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Yay or Nay? 15 Affirmations For The Hopeless Romantic

When I first watched He’s Just Not That Into You, I laughed at the pessimistic outlook on dating and love. I saw it as overly critical of people’s actions, and as humorously faithless in men and humanity as a whole. Now, I can say with a confidence, that He’s Just Not That Into You is a cinematic masterpiece that best serves an audience prepared to have a practical, honest, and realistic outlook on relationships, dating, and life. It offers a fresh perspective, where maybe not every happy ending is romantic, and the ones that are, are well-deserved and hard earned. Here are 15 lessons to internalize about relationships, before, during and after. (Cue “Foolish One” by Taylor Swift).

1. Don’t Let A Man Tell You (or act like) He Doesn’t Want You Thrice

First time, have an honest, respectful conversation and communicate about what happened, what you need, and what needs to change. The second time: a reminder. The third time: walk away. If you’ve communicated to them something they’re doing is hurting you, reminded them, then the third time it’s a choice. They considered their decisions, knew how it would impact you, and did it anyway. Is someone who is intentionally making choices that hurt you worth staying with?

2. Respect Yourself More Than You Love Them

I feel like this one is self-explanatory and also one of the most important, but also really hard in action.

3. If You’re Confused How He Feels, “He’s Just Not That Into You”

Mixed signals are waving red flags. Confusion isn’t attractive, communication is.

4. You Are Always the Rule, Not the Exception

I know, people say it all the time, but it’s a hard thing to actually internalize. I know that I thought I was the exception: I would be the one that he changes for, we’d be an example of young love that works out. Don’t do it. And besides, if he has a long trail of certain behaviors, it isn’t your job to be the person that guides them and converts them into a good partner for you. It’s their job to enter the relationship as a good partner, and then both of you can grow together—knowing that you both are bringing the best versions of yourself to the table.

5. Boundless Empathy = Excuses

Empathy is a big word. It’s a catchphrase nowadays, really. And it’s a great thing – in limited quantity. Have a limit beyond where your empathy doesn’t extend, especially when it comes to your well-being and boundaries.

6. Trust Your Gut

When there’s a nagging feeling persistently in your gut that something’s off – believe it. It’s all too easy to dismiss it as anxiety, or an insecure attachment style. But a persistent sense of wrongness isn’t you misreading yourself, and is worth honoring. You don’t have to breakup, but at least look into it and be honest with yourself.

7. Walk into Relationships (and life) With the Expectation that This Isn’t the One, and Let Them Prove You Wrong

Optimism and faith are great – just not blindly. Be open, but don’t put expectations that encourage delusion and self-denial on the relationship.

8. A Relationship Should Be an Addition To Your Life

You were happy before. A relationship should only add to your already happy, fulfilled life. If it doesn’t – if it adds nothing, or, if it subtracts – let it go.

9. Don’t Play Hard to Get, Just Leave

If he wants you, you wouldn’t have to feel like you have to act like you don’t want him. And that doesn’t just apply to the infamous “playing hard to get” or “matching energy” – it means don’t change your expression of yourself and your affection in order to keep them. If you have to shrink yourself or your feelings to keep their attention, they probably aren’t worth the energy and your feelings.

10. The Exes

The golden rule: if they have three or more exes, there should be at least one they are on neutral (doesn’t have to be friendly), terms with. What would this ex say about them and how your partner treated them? How does your partner talk about their exes? “Controlling” and “crazy” are alarm words to be wary of when exes come up.

11. …And the Homies

How would their friends treat you after the break-up? How do your partner’s friends discuss your partner’s exes? What kind of boundaries does your partner have with their friends? Do they feel comfortable calling each other out in their friendships? The people that your partner keeps around them are a reflection of your partner, so pay attention. And the good ones usually stick around even after the break-up.

12. Boundaries !!!

What kind of boundaries do they keep with other people (especially in relationships with the potential to be non-platonic)? If you told them you wanted to set a boundary, how would they react? Would they respect that boundary? Boundaries are everything, whether it’s with you or with someone else. They demonstrate our ability to respect ourselves, other people, and our relationships.

13. If A Relationship Isn’t Working Out, Let it Go.

It isn’t failure, it’s just a natural conclusion. Even if the relationship ended, there was still value in it, and there continues to be value in it, even if that value changes.

14. We Can’t Read Minds, So Believe What You See

The closest we can ever get to knowing one another’s intentions is what they show and tell us. So take things at face value, there are no excuses to be made, or stories to be uncovered (at least generally).

15. Communication is Key, But Not Always

What are you communicating? Is it things that you should have to communicate, or should they be given? If these are things that your (undoubtedly) loved ones are already giving you without ever asking, just as a natural outcome of their love and respect for you, you shouldn’t have to ask it from your partner. Communication is for things with nuance to you, your relationship, and as a translation of your true intentions. If it’s ill-intention (carelessness included), then it’s not a communication issue, it’s a respect one. And respect issues are rarely resolvable.

My intention with this is (definitely) not to be petty in any way. They say you have to live to learn – this is hopefully a way for you to learn without ever having to live it. A compilation of things I wish I had known a year ago. And I highly recommend He’s Just Not That Into You (I swear this is not promotional), you can find it on amazon prime video 🙂

Ananya attends University of Washington, where she hopes to major in Political Science and has aspirations to become a lawyer. In her free time, she loves to read, write, play with her dogs, and watch tv.

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