Nikki-Michael - Why Be Sweet?
Nikki was 14 when she first realized relationships don’t last. Her dad had left, explaining he had tried his best and there was nothing left to do. Nikki’s mom had initially called him a pathetic liar but then, after a few weeks, she refused to talk about him when Nikki and her were together. Nikki blamed her mom for pushing her dad away and realized that if she ever wanted to keep someone, she would have to be nicer, sweeter, and more loving than her mom had been.
At 16, Nikki started dating Michael, a senior who played for the basketball team and did pretty well at school. Nikki fell hard for Michael and within a few months, both of them had come to the realization that they were totally in love. And that is when everything started to change. Nikki started to act really weird around Michael. She started being overly sweet and to Michael, it seemed as though she had completely changed. Suddenly, she was acting like a perfect little princess and agreeing with him about everything. Michael started to get annoyed with Nikki, which only made her act more adoring and try even harder to be the sweet girl she knew he wanted. Unfortunately, Michael didn’t want a sweet, perfect girl. Michael wanted the Nikki he had met at a friend’s house party who wasn’t afraid to say what she thought and came across as funny and quirky.
Nikki, like a lot of us, took her own personal experiences and created little explanations as to how the world works and why things happen. Her belief that her dad left because her mom wasn’t sweet enough, led her to believe that she had to be sweet and perfect. If she wasn’t, the person she cared about would leave. When she finally met someone she really cared about, subconsciously, she realized that if she wasn’t a sweet, perfect, loving girlfriend, Michael would leave her too.
What can Nikki do now? Nikki has the chance to tell Michael straight up what she’s doing. She could say something like, “I’m sorry I’ve been kind of weird lately. I guess I just felt like you wouldn’t want to be with me unless I was always sweet. Crazy, I know.” Once it is out in the open, Michael would probably feel a lot better. He’d probably be relieved that it’s not his imagination and that she has been acting differently. They could both decide to try again, stop trying to be something they’re not and just be themselves.
We learn about relationships from our parents, our siblings, our peers, and the media. Just like Nikki, we create ideals and beliefs that stay with us throughout life. For me, I had to figure out what I had come to believe about relationships in order to better understand why I did some of the things I did. Once I realized what my beliefs were, I was able to change them and life got a whole lot better. So, go ahead and see what kind of beliefs are running your life. Ask yourself some of these questions:
What does it mean to be loved?
What does it mean to love someone else?
How do people show love?
List some of the characteristics that make up a healthy relationship:
List some of the characteristics that make up an unhealthy relationship:
What would your ideal relationship be like?
Copyright © 2012 by Maggie Steele