Given that me and my previous girlfriend have been broken up for 5-6 weeks now, it's been forcing me to think more carefully about who I choose next or who I let choose me. With each girl I've dated there was usually a thing or two that I hated about them. It's not that I loved them less or anything like that but just something I didn't know how to handle or react to when it came up because it genuinely frustrated me so much.
Interestingly enough though, most of them had something in common and that was essentially conforming to societal norms. I understand that everybody wants to fit in, everybody wants to look pretty and feel pretty but I'm so sick of people constantly worrying about what others think about them. Van did this more than anyone I've ever known. It's one thing to dress for yourself, wear what you want, and just live for yourself but it's another to dress with the mindset of "are people going to think this looks pretty" rather than "I like this, I'll wear it."
Aside from very specific circumstances, people often dress for the approval of others, some girls wear jeans to make their "butt look bigger", or a bra that again makes their breasts look bigger or make-up to make their face look inhumanly flawless. I understand insecurities, I have many myself and always have but it was so frustrating to be with someone that valued the opinion of others over mine when it comes to appearances. I thought she was the most beautiful before makeup, before "sexy" clothing, before whatever other thing she changed about herself on a daily basis before leaving the house. Everything she ever did was to please someone else, to win the approval of anyone that laid eyes on her, anyone that ever asked anything of her, etc...
At the time I thought this was just something I'd have to accept about her- not that I wouldn't have, that it was part of who she was but after being apart I've had a lot of clarity in my thoughts now that I'm a few steps back and I understand now that it's not something I should just be fine with because it is a bad/toxic thing. We talked about weddings, and she always brought up what her dad wanted instead of me or us as a couple, we talked about her friends not treating her well and she was always worried about how they'd feel if she spoke out (so much that I was forbidden when wanting to solve the issue myself, so she didn't have to be confrontational), I was someone that didn't plan on going to college and she was worried about how her dad would feel about it, and everything was always about everybody else when it came to her choices. Why couldn't she just worry about what I thought about her clothing choices, about what we wanted for our wedding instead of her dad, what I thought about her body, about how she felt about me instead of her dad, about how she felt instead of her friends that mistreated her, why did everything always have to be about everyone else with her when we were supposed to be focusing on each other.
It's a sweet thing, but there comes a point where it's just ridiculous and unfair to your partner. I've heard several times that if you aren't happy before dating someone then you won't be happy with them (to which I disagree with), and I've heard that you have to love yourself before you can love someone. In my particular case I can definitely love someone before loving myself, if anything loving someone and being loved by someone helps me feel better about myself and increases my self-confidence but after Van, I realized that rule really does apply to some people. She could never give me all her love because she didn't love herself, she was always worried about how she looked and what others would think about her instead of doing what she thought was right, wearing what she liked or whatever was comfortable for her, she could never accept my thoughts either despite me being her partner in life because there were so many other opinions on her mind. It was never just our opinions; it was ours and everyone else's or just everyone else's and it put so much strain on our relationship. I tried many times to explain my thoughts about it, but I guess she just felt judged, and I didn't know how to change anything for the better, so I just stopped trying and did my best to suppress the thoughts I wanted to say to avoid conflict.
Ya live and learn I guess.