Some of the smartest people I know could be the dumbest when it comes to relationships. I’m including myself in that statement. What about you?
Bestie, if only I could run away from the ghosts of my past, I happily would. The level of desperation I showcased just trying to keep certain relationships is embarrassing. You wouldn’t be proud of me.
However, growth is possible. And I like starting a lot of my articles with personal anecdotes because I want to remove the shame of making these mistakes. I’m reclaiming my mistakes with a more graceful and compassionate lens.
Dumb decisions in love? I’ve done it. Better decisions in love? I’ve done that, too. I have grown a list of non-negotiables in my relationships and am still trying to learn a few.
So, here it is, a list of 11 things that classy women should never accept in their partner. Hold my hand, sis, we’re going through this list together.
1) The mind games
I remember being around 22 or 23 and having this man playing mind games with me. He was breadcrumbing me before I even knew what that word meant.
But I was dumb, I wanted the attention he rationed.
Wisdom, however, is gained through lived experiences and he was a life lesson packaged in an emotionally-unavailable 30-year-old.
A classy woman would know how to disengage much earlier than I did. A woman who values her time will not waste it playing mind games with someone’s dusty son.
Marriage.com was not mincing words in their article about men playing mind games, “The best way to “beat” a man’s mind games is not to play.”
Adding, “Recognize the manipulation for what it is and assert your boundaries. Open and honest communication can be a powerful tool. Clearly express how his actions are affecting you and what you will not tolerate.”
2) The disrespect
Some forms of disrespect to be on the lookout for:
- Dismissive of your time
- Dismissive of your efforts
- Invades your privacy
- Invades your solo time/time with friends
- Flakes on you
- Makes decisions on your behalf without informing you
- Insults you by using backhanded compliments
- Demeans you
- Nitpicks your looks and/or personality
3) The entitlement
A classy woman, one who understands the importance of her time, will bristle at a partner’s entitlement.
She knows her worth and an entitled partner will need to try very hard to make her feel like the relationship is one that she will never have again. You want her to feel like you’re the best she will ever have? Ha.
Show it by being genuine, not through entitlement.
There are four general ways in which entitlement manifests in a relationship, as listed in this article from Psychology Today.
Psychiatrist Russell Lemle identifies them as:
- Feeling owed because of the sacrifices or generosity in the relationship.
- Feeling owed because of feeling so emotional
- Feeling owned because this is what people in a relationship are supposed to do.
- Feeling owed because you are more experienced, more knowledgeable than your partner.
4) The bare minimum
I loathe to admit it but I used to enjoy the bare minimum. Was I love-starved? Perhaps. Was I just young and needed to learn through experience? Sure, let’s go with that, that’s a kind way to put it.
Point is, I did sustain myself with the barest minimum that someone gave me. I even felt I was undeserving of it. How silly of me.
Those experiences now allow me to see the red flags from a mile away.
Feeling neglected shouldn’t be normal in a relationship. Feeling controlled? Not that either. It’s the barest minimum to be given appreciation, trust, and affection.
Constantly feeling confused about where you stand in your relationship? That shouldn’t be the case. Healthy communication is a bare minimum. Respect is also a bare minimum.
It’s possible to work through this, sure, but knowing when to leave a less-than-bare minimum relationship is also a classy and self-respecting move.
5) The distrust and unfounded jealousy
A classy woman, one who is loyal and faithful, will never stand for excessive and unfounded jealousy.
She will not thrive in a relationship with a partner so constantly distrustful. Constant and unfounded jealousy could be due to a lot of things, one of which is insecurity.
There is only so much validating that one can do for a person so distrusting of their partner. It’s one thing to have a valid reason, it’s another to continue building a relationship despite a lack of trust.
A woman certain of her loyalty will not last long with someone who constantly calls it into question.
6) The lack of communication
A show of hands for anyone who has ever been victimized by a romantic interest’s lack of emotional depth and vulnerability. (I have both my hands up, btw.)
Can you think of how many arguments in your relationships, past or present, that could have been prevented if both of you just sat down and talked it through?
Communication is vital in any relationship. It’s also how you resolve conflicts healthily.
A classy lady, one who speaks up for herself, knows this and will not accept the lack of it.
7) The lack of accountability
A classy woman, one who knows what she deserves and puts in the work to get it, will not be a great fit for a partner who lacks ambition.
Do I think that’s a dealbreaker? Not for all, but when laziness comes into play, then that’s a different story.
A lack of ambition could just mean a quiet, low-stress life, and honestly? To each their own. However, this kind of life still requires work and when laziness rears its ugly head, that’s when it gets messy.
A yearning for a low-stress life could become an excuse for never improving. And this lack of accountability for oneself will not fly with a classy lady.
She’s got work to do, bills to pay, and the world to conquer. She does not have the time to mind a partner who’s not willing to grow, or worse, a partner who’s not even willing to try.
8) The destructive personality
Numbers 9 and 10 are closely related and could even be one and the same for some. However, it’s one thing to not want to grow, it’s another to participate in destructive behaviors.
A classy lady, one who constantly chooses to better themselves, will not thrive with a partner who chooses destruction.
And if there’s one thing that we all know about misery is that it loves company. A classy woman will promptly remove herself from that narrative.
9) The insensitivity
A classy woman will not accept insensitivity from her partner—blatant or otherwise.
Jann Arden literally has a song about a romantic interest being insensitive, “Oh, I really should’ve known by the time you drove me home, by the vagueness in your eyes, your casual goodbyes.”
“By the chill in your embrace, the expression on your face[.]” A lot of us have been in the same situation.
You just know someone is no longer putting your feelings into consideration. The casual disregard, when they no longer consider your input.
When they blatantly ignore your needs and wants in favor of their own. When they don’t even care to ask.
The longer stretches of uncomfortable silence. The elephant in the room starts resting on your chest.
The sweet nothings that have truly lost their substance and feeling. None of these are acceptable to a woman who knows her worth.
If you don’t take her into consideration, then she will do that for herself.
10) The casual meanness
A classy woman is a woman who understands kindness. Reflects it, even.
Being mean or unkind is not something she tolerates. Especially if her partner is the type who would be casually mean.
Like, it’s so easy for them to be mean. Like breathing. Or even go out of their way to be cruel just because.
We all know people like those, don’t we? Poisonous for no other reason than amusement.
A woman who understands kindness will reject this kind of partner.
11) The uncertainty
Who even wants an unsure relationship? Not a woman who knows her worth, that’s for sure.
The gray area between Yes and No does not exist for a woman who doesn’t tolerate uncertainty. It’s either you’re all in or nothing. It’s either you choose them or leave.
Uncertainty has no place here.
One last thing
“A powerful woman is simply one who has not yet died,” said Jeanann Verlee in a poem once, and I have kept this close to my chest.
While I do think the poem presents the line in a darker context, I interpret it in a more empowering light, to mean that every woman is capable in her existence.
And her knowing just how powerful she is is a beautiful thing.
A woman who puts herself first will not allow others to put her last.
A woman who does not feel desperate to gain anyone’s attention is harder, dare I say impossible, to fool.
What power can you hold over her when her power is something she holds firmly in her hands?