Have you ever seen the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?“. Chances are you’re shaking your head yes right now. It’s pretty much the epitome of what NOT to do in dating. While you might NEVER think it is possible to behave in such a way, you might actually be Andie Anderson-ing a guy in your life in one way or another #justsaying. I love this movie so much because it is the most dramatic version of what us ladies secretly want to do sometimes BUT try our darndest to resist based on self control, love, and a heart for others. But yet, it can still happen! Selfishness, desire, and neediness ensue and soon enough… you have a love fern and are taking him to see Celine Dion…[whoops]
BUT then, there are the cases of not even knowing you are doing something because you may have a blind spot or two. This is a real thing. So whether you are fighting bad habits, living them out because you cannot be bothered, or sincerely and truly blind to it…I hope this post today can encourage a conversation about how to avoid hurting others (and ourselves) and learn how to LOVE better in and through our relationships!
Letting unresolved hurts steal the show.
I recently read the book “Find your Brave” by the wonderful Holly Wagner. In her book she references unresolved hurts as a picture of Russian dolls. You open one and there is another Russian doll inside. And then you open the next and there is another smaller doll. And then another. And another. All the way until you get to the smallest little doll. Our unresolved hurts are sometimes like this. If we do not deal with them, they will start building up one after the other after the other. They just keep hiding away inside one another, making it that much harder to get to the root.
As the hurts begin to stack up, we become numb to them, and can actually start identifying the hurts with WHO we are instead of WHAT we walked through and overcame. Two things of serious note here:
- If you have unresolved hurts from the past you feel coming up, you must address them. They will never go away and will continue to plague you not only in this relationship but through life. YOU have the power to choosing healing from them… invite the Lord to help you! You don’t have to do it alone! AMEN.
- If you are finding you are hurt frequently but not voicing it, you could be at risk of harboring resentment over time. If you are hurt, you should voice it. Process it and make sure you aren’t just being rash, but then VOICE IT to avoid a mess of entanglement. One tangled strand is MUCH easier to sort out than a bunch all together that have combined to make a giant knot.
Unresolved hurts tend to be buried out of sight and serve as triggers in relationship. Chances are my lovely friend, you will torture yourself AND HIM if you have a slew of unresolved hurts either from your past, or if you let them build up in your relationship now without discussing them. This is not meant to upset you, but rather empower you that YOU have the power to heal from your past. I always say, feel the pain to HEAL the pain. You can do it!
Using tears to get your way.
Mmm yeaaaaa this one is NOT the best. Turning on waterworks just to get his heart to be softened so he will hear you is called… manipulation my friends! And while tears are not the only way you can manipulate, they are one of the worst. I won’t lie to you, I was in a very unhealthy relationship years ago where I did this quite frequently. It seemed like it was the only want to get the guy’s attention. To get him to notice me. While there was a whole lot of unhealthiness wrapped up under the surface, what I learned was that manipulating to get what I wanted only produced two things:
- A lack of respect from the man towards me over time [and rightfully so].
- A feeling of overall emptiness because manipulating your way through life makes you at the end of the day feel unloved. [ironic right?!]
In the end, it’s a good idea to check your heart and your intentions if you find yourself doing little things to consistently get your way!
Venting a bit TOO much to your friends.
GoodNESS I must admit, I have been here many times in the past! It’s hard to not run to your friends and tell them ALL THE THINGS. But here is the thing. When we are reactionary and vent out of frustration, we can sometimes unhealthily paint that person in a negative light. A light we don’t really need to be showing them if tomorrow your fleeting frustration is going to pass as you choose grace.
Doing this isn’t necessarily to your advantage. At the end of the day, if you still love him and forgive him, all you are doing is getting your friends to not like him…all the while you still choose him. You will forgive him and likely forget this instance, because that’s what love does. It keeps no record of wrongs. But the thing is, your friends don’t share that same love for him as you do. They will do their best to love and protect you which means they might be keeping more of a scorecard than you are. This isn’t necessarily bad, it is out of love and protection for YOU. However, it can vastly impact their opinions of him.
My point here is to be careful of just HOW much you vent and share with people around you. Be wise and selective with the ears you allow into the intricate details of your relationship. And in turn, be weary of exactly how much you are letting into your mind and heart about the relationship unless it is one of your dear and trusted sources.
Putting him on a pedastool.
“Hey up there, how is the weather?” Is your man the kind of guy that no matter what he does you still seem him up on the clouds in his perfect throne? Your untouchable Prince Charming, if you will. He could literally be late for a date 5 times in a row and you don’t even bat an eye because he is “Mr. Perfect“. Now, while there is beauty in having grace for the man [FOR SUREEEE], I also want to encourage you not to walk into your relationship with too dense of rose colored glasses. Okieeee?!
We should strive to see the man with clear eyes. Yes, “Clear eyes, full heart, CAN’T LOSE.“- Tim Riggins, Friday Night Lights [Sorry, I really had to.] Clear eyes means that we have to see him as his TRUE self. And in his truest form he is a human, who makes many mistakes. You are human and make mistakes too. Meaning at the end of the day, you are both FAR from perfect.
Adam and Eve set your destiny as sinful humans from birth since the beginning of humanity, so there’s no escaping that. As humans we are BOUND to sin…. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. But alas, thank the LORD for His amazing redeeming heart to love and forgive our sins through it all!!!
All this to say, try your best to see him with clear eyes and work to not get too blinded by infatuation. If you don’t, you might miss the clear signs that this person is not the one for you, OR worse, you might freak him out with your overly doting nature and he will start to sense that you “need” him in order to continue on [you definitely do NOT want this, because at the end of the day, you only truly need JESUS!].
Expecting him to read your mind.
AHH this one sounds a touch absurd, this I know… but don’t put it past yourself because you might be doing it more than you think! I know I do, it’s true! As women we often have expectations that we are thinking in our minds but not saying aloud. Sound familiar? Sometimes in an attempt to seem “not so needy”, we often conceal our wants and needs and just wait for the man to magically meet them. NEWSFLASH. This is not Aladdin and we do not have a magic genie making our wishes come true.
He will not know you want to go to dinner at your favorite restaurant unless you tell him that is your preference. He will not know that you dislike cuddling in public unless you tell him PDA makes you uncomfortable. He will not know that you love when he writes you sweet and thoughtful texts out of no where, unless you tell him how much that means to you. Ladies, we cannot put expectations on men that they cannot meet if not communicated. We MUST talk about our wants, needs, and feelings… lovingly and within reason of course!
Friends that wraps up today’s post about 5 ways that you MIGHT be destroying your current relationship. Now I have to just clarify that these are just things to think about. You may not be doing any one of them, which is FANTASTIC and super healthy. Congratulations! But I have to be honest in telling you that I have been guilty of ALL 5 of these mistakes, hence why I am disclosing them. I have learned a heck of a lot through unfortunately having to deal with the repercussions of each of these mistakes, which is why I am sharing my learnings with you in the hopes that it can help you avoid my poor decisions.
If you are reading these and rolling your eyes thinking you would never do any of them, I would encourage you for a moment to just think a bit deeper. Some of them may seem a bit ridiculous, but the reality is sin can be a strong temptation and we tend to do things without even knowing them sometimes. It may be subtle, but you still might be incorporating some of these practices even unknowingly.
Also, I am all about discussion! WHICH MEANS if any of these triggered you, or you want to talk through them more, PLEASE definitely feel free to email me or comment below, I would love love LOVE to talk through this as we navigate these murky waters! As women we all need to empower one another to be in the right headspace for dating more lovingly and with even more awareness.
Photos by Stef Marie