He Finally Realized My Worth, But I Was Already Gone

Like many people, I once dated someone who didn’t appreciate me when we were together. That all changed once I finally decided that I’d had enough of his nonsense. He may not have understood what he had while he had it, but you can bet he realized his mistake when he lost me for good.

  1. He constantly took advantage of me when we were together. I put up with a lot for this guy. Like every relationship, things between us started off great. But as time went on, his behavior got worse and worse. I started questioning his loyalty, and he would blatantly disrespect me in front of his friends to make himself look cool. Before long, I was wondering why I was staying with him at all.
  2. I warned him I wouldn’t put up with it much longer. It wasn’t like I didn’t give him enough chances. I told him straight-up that if he didn’t get his act together, I’d be gone. At first, he made attempts to straighten up, but then, he started making me feel like I was crazy for bringing up these problems. I was “just trying to cause problems” or “being dramatic,” he’d say. Soon, I felt too ashamed to keep trying to fix it.
  3. He didn’t care when I first broke up with him. When I’d finally had enough, he didn’t even flinch. I called him in tears, telling him that we were clearly incompatible and I simply couldn’t do this anymore. It was a short conversation, and he didn’t even try to change my mind. All I got was a “sorry you feel that way,” and although I’d been hoping for some acknowledgment of what I meant to him, I didn’t get it.
  4. I felt like I suffered more than he did. Even though I’d been the one to do the breaking up, I was still devastated. I missed him despite how he treated me, and I cried for days on end after I ended things with him. Meanwhile, I saw nothing from him that indicated he felt the same way. He put up posts on social media showing him having fun with his friends with no indication that he’d been hurt at all. It made me feel even lower, like maybe he’d never felt anything for me at all.
  5. Weeks later, he started messaging me again. I was shocked when one day, he texted me out of the blue. I thought he needed a favor, but no, he just wanted to chat. He asked how I was doing. He wanted to know what had been going on in my life. I thought he was going to try to test his luck with a booty call, but he never did — he just wanted to talk to me again.
  6. He started begging for me to take him back. After a few days of casual conversation, the truth came out: he missed me. He said he realized what he’d lost and that he’d been the one to mess it all up. He swore to do whatever it took to get me back, whether that meant giving me access to all his messages, going to counseling to fix his own issues, or standing on the rooftop and proclaiming his love for me. I didn’t want anything that extreme from him, but the feeling behind it was what I’d wanted all along.
  7. He finally appreciated everything I’d wanted him to. What made things hard was that he finally saw the things in me that I’d wanted him to see. He told me how much he appreciated my patience and my giving nature. He recognized the sacrifices I’d made for him and acknowledged his own shortcomings that had contributed to him damaging our relationship. I’d been trying to get him to see these things for so long, and I couldn’t believe that he was finally recognizing them.
  8. I considered giving him another chance. I’ll admit I had a few moments of weakness where I considered taking him back. He really seemed like he’d woken up, and all I’d ever wanted was for him to appreciate me the same way I appreciated him. But I still held off on giving him an answer. I wanted actions, not just words, and something deep down told me that everything he was telling me wasn’t enough to fix the issues we’d had before.
  9. Deep down, I knew that things would end the same way. The more I thought about it, the more I knew that any hope I had for this was just wishful thinking. He was only treating me this way because he missed me — if we got back together, he’d restart those same old habits and we’d end up back where we started. As hard as it was for me to tell him no, I knew I had to in order to preserve my own emotional well-being.
  10. I ended up being the person who cared less. Throughout our relationship, he’d had power over me because he was less invested in what we had. But when I told him there was no chance of ever being “us” again, he was devastated. He cried in front of me for the first time, and I was surprised to find that I wasn’t even fazed. I was completely over him. If he’d put forth this much effort and emotion when I was invested in our relationship, we could’ve salvaged things. But in the end, what he gave me was too little, too late.
  11. I hope he does better with his next girlfriend. Despite how rough our relationship was toward the end, I really do wish him the best. I like to think he learned at least a few lessons by losing me, and I hope that the next girl he dates gets the side of him that I saw after we’d broken up. I’m never going back to him, but I have my fingers crossed that he’ll be a better partner in the future.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.