Three important lessons from relationships I’ve been in for too long

What seems like a tragedy can be an opportunity.

When I was 18, I met a guy. He was the complete opposite of me: an extrovert full of ideas that he was willing to share with the world. I was quiet and modest. I would rather be invisible than share my thoughts with others.

But I was interested with him. And our lives were intertwined very quickly. I was young and naive: it seemed like it was better to be with a guy than without him. I didn’t understand what compatibility was and just agreed to be with him.

As I got older, I realized that I didn’t really like the man she was becoming. He often spoke for me, made decisions for me – not because I was indecisive, but because he just poked his nose everywhere.

However, he hasn’t changed much – I have changed. And for the new personality that I became, there was no room next to him.

I shouldn’t have felt so guilty, but I did. I thought I was responsible for his happiness. I should have just told him everything, but I stayed. Over time, I began to look for flaws in everything he did and said and blamed my misfortune for his flaws. It was toxic and unfair, so I’m glad I won’t repeat it again if I find myself in a similar situation again.

We ended up breaking up after 4 years of relationship. It was not a mutual decision because he still wanted to be together. But I was no longer the girl he fell in love with.

I have so many regrets about that relationship, but also a lot of lessons.

Love people as they are, not as you think they should be.

That guy continued to love me, despite the troubles in the relationship, because he believed that I was still the same girl with whom he initially fell in love.

And I stayed with him, because I believed that if I continued to imagine the future with him, then one day he would become as ideal as I imagined him to be.

We were both wrong. And both experienced pain.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the real from what you want to be real. But this is important.

Wanting something to be the way it was before is as harmful as wanting everything to be as you imagine in the future, especially when you cannot control circumstances and people.

There must be reciprocity in a relationship.

If you give yourself 100% to the relationship, so should your partner.

I went to parties with him, where I was very uncomfortable, I talked with people with whom I have nothing in common – just to make my boyfriend happy. But when I asked him to listen to me, to be in my usual environment, he did not have the time, energy and desire for this.

I am a writer, a dreamer. I like to talk about something abstract, and he thought such conversations were useless. I shouldn’t have put up with it, but I did.

He also asked me to devote all my free time to him, and I wanted time for myself and my work. I’m an introvert and I need this to recharge.

Looking back, I understand that everyone deserves reciprocity in relationships: in feelings, in efforts, in sacrifices. Of course, it is impossible to find a person who will be perfect for you, but you need to define for yourself the taboos that are definitely unacceptable for you. And stick to them, otherwise you will be unhappy.

Failure is staying, not leaving.

I was afraid to leave so as not to hurt him. In addition, everyone around us thought we were the perfect couple and I didn’t want to be the one who supposedly ruined everything. I wanted to seem like the perfect girl, not a loser who ruined such a seemingly cool relationship.

But leaving doesn’t mean ruining everything. It means to finish what does not work, it means that both of you are going to your happiness now along different paths.


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