by Gina B.
If you ever find yourself in a bad relationship, wondering why he treats you the way he does, look in the mirror. It’s likely that he’s behaving in a way that is reflective of what you’ve taught him. On the flipside, if you’re happy with him and he treats you well, pat yourself on the back for your good guidance.
How people treat you is a direct reflection of what you allow, and what you will put up with.
Understand that when you meet people, you set the bar and the other person either has to fall in line with your program, or decide that yours is not the best relationship for them. If you want to be treated a certain way, you have to be diligent about communicating your expectations and letting him know that you won’t accept less.
I’m in a position where I hear a lot of complaints from unsatisfied women in relationships. I find that there are usually one of two possible roots of the problem. Either the man in question doesn’t have the capacity to treat the woman in the manner that she feels she deserves, or she has taught him bad behavior.
If it’s the former, she will either have to alter her expectations if she REALLY wants to be with him, or move on to someone who is willing and able give her what she wants. In cases where the man has abusive tendencies (either verbal or physical), she should plan an exit strategy, with the realization that he is flawed, and without significant help, will always continue that behavior.
If it’s the latter, she has to take responsibility for what she’s taught him and try to course correct.
But it’s not easy to change the rules of the game in the middle, and she needs to know who she’s dealing with. It’s ridiculous to suddenly demand complete gentleman behavior from a man who has never opened one door during the entire relationship or paid for one meal. If the complaint is that he’s spoiled and not extremely thoughtful, she has clearly been the spoiler and has somehow taught him that he should only receive good treatment without reciprocity. If he’s non-committal and treating her like a glorified booty-call, she has obviously projected that she will accept that position.
As the saying goes, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Best to set expectations in the beginning, and give him the opportunity to step up or move on.
To make sure that you get good treatment in your next relationship, consider the following steps:
- Be introspective. Have a good handle on what you want and how you prefer to be treated. Look at previous relationships and own up to your part in their demise and your perceived poor treatment. Don’t replicate your previous behavior if you want better results.
- Set reasonable expectations. There’s a happy medium somewhere between super-high-maintenance, and no-maintenance. Find the balance and set expectations accordingly.
- Treat yourself well and lead by example. Nobody will treat you better than you treat yourself. If you treat yourself like crap, others (men, friends, etc.) will fall in line. If you’re a person who sets standards in every other facet of your life, your new mate will realize that you also have high standards in your relationships. If he’s worth it and he cares, he will treat you accordingly.
- Be consistent. If you keep “letting it slide,” the next thing you know it becomes the status quo. Don’t set a precedence that will ultimately make you unhappy.
- Do unto others. Don’t forget about him! Make sure that you’re treating him in a way that HE wants to be treated. Good treatment should inspire reciprocity.
- Be willing to walk away, or let him walk away. Realistically, most relationships don’t work out. Setting standards means that you won’t accept just any old thing, and some people are only willing to offer the bare minimum. If a person self-deselects based on your standards, don’t try to hang in there for the sake of it. Let him go because what he’s telling you is that he’s either unwilling or incapable. It might sting a little, but ultimately you should be thankful for the message and permission to find someone else.