I Stopped Making Myself A Priority So My Boyfriend Did Too

When we met, I was full of confidence. I knew exactly who I was and exactly what I wanted, but then I fell in love, and I lost myself. I was so in love with him that I forgot about me. I stopped making myself a priority and because of that, so did he. Here’s what happened:

  1. I loved him more than I loved myself. It really is possible to love someone too much. I lost my strength because I gave into the weakness of needing a guy instead of just wanting him to add to my already amazing life. I thought that if I lost him, I wouldn’t survive. That fear ate away at the love I had for myself. I was no longer strong and independent; I was dependent on love.
  2. His wants came before my needs. We were both in the relationship, and we both had needs, but my needs became his. I started to believe that what I needed was for him to be happy at any cost. Even if that took away from the love and support I needed. As long as he was happy, I would be—or so I thought. What I didn’t realize was that in order for him to be happy I had to be happy too, but deep down I was miserable.
  3. I lost all self-esteem. I started to wonder why he loved me and you know what? He started to wonder why he loved me too. My confidence became intertwined in our relationship. I needed him to love me in order to feel good about myself. I gave him too much power, and in the end, I felt pretty damn worthless.
  4. I was so worried about his well being that I forgot about my own. I began to neglect my own mental health. Neither of us cared about me in the relationship. It was all about him because I let it be. I was only concerned with how he felt and if he was happy. Considering how I felt didn’t even occur to me, and once I stopped caring about me so did he.
  5. I began to smother him. My needs weren’t being met, and what did that make me? Needy. I stopped fulfilling my own needs and then I stopped believing I could. I depended on him to make me happy. I wanted to spend every waking moment with him. As long as we were together I thought I’d be okay, but it wasn’t his love I needed. It was my own.
  6. I allowed him to treat me poorly. He neglected me because I let him. Since I had lost all sense of my self-worth, I stopped believing that I deserved to be treated right. I let him walk all over me because I felt like my needs weren’t important, like I wasn’t important. He didn’t treat me right because I didn’t demand it. At that point, I was willing to settle.
  7. I stopped caring what I thought. The only thing I did care about was what he thought. If I didn’t matter then why on earth would my own thoughts and opinions matter? I wasn’t living the life on wanted to anymore. I was living the life I thought he wanted me to live. I gave him the reigns and he was completely in control.
  8. He became my entire life. I got lost in the relationship. He became my everything. My whole life revolved around our relationship and that made me forget to love myself. I didn’t have time for my friends or my hobbies. I didn’t have time to enjoy life the way I used to. My day and my entire existence began and ended with him.
  9. I started to forget who I was without him. At some point, I stopped being me and started trying to be the girl I thought he wanted. I wasn’t the girl he fell in love with anymore. That girl was confident. She was opinionated, happy, and someone who just couldn’t help but be herself. He was attracted to my independence but I became dependent and I lost myself. He stopped loving me because I stopped being me, and I can’t really blame him.
  10. He was my top priority and I wasn’t even on the list. He became the most important thing in my life, despite the fact that I stopped believing my life was important. He was the only thing that mattered to me and that obsession was exactly the thing that drove him away. I didn’t care about myself yet I cared way too much about him. I made him everything and that made me nothing — to the both of us.
  11. It took me too long to realize how bad things had become. There was no one specific moment that served as a wake-up call. I let this terrible time go on for way too long, but one day, I finally had enough. I realized that not only was I not going to put up with crappy treatment from my now-ex-boyfriend, but I was no longer going to put up with it from myself. It took a lot of hard work, but I finally gained back my confidence and self-worth and I will NEVER allow myself to lose it again.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.