I dated a lot before I met my current boyfriend. A few were great guys but most of them I look back on and shudder. I can’t believe I went for people who treated me like the dirt—and that I let them! While I’m much smarter and stronger now in relationships, it took me too long of letting guys walk all over me to realize I’m worth so much more.
I felt like I always needed to apologize.
Any time I did something that didn’t reflect the sweet, shy girl they envisioned me as in their heads, the words “I’m sorry” spilled from my mouth. I couldn’t help it because I could see their puzzled reactions either in real life or read through a text. The apologies that should’ve been reserved for an actual mistake became too common of an occurrence but I just couldn’t stop myself.
They never cared to know who I really was.
I always attracted the type of guys who loved talking about themselves but couldn’t have cared less about me. I loved to listen and learn but they took advantage of that and wouldn’t reciprocate the gesture because they just didn’t care. It always took me way too long to realize this and I often made excuses for them. I thought that the longer we dated, the more they’d be interested in getting to know me. Unfortunately, usually the opposite happened.
They couldn’t handle the times I (rightfully) got angry.
Fights and frustrations are normal in any relationship but the guys I usually dated didn’t get that. They were out as soon as they caught so much as a whiff of unrest. The only exception was when I took back everything I said and, you guessed it, apologized again. They thought that everything they did was justified and correct and there shouldn’t be anyone telling them they might have done something wrong. It was seriously screwed up.
I felt the need to give them things I wasn’t ready to give.
These guys had a way of convincing me that I could and should easily throw away all the things that were important to me if it meant furthering their own happiness. In the back of my head, the warning bell rang, but I consistently ignored it. The worst thing I did was to give the boyfriend title to guys who really didn’t deserve it.
I learned to accept that I couldn’t trust them.
This one is as sad for me to write as it probably is for you to read. I’m not sure who could go through a relationship with no trust but I did—and more than once. Some guys are shady and will never completely tell you the truth and those are the ones you need to leave in the dust.
I never felt completely comfortable around them.
Of course, feeling comfortable in a relationship takes time. However, it should eventually come, right? If you’re meant to be with someone, it’s going to feel easy and safe, not the opposite. I remember times where I was uneasy with my boyfriend’s hand around my waist. That, I realize now, is a surefire sign that I wasn’t in the arms of the person I should’ve been.
Their friends and hobbies were always a priority over me.
This can be good to some extent but too much is dangerous. I spent so much time on the back burner in guys’ lives, waiting for them to pay attention to me. Meanwhile, I should’ve been thinking about how there are so many guys out there who wouldn’t ever make me feel that way.
They had no problem walking away.
I remember one guy in particular that I gave far too much of my heart to. He had me so invested in him that I ran back each time he begged for another chance even though I should have run away as fast as I possibly could have. This, I’m sure he knew, made it even easier to leave when he felt he’d found something better.
They weren’t there when I needed them.
Every time I got into a fight with my friends or went through a tough moment with family, a few texts were all I’d get from these guys. Sometimes I didn’t feel comfortable opening up about it at all because I just knew they wouldn’t care. On the other hand, I was there for every late-night text or phone call they sent my way. I gave more of myself than I even had to give so that these guys would feel better.
I was never enough.
This one’s the hardest to admit to this day but the most important. I realized that to these guys, I could never be what they wanted because no one was. The girl they were looking for didn’t exist and I’m sure many of them are still out there searching. To the right guy, though, I was and am more than enough. That is what lets me know I beat those boys at their own game.
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