I Tried To Convince People My Relationship Was Awesome Even Though It Was A Nightmare

To my family and friends, I won the jackpot: I had a sweet boyfriend who treated me like gold. The only catch was that it wasn’t all champagne and roses. In reality, our relationship was becoming toxic, I just didn’t want anyone to know.

  1. I wanted to believe the lies. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t trust my loved ones enough to share the truth with them—I knew they’d support me and think highly of me the way they always did—I just didn’t want to admit the truth about my relationship because then it would make its toxic nature real. In a way, it was just easier to keep the lies going.
  2. I didn’t want to give up. I felt like admitting that my relationship wasn’t all sunshine-filled days was a sign that I was giving up on it. He made me happy for a long time and I didn’t want to just throw it away even though it had started to become unhealthy. That was silly because it meant I was giving up the chance of genuine happiness.
  3. I didn’t want to be judged. Although my loved ones would support me no matter what, I also knew that if I confided in them about how bad my relationship was, they’d want me to get out of it. I didn’t want to feel judged or like I was an idiot for staying with the wrong guy, so I kept my feelings to myself. The result? I was totally lonely and isolated, which was awful.
  4. I wanted to be happy. I’d been so unhappy in my previous relationships that I desperately wanted this relationship to be a source of happiness for me. I know I can’t pin my happiness on someone, but I guess at that time in my life I really wanted to.
  5. I wanted to look like I had everything figured out. I wanted to look like my life was as perfect as I made it out to seem on social media. There’s pressure to be perfect and I was hoping my real life could match my online life. What BS. By trying so hard to have everything look shiny and happy, I was just hurting myself.
  6. I cared too much about other people’s opinions of me. When friends I hung out with asked me how my relationship was going, I always felt pressure to tell them it was amazing and my BF was wonderful. Ugh. I thought people were invested in my life and choices, and I wanted to make them think that I had made the right ones. The truth is, when they left the restaurant after we’d had dinner and went back to their lives, they didn’t think about me—they focused on their lives. I should’ve done the same thing instead of worrying so much about their thoughts and opinions of me.
  7. I thought I could fix my relationship. Stupidly, I thought that if I just tried harder and put in more effort, I could help to change my relationship for the better. Maybe my BF and I could work through our issues, like he stalled when it came to commitment. Nope. I couldn’t change him or our relationship on my own, and it certainly didn’t help that my BF wasn’t keen to put in any elbow work.
  8. I was jealous of my friends‘ happy relationships. When they were talking about how great their boyfriends or husbands were, I didn’t want to be the only one in a miserable relationship. Hey, maybe they were lying to me about their lives because they were feeling the pressure to be perfect too. Whatever the case, by lying I was just making myself feel worse.
  9. I thought I could fool people all the time. Although I thought I had everyone fooled about my relationship, my closest friends who knew me the most weren’t stupid. They’d ask me if everything was OK and whenever they saw my BF, they’d ask me if he was really as nice as I was saying he was. They could smell a rat. This just prompted me to fight harder to show them that he was great and I was happy. I didn’t want to seem like a loser by being in a dead-end relationship. I should’ve realized that my relationship was definitely not a reflection of me.
  10. I wanted to convince myself. One of the main reasons I tried to convince people that my relationship was a fairytale is because I thought if I could convince others even if it wasn’t true, then I could convince myself. Damn. I wanted to believe that everything would be fine, but at what cost? It just made me angry, depressed, anxious, and unsatisfied. When I realized that, it was so freeing to GTFO of that relationship. Interestingly, many friends said that they could see the positive change in me once I was single, and some said they could see that something was seriously wrong when I was with that guy. I won’t be doing that again.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.