Nobody's perfect, and there are always time in a relationship where you'll behave in a less-than-perfect way, and your partner will too. But how you are treated in a relationship is so important. Yes, everybody f*cks up and — although it's not OK and you should take responsibility for it when it happens — sometimes it's forgivable.
But not always. There are some things that are never, never OK. You've probably seen it in other people's relationships and wondered how it happens — and there's a good chance people won't acknowledge it. And there's a good chance that, no matter how much you recognize it in other people, you may not see it in your own relationship. Because it can be hard to admit that it's gotten this bad. Sometimes you want to protect your partner, so you get dismissive or even defensive when your friends criticize their behavior. But some behaviors are beyond inexcusable. And, no matter how much you love them, you need to put yourself first.
So here are seven ways you should never be treated in a relationship, because your opinion matters:
1. Like Your Needs Are Second Best
Relationships should be a partnership — end of story. Both of your needs and wants should matter equally. Obviously, there's going to be compromise, and times when one of you may rely on the other more. But it should ebb and flow naturally. If one of you is always taking priority, take note.
2. Like You're Too Emotional
We can all be a little melodramatic or oversensitive from time to time and that's just part of being human. But if someone is always dismissive over your emotions or acts as though you're overreacting every time you make a mistake, they're messing with your head and it's not cool. You have a right to your feelings, and your partner shouldn't take that away from you.
3. Like Their Love Is Conditional
They should love you for you, and even though many relationships break down they should never make you feel like their love is conditional on you acting a certain way or doing a certain thing. Threatening to withhold love is so manipulative and should be an immediate deal-breaker.
4. Like You're Stupid
Never, ever OK. Never. Ideally, you'll both have strengths and weaknesses and learn from each other, but if they belittle you or make you feel dumb then it's time to re-think the relationship.
5. Like You're Disposable
Do they talk about all the people they've been with or could be with? Or try to make yo feel grateful that they're with you when they have so many options? Some people try to keep you on your toes — and control you— by acting like they have one foot out the door. You're not replaceable and they shouldn't treat you like you are.
6. Like It's All Your Fault
Everyone messes up. But if your partner refuses to take responsibility and acts as though every problem in the relationship is your fault, it's not only not fair— it's also deeply immature. You need to be with someone who is going to be accountable for their actions and not just pass the blame.
7. Like You're Their Property
I know it's the 21st century and this should be completely over, but it's not. There are still people out there who treat their girlfriends like they're objects rather than people. It's part being controlling, part being dismissive, and often horribly sexist. Don't put up with it — you really don't have to.
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