by Coralie AmatoOver the past three years, I’ve been through three break-ups. The first was my six year marriage. The second was an eight-month-long relationship with a long-lost friend. The third was a five month long relationship which came out of the blue. That last one was with someone I came to know in such a random way, but who touched me deeply. I’m fortunate to still have friendships with all of them, even my ex-husband, although that’s more for the sake of the child we had together.
I’m sure everyone wonders if there’s something they could have said or done that would have turned the tide and stopped the breakup. In reality, there’s probably no one thing that could have saved the relationship. After all, relationships rarely fall apart because of isolated incidents.
Since I’m still friends with all three of these people, I’m able to tell them what I think of the time I was with them. For instance, what I feel about how the relationship progressed and how it ended. Strangely enough, while in the midst of a relationship, we don’t always feel so free to actually say some of the things we want to say.
I wonder if there are things I should warn a future partner about before we even start dating. The good things about me are fairly obvious straight away—probably the things that cause the attraction in the first place—but the ‘bad’ things often don’t show up until further into the relationship. If I was to warn someone of those more negative aspects of my personality, these would be some of the things I’d say
1. I can be needy.
To paraphrase one of my favourite movies, I’m the worst kind of woman: I’m high-maintenance, but I think I’m low maintenance. Let’s face it: in general, women are more emotionally needy than men. You need to give me a steady supply of attention. It doesn’t have to be flowers every day. Just regular reassurance with little things such as a hug, a kiss on the cheek, or a touch in passing to let me know you care, or a text message to let me know you’re thinking of me – even if you’re not. How needy I become is inversely proportional to how much of those bits of attention you give me.
2. I hate being left in the dark.
When you go into your ‘cave’ to think about things, I need to know if it’s about me. I don’t need to know all the details, I just need to know if I should be worried.
3. I often think it’s my fault.
If discussions with friends prove anything, I suspect that most women are wired this way. For some reason, I think that whenever you’re in a bad mood, it must have been something I did. When you’re grumpy, I feel as though it’s my responsibility to make you feel better. I have to consciously try to stop myself thinking that I’ve caused you to feel however it is that you’re feeling. I have to convince myself that I don’t need to make you feel better. Perhaps it’s an evolutionary thing; to be successful at nurturing, we need to feel responsible for the emotional state of the people closest to us.
4. Sometimes I’m insecure.
This is another thing with which most women seem to suffer. I consider that I have quite a healthy self-esteem; a much healthier self-esteem than most woman have, in fact. But when it comes to relationships, my expectations are much higher and when those expectations aren’t met, I feel insecure – much more insecure than I’m used to feeling. I wonder if those expectations are too high, but then, if this is the person you’re thinking of being with for a long, long time, isn’t it right that your expectations of them are greater than that of a friend?
If I did tell someone these things about myself, would they run a mile before the first date even occurred? Is it really better to know in advance?
Would you like to know these sort of things about someone you’re considering dating? Or would you prefer to just enjoy the pleasantness at the beginning and find out about the more difficult aspects of their personality as you get to know them? Are you with someone now whom you love to bits and pieces and you’d never want to leave them, but if you knew then what you know now, you might never have asked them out? If this was the case, you might have missed out on something wonderful, right?
Your thoughts? I’d like to know!
I live in Brisbane, Australia. I’m a gadget freak, a greenie, a bit of a hippie Mum to one small boy, and a word geek. I try to be as environmentally friendly and ‘live and let live’ as possible – except when it comes to cockroaches.
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