People say that no matter how bad any given situation might be, there is always something positive that can be found about it.
I’ve searched very hard to find something (anything) positive about my last relationship disaster. To that end, I think maybe I’ve found some important lessons that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. I won’t go so far as to say that they’re “positive”…but at least my eyes have been opened.
So, without further adieu, I’m putting this into solid, concrete black and white so that I’ll never, ever forget these lessons and can refer to them whenever I need to. If they happen to help someone else reading them, then yay, I’m glad.
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1) LOVE DOES NOT CHANGE SELFISHNESS. Chances are, if a person is narcissistic, self-centered or selfish, they have been that way long before they ever met YOU. Don’t be naive or a fool and think that just because you genuinely love someone, that that will somehow change them from being a selfish person. These people are “takers”. Usually, they have had everything given to them at some point, or throughout their lives. YOU may give 110% – and they will take all of it. If they ever give you anything of themselves, it will usually be just enough crumbs to keep you hooked – to make you think that your love must be having some kind of effect on their selfishness. Don’t believe it. No one truly changes unless THEY want to. And the problem with selfish people is that as long as they get what they want, there is no reason for them to want to change. Love is a 2-way street: If they won’t give at least 50%…don’t settle – drop them as soon as you realize it.
2) IF A PERSON LIES TO, DECEIVES OR HIDES THINGS FROM YOU, THEY PROVE THEMSELVES TO BE UNWORTHY OF TRUST. Without trust, you have nothing solid to “build” upon. It has been proven to me that the best liars and con-men in the world usually buy into their own bullshit (it helps them be more convincing if they believe it) – thus, they not only deceive everyone else, but first and foremost, they lie to themselves. And if a person can’t even be honest with himself, don’t expect him to be honest with YOU. It seems like an obvious thing, but liars and deceivers just can’t be trusted. Period. It really doesn’t even matter WHY they do it – don’t make excuses for them.
3) DRUG/ALCOHOL USE AND ANY KIND OF SEXUAL/PORN ADDICTION = A PREFERENCE FOR ESCAPISM AND FANTASY INSTEAD OF REALITY. If a person can’t deal with reality, or would rather escape into drugs, alcohol, or even computer porn, that means you’ll always be competing with a fantasy…and it’s just not possible. People who prefer fantasy to reality will never treat you fairly, because you’re stuck in the world they want to escape from. How can you possibly build anything REAL when the other person can’t and won’t handle or deal with reality? They might as well be on another planet.
4) ACTIONS ALWAYS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. Anyone can SAY “I love you”. But the person who MEANS it won’t have any problem showing it. As another friend says, “If it doesn’t show, it ain’t true”. Love will blind you and make you want to believe the words. But if the other person’s ACTIONS don’t match…if they know something hurts you and they keep doing it anyway (they are cruel and sadistic as well as liars), if they are inconsistent in what they feel for you or how they show it, the sad fact is that they really don’t love you. What they DO will always either prove or disprove what they SAY. Believe the ACTIONS.
5) AVOIDANCE OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY = IMMATURITY. I’ve decided that if a person hasn’t matured by age 30, they’re probably never going to. If they can’t and/or won’t be held accountable or responsible for their actions, they’re stuck in adolescent mentality and it’s unlikely anyone or anything will cause them to ‘grow up’. People like this have usually learned to become masters of turning the tables and making things everyone else’s ‘fault’ or ‘problem’. Don’t get sucked into this high-school game – if they won’t accept responsibility for their own choices, actions, decisions, behaviors…you’ll always end up as the ‘bad guy’, because they’re never wrong.
6) APOLOGIES WITH JUSTIFICATIONS ARE NOT SINCERE. If a person apologizes to you for something they have done, but then turns around and somehow justifies the behavior which hurt you to begin with, it’s not a sincere apology and they’re really not sorry they did it.
7) RARE IS THE PERSON WHO HAS THE GUTS TO BE HONEST FROM THE START. Most people, unfortunately, just don’t have the courage to be completely honest and show their true colors when you first meet them. That means it takes time to learn who a person truly is – and a lot of times, by the time you discover the truth, you may already have fallen in love. Take the time to give the other person enough time to get ‘comfortable enough’ with you to show you their true colors before you fall for them. That time frame varies from person to person, but my Gran had a wise saying. She used to say, “You have to summer them and winter them.” Meaning that most people will show their true natures within a year’s time.
8) IF THE OTHER PERSON DOESN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT, YOU WON’T CONVINCE THEM. It doesn’t matter HOW much you want them, or how much you want it to work…if they can’t make up their minds how they feel about you, or whether they want something serious or not, nothing you say or do will convince them to grow up and make a commitment. Intimacy and commitment phobes have to come to their own realizations about why they fear it, and they have to do it in their own time. You can’t force them to face their fears, and you’re wasting time even trying.
9) DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME MAKING EXCUSES FOR THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR. It really IS a complete waste of time. If they break your boundaries, break your trust and continue to do things which they know hurt you, they will continue to do so as long as you put up with it and allow it. If you let them continue to use or hurt you (in whatever way(s) ) then YOU are responsible for your being miserable, because they obviously don’t care enough to stop. You may love them more than life itself, but again…see # 1.
I wanted this to be an even 10, but I guess this is enough. And if I can keep these lessons in mind, then I’ll be a better person for it. I’ll even have a list to refer to. 😉