“Some of the best feelings in life are being wanted and appreciated.”
Recently, a friend of mine reflected in a Facebook post that if a person does not feel wanted or appreciated by the people in their life—especially by their significant other—then they are doing something wrong or are with the wrong person. At first, as much as I agreed with my friend’s sentiment about not spending time with the wrong people, I took offense at his original point.
How could anyone willingly choose to live life “wrong” or be unappreciated on purpose? Feeling loved is the main goal of finding a mate, so why would you choose one who does not appreciate you?
After some careful thought about my friend’s seemingly harsh, but true words, I found myself agreeing with him. I had forgotten how I was one of those people who chose the wrong person to share my life with.
Unfortunately my way out of an unhealthy relationship was through divorce. I am in no way implying that divorce is a thing to take lightly, because it shouldn’t be. It is a serious venture and one that I hope couples can avoid. But I also feel that everyone deserves to be happy, and knowledge of a few things before marriage can keep divorce from ever being an option. I haven’t found my forever person, but here are a few questions I will ask myself in future relationships and wish I’d considered more carefully before:
1. Am I secure in who I am and what I want out of life? When you aren’t sure about who your are how can you possibly know when a person is right for you or not? That’s not something that someone else can figure out for you. Knowing your true self allows you to share the real you with other people, creating a strong bond once you let them in. Recently, I have started to “build my village” and could not feel happier. My relationships are healthy now because I know what I give and what I need from other people.
2. Can I trust that we can be there for each other in difficult times? You should feel secure with your partner; they shouldn’t make you feel insecure. In a loving relationship, you should never feel like you’re being compared to others who are “better than you.” It’s important to feel like you’re a team with your partner—listening to the other’s opinions and coming to decisions together is key.
3. What do we think of each other’s family? Never ever put each other’s family down and defend your partner to your own family should you need to. Similarly, I think its incredibly important for you to be close to their family members as well and listen to what your family says about your significant other. Another ex made a rude, inappropriate comment about me to my cousins once, and I always wish someone had told me when it happened.
4. Above all, are kind? We all deserve that the person closest to our hearts be someone we can run to for refuge from the cruelty of the world—not the opposite. Unfortunately, I’ve had the experience of I feeling relieved because a partner decided to be nice to me again. I relearned through therapy that being kind is not something that should turn on and off like a mood. Kindness is an active choice made everyday about how you want to treat others, especially those you love. I always knew this, but in the context of trusting someone again, it’s a very simple piece of advice I have to remember.
Sometimes we get caught up in the whirlwind of romance so we overlook and forgive things we shouldn’t. Take the time to get to know your partner as a person, not just a lover. Real love doesn’t need to be rushed. We all deserve to have the very best!