Up until now, you’ve probably gone on a couple of tame dates, some doozy dates and spent time with more than your fair share of private school boys. If you’re fresh out of high school and in university, the options are endless. You’ll go through peaks and troughs of dating. It’ll be fun to be single and get with whomever. But there’ll be times when you just want to be in a comfortable relationship.
Early on in your 20s, you will fall into the relationship trap. Maybe it’s because all your friends are getting into relationships. Whatever the reason, you’ll end up dating a guy for about two years (maybe more!) because you haven’t learnt to put yourself first yet.
The first two months you spend with this guy are the absolute best. You fall hard and fast in love with this confident, seemingly attractive guy who never fails to make you laugh. It’s the honeymoon period, babe. The very short time where there’s so much to learn about each other and things are so new and exciting.
You’ll slowly become integrated in each other’s lives. You become friendly with each other’s housemates over a morning cup of tea. Your friends will be pushing you to triple date with their boyfriends. His friends will bug him to invite you to their BBQs. You have a regular plus one to events and things are comfortable.
After the one year mark, you might cautiously start meeting family members. His younger brother is a mini version of him that worships you. Your sisters are harder to win over, but they think he’s alright.
It starts with minor things. He puts you down often. But you brush it off. He’s said he’s just joking. Conversation on an average day is peppered with oddly snide comments that you mostly ignore. He failed an exam recently; he’s having a hard time. You’ll tell yourself. You do your best to cheer him up and take his mind off it.
He becomes really lazy with dates and you spend a lot of time just hanging out at his place. I’d rather Netflix and chill with you anyway, you reassure him when he tells you he doesn’t want to go out to your friend’s grad celebration. You’d prefer avoiding any drama with him and you don’t want to go out by yourself. You spend the quiet night in together, but something still feels off with him. He gets irritable when you ask him one too many times if he’s okay.
The downright nasty
He ignores you for days at a time. You’ll wait anxiously by your phone, hoping he’ll send you at the very least an emoji in response to the peppy texts you’ve sent. He’s not a big talker. You knew this from the start. But you always hang out on Friday nights and it’s Friday morning. Still no text. You hate feeling like a clingy girlfriend. But you just want to know what time you’re going over and whether he wants to have pizza or to cook something together. In the early afternoon, you cave and decide to call him. He doesn’t like talking on the phone much either, but what other choice do you have?
Hey, he answers nonchalantly. Hey, I just wanted to check when I’m coming over. Do you want me to cook tonight? You ask sweetly, in an effort not to anger him for calling. Yeah, that’s fine. Come whenever after 6. You forget feeling annoyed that he hadn’t texted you and feel triumphant once you end the call. You’re definitely hanging out tonight and he’s not cranky.
Some days he’ll yell at you because he just wanted to play games with his friends and you’ve overstayed without knowing. You cry frequently in your bedroom and ask yourself many times, Should we still be together? But because you’ve been together for a lengthy time, you feel you’ve invested quite a lot and maybe it’s just a rough patch. Plus, you’re terrified of being single and being without him.
Once this relationship is over, you’ll realise this guy was actually really ugly. You’ve dedicated a good two years to a guy who is physically unattractive and a total dickhead to you. Why would anyone do that right? Because you’re in it for the chase, my friend. But, in saying that. You need to have this period of dating a dickhead so that you can grow and be ready for a real long term relationship.
Advice for this relationship
Three tips for you to help you limit the wasteful relationship:
- It’s very cliché and you may hear it often on TV shows, films and books, but you must put yourself first in any relationship. In your early serious relationships, you’re still learning about yourself and how to be an adult. It’s hard, but the minute you sense a red flag, ask yourself whether or not your fundamental needs are at risk. E.g. if you like talking to your boyfriend a lot, accept that you are a clingy bitch and you need someone who is willing to talk to you a lot (or at least listen a lot).
- Don’t ever sacrifice things you want for the other person. If you don’t do the things you want, you won’t be happy. Resentment will build and inevitably there will be fights.
- Don’t cater to his every need. Lots of girls are guilty of this. You’ve been conditioned from young that females take care of the family. He’s a big boy who can cook for himself. Well, if you count buying pre-grilled chicken and putting rice in the microwave. Regardless, he can feed himself. Don’t assume you always need to cook for him or provide the meal for both of you.