For too long, I followed my heart instead of using my head in love. That might not sound like a bad thing at first, but it meant that I ignored my gut instincts and intelligence and ended up playing the fool for guys who weren’t worthy of me by doing these things.
- I let myself get in too deep too soon. Either I liked a guy too much too soon and ended up scaring him away or I fell for him too quickly and ended up getting hurt when I realized he wasn’t the person I thought he was. Both of these scenarios suck but in a way, I only had myself to blame. After all, love isn’t a race. It takes time to build a deep and meaningful relationship on both sides, and thankfully, I realize that now. You can’t run before you can walk.
- I blamed myself for my insecurities. One of my exes tried hard to convince me that I was a psycho for wanting to hear from him when he went out drinking with his friends and sadly, I ended up believing him. He also made me feel bad about not having the confidence to speak up in front of his friends. Instead of trying to make me feel comfortable, he would laugh and make fun of me. Self-esteem level: zero. You know the saying, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent”? Well, I seemed to consent to him over and over again. Lesson learned.
- I listened to the lies. I trusted my ex-boyfriends and often gave them the benefit of the doubt that they were telling the truth when they weren’t. Take that one ex who convinced me that I was wrong every time I saw a photo of him with another girl on social media and suspected he was cheating. He gaslighted me, constantly trying to convince me I was going crazy when in reality, I was right. What an a-hole. Never again.
- I forgave too quickly. Instead of making my cheating boyfriend sweat, I forgave him and let it go too easily. Why? I was so in love with him that I couldn’t imagine not being with him. It was stupid, especially because of course he went and did it again at the next available opportunity. Learn from my mistakes, ladies. Once a cheater, always a cheater.
- I ignored the red flags. You know that inkling you get when you’re arguing about everything and anything with your boyfriend, like whose turn it is to take out the trash, and you suddenly realize that you’re not compatible and it’s never going to work? Yes, that. I ignored my instincts for a long time when it came to certain exes when I really shouldn’t have. Listening to my gut would’ve saved me a lot of heartache, but hey, at least I know better now.
- I stayed with a toxic guy. We’ve all dated a toxic guy or two, but I was guilty of doing so knowing full well what they were like and that it was going to end very badly. I stayed in those relationships because I was too comfortable to leave. I now have enough sense and self-worth to end toxic relationships before they even begin and I’m proud of myself for that, but I wasted a lot of time on some terrible guys before getting here.
- I thought that having a best friend would be enough. On the other end of the scale, I once thought that staying in a dead-end relationship with a guy who had become more of a best friend than a lover was going to be enough for me. In fact, it took me months to realize that it wasn’t and that I deserved more. I could kick myself for not getting out sooner.
- I followed my desires. While I was in my dead-end relationship, I stupidly allowed myself to be manipulated by another guy who paid me the attention I so desperately craved. This led to cheating. I assumed that I’d end up in a proper relationship with this other guy but it never happened. All that happened was that I hurt a lot of good people around me, including myself. I hated myself for years after this incident, but it taught me a valuable lesson and it’s safe to say that I will never do it again.
- I thought I was unlovable. The stupidest thing I’ve done throughout all my relationships is thinking that I was unlovable due to how guys treated me and, most importantly, how I treated myself. I now know that I am worthy of love. I have self-respect and I won’t be taken for a fool. Why? I spent a long time on my own, falling in love with myself following these relationships, and then I found the one who makes me feel special and loved every single day. And you know what? It’s all worked out perfectly.