The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once wryly observed that youth is “wasted on the young.” This is perhaps nowhere truer than in romantic relationships. When we are young, we have fewer scars, more energy, the ability to give love freely, and feel wonder at connecting with another person.
However, we also know much less about the world than we’ll later come to learn. As a result, many of us—particularly women and femme-presenting people—put up with an endless array of bulls**t when we’re young, because we don’t know any better yet.
Redditor u/FoxyFoxMulder asked:
“What is something that you tolerated in past relationships that you never would now?”
Here are twenty women sounding off about the things they’ve tolerated in past relationships (even marriages!) that they’ll never put up with again.
“Dishonesty. My ex—on top of being physically and emotionally abusive—would lie to me about little and insignificant things, like hiding the fact he bought a video game. It only grew into more serious lies from there. Honesty is one of my absolute top priorities in a relationship, both platonic and romantically.”— overcastcore
2. Pressure to perform The Chill Girl Routine
“I always thought of it as cool girlfriend syndrome. Letting so much go and trying to be chill. While sacrificing your needs and wants. Trying to be the cool girlfriend that’s not too needy, doesn’t demand much etc.
Edit: it’s closely related to “not like other girls.” And it’s really not entirely all our fault. It’s derived from misogyny.”— 9070811
3. Regularly prioritizing other people over you, his partner
“My ex did this all the time and said “I’ll prioritize you when we’re married”.
Buddy, if our plans established a week or more in advance are constantly a lower priority to you than a random non-urgent errand your mom wants you to run after a year of dating, why would I marry you???”— iamreallycool69
4. Silent treatment and/or sulking
“Whhhyyy do they do it? My husband is a major sulker, currently it is a combo of me applying for a higher paying job than him+seeing friends too much+not having sex as much as he wants Guess what asshole. It won’t work this time. Am refusing to respond to the sulk, lmao to see how long he will keep it up”— PalpitationOk8346
“My ex was lazy and never did anything to help out around the house. I worked full time while I was studying full time. I’d get home from work at 630pm and he’s have been home since 4pm. Instead of him having made dinner or was making dinner, he’d wait for me to roll in the door and then have the audacity to tell me to cook him dinner. And I’d do it. So I’d spend an hr cooking dinner, another 10-15 minutes cleaning and washing up cause he would never do that. Then have to get ready for work tomorrow, have a shower. Mind you I used to have to skip the gym cause I didn’t have the time to fit it all in. It’d be 830/9pm before I even sat down to study most nights. It was the same on the weekends. I’ll never bend over backwards for a man like that again unless it is reciprocated and I’m appreciated for the sacrifices I made. I sacrificed a lot for that POS.”— beejeany
6. Constant criticism
“Not supporting things I enjoy. My ex would turn everything I enjoyed into a negative thing. Any accomplishment I was proud of would be belittled. I wore jeans and a tank top once and he criticized me saying it made me look lesbian.
“My husband, though, lets me be whatever version of myself I want to be. Now, I wear dresses and combat boots. I buy way more books than I have time or energy to read. I stopped wearing bras and shaving regularly because I don’t like those things. My self-esteem is way higher now because I’m not being told I’m wrong. I’m just constantly being told how much I’m loved.”— katqueen21
7. Psychotic control issues
“I dated someone for 8 years and he was so belittling to me, nothing I ever did was good enough. If I did the dishes, I didn’t do them properly and he would make me wash them again (stuff like that). If I put something on a table (like walk in put my keys, purse down) and he felt they didn’t belong there he would throw them on the floor as a way to ‘teach’ me to put them in their proper place. And on and on. I constantly walked on eggshells in the relationship wondering what I would do wrong next. Lost all my self esteem, and just became his doormat.
He used to joke to my parents that he was “re-raising” me…. I told him once that I have never felt worse about myself then when I saw myself through his eyes… His response, ‘Well no one likes to hear the truth.’
“I vowed that I would NEVER accept this treatment from anyone ever again. I learned to love myself again, became a stronger person, independent and one of the most satisfying feelings I ever had was after cleaning the bathroom once and he told me I didn’t do it properly, I told him ‘Fine, you don’t like it? Then clean it your damn self!’ and walked out. God, the look on his face was priceless and I felt powerful. I loved it!
“I would just like to clarify that the things I cleaned, i.e. dishes, bathroom, etc were absolutely done properly, and my ex would just like to find fault with everything. It was all about manipulation and control and in no way was anything done improperly.”— brandy_lyne
8. Avoidant attachment style
“Being distant. Sorry, I’m not settling for an ‘avoidant’ or distant guy who is too cool to care ever again. I have the cheesy guy who wants to be around me constantly, and I truly didn’t think he existed because of so many guys who wanted more space than I did!”— Dread_Pirate_Jack
9. Jealousy issues
“Jealousy or any controlling traits, like wanting my phone pass code or telling me who I can or cannot spend time with.
“I do not want to spend my life trying to reassure a jealous person, there is never an end to it.”— MileysChickenAss
10. Mommy issues
“His mother’s opinion being treated more important than mine.”—ndoroty
“Holy shit, been there! After 2 and a half years too! Just marry your momma, ffs.”—BrightIdeaGenerator