It happens to the best of us. You can be madly in love. Like, we're talking head over heels here. But no one is immune to causing the 'oh that hurt' face in another person. It doesn't mean you love them any less, or that they are any less your Person. Necessarily. I mean, as always, take my advice with a pinch of salt and an appreciation for the sensitivities of the situation.
But yes, you might find yourself sitting in the corner of the playroom wondering if it's meant to hurt this much when the person you love has inadvertently hurt you. It happens. And you need to learn the golden rule about relationships in order to get through it.
Are you insecure about your legs? Does your partner know that? Does that stop them poking good-natured fun at them every now and then? If the answer to any of that is 'no', then it's well worth a conversation with your partner to clarify this. While it may be in poor taste on their end, it's easily remedied if you communicate that the jokes aren't quite landing or if it's making you uncomfortable. There's nothing wrong with that. Honestly, there isn't. They might be a little embarrassed or put out that they didn't realise your pressure points earlier, but in the long run, it's only good news. Not only will you now know each other that bit more intimately, but you will also be able to spot when the other one is hurting a little easier.
We all have those moments of doubt and insecurity in relationships. That's inevitable. Humans aren't infallible, nor should they be. If everyone was just robotic and said exactly what we were meant to say, where would the fun and surprise of life be? That said, we also acclimatise to toxic environments which aren't good for us.
We need to be better at recognising that we deserve better than what we sometimes get.
Often, we might be investing more of ourselves and putting our time on the line for a relationship that isn't being reciprocated in the same way. Also, we often feel guilt for thinking about stepping away from such relationships, as though we are withdrawing a service that we 'owe' another person. We don't owe people anything in this world, not inherently. Not if they're not giving us the same in return, it's just not emotionally sustainable. You end up expending and exhausting yourself and having nothing left for yourself.
Therefore, we need to recognise and relearn our power to say 'no' and mean it.
Or to tell the people around us what we need when we need it.
We don't need to become dictators or totalitarians to do this or to control the relationship, we just need to have an active and equal part in it. If we want to know where the relationship is headed, that's perfectly within our rights. Should your partner not be on the same page as you, that's fine – but that's the signal to leave the relationship. If you explicitly do not have a future there, then you're both wasting each other's time and effort, and making things harder for yourself in the long term.
The long and short of it? Cheaters are the biggest 'no-no'. There's a lot I'm willing to forgive in a relationship. But not that breach of trust. Nope. Don't believe me?
You're minding your own business, stupidly in love with Harry from down the road. He bought you flowers last week and always cooks for you. Life is good and you consider yourself safe and sound – it never even crossed your mind that he might not have been faithful.
Or equally, it could be the one that we really should have known better than to fall for. It's always the people we shouldn't have fallen for that hurt the most when they leave because it means you were right. But we can't help it. Love is all about those moments when you're minding your own business and then you realise your heart has gone on a romp about in someone else's bag. And there it goes! Nothing you or I can do about that. No sir.
But back to the emotionally turbulent matter at hand.
He's cheated. You hate the way it makes you feel and you break things off with him. But it's not as easy as that. The only reason it hurts so much is that you cared about him so much. Missing people against your will. Like it or not, your heart is still at their mercy. They may not even realise it, but that makes it even worse that people can keep such a casual, loose grip on all that tethers you to this mortal coil. I'm being dramatic but also I'm not.
Don't put a timeline on your life based on what people are doing around you.
If you're single now that isn't a flaw. It doesn't mean that it isn't what you need at the moment. Don't pressure yourself!
Relationships aren't always billed as what they're meant to be, anyway.