To The New Girl: I Know He Seems Perfect, But He Sucks — RUN!

I know he seems perfect and you can’t believe you got so lucky. He opens every door, he picks up every tab, he makes you feel beautiful, and you have no idea what you did to deserve him. I know everything you’re thinking because I was in your shoes once, but if there’s one thing I wish I’d known back then, it was how hard the world he built for us would soon come crashing down on top of me.

  1. There’s such thing as killing with kindness. He’s charming and incredibly sweet, but that’s not a good thing. He’ll make you fall so hard and so fast that you won’t even realize it’s happening. Before you know it, your walls will come tumbling down. But he’s the ultimate quicksand, and the longer it takes you to realize you’re sinking, the harder it will be to pull yourself out.
  2. Your friends and family aren’t jealous or hating, they’re trying to protect you. When you’re telling your family and friends about him, notice if they give each other sideways glances. If they spend time around you together and express concerns, don’t brush them off. I shrugged away people’s unease for years, always making excuses for him. I insisted they didn’t know him like I did or they didn’t see us together so they had no right to judge. Looking back, I now know that they saw it perfectly. I was the one who was blind.
  3. Now more than ever, you have to trust your gut. Even if this is your first relationship, if something inside you says something isn’t right, listen to it. You don’t need to have dating experience to know how human beings should treat one another. If you feel uneasy, unsure or unsafe, it’s not in your head. You should be 100 percent yourself with the person you’re with, and if you start to lose your concept of who that is, you have a big problem. Don’t ignore the feeling that something is off.
  4. The compliments won’t last and they’re not even genuine. Right now they’re never-ending and you’re on top of the world. I know how good it feels to feel worthy, but soon, he’ll start to notice and point out the things that make you less than perfect. Before long, the sweet comments will be replaced with degrading ones about your looks and your body. And no matter how much he insists “you’re still beautiful” when it’s convenient for him, his other words cut too deep.
  5. Monopolizing your time isn’t okay. There’s a big difference between wanting to spend time with you and forbidding you from making plans without him. Healthy couples have independent lives, which is a concept that he’ll never understand. He’ll demand every second of your free time, and instead of looking forward to dates, you’ll feel trapped and resentful.
  6. Every make-up is another honeymoon stage. After each blowout fight, the reconciliation will feel like soaring. Arguments will become so common that it’s a natural progression to go from crying yourself to sleep to being convinced that he’s sorry and the next time will be different. Don’t get lost in how good it feels to be back on solid ground because I promise you that every high will only be followed by a lower low.
  7. Slowly, you’ll start to see the truth. My words will begin to resonate and you’ll notice things you didn’t see before. When you’re lying awake at night, unable to sleep, you’ll picture what your life would be like without him and realize you might actually be better off. You’ll notice that whenever he’s not around an invisible weight is lifted off your shoulders.
  8. When you start to pull away, he’ll only hold tighter. If he feels you slipping out of his grasp, he’ll become desperate. He’ll promise you the world, and for a little while, make it seem like things are really going to get better. You’ll tell yourself he deserves a second chance and hope with all your heart that he proves you wrong. He won’t.
  9. You have to stand your ground when you do decide to leave. It will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but it will also be the most important. Taking back the voice he silenced is essential to moving on with your life. He won’t understand how you could possibly do this to him, and when playing the victim doesn’t work he’ll go on the defensive. He’ll insist he can change and beg you to let him, and it’ll take everything in your power not to give in. But he’s been in your head long enough and you have to stay strong.
  10. He’ll become an integral part of your past. When you look back month and years from now, you’ll realize that despite everything he took from you, he gave you something too. Without him, you wouldn’t have learned your own self-worth or developed the certainty that you deserve the best from other people. You don’t have to pretend he isn’t part of your story. Because sometime the ones we once loved have to break us down so that we can learn to build ourselves back up.
We only have one chance to live this life and I'm making the most of it. I'll make plenty of mistakes along the way but each one will send me further down the right path.