Updated: May 9, 2020
After my last relationship, I took a step back and really did an internal audit to see what I could've done to prevent the damage and hurt it caused me. It was during the last few months of it that I started to focus on strengthening my mind, body and soul - which I believed saved me from enduring much more pain when it did end.
I needed to look within myself and understand why I went through this. In my opinion, it was the hardest relationship to experience. I had such high expectations for it to last forever, that in the end, when it didn't, it took a toll on me because I wanted it so bad. I know deep down, I needed to go through this relationship to gain perspective on what I truly deserved and learn what I wanted and needed from a relationship.
Over a decade ago, he was one of my first crushes, we were good friends and I trusted him so much. We had such a respectful and trusting friendship that when we reunited later in life, of course, I jumped in with two feet. Hell, I sold all my shit, let go of everything I had and knew and drove across the country to be with him. I turned down opportunities, saved up all the money I could, sold everything I didn't need, grabbed my dog, and hopped in my car. It only took 6 months of long-distance dating to secure employment and decide that I was leaving everything I knew for that long-lasting, fairy tale love. The truth is, I did love him. I had a lot of love for him. But for the man, I fell in love with on Face time, not the one I was living with. I tried to love that one, but they were not the same person.
All I wanted was to feel appreciated, wanted, and feel like he actually wanted a future with me. I wanted someone to feel proud to call me his, spend quality time with me, get to know who I was, make plans for the future, and show love every day. But I didn't get that. I was constantly questioning where I stood with him, I felt like I came last on his list and I lost respect for him and our relationship far long before I left.
Once that respect is lost, it's hard to get that back.