"We accept the love we think we deserve," so the first step to avoiding unhealthy relationships is truly recognizing what you deserve out of any relationship (romantic or platonic). If you know what you deserve, that will boost your confidence, and if you are confident in who you are, what you want, and what you deserve—you will accept nothing less.

I am The Girl who has a close friend who lives far away. I am the girl who prioritizes that friend, and I am the girl who's friend prioritizes her in return. Facetime calls, phone conversations, text messages, even handwritten cards and letters—this relationship works because the effort is put in from both sides.

Conversely; I've been The Girl that a boy told he "really liked but didn't have time for." I've been The Girl who made the mistake of believing him. I've been strung along. I've allowed myself to be tucked in his back pocket and saved for a lonely day. I've waited around for him to "have time for me," and I've allowed myself to get hurt because of my own naivety. I've accepted less than I deserved because I didn't realize that I deserved more. But no more.

I now know what I deserve, and I will accept nothing less. I will be prioritized. I will not be lied to. I will be cared for. I will be heard. I will be understood. I will be loved; wholly and truly loved.

Here's a list of things you should always remember that you deserve in a relationship:

1. You deserve to be treated like the valid and important human being you are

Four hands

This list of what you deserve out of a relationship, whether platonic or romantic, applies to all people. If you are in a relationship that is not equally supported by both parties, then it is not a relationship you need in your life.

"You are enough. You are so enough. It is unbelievable how enough you are." - Sierra Boggess

2. You deserve to be prioritized

If someone says they are "too busy" for you, what that really means is they are not willing to prioritize you. They may not be lying, it is possible they do not necessarily have time for you, but they should be willing to make time for you and, if they aren't, then that is not a relationship you should be in.

"A person being 'too busy' is a myth. People make time for the things that are really important to them!" - Mandy Hale

3. You deserve honesty and, at times, tough love

Growth

Tough love is honesty and sometimes it hurts, but tough love is inherently kind because it is rooted in love and care for the other person because it promotes growth and only those who truly love you want to help you grow.

"An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a fair-weather companion flatters when all is well, a true friend has your best interests at heart and the pluck to tell you what you need to hear." - E.A. Bucchianeri

4. You deserve to be cared for and looked after

All human beings have needs. All of your needs are valid. If your needs are not met, or your needs are downplayed, then you are not being treated the way you deserve to be or the way you need to be. You are to be treated with compassion.

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries." - Dalai Lama

5. You deserve to be heard and understood

True love is born from understanding

You deserve to be listened to, not just heard. You deserve someone who cares and wants to know and learn about you, who you are, and what you are feeling. You also deserve someone who just knows; someone who cares enough and pays attention enough to know what you need without you voicing it (but don't expect people to be mind readers all the time).

"The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days." - Lao Tzu