What NOT To Put Up With In A New Relationship

As heart-wrenching and messy as breakups can be, it is kind of nice to say "goodbye to all that" to the emotional baggage and bad habits that no longer serve you from a previous relationship. In fact, it can be absolutely liberating not having to put up with all of the annoying things that you were just doing to appease your ex, and to start afresh once again. But what should you never put up with in a relationship?

Reclaiming and enjoying your independence is no doubt, one of the best parts about being single. So when you start getting cozy with someone new, it's important to know where you firmly stand and not let the love-y, feel-good brain chemicals make you reluctantly regress back into the docile role that you once might've assumed in a previous partnership.

Consider this as part of the beginning-of-the-relationship boundaries talk. As fab as things are going with your new main squeeze, you may want make it known that you won't be putting up with any of the BS that you've had to deal with in the past. Hopefully you're dating an open-minded, respectful feminist this time around, but even still, here are a couple of behavioral red flags just to be on the lookout for:

1. They Start Living Off Of You

In the beginning, it's all about chivalry. Then it's more about sharing. Then it turns into an endless game of "I'll pay you back" tag. When you start to notice that one of you has been footing the bill, buying the all the presents, and paying with cash, when the other seems to only have their card on them – that habit needs to be kicked, fast. Hopefully you’re in a more mature relationship now where you can both be responsible for paying for your own stuff, otherwise staying with them will do no more than drain your life savings away.

2. They Make You Conform To Their Wildly Different Interests

It’s amazing how some relationships unintentionally brainwash you into liking the stuff that you never would’ve given a second thought to. Some of this exposure to new things changes your life for the better, like my ex who introduced me to the mellifluous stylings of Drake (I would happily pay that $120 to see @champagnepapi in concert again) and then there are the others who try to turn you onto obscure Japanese slasher films that are particularly violent against women.

A good litmus test when you find yourself overcome with the amount of new interests you’ve suddenly acquired is to ask “would I be into this if it weren’t for my partner?” If “no” is the answer, then stop trying to force yourself to like it, and tell them it’s just not your thing. And while you’re at it, introduce them to the Bechdel movie test.

3. They Feel Entitled To Your Body

Yes, you guys are dating. No, that does not give automatic consent for them to touch you in ways that make you feel embarrassed or objectified. If your ex was fond of, say, big, sloppy smooches at inappropriate times, or goosing you as you walk up the stairs with your hands full (so terrible), or guilting you into doing sexy stuff after a rough day at work, your current partner should know that these are absolutely unacceptable.

And if you’re a PDA-lover or if you happen to have a high sex drive, be aware that your new partner is also an autonomous human and you should not do things to them that make them feel uncomfortable and icky either.

4. They Take Over Your Entire Social Life

We all have that friend who we loved hanging out with, until they found a new love interest and disappeared from the face of the earth. Don’t be that friend, and don’t forget about living your own life! Make time to hang out with your buds with and without your significant other. If you bring them along every time, you guys will seem like a package deal, and that can look like you’re a needy, co-dependent couple. No one wants that. Enjoy your friends and their friends together, and then give each other time to enjoy their company separately.

5. They Put Down Other Women

Everyone loves a compliment, but is it really that nice to hear if your partner couples it with the qualities of other women around you in a really rude way? If your partner's idea of praising you is to constantly put down other women's appearances or personalities, speak up and put their sexist back-handed complimenting to an end. At best, it's a learning opportunity for a significant other who may not realize that comparing you to other women, even intended as flattery, is incredibly insulting.

And if you ever hear them call their ex a "psycho," it's probably time to run for the hills.

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