Stop telling yourself you should’ve known better than to date your ex. Stop acting like it’s your own fault you ended up with your heart broken because you missed all the red flags.
Sometimes, there aren’t any red flags. Sometimes, those warning signs are so microscopic that there’s no way you possibly could’ve picked up on them in the moment.
Sure, looking back, it’s easy to pinpoint all of the different times when you should’ve known better. Now, you can clearly see the stepping stones leading from the beginning of your relationship to the end.
But that doesn’t mean that you could’ve seen the truth earlier. It doesn’t mean that you’re a fool for staying with this person for such a long time. You didn’t have the same information back than that you have now. Things have changed, so your perspective has changed.
You shouldn’t blame yourself for taking a chance on someone who gave you butterflies. You shouldn’t feel like an idiot for falling for them — because at the time, there was no reason to doubt them. They checked all your boxes. They made sense with you, so of course you ended up together.
Now, dating them might feel like a mistake, but back then, turning them down would’ve felt like a mistake.
You can’t blame your past self for failing to realize things that are clear to you now. Your past self is a completely different person with a different set of experiences. Even if they had your current knowledge, you might’ve made the same decisions. Really, you have no idea what would’ve happened.
There’s no sense in worrying about the what ifs. It doesn’t matter what might’ve happened if you realized the truth earlier or never dated in the first place. You can’t turn back time. You can’t change the fact that you developed a deep bond with this person. You can’t erase years of your history.
Even though you might be filled with regrets right now, you need to stop telling yourself you should’ve known better than to date your ex. You need to stop blaming yourself for someone else treating you poorly. You need to stop beating yourself up about what you did and did not do.
You can’t control the actions of your past self, but you can make smart, beautiful choices moving forward. You need to keep looking ahead. You need to focus on your future instead.
Although you might have a hard time moving on from the fact you stayed with someone so wrong for you, remember, you didn’t have all the details back then. You didn’t know what kind of pain they were capable of putting you through. You didn’t realize that they would steal your heart and smash it to pieces.
Be gentle on yourself because your mistakes aren’t a sign of stupidity. You should be proud of yourself for taking a chance on love — and you should be proud of yourself for getting out of the situation once you realized love wasn’t supposed to feel like this at all.