Romance

When You Stick Around For A Guy Who Doesn’t Deserve It

I’ve come so close to writing this piece. My thoughts on heartbreak, what I’ve learned and am hoping to learn moving forward. Admitting my weaknesses, my failure to recognize and protect my worth.

How could I be so slow to fall in love yet trust the wrong person with my heart? Am I not smart enough to leave when red flags are slapping me in the face? I tell myself I did it for him. I was the one who had to stay strong, to fight for us. I was older, more mature. One day it would be worth it. I had unwavering doubt in him and because of that, we get to live our happily ever after. It’s not true. I doubted us every step of the way, I just ignored it. I chose to trust my heart over my mind. My heart was telling me to love him, my mind was telling me to leave him. As if my mind isn’t the part of me that is growing, learning, adapting to everything my heart goes through. As if my mind isn’t strong enough to make decisions for me. As if my heart isn’t breakable.

I held the universe accountable for my destiny. Relied on this idea that we were connected spiritually. That no matter what he or I did, whatever came our way, our stories were always going to remain connected. I lost confidence in my ability to write my own narrative and handed my cards to the universe as if I had no control over my fate. I fell back on horoscopes, signs, “twin flame” theories I wasn’t even sure I believed in, because it gave me an excuse to keep going back to him.

He was an addiction. Temporary satisfaction that strung along powerful disappointment. A way of filling this void of unreciprocated love. It was my first time being in love and I wasn’t receiving it back the way I imagined. Eventually, I found the truth. Just because I loved him, it never required him to love me back in the same way. He may not have been lying or manipulating when he did share his love for me, I just needed to understand what love meant to him. Acknowledge that the person telling me they love me might have a different definition of what “love” is. Our understanding of love, while maybe aligned for periods of our relationship, grew apart. As I experienced this kind of love for the first time, I was able to form my own definition, based on evidence, hopes, desires, fears.

Before this personal attachment to the feeling, love to me was just who you choose to spend your life with. Now, I realize just how much more love stands for. Love is the intangible string connecting your heart to another. The longing to spark a never-ending glow within their soul. The relentless ability to forgive. The added heartbeat to your dreams. The possibility of him loving me the way I loved him was what I was holding on to. I didn’t want a boyfriend before I met him so I told myself I wasn’t putting my life on hold to wait for him. I told myself I knew his potential and no time is too long to wait for the man I imagined he’d be. I should have trusted my gut. Spent time observing the tightness that surrounded my warmed heart. I shouldn’t have excused his inconsistency and inability to stay true to me.

My heart still warms when I think of him, but now it doesn’t feel so tight. He finally feels like a memory. A reminder of my capability. If I could love someone that much who didn’t love me in return, imagine how much I can love someone who does. He was my stepping stone into learning what love means to me. Learning what kind of person I would want to grow unconditionally in love with. Understanding my boundaries, and how to look out for love being offered instead of confused. We may not be able to control who we love, but we can certainly pick and choose who gets to hold our heart. I won’t stop sharing my heart, but I will allow my mind to tend more frequently to its tears. Our minds and our hearts are a team, and they are one hell of a duo you’ll be damned if you ignore.

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I transformed my life after 15 years of suicidal thoughts and obesity. Follow Lindsay on Instagram or read more articles from Lindsay on Thought Catalog.