Things That Matter

Reddit Users Are Sharing Advice On How To Get Over Your Fear Of Being Hurt By A New Partner

Heartache often proves to be a heck of a mountain to get over.

Isolating, physically and emotionally draining, and ultimately desperate, the feeling of having your heart split into can be a traumatizing one that can bleed into future relationships. No matter how healthy or new, the relationships we get into after heartbreaks can be difficult to navigate, and often times feel like a minefield of potential problems.

Users on Reddit know this truth and are doing their best to help us all get over our dating fears.

Check out some helpful insights below!

“By healthily distancing myself and having more to focus on in my life than a current relationship. I find that I have more trouble with these feelings when I’m lacking outside hobbies and friends. It’s easy to constantly worry about a new relationship when it’s the center of your world, and giving yourself space outside the relationship can also really help if you’re prone to being codependent on partners/spouses.”- SwirlyButterfly

“After certain number of heartbreaks, you start to realize you’ve always survived and you’ll survive if it happens again. Having a full life apart from the relationship is a big part of that.”- 1VulgarWoman

“When I started going on out the weekends with friends, it helped soooo much. I noticed when I was getting depressed I wasn’t going out at all. Giving myself the space allowed the relationship to flow perfectly.”- itristain

“By going slow. When my now fiance asked me out I was five months removed from being raped by two guys at a house party and was still really shaken up about it. I didn’t trust men, I didn’t crave sex or intimacy, I was anxious and hurt. But against my gut I agreed to go on the date and was delighted to find he was sweet and respected my wishes. After we’d been seeing each other for about three months I told him that I’d been assaulted and he was always there for emotional support. We’re getting married in August, our sex life is great and I’m infatuated with him. It just took time.”- Mineralista406

“I know that moving forward after a bad relationship I will never ignore red flags and chose partners with morals and goals similar to mine. Do not ignore red flags because you’re lonely. It’s not worth it.”- Melyjane312

“It’s hard because it took me a long time and a lot of conversations to feel secure and that i was finally with someone who wasn’t going to hurt me. And he said all of those right things with no doubts, no red flags etc. However sure enough one day- heart broken. So I don’t know how i will ever do it again.”- icecream112233

“Depends if you are with them, or want one right away.

For me, distance, u dont need someone else to be complete, put those standards high. If you want a loving gentle yet strong and dependable partner, manifest him.”- Koroklass

“I think it might be helpful to adopt a mindset where you realize people aren’t really going to change for you (unless you have a really special bond or something and you’re in a really deeply committed relationship where your partner is willing to compromise etc.) and that whatever they do is a reflection of who they are as a person and not who you are. Yeah you can communicate and if they choose to listen then great, If not well there’s almost always a choice on whether to stay or not. Sometimes it’s not that people want to hurt you it’s just that they simply don’t know better or they have some character “flaw” that speaks more about them. Or that due to timing or the nature of things it can’t work right now, or some people aren’t built for relationships, and that relationships can be vastly different with different people. No one is perfect and we can only do our best. And like what other people are saying, shift that focus onto yourself and work on being a good person living a happy and healthy life doing things that you love will help!”- imightforgetthis11

“Aww man… it took over a year. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year and some months. I used to have bad anxiety. I never been in a healthy relationship. This feeling was sooo new to me. I felt so uneasy and still wouldn’t and couldn’t trust him. I prayed ALOT. And It was proven that I could trust him and just relax but I still couldn’t. I tried 3 therapist that didn’t help. I just wasted money. What helped me was reading books and going out with my friends. I am currently reading 4 books and reading them has helped my issues. It’s therapy for me. I read books about relationships and men and women. I learned more about myself. I got a relationship/life coach by researching the book and found that there are people who will coach you. She told me I get anxiety because I’m going against my feminine ways. I was trying to control my bf for no reason, nag him and etc. I stopped doing that and became relaxed. I focused on becoming a better person. I read books on being feminine in a relationship and I tried it. I started being more happy and just letting go. I stopped worrying and it feels great. I don’t think he will hurt me. I don’t have those thoughts anymore. I don’t think he’ll cheat either. He adores me so much and I get reminded of that every single day. I just sat back and did nothing and focused on ME. You have to fix yourself before you get into a relationship or else marriage will unravel it all and it could go bad. When I prayed I already had confirmation. I downloaded scripture apps and got more into prayer. If you’re religious then trusting God will help you trust yourself

I also learned that thinking negative has ALOT to do with it. I learned to only think positive and I’m normally happy the whole entire day. I just changed my life around. My coach also said when I change, my partner changes. He was always loving to me, but now he seems to have falling deeper.”- itristain

“Books have also been a huge help in my healing journey and figuring out how not only my partners, but I was hurting and sabotaging my relationships.”-Sea-Delay

“I am and always have been laid back, loving and trusting in my relationships. But they have always ended in the the guy treating me bad eventually (I have broken up with them pretty quick after such treatment). But now I always have a feeling they will betray me no matter how loving our relationship is, like they are always just pretending to be loving and will eventually be horrible to me and it makes me feel really sad.”- callmedeniro

“Time and taking things slowly in the beginning. Took me a while to get there but I worked through those feelings and got there eventually.”- kinkyspidersex

“My fiance came home from work and instead of helping my friend move that was standing right outside, he told me he actually didn’t love and dint want to be in this life with me anymore. So that was rough. I dont think… I have gotten over that fear? I still think about how my current, long term partner of almost 3 years might do that. And there’s not much I can do about it? It wasn’t my fault the first time, shit just happens, he might fall out of love with me this time too. I just remember those fears are mine,and not rational, and thats not fair to put on my current partner to make me feel better about.”- seeemilydostuf

“It all came down to the right man. He could have other women but he wants me. He doesn’t have to be with someone to be happy but he chooses to be with me. He never tells me something he doesn’t think is true. In light of all that I just can’t really imagine him hurting me or lying to me about how he feels… he’s just had so many opportunities to do something else and he hasn’t.”- phasestep

“Day by day, by being vulnerable with my new partner and most of the time he doesn’t let me down.”- StrongEye1738

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From No-Sleep Lifestyles To ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey,’ People Talk About The Toxic Things We Tend To Glamorize

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From No-Sleep Lifestyles To ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey,’ People Talk About The Toxic Things We Tend To Glamorize

Summit Entertainmen

“Being able to function with minimal levels of sleep. I know I used to do that, it feels so much better to get a full night of rest though.”- iimuffinsaur

“This is my mom. I’m a very heavy sleeper. I don’t function without at least 8 – 9 hours a night. She often makes snarky comments about how she was awake at 3:30 am and working while I slept until 5. God forbid I stay in bed until 6 on a Sunday! Then I’m no better than a bum!”- Smart-Connection6154

“When I was in middle school I had stayed up all night like with friends or something and thought the feeling the next day was pretty cool and funny. did it in high school a few times here and there especially in the summer and again I was so cool. Stayed up all night a few times throughout college, either partying, hang out with friends, or studying. I would still function the next day so obviously it was no big deal just sometimes be sleep deprived. I knew what sleep deprivation felt like, I knew what exhaustion felt like. It wasn’t that bad.

Fast forward to early 30s and I’m a new mom. On more than one occasion I can recall sitting on the bathroom floor with my knees drawn up to my chest, sobbing, I can hear my daughter crying in her crib middle of the afternoon, I can feel my organs wanting to shut down and my whole body desperately trying to turn off. Mentally I was absolutely terrified that I was never again going to get to sleep. That’s no exaggeration. I was terrified out of my mind. I really did truly believed that I was dying. It had been months of nights where I was woken up every 45 minutes, only to be up for at least an hour. I was truly considering myself lucky if I got 3 hours of very broken sleep. Even before my daughter came, the third trimester I was up four or five times a night because I have an overactive bladder that was made worse by pregnancy.

When my second came along, I would have anxiety attacks about the impending sleep deprivation that I knew was going to be coming. My kids are older now, they sleep through the night no problem, if they have to get up and go to the bathroom they go themselves and if they do wake me up it’s maybe once a month. And yet I still start to panic if I can’t fall asleep at night or if I wake up during the night and can’t go back to sleep in a timely fashion. I’m so afraid of ever experiencing that level of sleep deprivation again.

Sleep deprivation is no joke.”- girlwhoweighted

“And boasting that you work 60 hours a week and never take any holidays or sick leave.”- _harro_

“If you work super duper hard and dedicate your entire life to your career you become rich! Everybody knows that! All the rich company owners told us that’s how it’s done so it must be true. They are rich after all.”- DarthTheRaider

“My job says if u call out more than 3 times you get an occurrence (basically a mark for disciplinary action). This also applies to being late. There are also a number of ways at work to get a mark as well. 4 occurrences is a warning, 5 is written warning, and 6 is termination. Meaning if you’re just having a very bad year and need to call out more than normal, you’re out of a job. I literally come into work sick because I’m terrified I’ll have some kind of windfall and need to call out in a no choice situation.

These also affect your ability to get promoted which I am trying to do. And even then it’s no guarantee. I’ve called out once in the last 12 months because I’m trying to get a new job that I’m easily qualified for but competing against fatigue worshippers who haven’t called out in years. There were a couple of times I was literally puking in the bathroom I was so sick but didn’t want to call out or go home (going home early is an occurrence).

You may say find a new job, but there are no jobs right now that pay this well. Don’t get me wrong, the pay is great for where I live and I actually like (eh maybe more tolerate easily?) the job. It’s just their culture I can’t stand.”- MasterPip 

“I’m in academia and remember in grad school being so intimidated by postdocs who kept insisting they had so much to do they worked all weekends, couldn’t take vacations, stressed all the time, etc. And this was in Europe so not a crazy work obsession like in the USA!

Made me feel so nervous that I wasn’t cut out for it because I was only doing regular hours, and now that I’m a postdoc myself I can now say those people were just insane. Maybe if you’re in a field where you need to be in the lab for research to happen it’s different, but in mine I’d say you either have terrible working habits or say yes to a ton of stuff you shouldn’t if you’re working 60+ hours every week.”- Andromeda321

“the whole idea of being a ”hustler” and never staying off the grind is extremelly toxic. everyone keeps promoting that you should always work and be productive but that just won’t work. everyone needs a balance in their lives and putting your 95% of effort into working will just drain every bit of inspiration or fun from you.”- taeslid

“I belonged to an internet group with a member who did this ALL THE TIME. No matter the topic of discussion, from working out to watching the Oscars on TV, she would always be inform the rest of us that she had no time for such things because of her job.

She worked as a communications specialist at a small town hospital.”- haloarh

“I think the most jarring part of this paradigm is that the people humble-bragging about how hard they worked and how successful they are never take the time to address the value of:

  • simple good luck (good health, good circumstances, right place right time)
  • waiting

The message is always “look at how good I’ve got it, and all because I worked so hard [implicitly harder than you because I have this and you do not therefore you must not be doing the hard work that I do]”. Obviously there is a value to working smarter not harder and capitalising on opportunities but it overlooks the basic principle that so much must have gone right for them that is beyond their control for which they now take credit.

The waiting point is a big one for me as well. People who espouse this “hard work, constant graft” attitude fail to acknowledge that sometimes in life there is a value derived from the passage of time. Sure some people get lucky and make millions at a young age or become grotesquely famous due to some twist of public interest but for most people there is a real life value in the experience gained through living your life and just turning up. You don’t need to constantly thrash yourself into moving 100mph, you don’t need to beat yourself down for taking some time to catch your breath and actually enjoy life. Sometimes you just have to keep turning the wheel for a bit, maybe it’s a few years in a job that is really good for your career or a few years just putting money in the piggybank so you can buy your first house.

We live in a world that has commercialised success stories, the narrative that you can go from “nothing” to “something” in a relatively short time using the power of your supreme genius and superhuman work ethic is saleable, on social media (celebs on instagram), in magazines, on TV etc etc. Obviously some people do hit a booster and go very fast very quickly but for just about 99.9% of us that’s a fallacy. Sometimes all you need to do is keep working at a healthy, sustained pace and focus on enjoying your time on this planet because there are no bonus points for working yourself into a state of misery.”- aightshiplords

“Severe codependent “romance”. Twilight is a good example of an extreme case of this.

Also, manipulative, possessive, and controlling behavior in a romantic partner.”- tygs42

“Yeah, what the fuck was that “break into her room at night and watch her sleep” crap?

bUt ItS TwOo LoVE!

Bullshit! it’s stalking and it’s creepy.
Him being over a hundred years old doesn’t make it any better either.”- Ruadhan2300

“Also Fifty Shades. You don’t want a Mr Grey, Karen. Women who get a Mr Grey end up in the morgue or in the women’s refuge after fleeing for their lives.”- house_autumn

“Damaged bad boys do not take breakups very well in fiction. See: Anakin Skywalker, Edward Cullen, Christian Grey, etc.”- SamaritanPrime

“Kind of along these lines, when a guy is an asshole to everyone except his girlfriend, it doesn’t mean that she’s special to him. It means he knows how to not be an asshole just enough to convince someone that he isn’t an asshole.”- SmartAlec105

“I remember my mother trying that. It backfired spectacularly when she realized I was enjoying the peace and quiet, so she just beat the shit out of me again.”- PotentialRegister8

“Ah, that was my mom…refusing to speak to me for days sometimes and I usually didn’t know why. At the time it was so stressful and I would spend that time crying and walking on eggshells trying not to upset her further. Now I’m like, uh this was going on from the time I can remember, which was 4 years old and she was an adult…who does that?!”- ummugh

“Twilight. It’s not really a healthy relationship.”- BandicootCrustybuns

“A couple I went to school with used to proudly compare their relationship to Joker and Harley Quinn.

I blame the Suicide Squad movie. It didn’t show off the absolute tragedy of Harley’s relationship with Joker and I’d say it glamourised it more than anything.”- loneOstrich

“The book/movie that really stands out for me is the 50 Shades series. He’s only sexy/romantic because he’s rich. If he were poor and got rid of her car without asking, tossed all of her clothes, tracked her phone, covered her in bruises/hickeys because he didn’t like how she behaves… He was a total shitbag…. Yet so many women thought that their relationship was amazing.”- DelicateIslandFlower

“I was raised by a single father and started to realize that when I didn’t obey out of fear or had my own arguments and opinions he kind of respected me and listened to me more. That caused me to have a very natural behaviour around men regarding my opinions.

I state them, I disagree and I am not afraid to be unlikable because of it. In the end it’s just an opinion and healthy discussions should endure this.

Also, people tend to listen to you if you are respectful, waiting for your turn to talk and state your opinion well spoken and calm, there’s no need to get hysterical or emotional because someone else disagrees with you. I feel oftentimes this might be a problem in discussions and in order to avoid that, women (no generalisation just because the question is aimed at women) often agree because they fear personal conflict.”- tingletangletits

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How Realizing Not Having To Be Agreeable Impacted These Women’s Lives

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How Realizing Not Having To Be Agreeable Impacted These Women’s Lives

Warner Bros. Pictures

So often as women, we find ourselves forced into the position of feeling as if we have to accommodate the feelings and desires of other people. We say “yes” to things when we want to actually say “no.” We smile when we feel sad or upset in order to make others feel comfortable. And more often than not we find ourselves contorting ourselves into being smaller to make others feel big.

Women on Reddit recently addressed the moment they realized they no longer had to do this in order to make others feel better.

The stories were pretty surprising! Check them out below.

“It’s become more clear as I’ve gotten older (hitting 30). Being forceful gets shit done. I don’t need people to like me, but I do need them to do their jobs. It’s worked for slumlord landlords (reporting code violations) and shitty coworkers (refusal to participate in busywork projects).

Being excessively agreeable wastes your time and costs you money. No, I’m not attending wedding or baby showers for acquaintances. No, I’m not buying whatever multilevel marketing crap acquaintances are pushing. No, I do not want to hold your baby.

It also sets you up for shitty, unsatisfying relationships. Potential partner, I am not a maid nor the fun director of the cruise ship that is your life. Handle your own shit.

Focusing on myself has allowed me to achieve my goals.”- SnackHardNapHard

“YES. I turned 30 last year and I started becoming less concerned about being “nice.” When you’re used to being agreeable and a people pleaser, it’s a tough transition, but I’m staying the course.”- 

“Being agreeable and having boundaries can happen at the same time. I feel like I’m constantly evaluating the opportunity cost of saying yes/ being agreeable. Sometimes it’s really no big deal to be agreeable and it doesn’t make you a doormat. Sometimes it’s important to take a stand for yourself and speak up.”- Potential_Sea_832

“Actually when I got cancer. I just started giving no fucks about dumb shit. I cut out toxic people like it was nothing. Wanna be dramatic? Block. Wanna demand i do something for you? Block. It was so freeing and easy. No regrets at all.” –SilentSiren39

“When I was about 9 and my parents divorced, (mid 80’s so this was unheard of), my little friend group thought something was wrong with me and they decided to ostracize me. I vividly remember being on the playground and thought ‘fuck that shit’ and walked off to find new friends. From then on I give no fucks and take no shit.”- McWonderWoman

“100% agree. Honestly I think today was the first time I really truly had an authoritative vibe going on during a meeting. I’ve been at my job for almost 4 years and I’m 30 years old. When I first started, I sat in the meetings taking notes and just listening. Now I’m able to call out people on their shit while still being likable at the end of the day. I think either of the two extremes aren’t as useful as being friendly AND direct. Sad that it took me this long to feel comfortable in these shoes though!”- stripedbathmat

“I thought that I was being “nice” and “cool” and “a good friend” by never having an opinion on anything and always saying “I want to do whatever you want to do!” and “I want to eat whatever you want to eat!”

I would visit friends and I honestly thought I was being “cool” and “easygoing” by having zero plans for what to do while I’m there and making the host make all the decisions.

At some point it began to dawn on me how fucking ANNOYING it was to be around someone who goes out of their way to avoid having an opinion on things. I realized it was a defense mechanism I had built up over decades of living in a house where if you answered a question “wrong” you were harassed and taunted for the next year over it.

Once I realized that healthy, good people who ask you “Do you prefer tacos or Chinese for dinner tonight?” are ACTUALLY asking you and they are not laying in wait, ready to pounce on you and call you an piece of shit for answering the question “wrong” my life changed dramatically.

A person who has no opinion and only agrees with the group is not being “cool” and “easygoing” they are being a freaking door mat!! Probably because of some trauma or low self esteem (a mix of both for me).

Now if asked an honest question, I give an honest answer, and if someone freaks out then I realize that THEY are the one with issues, not me.”- FuckTon_of_Frosting

“For me, this moment happened when I was listening to a podcast called My Favorite Murder. Two women comedians telling stories of murder/crimes and talking about it respectfully the way you would talk to your friends. One episode they say “fuck politeness” in terms of you don’t have to be nice to strangers because you’re scared of seeming rude. It’s how a lot of women end up as victims of violent crime. Now I understand fuck politeness and it has made me so much more aware of my own self preservation and made me realize that people who react negatively to that are not people I want around me anyway. It’s been liberating and has helped my anxiety tremendously!”- Statistical-outlier1

“I’ve always been labeled as “challenging” by most people, especially teachers growing up. It’s gotten me in hot water a few times but the majority of the time, you gain respect. I stand up for myself and those around me that need it and don’t take crap. I don’t have time for toxic people or those who don’t treat me with any respect and it makes life so much easier without the drama. I still care deeply for the people in my life and make an effort to be well liked. But being a doormat doesn’t do you any favours.”- Scotty_Blues

“I never understood why i have to be agreeable to be honest… I was really bad at understanding social norms as a kid and it impacted my life in a lot of bad ways but there’s a lot of silver lining too… I realized a lot about myself and what im willing to put up with purely by Questioning things a lot, and the whole be a lady, be as small as possible, don’t be stubborn, that’s not how girls act, youll change your mind when youre older etc etc thing never made sense to me… It all seemed like it was made up to either stop me from having fun or to excuse people mistreating me (i was called stubborn a lot and i took it as a compliment every time cause it always happened when someone tried stomping a boundry for instance).

Then I grew up and realized it’s all stupid made up rules that exist to hold women down anyway. so yeah, im still dumb sometimes but at least i have enough confidence to not think misogyny is normal and i should put up with it…”- AvocadoBounty

“When it wasn’t about me. For some reason, I find it way easier to step up and say no when it was about other people. Like in college, when we were all out dancing and some creepy guy would start dancing up on me, I’d just go with it. But if a friend of mine was being creeped on, I’d cut in, tell him “no, she’s not interested” and move on. When I started work as a nurse, I realized this was even more important. I had to advocate for my patients because they can’t talk, or because I have information about the patient that the doctors making decisions didn’t. It didn’t matter if I was going against what the rest of the team or the patient’s family thought/wanted. My job was to uphold what the patient wanted.

As far as not being agreeable when it comes to myself, I’d say it was when I had a horrible breakup with my ex. He was the guy I thought I was going to marry, start a family with, and grow old together because he loved me. Turns out I was wrong. And after that, I had this horrible realization that no one (besides family) had my back…which was definitely depressing. but then I realized I could just have my own back, lol. So I started doing things that I wanted to do. I traveled to places I wanted to see. I went back to school for the degree I wanted. I invested and picked up the hobbies I wanted. and I never hesitate to spend money on myself, because fuck it. I’m worth it!”- lexi7171

“When my therapist gave me permission to hate the woman my ex completely destroyed me to be with – as long as I never actually acted on it (which I never have and never will because she didn’t do anything wrong that I can prove, I just fucking hate how her entire life has been perfect and full of money even though she’s basic af, unlike my ex or I). Hating her without reservation let me just…be. It almost gave me a sense of peace. I was never going to get closure from that donkey of an ex and the anonymous hate messages I used to get were definitely from this woman but allowing myself to stop saying “well I don’t want to hate on another woman since he’s the one who was a monster to me” and stopping giving her all these allowances let me see who he really was and how he treated me like shit compared to the way he is with her.”- FragrantEscape20

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