Relationship No-Nos // December 3, 2012
We women can be a host of emotions, instincts and insecurities, which influence our behavior on a daily basis. Think about image alone: We sacrifice comfort to wear sky-high heels because we like how they look. We spend crazy amounts of money on products that add colors and contours to our face that nature never intended to be there. When it comes to dating and relationships, things can get even more absurd. When I consider my own history -- along with things my friends have done -- there’s no lack of evidence that even the most level-headed woman can lose her cool when tangoing with the opposite sex. The following is a list of things that I’ve either experienced or witnessed that aren’t just “dating don’ts"; they’re straight up crossing the line.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr... As strange as it is to say, a certain level of stalking has become commonplace with the insane variety of social media outlets available. In fact, it's damn near impossible not to stalk people (Facebook feeds, anyone?). Of course you’re going to check out pictures when your man posts them to Instagram, and notice statuses he puts up…and maybe who commented on them. But don’t become the internet police. Unless you’re ready to shirk all of your social networking accounts, you’re going to have to learn to exercise a certain level of restraint. You know what I’m talking about: don’t go rifling through every virtual detail about the life of the chick who wrote “LOL so cute!” on a picture of your guy’s puppy. I know firsthand how easy it is to stalk someone on the internet *cough*, but I also know that if you go poking for trouble, you’re probably going to find it. The truth is, if you’re that tempted to investigate every detail of your man’s accounts and everyone interacting with them, there’s probably a bigger issue in the relationship…or you seriously need to work on your trust issues before it ruins the relationship altogether.
Any Kind of Offline Stalking
OK seriously, don’t go through his dresser drawers. Don’t do a drive-by at his house in the middle of the night because he didn’t respond to your goodnight text at 11:30. Don’t go through his phone when he leaves it unattended next to you while he takes a shower. For all the same reasons as #1, you should not be disrespecting his privacy by going through his things. Again, if you don’t trust him, why are you with him to begin with?
Controlling his Friendships
Maybe you hate his one friend who’s always playing girls and talking about it in detail in front of you. Maybe you don’t appreciate that pretty girl from high school that he still goes out to lunch with occasionally. These feelings might be warranted, but if you attempt to dictate who he’s friends with, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Unless this friend is causing SERIOUS issues in your relationship, you need to let it slide. Even if he does cut this person off at your request, he’s likely going to end up resenting you for it.
Invading His Space
Things are going great in the relationship. You’re staying over his place a few times a week and rainbows shoot out of your eyes when you see each other. It’s totally fine to leave some of your clothes in his bottom drawer, right? It’s definitely not a big deal to leave a toothbrush in his bathroom, and maybe suggest he take down his favorite (hideous) Han Solo poster…right? Slow down, sister. Men, much like independent women, appreciate their space. Don’t just assume he’s feeling as relaxed about sharing his space as you are. Communication is key here – make sure he’s okay with you leaving your personal touches around his apartment before you do anything.
Interfering with his Cash Flow
To a certain level, money issues are hard to avoid in a relationship as a couple becomes closer and their lives become increasingly intertwined, but we’re talking about crossing the line here. You should never, ever, ever spend his money without permission. You shouldn’t even ASK. If he wants to buy you something, great! Go for it. But putting your palms out and asking for a handout isn’t just unattractive, it’s a surefire way to get labeled as a gold digger. Same goes for telling him what to do with his money. Maybe you think he shouldn’t be spending all of his extra cash on take out and building up his movie collection, but unless your finances are linked, it’s not your place to step in. You wouldn’t appreciate him telling you to quit your spa days and online shoe shopping, so let him decide what to do with the money he earned.
You know what kind of physical I’m talking about. No matter how mad he may make you, there’s never any excuse to lay a smackdown on your guy. I’ve heard girls laugh as they admit they raised a hand to their boyfriend’s face before, but whether he shrugs it off like it's a fly buzzing around his head or you legitimately do some damage, it’s not funny and it’s not okay. Never dole out OR accept violence in a relationship. Starting a cycle of violent behavior is to be avoided, period.
There’s obviously no one-size-fits-all guide on how to act at all times in a relationship, but these are things that you should avoid at all costs. Hey, we know no one’s perfect and sometimes we can get tempted to cross the line (I’ve broken a couple of these rules before -- with heinous results, I might add), but just ask yourself if conducting yourself inappropriately is worth the inevitable fallout. Sometimes lines are drawn for a reason.