I’ve always had a strong work ethic. So strong that it carries on into my friendships and relationships. I have always believed that if things didn’t work out, it was because I didn’t work hard enough or didn’t want it enough.
That’s exactly what I did with this. I tried to mold it into the perfect almost relationship. It’s really unconventional for me to say that I didn’t want an actual relationship, but if you really looked at my situation, I wasn’t ready for a proper one. I had just moved to a new country, was starting to find my own career, and was building my own life. So, no. I did not want a proper relationship. It sounds like I’m trying to deny to avoid being embarrassed, but don’t worry, my embarrassment will show as you read on.
Let’s just put it out there that I knew what I was getting myself into from the start. As long as both parties acted accordingly, this would’ve been a great friendship.
But once feelings come out to play and someone attaches permanent feelings to the other, that’s when it goes upside down.
I get my empathy from my mother, who believes in the best of people, and puts herself in their shoes. And that’s what I did. In hindsight, I was just making up excuses as to why he wasn’t treating me the way I deserved to be treated. I started losing sleep and couldn’t stomach down my food because all I cared about was trying to make this work. I gave it my all because he was telling me things that led me to believe that this was worth more.
There’s no blame on anyone, because I let myself fall for him even through all of the warning signs. I just kept working harder and pushing myself more into making it work when it turns out, he didn’t care. Now that’s a big pill to swallow. He just didn’t care enough to make it work, and that’s something I had to come to terms with. He cared for me, there’s no doubt about that, but not in the way that I should have been cared for.
I made time. I made myself available to someone who was truly emotionally unavailable. I tried to make excuses for him due to the spurts of affection he did show me. When we agreed to this, I thought we would be a team – friends.
And even though I don’t doubt the feelings and everything that happened were true, I’ve also realized that it was always me trying to make it better. I was the one putting effort in making it work. He just didn’t care.
I had to tell myself over and over again. It took a lot of long one-sided pathetic messages and ignored phone calls for me to finally get that I didn’t care for myself enough, and I depended on him to make it better. Honestly, all it took was for him to say, “I am here for you.” That’s what I needed, and I never got that from him.
I was holding out for him to deliver on the empty promises. I let myself be completely immersed in this toxic friendship because of the few times he did express affection towards me. I didn’t love myself enough to realize this at that point. I kept medicating myself with his words and lack of action. I kept making excuses as to why he wasn’t being the person I needed him to be. I was waiting for him. Constantly.
I was getting to an unhealthy mindset, all for this boy who never once asked if I was okay.
I wasn’t taking care of myself and yet I made it my responsibility to take care of him – of us. I spent weeks forcing myself to be okay after it ended. I didn’t realize that I was making myself unnecessarily unhappy for so long, and only kept pushing through with his words. It’s silly because even though he never asked me to give my heart to him, I gave it freely…but he let me. To say that he wasn’t a great guy would be a lie. He was, which was why I fell for him, but he wasn’t the guy I needed him to be.
It wasn’t until I had a two-month crying session, and started actively making myself get back into the routine of putting myself as a priority, that I realized that being okay had to be an organic process. I was being so hard on myself for so long that I forgot that I enjoyed sitting at the park with just the girls. I forgot that I enjoyed writing. I forgot about my friends outside of complaining about him. I was selfish for a one-way friendship and I was never selfish for just myself. I was bending over backwards for the kind of friendship that I wasn’t benefitting from. I’m learning that I should always put myself as a priority. I’m okay now. Or at least I’m in the process of becoming okay.