Hi everyone! As some of you might know, I'm pretty new to RPW and I've spent most of my brief time here as a lurker. During that time, I found a lot of things on this sub that really connected with my personal beliefs, but other things that left me confused and perhaps a little bit indignant. But I realized this was normal and that it was up to me to figure things out for myself. Now, though, I'm having those lightbulb moments where things just fall into place in my head, which I'm so excited about. I wanted to share some of my thoughts on my realizations and hopefully stimulate some conversation :)
Out of all that I read, there was this one specific post that bothered me and kept tripping me up. I'll quickly summarize: OP said that both she and her SO were extremely jealous people and that she was desperate for solutions. Some of the wiser, more experienced users on this sub were saying that OP should view other girls eyeing her SO as assurance of the high quality of her SO, which should incite her to better herself. They also said OP should stop hanging around the men that made her OP so jealous. OP responded back that she didn't understand why she had to change when her SO didn't. When I first read that, I still had a lingering mindset that was shaped by the feminist-society we live in, and so agreed with OP. The post popped back into my head today, and the rationale of the users who responded finally made sense!
I know a lot of the older users on this sub say things like "don't live tit for tat" and while I sort of understood that before, I think it only truly clicked today. See, what I realized was that in a relationship, it doesn't matter who has to change, the only thing that matters is that the problem gets solved. Let me just say that again because I think it's so important: the only thing that matters is that the problem gets solved.
Who cares if you're the one who has to change? If the relationship means enough to you, you shouldn't be upset that you're the one making the so-called "sacrifice." And that's what made me feel so lost, the fact that you have to totally readjust how you think when you're in a relationship. You have to go from focusing on "what's in my best interest" to "what's in our best interest."
The thing is, if you've chosen a good man, you won't always be the one making the change. When you realize something is wrong, you'll need to be the one who changes and readjusts your attitude. That's only to be expected, though, because other times he'll be the one seeing issues and making changes and sacrifices you might not even notice. Relationships are all about a give and take, with each person contributing in different, but equally important ways, to build up something neither of you could create alone.
At first, it's hard to transition from the mindset that oh, as women we have to make sure that "our men respect us" and that we're never, ever viewed as wrong, but that's exactly the mindset that gets us into so many problems in the first place! I realize now that I've been viewing relationships from such a flawed, selfish view. The mindset I had might work for short-term flings, but it's not at all appropriate for anything meaningful and long-term.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, as a new user, there's a lot of things that bombard you all at once. At first, it's overwhelming to take in, and you're going to disagree with a lot. But that's only to be expected! The important thing is not to dismiss it immediately just because you don't agree with it yet, but to learn more about it. Everything on this sub might not work for you, but that's no reason to get frustrated or discouraged! In order to better ourselves, we have to first absorb as much knowledge as possible and try them out in order to then properly pick out what will be useful for our particular situation. I hope anyone who's on the newer side and is reading this gets at least a little bit encouraged to reread some posts that bothered them and think about it in a new light :)