Being in a relationship is supposed to counteract feelings of loneliness — at least if you’re doing it right. Despite the fact that we were physically together pretty much 24/7, my last boyfriend made me feel more alone than I’d ever been in my entire life. Thankfully we’re no longer together, but I’ll never forget all the ways he made me so miserable.
I felt disconnected.
After having put my all into a relationship, I felt disconnected not only from him but from my life outside of him. I was that unfulfilled by my romantic relationship that it caused me to forget about all the wonderful platonic ones with my family and friends.
Something was missing.
Since I didn’t know what it was, I stuck around in the hopes that it had nothing to do with my boyfriend and our relationship. When I did finally walk away, it became clear that without him, I wasn’t lonely at all.
I was far from self-assured.
The lack of emotional connection to the person I spent the most time with had caused me to feel as though I was the issue. He seemed to be fine with our inability to be on the same page, and I wondered if I was making up problems that didn’t exist. I eventually figured out that I wasn’t, but during the relationship, it really kept me down.
My friends didn’t like him.
When it came to hanging out with friends, I could only do that on my own — he was never invited. They didn’t agree with my choice of boyfriend and having to separate my life that way made me feel alienated and like I couldn’t rely on anyone.
We really didn’t get each other.
When you put all that time into a relationship and still don’t get each other, something’s wrong. It took me a long time to realize this, but it’s definitely part of the reason why I felt as though I was completely on my own.
I kept holding out for something to change.
I didn’t let go of the relationship for too long because I actually cared about him and I was wondering if maybe I was just going through something that had nothing to do with him at all. In other words, I thought it might have just been a rough patch or a bad phase. Spoiler alert: it was neither.
He didn’t meet my emotional needs.
We tried to talk about what each of us needed in a relationship, but nothing ever got accomplished. Our love styles were so off the charts different that to make us both feel fulfilled and content in the relationship would have been pretty much impossible.
He kept things from me.
When it came to his life, I was always the one that had to pry things out of him. He wasn’t open with me, and because of that, I became less open with him… which just cemented the idea that I had no one to talk to.
I was afraid to lose him on the off chance it got worse.
I often found myself wondering if I was just naturally lonely and the relationship wasn’t at all the problem. I learned after it was all said and done that it wasn’t the case, but for a while, it was a very real fear.
When he made a decision, he made it alone.
We were together for half a decade and even lived together for most of that time. For all intents and purposes, we were practically married, but when he made big decisions, he left me completely out of it. My opinion was disregarded in most everything he did and this caused me to feel as though we weren’t in it together at all.
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