She stayed with him for longer than she should have. She knows that now. She realizes that she gave him too much of her time and energy. That she let him get away with things she should have stopped as soon as they started.
She stayed for a little too long, because she’s a giver. She wanted to keep loving him, even when he gave her nothing in return. She wanted to be the reason for his happiness, even after he became the reason for her misery. She wanted to keep offering him more and more pieces of herself, even though it was slowly killing her.
She stayed for a little too long, because she’s a hopeless romantic. She believed that love could conquer anything. She listened to her heart over her head and she trusted her gut over the opinions of her friends and family, who kept telling her to get out of the situation.
She stayed for a little too long, because she’s a fixer. Because she didn’t want to admit that her relationship was broken beyond repair. Because she was willing to put in the effort it took to solve every problem, to restore everything that needed repair. Because even when it was clearly time to give up, she kept on fighting.
She stayed for a little too long, because she gets attached easily. Not only to the person she’s dating — but to their families, their friends, their dogs and their cats. She knew that if she chose to leave him behind, she was not only ending their relationship, but was cutting ties with several people she had come to care about.
She stayed for a little too long, because she believed him when he promised he would change. She thought that he would sacrifice his bad habits for the sake of their relationship. She thought he cared about her more than he cared about himself.
She stayed for a little too long, because she didn’t want to let go of everything that they built together. She didn’t want to say goodbye to their inside jokes. To their apartment. To the future she always imagined they would have.
She stayed for a little too long, because she learned how to lie to herself. She kept saying that things would get better once this happened or once that changed. She kept letting herself hope that the future would be different than the present.
She stayed for a little too long, because she has a kind heart. Even though he hurt her in ways she can’t even begin to explain, she still didn’t want to cause him any pain. She didn’t want to abandon him, to betray him, to break his heart in two.
This time, she stayed for a little too long. But next time, she will leave as soon as the first red flag appears. She will leave before the pain becomes too strong, before the relationship becomes too toxic.