I know, I know, love isn't about logic, you get swept away, the feelings are so important, etc. I get it. It's no fun to be the Debbie Downer and be like "Um, he told you that girl in that picture is his cousin? She doesn't seem to know it, judging by the way her tongue is in his ear.." but don't worry, I'm super great at being a Debbie Downer. It was my nickname in high school (not even kidding. It was usually accompanied by the "wah wah waaaah" noise and a joke about cat AIDS. I'm sorry, I was very passionate about the environment and keeping my friends free of STDs.) so I've got this covered.
So, for when you forget that you're a person of value and deserve to be treated as such, here's a list of things you sometimes forget when a boy (or girl) says those magical three words: "You are hot." (or I love you, whatever)
Common Sense Things to Remember When Enamored or Romantically Entangled, an incomplete list:
They should never make you feel small. I mean, physically, yes, that's fine, but they should never make you feel like less of a person. If you leave their presence feeling crummy about yourself and you don't know why, that's probably a bad sign.
They shouldn't give you reasons to not trust yourself. I don't care how nice a boy is, if he's ever told you "You're overreacting" or "You're just being emotional" or anything else that insults your ability to be both logical and in full grasp of your emotional state at the same time, UGH. Get rid of him. Preferably with a line that goes like this: "I'll show YOU emotional! We. are. over." and a dramatic exit.
They should want to be with you. Now, this part is key, because sometimes we don't pick up on it. "But he called and wanted to hang out!" No, he called and wanted to make out. There's a difference. If you feel yourself constantly grabbing for his attention, time, and conversation, move on. Cause it's just not worth it to try and force someone to want to be with you when they're being lukewarm.
Remember: YOU. ARE. AWESOME. This is very important to keep in mind at all times during dating forays. You're cool. You're sweet. You're funny. They should want to be with you. If you're ever feeling like, "Oh my god, I can't believe this boy/girl actually wants to be with me, I am so lucky, I hope they don't leave me, why are they even dating me, any day now they'll walk away," you need to tape a sign to your forehead that says "REMIND ME I AM AWESOME" so that every person you see during the day will spot it and be like, "Hey girl, you pretty awesome" until you remember this. It's possible that this is a shame-based tactic to force you to acknowledge your own awesomeness, but whatever. I bet it works.
They shouldn't continuously disrespect you. Mocking you in public (in a cruel, laughing-at-not-with fashion). Telling you your ideas/thoughts/opinions are stupid. Not listening when you speak. Disregarding your opinions on things. Talking over you while you're talking to people. Insults that make you feel belittled (bonus points if after you confront them, they use "you're overreacting/emotional" in which case, see above). These things are things that would seem obvious, but I know SO. MANY. PEOPLE who just live through them, accepting it as though that's all they deserve.
Lines that should signal an automatic break-up [or at least give you some pause]:
- "I'll try not to sleep with other people. Sometimes I just can't help it, though. But I'll really try." --when you ask that they not, you know, cheat on you (may or may not have experienced this line in real life, may or may not have stuck around despite it, ohmygod).
- "Oh, there's no internet there...or phone service...or mail...or satellites..." --when you ask that they keep in touch while on their next trip to like, NYC. Yeah, that doesn't sound fishy.
- "It was only tongue." --when confronted on partying photos you found online.
- "Here's a photo of my poop." --are you a criminal, because you're DEFINITELY dating a twelve-year-old.
- "Let's just like, live in the present, you know?" --when you ask where they see this relationship going. Bonus zinger to respond with: "I'm sorry, since when are you a zen master?"
- "I really want to date you, I'm just so messed up." --when they are confessing they like-you-like-you (also may or may not have lived through this one IRL. like, at least my dating faux paus are here to help you learn to avoid them).
- "I really like you, I'm just...too afraid of your dad to date you." --I mean, maybe he's right. Maybe your dad is crazy. Or maybe he's just trying to convince you to make out with him in the back parking lot of the church.
- "It's complicated." --when you ask them why they're hitting on you when, last you heard, they were in a relationship.
- "Don't tell your parents." --two seconds after them asking you to be their girlfriend.
- "Can we just keep it on the down-low? No one needs to know our private business." --they want you to be their SECRET GIRLFRIEND. Aka, they don't respect you enough to take your relationship public, so you shouldn't respect them enough to stay in the same car for longer than 5 seconds after this statement has been released from their mouth. Bonus points if you say "I'm no one's secret girlfriend, asshole!" and slam the door on your way out.
- "I don't really like to talk about my STD's." --........... I just.....do I even need to say anything more about this....
- "Girls are so annoying. All my exes were crazy." --when he's discussing past girlfriends. Yes, because I'm so sure that the problem was them, not you, in every single previous relationship.
- "I liked kissing you, it just didn't mean that much to me." Presented without comment.