Yesterday I walked through my kitchen and something on the counter caught my eye. It was a pile of neatly trimmed bread crust. It made me smile. Earlier in the day while I was tending our yard sale, my husband went inside and made all of us sandwiches. He’d cut the crust off mine. Honestly, I didn’t even notice at the time, but I don’t like crust and he knows that. My husband is very, very good to me.
They say it’s the little things, like the way he always makes sure I have a glass of water next to my bedside because he knows I get thirsty at night. Or the way he cuts my steak into bite-sized pieces because he knows this mostly vegetarian girl, who wants to enjoy the steak, gets grossed out by having to cut it up. It’s the way he opens the car door for me and hands me my seatbelt. Or the way he helps me get the air conditioning and the fans set up just so at night, so all the dogs and I get just the proper amount of cool breezes while we sleep. Little things matter a lot.
But you know what matters more? Big huge things like the fact that I trust him absolutely. He’s kind without exception. He’s one of the best communicators I’ve ever met. And you know what? It’s not a fluke. He’s that way with everyone. They say you can tell how a man will treat you by seeing how he treats his mother. There’s a lot of truth to that. My husband is very, very good to his mother. However, an even more accurate indicator of how he will treat you is how he treats his ex-wife. One of the first things I noticed about my beloved was that he never spoke an ill word about his ex – never.
Lucky me, right? Absolutely.
However, I once spent two years with this one guy I often refer to as Satan. A little more than two years actually. 764 days to be exact. I refer to him as Satan for very obvious reasons. For the sake of brevity I’ll let you use your imagination. Satan came on hot and heavy early in our relationship. He professed his love way earlier than was appropriate. In a lot of ways, he worshipped the ground I walked on from the day we met until the day we violently parted ways, and maybe even after that.
However, obviously, since I’m using words like Satan, and despite the fact that he worshipped the ground I walked on and professed his love early on, I wasn’t so lucky. I honestly do believe he thought he loved me, but he didn’t. I don’t think he could, and if I’d been paying any attention at all, I would have known that before the nightmare even began. How?
Because if I’d looked at his life I would have known, he had a horrible relationship with his family, every single one of them. He treated his ex like shit when they were still together and openly admitted that. He talked badly about her after the breakup. He had zero close friends, in fact, it was a stretch to say he had any friends at all.
His whole life was a mess. Every single relationship he had was strained or a distant memory. And somehow I thought our relationship would be an exception. Somehow I thought he’d treat me better than he treated other people. Even as I write that, I kid you not, I’m laughing out loud. Although at the time it wasn’t that funny.
It’s not rocket science. There are good people in the world, and not so good people. It’s not that hard to tell the difference. People leave lots of clues about who they are in their lives and who they will be in yours. If you want to be in a relationship with someone the best place to look for clues is in other relationships they have or may not have.
We’ve all seen the movies. Bad boy meets good girl and because she loves him so much he turns himself around and becomes the man of her dreams. It’s a compelling plot line. It’s also Hollywood. Does it ever happen in real life? Sure. Occasionally. But do you want to put your heart and your future on the table for something that happens on rare occasions? I hope not. I hope you think you’re worth more than a sketchy bet.
I joke around about my social services dating days. I dated a lot of men who needed fixing or taking care of. I supported more than one of them emotionally and financially way too long. I think I did it in part because I figured if I dated someone who needed me they would value me more than I actually valued myself. They didn’t.
Being a rehab dater is a sure way to broke and broken hearted. Don’t bet on being the exception. It rarely pays. Look for someone who doesn’t need fixing. Find someone to love who has a track record of being able to love. Look for someone who has a reputation for being the good guy. Nice guys really don’t finish last. Nice guys end up in relationships that have the real possibility of lasting a lifetime.
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Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
Posted on 08/06/2014 at 12:00:00 AM