I’m going to tell you a secret that I wish someone had told me a long, long time ago:
If you’ve been in nothing but toxic and unhealthy relationships for most of your life, your first healthy relationship is probably going to feel boring.
I spent the majority of my teenage years and early 20s in a series of unhealthy relationships. My relationships were all unhealthy in very different ways, but there was one thing they had in common: they were unpredictable, and in a perverse way, that made them addicting. There’s something weirdly thrilling about a relationship that is off-the-charts intense all of the time, even if it’s often a bad intense. My stomach used to drop like I’d just gone down the first hill of a roller coaster every time I opened the door to the apartment I used to share with my ex, because I never knew what I was going to find inside. Maybe he’d be on the couch, writing a song about me with that big smile on his face. Maybe he’d be half-coherent and the entire apartment would be trashed, with all the shades drawn. Maybe he’d be gone altogether with absolutely no explanation, and no way of getting in touch with him. There’s a sick thrill to waking up every morning and not knowing if your day is going to end with an impromptu romantic 2 am adventure that involves kissing under the stars, or if you’re going to go to bed in tears because you just got screamed at in a dumb fight over paper towels. Maybe it’s both.
Often, it was both.
And after a while, when someone makes your heart pound every time you see them, your brain stops trying to learn the difference between attraction and fear.
Then in my final year of my master’s degree, I swiped right on the right person and got into the first healthy relationship I had ever been in. My new relationship was everything I could have dared to hope for, back in the days when I was begging my ex to tell me where he was because he hadn’t been home in four days, or getting woken up at four a.m. because he’d found a man’s name when he went through my phone while I was sleeping and didn’t believe it was my brother. My new partner is, at a very fundamental level, an incredibly gentle and thoughtful person. Regular “good morning” and “good night” texts became a regular staple of my day, instead of passive-aggressive jabs and so-called “silent treatments”. Encouragement was given freely, without any accusations that I was seeking attention or trying to out-do him. Birthdays and important dates were remembered without any reminders. Hugs were given out in generous quantities, small issues were laughed off instead of fought over, and male friends were encouraged instead of demonized. At long last, I had the relationship I had always wanted.
And to my absolute horror, I realized I was bored.
Without even realizing it, I had trained myself to think of relationships as battles, and being in a healthy relationship for the first time felt like I had suited myself up for an epic war, only to end up in an old ladies’ pottery class. The lack of unhealthy behaviours started making me antsy. Why wasn’t he going through my phone and looking through my social media? Did he just not care? Did it just not matter to him that other guys might be speaking to me? Why was I feeling so calm all the time? Where was the adrenaline rush? Why weren’t we clashing more? Did it mean that we just weren’t invested enough to even bother to fight with each other? We were - and are - deeply compatible people who have a lot of fun with each other, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the relationship just wasn’t intense enough. I absolutely knew that my past relationships were deeply unhealthy, but it’s hard to un-learn the idea that relationships should be high-stakes and constantly exhausting if both people truly care about each other.
It took a lot of time, but I gradually come to realize something: I’d never actually known love in any of my previous relationships. What I had known was obsession. My exes had put me up on pedestals, and ripped me down as soon as I failed to live up to impossible expectations. Over and over again. Everything was big and over-the-top: life was a series of grand gestures, big fights and enormous apologies. I had one ex comb through years and years of my social media photos, commenting on every single one, while another ex would make the hour-long drive to my house in the middle of the night several times per week, whenever he felt like seeing me, letting himself in through my bedroom window. When you’re young and don’t know any better, that level of obsession is flattering. It’s what we’ve been taught is romantic. But it’s not - it’s not a good basis for a strong and healthy relationship. And in the end, none of it was really about me. My exes were caught up in ideas about the relationships they’d fantasized about having, and the way they wanted people to perceive them, and I was more or less just there to play a part. And it always came crashing down.
Real love, on the other hand, is not about the grand gesture. It’s not about non-stop “dialed-up-to-11″ intensity. It’s about being there, day by day. My boyfriend has never gone through my social media for six straight hours or broken into my house because he couldn’t wait a moment longer to see me, and he’s never screamed at me for having male names in my contacts list or for not texting back fast enough because he’s just so afraid to lose me. Instead, he is patient. He is kind. He listens to what I have to say and he doesn’t get upset about the small things and he always remembers to make my coffee exactly how I like it. I know that he will be there for me when I need him - whether I need to vent about a bad day at work or build a bookcase or double-check that I added enough salt to the soup - and I do the same for him. It’s a kinder, gentler kind of relationship, and now that I’m used to it, it’s anything but boring.
Don’t get me wrong - sometimes a relationship can be healthy and not be right for you. If you don’t have anything in common and you don’t enjoy doing things together, that’s probably not the relationship for you. It’s important to have fun with your partner and enjoy their company. But it’s also important not to mistake obsession for romance, or mistake a lack of intensity for disinterest.
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If you’re dating right now, remember this:
(I saw this as a slideshow on naturalhairlovez’s Instagram and just had to share)
1. Worry less about if they like you, and more about if you like them;
2. Rejection is not as personal as it feels. Whether or not you connect with someone is more about compatibility than inherent worth;
3. Stop choosing people who aren’t choosing you. If it’s not mutual why pursue it?
4. Be honest with yourself. Would you be friends with this person if you weren’t physically attracted to them?
5. Notice patterns and believe them.
6. You don’t need to be perfect to be loved. Perfection isn’t relateable;
7. Your love life is one area of your life, don’t forget about friends and hobbies that make up the rest of it.
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As a high value woman, it is crucial to know what you will and will not tolerate, to know what your standards are. You should be highly selective of your dating partners, and have a clear set of expectations in what constitutes a suitable partner for you. This implies that for a certain timeframe that you are comfortable with (whether that is 2 months or 1 year) you should be vetting your potential partner.
Don’t be blinded by their potential, and instead focus on what is! Take their actions at face value, not their words or what your idealistic imagination fashions him into being. If they tell you you’re too good for them, or they play around, they’re inconsistent, they’re indecisive, or any of the above mentioned red flags – for the sake of your mind, body, heart and soul, walk away at the first red flag. I promise you it doesn’t get better, it only gets worse. A partner that is beneficial for your overall wellbeing will be so from the beginning; you don’t need to go through fire and brimstome to prove anything, or transform his life, or upgrade him. That’s his job. All you have to do is set your high standards, and say no to anything less.
And you know why? Because you deserve it! You’re worthy of the best man, the best relationship, the best love, because just as well you offer the best. Protect your mind, your heart, your body and spirit from any low vibrational experiences. Protect yourself by treating yourself like the treasure you are: worthy of a king, not a jester.
Remember my dear ladies, if you say yes to anything below your standards . . . the only person who will go through heartache, wasted time, wasted effort and more, the only person who will go through fire and brimstone, is you.
So stay committed to your happiness above all.
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RELATIONSHIP AFFIRMATIONS ❤️
My man is enamoured by my very presence.
My man is so generous and spoils me with no complaint, simply because seeing my happy brings him joy.
My man and I both work towards becoming our best selves in order to cater to each other mind, body, and soul.
My man and I have excellent communication - we are able to work out our disagreements in healthy ways.
My man and I have a love so beautiful, pure, and real, that it inspires others.
Our home is filled with warmth, laughter, joy, and lots of love.
My man treats me like an absolute princess.
My man protects and defends me.
My man is a masculine man.
My man creates a space that allows me to submit to him, while being able to comfortably speak my mind.
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No cooking & cleaning required!
It's NOT rocket science ladies. This is literally it!
P.s. I'm mad at the last slide.. I finish off by saying "healthy emotional support".
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comunque il fatto che quando non provi più a mantenere un rapporto, esso si perda, è solo la prova provata che lo mantenevi solo tu
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Long distance relationships are hard but totally worth it for the right person. My parents were in a long distance relationship when they were younger, my dad always says " distance between two hearts is not an obstacle, rather a beautiful reminder of how strong love can be". 😊 Some of my best friends live in australia and I live in the UK and going the distance is totally worth it too.
Totally! Long distance relationships are hard but totally worth it for the right person. I don't regret a single second of my previous relationship, and some of the happiest I've ever been in a relationship was with her.
What IS important, for those of you who are entering LDR or thinking about it, (or just wonder) the most important thing is having a plan, something to look forward to. That could be virtual dates, dinners, movies, meeting up, visiting each other, and doing everything to make sure the other person knows you're there for them, being avaliable, trustful, faithful, honest, and let them know that you two have a future together.
Plan that future. Have goals. Achieve those goals together. If it's ment to be, it's ment to be, and if it's the one, you're going to want to plan that future. It might seem scary and difficult to make things work, but one day you meet that person, and suddenly, it's not scary anymore.
Good luck ❤️
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Let’s talk about “weaponized incompetence.”
Imagine you and your partner have been living together in the same apartment for a reasonably long period of time.
On the whole, your partner seems great. They’re smart, supportive, and totally on board with an even division of chores. But over time, you notice something odd - no matter how long you and your partner live in the same apartment with the same responsibilities, they just never seem to get the hang of any of the chores. Your partner can grasp complicated technical concepts for their job or hobby, but several months into living together, they still claim they don’t know how to properly operate the washing machine or dishwasher. They don’t know where you keep the toilet cleaner or what time they’re supposed to feed the dog. They have no idea what day the garbage gets picked up or how they’re supposed to sort the recycling.
When you do manage to wrangle them into doing chores, everything they manage to do is done poorly or with little effort. They put dishes back in the wrong spots when they unload the dishwasher and crumple up the laundry instead of folding it. They bring the wrong things back from the grocery store, even when you send them with a list, and do such a sloppy job of mopping that you can barely tell the floors have been mopped at all. They require so much assistance to do basic chores and do such a poor job that, eventually, you just stop asking them to do chores at all - since you end up re-doing all of their work, it’s easier for you to just do it right the first time.
But despite how it may appear, you don’t actually have an incompetent partner.
You have a partner who has learned to weaponize incompetence.
“Weaponized incompetence” - also called “strategic incompetence” or “performative incompetence” - is a manipulation tactic, where a person will purposefully feign incompetence to get out of doing tasks that they find unpleasant. The idea is to intentionally do tasks so badly and require so much help that you grind other people down; you convince other people that you simply aren’t capable of pulling your weight, or you make yourself so difficult to deal with that it’s simply less effort for others to just do your chores for you. It doesn’t matter if you work as a literal rocket scientist - you just keep insisting that you can’t figure out what to feed your children or when the electrical bill is due until other people feel they have no choice but to take over for you.
If you’re living with someone or dealing with someone who has mastered the use of weaponized incompetence, here are some quick things you should know:
This behaviour is an act. Let’s get one thing clear: your partner (or whoever else you are sharing chores with) knows how to wash dishes. They know how to vacuum the floors. They are capable of remembering that Thursday is garbage day. These are not complicated tasks. Even if a person is genuinely new to household chores, we live in a golden age of information; all of us have instant access to a wealth of blogs, articles and video tutorials that will teach us any household skill we need to know. If a person is genuinely making an effort, it does not take years to learn how to separate laundry or figure out which cupboard the plates are kept in. It’s true that most people will be better at certain chores, or prefer certain chores. But a partner (or anyone else) who claims to be hopelessly bad at everything they dislike is putting on a show.
This is a learned behaviour. Why would a grown adult pretend to be so incompetent that they can’t figure out how to make a simple dinner? Because it works. It gets them the outcome they desire, which is other people taking over their responsibilities for them. Having other people think you’re clueless is a small price to pay if it means you get to do whatever you want while others scramble to cover your responsibilities.
Weaponized incompetence is different than ADHD. There is a big difference between someone who wants to pull their weight but gets distracted halfway through a chore, and someone who does a bad job on purpose so no one will ever ask them to do chores again. A person with ADHD may need more reminders and take more time to do chores (or any other tasks), but they produce high-quality work. People with ADHD also tend to be aware of their issues with task management, and work on strategies to overcome it. People weaponizing incompetence will simply insist that they are hopeless and see no point in trying. It is possible for a person with ADHD to use weaponized incompetence intentionally, but this is different than their own inherent struggles with executive functioning.
There is a gendered component to weaponized incompetence. Anyone, of any gender, is capable of faking incompetence to wriggle out of chores, but there are some gendered differences in who actually does it - this is a tactic most often observed in men. In a world where women still do the majority of housework and childcare, even in households where both partners work full-time, this is one tactic that women are increasingly observing in male partners who want to get out of domestic work while still touting egalitarian ideas. Our culture has a much greater tolerance for incompetent men than it does incompetent women - the dad who drops his kid off at daycare with two mismatched shoes and three packs of cookies for lunch is an overwhelmed parent doing his best, but the mother who does the same thing is viewed as a shitty mom.
This is not limited to romantic partnerships. Anyone can weaponize their incompetence, not just partners - it could be friends, coworkers, roommates, teenage children, or just about anyone you have to share responsibilities with. That roommate who claims they don’t know how to pay the wi-fi bill or clean the bathroom wasn’t raised by wolves - there’s a good chance they’re simply choosing not to figure these things out because they know you’ll do it for them.
The only way to combat this behaviour is to not tolerate it. People use weaponized incompetence because it works - eventually, you break down and do the thing for them. The key to combatting it, then, is to make sure that it stops working. Don’t jump in to help. Don’t offer to do it for them. Don’t spend hours drawing handmade maps of the grocery store because your husband insists he’s incapable of buying toilet paper on his own. When someone insists they can’t possibly do a household task that they’ve been asked to do dozens of times before, resist the urge to take over and simply say “I’m sorry, I have my own work to do. You are capable of figuring it out.” Remind them that figuring out how to do the chore is, in fact, part of the chore - if they don’t know where the clean bowls go or what needs to be on this week’s grocery list, it is their responsibility to investigate and work it out for themselves.
I spent several years living with a (now-ex) partner who had mastered the use of weaponized incompetence to squirm his way out of everything he didn’t want to do in life. He got himself fired from numerous jobs so his parents would continue paying his rent and bills - eventually, they gave up on the idea of him working at all. Over and over again, he put the wrong soap in the dishwasher, over-loaded the washing machine until it flooded, and scraped non-stick pans with metal spoons. He quickly learned to use complex recording and sound equipment for his hobby, but scraped a Swiffer across the floor with no pad attached, claiming he just wasn’t capable of using one properly. I, inevitably, would get frustrated and take over for him, inadvertently teaching him exactly how to get out of his chores.
The incompetence only stopped when I did. I reached a point where I was tired of hounding a grown man to wipe up his own spilled juice or wash his own underwear. So I stopped picking up after him. And when the apartment finally got disgusting and he reached the absolute limits of how long he could re-use the same underwear, something miraculous happened - all of a sudden, he realized he did know how to do laundry and dishes after all.
Remember, there’s a point where you aren’t helping others by saving them from their responsibilities - you’re only hurting yourself.
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I'd read what she’s reading! 🤓
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Some Prime incorrect quotes for the day.
This is pure wisdow, trade up. This kind of experience can't be bought, y'all.
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Recently I have made a new group of friends me and my best friend got added into it. I’m extremely sceptical of groups and new friends especially already I’ve had a little bump with one of the girls. I desire growth and change and positivity and they are Internet trolls at first it was funny but I just realised it’s literally bullying and mean and not who I want to be. I keep getting set back and I don’t want to be rude and not be active in the group chat or social. But it just doesn’t feel like it’s me and I’m just not at all interested. They aren’t bad girls at all but I just wanted better friends I guess. I don’t want to just remove them of socials but I don’t want them there either. How should I handle this situation:(
The first step of leveling up is wanting better, and the second is having the self respect to enforce those new standards. You need to understand there is nothing "rude" or wrong about having a set of standards & expectations when it comes to friends (or anything else), and upholding that.
With time, it becomes easier, trust me. It’s hardest at first to walk away from things that are not in your best interest because it's just not something common in today's society, especially for us women. But with practice, it becomes a habit that is so natural you won’t even question it or feel self-conscious about it. It's just you doing you, the way it should be!
You are looking out for yourself. If that group of people doesn’t resonate with you, with who you want to be, with the kind of friends you want to nurture going forward, it is 100% okay to move on from them. Whether in friendships or romantic relationships, you don't need them to be a bad person or unbearably toxic in order to justify letting them go.
You can do this in a classy way, and simply say you don’t have time to participate in the group chat, that you want to focus on other things, or you're busy with work / college / other goals of yours which are a priority. That’s it, you don’t have to justify or over explain yourself.
Understanding that you never need to explain your personal life choices is another integral part of levelling up. You don’t owe people a caption note on your life’s narrative. Unless they’re a close friend, family, etc, it’s your business alone. Now, they may either resist this reaction because, most likely, it’s nothing they’re used to, or they may simply quietly respect it and leave you to your devices.
But darling, you cannot make better friends if you are are holding on to unfulfilling ones. Let go of the old, and the new will come.
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Let him be the background to your foreground, babe!
Don't give up your interests, hobbies, and passions for any man. Maintain your individuality while till being about the man you're committed to. You'll go far 💕
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As a High Value Woman it is so important to be self sufficient and able to maintain your own standards!
It is great to to be looked after and provided for, by a man! Infact, you deserve to be! But a man is NOT and should NEVER be your financial plan 🚫
You should never allow someone to have so much power over you, because that's exactly what it is, irregardless of how good your situation may be!
If the panoramic has taught us anything, it's that life changes very quickly! So, It's important to provide security for yourself and not find yourself bound in situations, because you haven't prepared yourself to be able to move freely.
Anyway, log into your online account right now and set aside some money into your savings, if you haven't done so already!! It's time to stack up!
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HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS CHARACTERISTICS
📷ByPopegmnd SEP 28, 2021
A healthy relationship contributes to the general well-being of both people and is based on communication, respect and boundaries. A healthy relationship requires more than shared interests and strong mutual feelings. It takes two people to really understand each other and take care of them while taking care of them. These are some of the main characteristics of a healthy relationship:
Respect each other.
Respect is Like the essential characteristics of a healthy relationship. When the persecution is over, some people may forget to care about their partner’s feelings and needs. In a serious Strong standing and healthy relationships, partners appreciate each other and pay attention to their words, actions and behavior. If you want to be with this person every day, make sure they feel that way. You should also buy this treatment from your partner every day.
Read more: LADIES DON’T DEVELOP FEELINGS FOR WHO IS NOT WORTH IT
You are vulnerable to each other.
Better conversation is a very important part of a healthy relationship. If you are not ready to share what is happening to you or what you need from your partner, you will not get what you need. But out of shame or a constant habit of suppressing our emotions, people don’t want to let anyone know what is happening to us. When you can believe you spouse enough to the extent you can freely exchange feelings, the more you might just be able to stay in a secure relationship.
Read more: SOME INTERESTING GOALS YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR IN RELATIONSHIP
Have complete confidence in yourself
Healthy relationships need trust. You need to be prepared to talk to your partner not only about your feelings, but also about your weaknesses. You have to learn to believe emotionally, physically and mentally. Faith is practiced step by step. Even though the trust has been broken, if you are willing to work on it, you can find a way to correct the breach.
You stay resolutely honest.
In a healthy relationship, you have to be prepared to share what’s going on, no matter how bad it is. If you want your relationship to last, you can’t hide behind lies and betrayals. If you don’t trust your partner when they say something to you, or if your partner is hiding something from you, you will have a hard time feeling safe. Honesty helps build mutual trust, which is the key to long-term success. (Here’s what open and honest communication looks like in a relationship.)Display
You have mutual compassion.
Empathy is another important characteristic of a healthy relationship. Empathy means trying to figure out how your partner is feeling. It is not necessary to solve the partner’s worries and problems, but to be there. If you pay more attention to your partner and try to see things through their eyes, at some point you will come closer than ever.
Both prefer graces.
Do what you would do for your best friend for your partner. Try to meet their needs. Think about why they need help and try to be a part of it. Avoid behaviors that make them nervous and find ways to educate your partner. Meditation, caring, and kindness are recipes for healthy relationship.
Respect everyone’s limits.
It is important to recognize that you are two people separated by different needs, including those that cannot separate you. You don’t agree with everything and sometimes you don’t want the same things. It’s essential to regard these dissimilarity and not push the other person’s boundaries, including emotional, physical, and other boundaries. Guidelines are also very important part of a healthy relationship.
You are both fully engaged.
You have to stay with your partner, yes. But more than a bond with your partner, you need to build relationships. When you think about the health and future of the relationship, and not just your relationship, you will certainly be more constructive and act differently. It’s not just about meeting your needs. It’s about rebuilding the fire to keep your relationship going. It has to do with a healthy relationship.
You are both thoughtful.
Reflection is a characteristic of a healthy relationship that is often overlooked because it can be difficult to articulate. Thinking deeply basically means thinking about your partner and trying to do things that will improve their life. It’s about knowing their tastes, opinions and quirks so that you can dance with them and not fight them. Better you know him
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How to Build and Maintain Healthy Relationships as an Adult
*** For more tips on how to *adult,* subscribe to https://www.projectadulthood.com/, a weekly newsletter on growing up. Think of it as your instruction manual to adulting :)
On whether they like/love you: If they want to talk to you/see you/be with you, they will make the effort. If they don't, it's probably time you moved on.
On arguing: Don't argue when you're tired or hungry; when arguing, remember that it's not you vs. your partner, it's you and your partner vs. the problem; and finally, never ever go to sleep angry.
On love: Something I read in the novel "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" has stayed with me: "Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. [...] Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”
On making friends: Get involved in activities that require you to interact with others. Join a club, volunteer, take a community class... But don't expect others to invite you to do things with them. Just like you, most people are afraid of rejection. Or, they may not want to bother you. Be the one to initiate things.
On keeping friends: Check up on your friends regularly. A simple "hey, how are you?" can go a long way in maintaining a lifelong friendship. Also, don't be afraid to reach out after a year or two of not talking to them. The worst that can happen is they won't reply.
On feeling "boring": Ask questions. Being interested is more important than being interesting -- that's a scientific fact. According to research, there's a strong correlation between question-asking and likeability.
On accepting them: Part of growing up is understanding that your parents are flawed human beings doing the best they can with what they've got.
On setting boundaries. Whether it's unexpected frequent visits, comments about your weight, or unsolicited input about your partner, be clear about what's off limits and don't give wiggle room.
*** For more tips on how to *adult,* subscribe to https://www.projectadulthood.com/, a weekly newsletter on growing up. Think of it as your instruction manual to adulting :)
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A partner who won’t do their share of household chores is a dealbreaker.
A partner who doesn’t manage their money responsibly is a dealbreaker.
A partner who has no basic life skills - and no interest in learning any - is a dealbreaker.
A partner who is proud of their inability to care for themselves is a dealbreaker.
A partner who expects you to parent them is a dealbreaker.
A partner who makes you take responsibility for their life is a dealbreaker.
I answer a lot of questions about relationships - and spend a lot of time browsing relationship blogs - and there’s a big issue that I keep seeing over and over again: people who are at the end of their rope because their partner refuses to be a functional adult.
The posters - who are usually women, but not always - are frustrated that their partners can’t or won’t take basic responsibility for their own lives, and they are exhausted from having to “parent” their partners. Many are in a position where they have to constantly chase down their partner to do basic chores, pay their share of bills or take care of their basic work and school responsibilities, day after day after day. There are certainly times in a relationship when one partner may need to support the other, and one partner may have a disability or medical issue that changes the types of chores they can do, but these situations are well beyond that - many of these people have been dealing with these issues non-stop for years. By the time they’re frustrated enough to turn to the internet for help, they may have had dozens of conversations with their partner about the issue and seen their partner break just as many promises, and they are desperate to find a way to make their partner take the problem seriously and finally change their ways.
Unfortunately, if you’re in this situation, I don’t have good news for you: your partner is hugely benefiting from this arrangement, and if they’ve been living this way for months or years, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever change.
Take it from me. When I graduated from university, I moved in with my boyfriend at the time. He had dropped out of college for the second time earlier that year, and was taking some time off to work and mature and “find himself” while he figured out what he wanted to do with his life.
At least, that was the plan.
In reality, however, he did nothing. For two straight years. He lost a series of jobs after less than a month because he repeatedly turned up late or simply didn’t go at all. The money that he did have went to video games, takeout and snowboarding equipment - I covered his share of the rent and utilities for months, while I was supposed to be saving money for grad school. Even though I was working full-time and he was mostly unemployed, all of the household chores would fall on me - even asking him to do something as simple as putting his own dirty dishes in the dishwasher or taking the garbage out required constant reminders, pleading, nagging, begging and arguing. It was more work to get him to do a simple task than it was for me to just do it myself, even if I was exhausted and run-down from a stressful day at work. The few times he could be convinced to help out, he did a poor job on purpose, claimed that he was “no good” at chores, and that I’d be better off just doing it for him. And so eventually, I stopped fighting with him - I did absolutely everything by myself, while he sat on the couch and played on his iPad and demanded to know when dinner would be ready. It was an exhausting way to live.
After two years of this, it dawned on me that I did not actually have a partner - I had a 23-year-old child. I had to do everything for him - I was the one typing up resumes and submitting applications for jobs that he lost two weeks in. I was the one coming home to find my pans burnt and ruined because he’d left food cooking on the stove on high for hours while I was away. His parents gave him thousands of dollars for rent and utilities, and I never saw a dime of it - he frittered it away on junk while racking up thousands of dollars in credit card debt that he refused to deal with. His wealthy parents offered him unlimited access to the best therapists and doctors that money could buy if depression was the issue, but he refused and claimed it wasn’t - he just didn’t like chores and didn’t feel like working. After two years of pleading and nagging and teaching him over and over again, he claimed to still not know how to use a vacuum cleaner, washing machine or dishwasher, even while he easily learned how to use complicated technical equipment for his hobbies. In two years, he had made dozens of promises to change his ways and to start being an equal partner, but none of those promises ever stuck - he’d be good for a day or two, and quickly slid back into “I’ll do it later” and then “you’re better at it, it’ll be easier if you just do it for me”. We had great conversations and made each other laugh and were the best of friends, but ultimately, he was draining the life out of me. He watched me struggle for years and chose his own convenience over supporting and helping me.
And I was done.
It can feel petty or silly to say that you are walking away from a long-term relationship because of dirty dishes. But it’s not really about the dishes. It’s so much more than that. It’s about having a partner who values your time and happiness as much as they value their own. It’s about having someone who helps you carry the burdens of life, rather than stacking theirs on top of yours and walking away. A partner who truly cares for you doesn’t sacrifice you for their own convenience - they put the work in.
Even if that work is dishes.
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