Society encourages young girls to imagine meeting the man of their dreams. We promote fairy tales where falling in love and getting married is the end goal. However, we don’t really talk about actual relationships very much at all. We don’t prepare young girls for what they should and should not expect from a romantic relationship, whoever that may be with.
I often wonder if I had been told some of these things when I was a little girl and later a teenager would it have made any difference in terms of who I chose to date. Would I have changed anything? And when I got tell-tale signs or a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, would I have remembered these lessons and said ‘No I’m not standing for that’? Maybe, maybe not. But I think, either way, it’s important to tell girls what they should and should not expect to feel in a relationship and hopefully the following pieces of advice might help in some small way.
- You should feel comfortable. This sounds simple but you really need to be aware of your body and whether you’re tense around this person. If you are, maybe there’s something not quite right? It’s perfectly normal to get butterflies and feel a little self-conscious in the beginning but if you feel like you can’t be your true self around your partner, then something is off.
- You shouldn’t feel pressure to do anything you don’t want to do. Your partner should make you feel like you are in complete control of all your actions and that you won’t be punished for anything you choose to do or not do. Knowing that you wholeheartedly want to do something and not because someone else pressured you to do it is one of the best feelings in the world.
- Your partner should have patience and understand that we are all at different stages in our lives. If they make you feel guilty or less than, then that’s not healthy.
- Your partner should make you feel secure. This is tough because often it’s our own insecurity which makes us question our partners when they may be completely trustworthy. But a relationship should be about ensuring that the other person knows you are there for them through and through. If your partner makes you question their loyalty, constantly keeps you on your toes or makes you feel like you should change yourself to be like someone else, then something’s not right.
- Finally, your partner should not make you question your own reality. They should not try to convince you that you’re imagining things or making things up. They should believe you and trust you and not make you question yourself to the point where you convince yourself that you were wrong.
So many of these things we simply have to learn from experience but this is my attempt to share these lessons without having to learn them the hard way first. Above all, my number one piece of advice is..
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!
If you feel in your bones that something is off, then it probably is. We as women and girls have excellent intuition and we should use it more often. Trust yourself because you are great and strong and deserve to be treated as such.