I was in an abusive relationship for three years. That was my first experience dating a person with narcissist disorder.
Then, I didn’t know who a narcissist was and how they operated. The relationship started off like any other love intoxicating partnership, then gradually degraded to an emotionally destructive one.
After I left him, I realized just how much of myself I had lost, piece by piece, without even noticing.
Had I not had that experience, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today- confident, happy, and making my own choices by evaluating the situation and choosing what makes me happy.
The lessons from my previous relationships have taught me how to treat people differently based on how they show themselves.
A lot of people live complacent lives. They are confident living other people’s life. They think they have to be someone else to attract who they want. They imitate their friends or family, establish rules and boundaries copied from others.
They do not realize each relationship is different. What worked for your friend or parents may not be conducive to your relationship.
This is why most relationships die untimely deaths. The early stage filled with passion and love only lasts a couple of weeks before the passion fades.
You can be in a relationship with someone for ten years and reignite it, but you just have to know the triggers.
From my observation of most successful relationships, I discovered some life lessons we rarely take about, and with these lessons You Can Love Someone without Getting Hurt in the process.
#1. Choose partners for their values, not physical attractions
Most people get together because they feel attracted to each other and share a few interests.
A couple of weeks or months later, they split, and shortly after that, they meet new people, and the circle continues.
Most relationships fail because we do not choose our partners based on their values.
Relationship values tend to lead towards the happiest, most content couples.
The key values in a relationship are trust, friendship, and faith, including taking responsibility and being loyal to each other.
For example, if you don’t trust your partner, you will constantly worry about their commitment and never feel comfortable with them. You will inevitably drive yourself crazy and scare them away.
Understanding your core values is the road map to navigating a long-term relationship.
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#2. Have a ‘life together’ and a ‘life apart’ when you are in a relationship
There are two things that just about everyone wants, the time to be with other people and the time to be by themselves.
It’s healthy to have some distance from your partner sometimes.
Spending every second of every day together might sound like it’s good for your relationship, but it really isn’t because you need to both do things for yourself too.
There are things you can do together with your partner, and there are some you just have to do by yourself.
Picking and choosing what to do together and what to do alone can help you minimize potential negative effects and keep your relationship and connection strong.
#3. Don’t expect toxic people change for you
Toxic is a social pejorative term for people consider to be poisonous, negative, controlling, or cruel.
They are usually associated with narcissism. Toxic people will leave you feeling bad: edgy, guilty, confused, frustrated, overextended.
They lack boundaries and ask too much from you, leaving you feeling violated and exhausted.
They make assumptions, expect too much, disregard your objection.
Toxic people never change because they need you to be their fuel source. They often have very few friends, so they will hold on to you tightly.
They may use manipulation, guilt, or crisis to keep you on the hook. Keep in mind that toxic people don’t change themselves, they just change victims.
You need to hold on tight to your boundaries to get them to change. Otherwise, they will end the relationship and find someone else to indulge their negativity.
#4. A good person doesn’t always equal a good relationship
I once believed good character guaranteed good rapport with others. And that if you are good, you can be with anyone and have a sustainable relationship with them.
Well, that’s a mistake most people make with dating a ‘nice girl’ or ‘nice guy.’ They think being nice is a quality for a good relationship.
Good people are often people pleasers. They are nice to a fault. They disregard their needs but will do everything to ensure others have theirs.
Being too nice can hurt your relationship. The problem with nice people is usually associated with fear of losing, disappointment and anger of people they like.
If you never make it about you, it’s never about. And sometimes, the relationship has to be about you.
Sometimes you have to go to uncomfortable places- get angry, be sad, feel disappointed, and allow your partners to do the same.
To have a healthy and lasting relationship, you need to connect on an intimate level. You both need to let your guard down from time to time.
#5. Old relationship patterns won’t create new relationship results
Some of us carry baggage from our previous relationships over to the new ones.
Previous hurt and pain from family or relationships are why some people develop a negative mindset.
Our own perception of other people clouds our judgment, which can destroy our subsequent relationships.
For example, if you have ever been dumped or abandoned, it may be difficult to open your heart to someone out of fear of that pain.
You need to do the work and heal after a breakup- until you reach a place where you see your behavior and that of your partners in a positive light.
#6. You can’t love without understanding the other person
There is no being perfect. When some people say they want something perfect, they’re just saying they want someone who understands where they’ve been, what they need, and isn’t embarrassed by their flaws.
When someone truly understands you, you become very attached to them.
They can understand you without you speaking a word. Your face literally gives them the context of your mind.
They know how you think about things, how you will react in certain situations.
When someone understands you, they know how to avoid hurting you. They won’t be inconsiderate or make unreasonable demands because they understand how you’ll feel as a result of these things.
They will understand what you want, your vision and your ambitions and they will challenge you to become a better version of yourself.
The only person you need is not the one who loves you, but rather the one who understands you ninety-nine percent of the time.