I realized I needed to raise my standards when I started lying to myself. When I told myself that you were a good guy, that there was no one better than you. When I forced myself to believe your excuses, even though anyone could see that they were total bullshit. When I convinced myself that you were in the right and I was wrong. When I honestly believed that I was too clingy, too needy, too dramatic. That there was no reason for me to be upset in the first place.
I realized I needed to raise my standards when I spent more time huddled in my bedroom crying than in your bedroom smiling. When I lost my appetite from all the stress. When I wanted to stay asleep all day from becoming mentally exhausted. When I stopped getting excited to see you and started feeling an ache in my stomach on the drive over because I never knew whether you would be in a playful mood or whether you would be annoyed with me again.
I realized I needed to raise my standards when I changed into someone I no longer recognized. Someone who ditched friends and slacked on work. Someone who stayed up until two in the morning screaming their lungs out and sobbing into pillowcases. Someone who bent over backwards to please a partner who never returned the favor. Someone whose entire world revolved around a relationship that wasn’t even healthy.
I realized I needed to raise my standards when I stopped trusting you. When I started looking through your texts and scanning through your recent calls. When I got suspicious every night you came home late and every morning when you wore new clothes and cologne to work. When I started seriously wondering whether you were the kind of person who would cheat on me, whether you would ruin our relationship for one night of fun.
I realized I needed to raise my standards when I lost contact with everyone in my life because I either got defensive with them when they warned me about you or I canceled plans with them because I would rather spend time with you. When the people who mattered the most of me became an afterthought because you took center stage in my life.
I realized I needed to raise my standards when everything about myself felt fake. My smiles. My laughs. My Instagram photos. My text messages. I felt like I had to lie to the world about our relationship because if I told them the truth then they would know that we didn’t belong together and I wasn’t ready to admit that to myself yet.
I realized I needed to raise my standards when I kept staring at a blank screen, waiting for you to text me back. Waiting for you to invite me over. Waiting for you to make a commitment. Waiting for you to show you cared. Waiting for you to give a damn.
I realized I needed to raise my standards when you broke my heart and I finally figured out that you never deserved it in the first place.