Tag Archives: relationship

Relationship Lessons: “How Not To Be A Cock”

I have had a few relationships over the years, most of which ended out being utter car crashes due to poor choices on my part. I am happy to put my hands up and accept responsibility for that. I am not perfect; in fact, if you’ve been here a while, you will know that I write about exactly how NOT PERFECT I am.

However I (as many others have, I am sure) inexplicably put up with loads of completely unnecessary bullshit in my relationships. Over the years I have identified a few important elements of friction-generating behaviour in my ex-partners. I am keen to share some tips with everyone to help you avoid unwittingly becoming the kind of boyfriend or girlfriend that makes their significant other want to throw furniture at them.

Also, it’s a bit funny…

…in retrospect.

In no particular order;

  • Don’t make a mess, and then complain about there being a mess.
  • Learn when your partner’s birthday is, and decide in advance whether you are going to acknowledge birthdays or not. You have 364 OTHER days to sort this out; do not under any circumstances ask to borrow money from your partner, on their birthday, to go and buy them a gift. Also, do not ask them to drive you, with their own money, to go and buy them a present. On their birthday.
  • Don’t buy a car you know you can’t afford to run, and then get deeply and personally annoyed when you can’t afford to run it.
  • If you don’t want a rubbish bin full of stinking liquid in your kitchen, don’t put perishable liquids in the rubbish bin in your kitchen. And then complain about it.
  • Don’t say “I’ll be 20 minutes”, if what you actually mean is “I fully intend on making a sandwich and having a shower before I leave.” Do not underestimate the rage you can generate in another person when you make them wait around for 40 minutes in which they could have been drinking beer instead.
  • Don’t suggest going out to the pub over the road for dinner when you’re both hungry –  and then spend 30 further minutes experimenting with your hairstyle and accessorising your outfit before you leave.
  • If you’re going to talk with authority about a complex scientific subject, don’t get pissy when someone asks you questions about it which you are unable to answer.
  • If you are living rent-free in someone else’s house and staying at home all day, earning no money while you are pursuing personal projects, do the fucking washing up. Do not wait until everyone gets home and then express your INTENTION of doing the washing up.
  • Understand that “Best Before” dates on food and drink are guidelines about optimum quality, and not an instruction to throw something away.
  • If you really want to do something, go and do it.
  • If you really DON’T want to do something, don’t do it.
  • If you don’t know WHAT you want, but equally don’t want suggestions, shut the fuck up about not knowing what you want.
  • If you choose to utterly dismiss the ideas and guidance of your partner, do not then unquestioningly accept that exact same advice from one of your parents, in front of your partner. Regularly.
  • That mold you just noticed growing in the corner of your window? That’s been there for the last 6 months, and is not why you are suddenly ill.
  • Don’t balance breakable glass items on your fingertips if you know in advance that you’re clumsy and not very good at cleaning up.
  • Don’t assume that because you are a musician, you are instinctively more in tune with everything and are therefore correct. About everything.
  • If you have cold-like symptoms, there’s a good chance you’ve probably just got a cold.
  • Try to remember that there is a world of difference between opinion and fact.
  • If you decide to be sneering and dismissive towards your partner about being such a hideous drunk that they do not remember specific conversations and events, try really hard to ensure that those conversations and events didn’t in fact happen with a previous partner of yours.
  • Take a stand about Valentine’s day; decide that you are either going to DO Valentine’s Day, or that you are NOT going to do Valentine’s Day, but do not under any circumstances ask your partner whether or not they want a Valentine’s card. On Valentine’s Day.

A strange but happy anniversary

So, it’s not quite an anniversary, but it’s close enough that it started me thinking. It’s been nearly a year since I split up with my ex, Daniel…and it has been the best near-year of my life.

I have done a load of travelling, seen a serious amount of live music, including bands I never thought I would ever get to see. I have made lots of new friends, but more importantly I have reconnected with old friends, who I had sacrificed in order to stay in a relationship that I couldn’t admit that I didn’t want to be in.

I am now happy, truly happy. I am happy with my life, and the key thing is – I am happy with me.

I made a decision after I split up with Dan that I was no longer just going to put up with what made me unhappy. No-one deserves that…least of all me, because I am awesome. I had stayed with Dan for 3 1/2 years longer than was realistically healthy out of a weird sense of obligation, and a complete lack of understanding about what I was entitled to. I never back down, I am a fighter, but I was fighting for the wrong things. I was miserable, withdrawn, repressing myself, and constantly frustrated because while I would not consciously acknowledge what was wrong, my subconscious knew, and it wouldn’t let me rest.

Since the relationship ended, I have surrounded myself with the things that I enjoy and the people that I enjoy being with. I have moulded my life into the shape I want it to be – a celebration of all of the things that I want, and what I want to be. I trust that who I am now is good enough, and all the things that make me ME are good enough, and if they are not good enough for anyone else, then that other person is not someone who I need to be around. I have cut out the things and the people that were weighing me down. No stress, no anger, no frustration. I can honestly think back to days over the last few years when I would scream impotently inside my head a hundred times a day, and I feel so sad for the person that I was back then.

Yes, I have had a few emotional hurdles that I have come up against in the last year, but because I went into those situations for the right reasons and with the right mindset, I have come away from them a better person for the experience.

I initially posted this as a note on Facebook to say a big thank you to each and every one of the people that I have on my friends list – they are all there because they add something to my life, and I wanted to let them all know that whether they are aware or not, that are all part of something bigger. I have decided to also post it here as a blog, because if at least one person can take something away from this, then that is a good thing.

This part is a loving message to those of you who are stuck in a bad place.

You are not stuck, trust me. You might think you are, but you are not. “You’ve made your bed, now you have to lie in it” is something I got told a lot as a child. It’s not true. In fact, it’s not just ‘not true’, it’s outright dangerous. You are entitled to make your own emergency exits as an adult, and you certainly should not spend your life punishing yourself for a bad decision that you made.

Whatever you need to do to get out might feel like the hardest thing in the world, but sometimes what you fear the most is the very thing that will set you free.

Take care of yourselves x