I’ve been played before by men. I’ve been lied to, put second, been manipulated and used. I’ve been looked at as something to attain. Never again.
Never again will I allow someone to love me on their own terms. I will not allow myself to fall prey to someone who only wants to see me when it’s convenient for them, when they’re lonely and decide they miss me, or when they’re drunk in the middle of the night. Someone who won’t commit to what a relationship entails, or include me the aspects of his life that matter the most.
Never again will I accept less than I deserve from someone who I give my heart to. If I’ve broken down my walls and trusted him enough with my heart, it needs to be reciprocated. But not just reciprocated… appreciated and respected.
Never again will I ignore those initial instincts that are warning signs. I refuse to go to bed at night, wondering why he didn’t answer my text, or worry about him being out with his buddies. I will not ignore when things don’t sit right in my gut. I will have enough strength to speak my mind, and if it still doesn’t sit right, I will have enough strength to walk away.
Never again will I let someone play with my mind and emotions. To admire the person I am, only to attempt to break down my good qualities, convincing me that they were weaknesses. I’ve been chased before by someone who was so interested in being part of my life. When I finally let my guard down and let him in, he set me aside, uninterested, apathetic, only until I tried to walk, and then the chase resumed, like a twisted game.
I wasn’t as emotionally strong then as I am now, I didn’t have enough relationship experience to know better.
But I finally learned.
It took time to understand and time to prepare myself for future experiences with lessons learned. To understand that love between two people is also mutual respect for one another. That when two people truly love each other, they will do everything in their power to not hurt their partner. They would never want their partner to feel manipulated or played.
I thank God for the lessons of these past hurts, but I pray that He sends me someone good and true. Because I refuse to waste my time on someone else who is selfish, manipulative, and needy ever again. I refuse to let down my walls and be open to a quasi-love that will never come to be. I pray the man I give my heart to next will love me wholeheartedly as I love him. That he will stand by my side through my struggles and my triumphs.
That I will finally have the love I deserve.
Because although I have before, I will not settle. Never again.