How I Lost Myself In A Relationship (And My Vow To Never Let It Happen Again)

August 22, 2017

All my life I've been in love with love. As little girls, we are flooded with messages and ideologies that insist love is the end goal. Marriage and children are  the achievement. In the end, every princess meets her prince and they live happily ever after. 
However, many times these men aren't really princes. But we are taught that it is our duty as women to transform these frogs, beasts and ogres into princes. It is okay for men to believe that you "can't turn a hoe into a housewife" but women are taught to believe if you just keep kissing the frog, eventually he'll turn into a prince. That's where the difference between men and women in relationships come in. Women are often taught to endure that "struggle love" while men are given the luxury of only taking the end result. A princess, a queen. I was a victim of this when I had fallen in love. Love can be dangerous emotion if felt incorrectly. Especially within women, who are taught to constantly offer love unconditionally. Regardless of what the person has to offer you. This is how I found myself consistently loving a person who gave very little in return and running myself dry. 
Like any working cycle, when something is both given and received at a steady and equal rate, you never have to worry about running out. Think of the water cycle. What happens when water evaporates into the air, but the clouds are feeling a little selfish, hog the water and it's doesn't rain - we have a drought. For months, in the words of Queen Bey, I had a love drought. I gave so much love with none returned that I had none left for myself. I was empty. 
At this time, I was so emotionally invested in my partner's physical, mental, emotional and financial well-being and being available to him at his every need that I completely neglected my own well-being. I fell into a depression and guess who was nowhere to be found at this time? My partner. 

While my partner was not entirely at fault for my mental state at the time, his neglect and inability to be a good partner definitely added to it. I figured out what I needed from the relationship: emotional support. And I asked for it, I begged for it, I prayed for it. And it never came. No matter what I did, he was emotionally and physically unavailable to me. 
This did a number on me. On how I viewed our relationship, how I viewed love and how I viewed myself. I continuously blamed myself for his lack of support and love. I blamed myself for his inability to be a better man, because I believed as a woman, it was my job to turn this frog into a prince. And I kissed and kissed and believed there was something wrong with my lips, when in reality this man was no prince — he was just a frog. I was spending all this time trying to convince a person that wasn't worthy of my love that I was worthy of loving. It took me months of soul searching, meditating and praying to finally love myself the way I loved him. To put the energy I once put into this man back into myself. I had to start a cycle with myself. I give myself love, I receive love from myself and I'll never run dry. And no matter what enters my cycle - I will never stop giving that love to myself. 
The mistake I made was putting all of my eggs into his poorly-made basket and not stopping when I realized there was hole in the bottom of it. 
We must learn when to let go. It is not our job to teach our partners how treat us. It is not our job to turn frogs into princes. And it is certainly not our job to convince others that we are worthy of their time and affection. We must love ourselves enough to recognize when a situation is toxic or when a person brings more negative energy into our space than positivity. While it is great to bring positivity into another person's life, we must recognize the energy we are getting in return. 
We accept the love we think we deserve. So we must first recognize the love we deserve by giving it to ourselves and making a promise to ourselves to never accept anything less. 

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