If you read some of my entries in the past, you know that one thing I like to do is look back at some of my old relationships and see what lessons I can learn from them. So, today, I wanted to share one of those lessons with you. It was a brief relationship I had back in my mid-’20s. I was coming off a chain of toxic relationships and was unfortunately about to enter another one. What made this relationship and those who came before it so toxic was that I didn’t allow myself to be myself in them. See, I’ve been told so many times that I am not enough – not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, etc. So, I put on a facade. Pretended to be someone I wasn’t. Acted like the perfect person – gave everything that I had, and avoided saying my mind or say anything that may come across as complaining or criticizing.
And that was the state of mind I had entering this relationship. I acted like the perfect person – always with a smile on my face, ready to help, never saying no. That is why I was extremely surprised to find out that my partner, even in the short span of time we spent together, had managed to lie and cheat on me. Maybe even more frustrating and surprising – I had already begun falling in love with him. It made absolutely no sense to me. I was the poster girl, the picture-perfect girlfriend – how could he do this to me? How could he not love me? I made it so easy for him to love me, yet he didn’t love me.
Looking back at that relationship, I can think of several reasons to explain this, mainly the reason that I didn’t love myself, so how could someone else love me? But that is not the main lesson I take from this relationship. I keep on thinking about the fact that by the way he treated me, I shouldn’t have craved his love. Instead of asking why he doesn’t love me, I should have asked myself – why do I even love him?