With You I Became Someone I Didn’t Recognize

Will Wilson

We have all had past relationships that we aren’t proud of, and you were mine. It was the kind of love I am almost ashamed to admit I was hooked on for so long. The love story that never took off, even though I wanted it to more than anything. When I was in the thick of it, I couldn’t see our relationship for what it was.

Looking back on it now, I can finally see the role I played in my own heartbreak.

You were honest with me about what you wanted from the start. You didn’t want a commitment, but I thought that I could change your mind. I fell for you so quickly that I was willing to do anything to make you stay. I was completely and utterly infatuated with you.

I fell in love with the idea of what love would look like with you by my side.

I let this illusion cloud all rational thoughts. And, I held tight to my resolve that we were meant to be even when things started to unravel. I lost sight of who I was. I lost sight of what I knew I deserved in a relationship.

I held on too tight and for too long until I became the shadow of the woman I once was.

I did all of the things I said I would never do.

I became obsessive and desperate for your approval. I made excuses for your lack of commitment and resolved to wait for you to be ready for me. I compromised my way into your world, even though it was a lesser relationship than what I wanted.

I don’t know how I didn’t see it at the time. And it’s embarrassing now to look back at it for what it was. Because I had romanticized my pursuit of you for so long.

I blamed you for my pain when I should have been holding myself accountable.

I was holding on to someone that had no interest in holding on to me. I was putting every bit of my self-worth into what you thought of me instead of working on myself and my dreams.

I sold myself short for so long, settling on an “almost” relationship and a “not quite” love because that’s what I thought love was supposed to be like.

It ate away at me until, one day, I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t see myself anymore.

I had completely lost myself in pursuit of you, and I couldn’t recognize who I had become.

It took looking in the mirror that day to realize that it was time for a change. I had traded in my relationship with myself in hopes of having a relationship with you and it was time for me to make it up to that girl in the mirror.
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Liz Newman is a blogger and poet from the Midwest.

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