Three weeks into dating my current husband, Noah, he looked at me and said, "Christine, I don't know what is going to happen between the two of us? but you have to raise your standards for men."
"You can't like a guy because he's nice to you. He's supposed to be nice to you."
"Whaaaaaat?" My head cocked to the side and I looked at Noah like he had just told me my parents were really aliens from Mars. How did I, super smart and successful woman, not know this? Of course, my logical brain was aware that people should be nice to you, but deep down, I had no clue.
Based on my experience of men, I had come to expect men to be hypercritical, verbally abusive, angry for no good reason, self-centered, and controlling. Deep down, I didn't believe that men cared about relationships, intimacy and being loved. And so, I, and most of my girlfriends, dated what we expected, and ended up unhappy. Or if a "good guy" did come along, we tried to get rid of him for being too nice. We say we want one thing, but then we attract and hang onto something quite different.
That day, I made myself a promise that I would follow these three Happy Rules when it came to my love life, that way I'd never forget again that my relationships are supposed to make me happy, not stressed out, crazy or sad.
THE 3 HAPPY LOVE LIFE RULES:
- If your guy or gal isn't nice to you, then they don't deserve you. You deserve unconditional love and respect, and you must demand it in your relationships, or the relationship has to end (friendships included) The catch is that you can't get what you don't give yourself, which means you have to give unconditional love and respect to yourself and others if you want it in return.
- Don't settle for less than your heart and soul desire for your life, even if it means ending a relationship. Pick a partner who helps you reach your dreams and be the best you possible can. When looking for a relationship or deciding if the one you have is right for you, ask yourself first, "What are my dreams for my life?" Then ask, "What kind of partnership do I want to support me in that life?" and then you can ask, "So who would that person be?" Me! We! He! In that order, choose Me before We. This is your ticket to life, live it for yourself first, and you'll be more likely to find and keep a mate that is happy to be on the ride with you. Better to go solo than to have someone dragging your life down.
- Take a vow to Be Honest With Yourself - No matter what! Engage the help of friends when you can't get to honesty on your own. Take this self-love dare: Hold an "Honesty Hearing." Say to them, "I need your help on getting honest with myself. You can be totally honest and I won't get mad. How do you see me lying to myself about XX relationship?" Just listen. You can ask questions, but you cannot comment back or engage in a debate. After they are done, say "Thank You." Ask yourself, "What is the consequence of admitting the truth?" Let that sink in and then make a commitment to take at least one action that addresses this truth.
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