s a win for you and him!
Personally, I’ve made some mind-boggling decisions for prior boyfriends. These decisions affect me to this day – years after a break-up! And yet I’m not beating myself up over them. In fact, I refuse to do so. Why? Because I remind myself that although I’m still facing the consequences of those decisions I am now a brighter, better, and wiser woman! I got there, and you can too, by learning your lessons.
When it comes to romantic relationships, almost nothing is more anxiety provoking than these two words: break up. It just sounds traumatic, doesn’t it? I guess that’s why we do crazy passive-aggressive things to end relationships instead of just confronting it head-on. Things like: 1. Not answer the phone as much (great idea: make him call you more) 2. Take hours to reply to text messages and hope he gets the hint (because text messages can transmit your internal motivations) 3. Be super busy at work (because it’s super realistic to be working 24/7/365 and never have time to eat or sleep, let alone reply to a text message). Stop the madness! I know this isn’t easy, but hopefully these tips can help you in this process.
Yes, ending a relationship can be a difficult and delicate situation. But, it doesn’t have to result in you or your significant other throwing things. Good communication can help smooth over the conversation. Do this the right way and you may end up with a friend rather than just an ex.
So you have a man… But should you stay in a relationship that’s making you miserable on all days that end in the letter “Y”? Alright, I don’t know you, Made Woman, but I do know that the dilemma of staying or leaving is frustrating. I love Keyshia Cole’s jam “Let it Go” just as much as the next tortured woman, but it still didn’t give me the answers I needed, or the guts to make a decision. Honestly, only you know when you are done with a man, and until you are ready no one can tell you ANYTHING. But, I do have some suggestions to help guide you in the right direction.
It’s time to leave when…..
1. He is unwilling to talk about the future. If you are in an unhappy relationship and feel like you are constantly playing the board game “Clue” to determine your future, you have a problem. Your guy doesn’t have to flat out tell you to leave him, but he can show you he doesn’t care whether you stay or go. Pay attention to what he says and does. If he is disrespecting you, making no plans for your future together, and doesn’t seem to be interested in whether or not you are in his life next month: MAKE NO MISTAKE. HE DOES NOT CARE AND IS SHOWING YOU THE DOOR. Walk through it and blow him a kiss on the way out.
2. You have lost yourself, and some of your dignity along the way. Ahh yes, we’ve all been there haven’t we? You know, when you start doing things that are out of character, like blowing up his phone 50 times or so trying to find him, reading sex magazines that will tell you 60 ways to please your man so he’ll want you again. You stop doing things that you used to think were fun and drop your plans with your friends to hang out with him. For the love of all guilty pleasures in this world: STOP. Reclaim yourself and get the toxins out of your mind and spirit. Attract a man who makes you feel like the great Made Woman you are, not a dependent, sad leech.
3. It’s not fun. No seriously... you’re not having fun. Remember how in the beginning you used to have fun with your guy? Now all you do is fight. You feel like you’re getting played, don’t you? As if you are not as special as you once were. If you feel this way, you are probably right. Relationships all have their fair share of problems, but you should never lose the fun you have with your partner. Life is too short to be miserable, and let’s face it: with the right hair, make up and outfit, you can be having fun with your girlfriends and dating other men that will adore you.
4. He’s holding you back. It’s always hard to choose between your passions and your love. But if your man is holding you back from pursuing your dreams, it may be time to leave him be. You can’t fund your side projects because you have to pay his bills. You can’t make it to meetings on time because you have to drop him off at work too. I’m all for standing by your man, but there is a line, damn it.
5. He refuses to grow up. He loves you... but he loves Halo more. Or even worse, he loves his mother and house he grew up in so much, you’re spending the night with him in his twin bed. He wouldn’t dream of getting a place with you. And you can’t take him to any networking events at your job because he’s sure to tell a joke he heard on Tosh.0 and get you fired. If this is the case, it may be time to leave your BOYfriend behind and get a MAN who can actually support you and add insight to your life.
I know this is difficult. Your heart is probably aching. But, listen up Made Woman, you already have the answers. Pay attention to you, and put you first. You’ll get to look back on the moment you decided to get rid of him with a smile: that will be the moment you grew into the woman you want to be.
When I first sat down to tackle the topic of how to gracefully handle a situation where a significant other cheats on you, I was a bit stumped. I just kept hearing Carrie Underwood’s words in my head: “I dug my keys into the side of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seats, I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights, slashed a hole in all 4 tires…” Sounds good to me. Article done!
Well, not really. Unfortunately, things like that get you arrested outside of a music video. The song does have a good point though: next time he cheats, don’t let it be on you.
And from many a past experience, I can honestly say that there’s no better revenge than being happier without him. Easier said than done, of course, but just take it one step at a time. Try one (or all) of the things below and use this post-break up time to focus on yourself:
1. Call the Girls
Everyone needs friends at a time like this, so give them a call and get together to complain about the cheating bastard. Have a movie night or go out shopping. Or go bungee jumping…you know whatever makes you happy.
2. Hit the Gym
Exercise is proven to reduce anxiety and improve your mood. It’ll also get you looking good and give you more self-confidence. Plus, punching a punching bag rather than your ex is a good way to relieve stress. (And it’s totally fine if you’re picturing his face the whole time!)
3. Pamper Yourself
Go have a spa day, whether with your friends or by yourself. There’s nothing like a good body scrub and massage to get rid of all that tension and anger. And after your facial you’ll look fly for when you do #4.
4. Go Out
You certainly have the right to mope and hide out for a few days, but eventually you need to grab the girlfriends and get out of the house. Go out dancing have some drinks…better yet let a handsome stranger buy you some drinks – whatever you want. Just have fun.
5. Get Ahead at Work
Take advantage of the extra time while you have it and put in those extra hours at work. Or pick up a part-time gig on the side. It’ll keep you busy and get you some extra cash.
6. Take a Class or Start a New Project
Take that class you’ve always wanted to take, no matter how pointless or frivolous it seems. It’ll be fun, you’ll feel more accomplished, and you’ll meet a bunch of new people. Or pick up that project you’ve been putting off for when you have time.
Stay busy and have fun, and you’ll be back up on your feet in no time. And once you’re happy with yourself and your life once again, you’ll be ready for someone else to come along. Someone a lot smarter than the idiot that cheated on a girl like you.