It doesn’t matter how strong and confident you are — when you’re single and dating, you meet all kinds of terrible guys who can’t see how amazing you are and how lucky they are to have a chance at being part of your life. You don’t have to put up with a guy who treats you like an option rather than his first and only choice. In fact, you shouldn’t — you should do these things instead:
1. STAY RESOLUTE IN DEMANDING BETTER. The easiest thing to do with this kind of guy is accept the status quo, keep hanging out with him, and date him on his terms. Don’t do that. You want to date him on terms that are agreeable to BOTH of you. Stay strong in demanding better treatment and know that you’re doing the right thing in standing up for yourself (because you totally are).
2. DON’T SECOND-GUESS YOURSELF — TRUST YOUR GUT. It can be tempting to think that you’re blowing things way out of proportion, being too sensitive, or expecting too much, but you’re not crazy for thinking that you deserve to be treated well. After all, if a guy likes you, making time for you and making you feel appreciated and important in his life shouldn’t be a sacrifice — it should come naturally.
3. PUT HIM ON THE BACK BURNER. Stop thinking of this guy as your next boyfriend and start thinking of him as just this guy that you kind of dated but probably won’t see anymore. If you can start the process of forgetting him, you’re going to be much better off in the long run. It sure beats pining for him and waiting for him to text.
4. KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN. It’s possible that this guy might realize that he’s been wrong all along and that he needs you in his life. Possible… but not particularly likely. The best thing you can do right now is start looking for love elsewhere. Go on a date with someone new. Explore your options. Do anything except wait around for this guy to change his mind.
5. GIVE HIM AN ULTIMATUM. This may be awkward AF, but it’ll also be the best thing that you can do for yourself in this situation. Tell this guy that unless he starts acting like your boyfriend, you’re not interested. If you’re nervous about this, remember that standing up for yourself makes you a hero for women everywhere.
6. BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST. When you explain to this guy that you’re not going to stick around if he keeps ignoring you and treating you like crap, he’s most likely going to do one of two things: he’s going to totally ignore you or say that he can’t commit. Be prepared for the worst and know that you can get through this.
7. LET GO OF THE IDEA OF GETTING CLOSURE. The sad truth about being honest with a guy who doesn’t know how to treat a woman is that he might run away. He might be terrified to learn what you really think about him and his behavior and you might never hear from him again. Don’t expect closure because it just might not be happening — and frankly, you don’t really need it.
8. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, GHOST. Sometimes you have to fight immaturity with the exact same behavior. If you get nowhere with this guy and he really has no clue what you’re even talking about, then feel free to ghost. You don’t need to feel even an ounce of guilt. He doesn’t respect you enough to treat you well, so you don’t have to go out of your way to be nice to him either.
9. LEARN FROM IT. What’s the point of going through something if you’re not going to learn from it and carry those lessons with you? Remember how crappy you felt when this guy treated you like an option and you’ll never even be tempted to date sometime like that ever again.
10. MOVE ON AND DON’T LOOK BACK. Staying strong and standing up for yourself will mean absolutely nothing if you overthink things and wonder if you should have acted differently. Don’t look back. If a guy is going to treat you like anything less than the awesome girlfriend that you deserve to be, then who needs him?
By Aya Tsintziras for Bolde