“Never lose yourself in a relationship. Love your partner fiercely, but always follow your unique dreams and desires. Be true to yourself.” ~Unknown
All my previous relationships drained me.
Not only because I was with the wrong men and kept trying to make things work where there was no way, but also because I was a queen of justifying, accommodating, and compromising.
I accommodated men because I wanted to be liked and avoid rejection.
I justified their lousy behavior because I wanted to be in a relationship and not be alone.
I compromised on my values and romantic ideals just to have someone in my life.
On the surface, I was an independent woman, strong, fierce, and full of energy and opinions.
When it came to relationships, I’d lose my power and myself completely in them.
I would become a meek mouse with no voice or opinions. I would put my boyfriend’s needs first and ignore mine. I would keep quiet about how I felt. I wouldn’t question things.
It took me a few love attempts and ten years of random dating to recognize my unhealthy patterns.
Firstly, I was subconsciously copying the behavior of my mum, who needed to survive with my despotic dad in a very turbulent relationship. I didn’t know any better until I learned the hard way.
Secondly, I didn’t feel worthy of love. I didn’t feel like I was good enough for anyone. I was afraid to be myself, as I didn’t feel like I had much to offer.
Thirdly, I wasn’t happy with myself and my life and I believed a relationship would change that, so my desire to be in one was pretty strong.
These patterns made me feel and act like I was desperate for love. So, once I landed myself a boyfriend, I’d do anything to please him and keep him in my life.
I would be a cheerful giver. I would take all the responsibility for the relationship on my own shoulders. I would make my men’s life easier by doing things for them and sometimes against myself. I would accommodate their busy schedules, moods, and issues. I would help them improve their self-esteem and lifestyle so they’d feel happier within. I would completely disappear in my relationships.
Everything in my relationships was about the men. They became my main focus and the most important thing in my life.
I would abandon myself. I would give up my friends, my passions, and my dreams. I would lose my own identity in the name of love. My main priority was to keep them happy so I could keep the relationships.
But even all the crazy giving and accommodating wouldn’t keep dysfunctional relationships going. So, when it came to an end, I would have nothing left to give.
Every split left me feeling empty. It almost felt like a little part of me died after every relationship.
I didn’t know who I was anymore because I was focusing so heavily on the relationship that I’d completely neglect myself.
It didn’t feel healthy at all.
When I started to become more aware of my patterns and how harmful they were to me and my love life, I made some promises to myself.
1. The relationship with myself comes first
2. A man will never be more important to me than I am to myself
3. I will always love myself more than any man in my life
Although they might sound a bit harsh, these rules have served me and my relationship amazingly well so far.