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Published on July 10, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Not Give Up on Love

6 Reasons Why You Should Not Give Up on Love

Looking for love is an exciting adventure. You get to meet new people, go out and have fun dates, and maybe, just maybe, meet the love of your life.

But dating can also be a huge bummer, and there are times when the journey is more frustrating than fun, especially as you get older. Instead of focusing on having an enjoyable night out, you’re wondering why you can’t seem to find Mr. or Ms. Right.

To get a great relationship, you have to be willing to put in the work. But what should you do when you feel yourself giving up on love?

Don’t let your desire for love burn out! Here are six reasons you shouldn’t give up on love.

1. Love Teaches Lessons

Going through another failed relationship can be a frustrating, heartbreaking, and depressing experience. But remember that timing is everything. Just because that love is over doesn’t mean love is over for you.

Instead of viewing your failed relationships as wastes of time, make a list of everything you learned from that relationship.

Perhaps you learned how to talk about your feelings and be vulnerable with someone else, and maybe you learned that looks aren’t everything.

If the relationship was a toxic one, maybe you learned that you’re stronger than you think.[1] Maybe you learned what you don’t want and will not tolerate in your future relationships.

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Whatever the case may be, take the lessons that love gives you and treasure them.

2. You Have the Time to Grow

Your single years are all about learning who you are and growing from each experience you go through.

If your ultimate goal is to get married, why not use this time to grow and develop skills and traits that would make you a great husband or wife?

For example:

  • Can you cook?
  • Do you have a job?
  • Can you handle your finances well?
  • Do you have your own house/apartment?
  • Are you patient?
  • Do you know how to express your feelings well?
  • Do you have selfish tendencies?

These are better than simply giving up on love. Now is the time to do some self-exploration and work out who you want to be for yourself, your friends, family, and your future partner.

3. Now Is the Time for You

There is no better time to be a little selfish with your pursuits, energy, and focus than while you are single. Now is the time for you to take strides toward your dream career, to travel, and to focus on your social life.

Of course, you can still do these things when you are in a relationship, but love has the potential to be limiting.

There’s no doubt that it’s worth it, but you can’t travel the world for months on end when you’re helping your partner pay a mortgage or raising a family. At least, you can’t do it as easily as you would when you are single.

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Friendships are also important. These are the people who have supported you through every good and bad decision you’ve ever made. They were your shoulder to cry on when your relationships ended, and your dates ended up being duds.

Use this time as an excuse to focus on yourself and find out who you are when you aren’t part of a “We.”

Not only will this be good for your mental health and personal growth, but your confidence in yourself will also be incredibly appealing to your future partner.

4. You Deserve More Than Settling

If you want to find real love, you must be willing to stick it out for your perfect person instead of settling! When you wait to find that perfect person for you, you ensure that your personalities will gel.

Finding real love is about:

  • Spending quality time together
  • Learning the art of communication
  • Sharing similar goals and beliefs (though- they say opposites attract!)

Finding real love is also about finding someone you’re attracted to, who makes you laugh, and respects you.

If you haven’t found that yet, then why settle? You deserve the best relationship possible, so don’t give up on love yet. If it takes waiting a little while longer to find someone who hits all the checkmarks on your list, why not wait?

5. Things Worth Doing Are Rarely Easy

Think about it. The best things in life – the things that make you feel accomplished, proud of yourself, and inspired to do better are always difficult;

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Getting a degree, running with endurance, getting fit/losing weight, breaking a bad habit, learning something new like scuba diving or how to speak another language…

These are all things that take time to accomplish, but you feel so satisfied when you’ve completed that challenge.

The same can be said for finding the right relationship. Deciding to wait for someone who fulfills you instead of dating the first person who asks all because you’re lonely takes strength.

It takes courage to break up with someone you love but who is ultimately bad for you. It takes effort to be patient. But you’ll be glad that you did.

6. It Only Takes One

I remember telling my mother I was lonely. Agonizingly lonely. And do you know what she told me?

“It only takes one.”

These magic words couldn’t be truer.

Your date last Friday sucked, and you’ll never see that guy again, but you know what?

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The next guy could be the one. That next date could be the time where you feel chemistry like no other. It only takes one person to steal your heart away and change your world.

Think about it. You could meet the love of your life in a week and be with them for the rest of your life. If that happens, wouldn’t you rather look back on the time when you were single and remember that you were happy? That you enjoyed your time alone?

Your single years could be a blip on the radar in comparison to the years you’ll share with your husband or wife. So enjoy it. Don’t give up on love – because it only takes one.

Final Thoughts

Finding love isn’t always easy. It can be discouraging and may even feel like a full-time job sometimes – but don’t give up!

Resilience is the key to finding love. Enjoy the journey and focus on self-care and personal growth and absorb the lessons each relationship and each new date has to teach.

What to Read When You Feel Like Giving Up on Love

Featured photo credit: Giorgio Trovato via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Sylvia Smith

Sylvia is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships.

How To Resolve Relationship Conflicts without Hurting Each Other How to Leave a Toxic Relationship When You Still Love Your Partner How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship How to Stop Nagging And Communicate With Your Partner Better 6 Reasons Why You Should Not Give Up on Love

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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