love is love is love. but how do you really know you’ve found the one? or that you definitely have found the wrong one?
i’m going to spend a little time on the latter…just so y’all can learn from my mistakes instead of repeating them. this might get lengthy, so be patient.
iight so boom, i’ve learned these lessons at least three different times so i’ll just scream it real quick.
IF YOU SEE SIGNS OF MANIPULATION OR ABUSE, in any form, RUN.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
there’s no easy way to figure out your deal breakers. unfortunately, you have to go through some hard shit to learn how to avoid the bs or just learn the signs to protect yourself (and even then it’s easy to slip up). my deal breakers are: manipulation/abuse and sever insecurity. this is how i learned them.
high school - i was cheated on.
college* - i was abused & manipulated.
college + post grad - manipulated.
i had it all written out, but it hurt like hell. i’ve forgiven these people and myself for all of it. going through it was terrible, obviously, but i learned what i’m willing to put up with and what are absolute hell TF no’s.
i’ve doubted myself. i let myself go in every sense that you can imagine. my spirit, health and sanity was in someone’s hands. i let that happen all while believing that i was in control. i don’t wish any of this on my worst enemy.
every time i’m asked about past relationships, i always shy away from the bad parts…but not this time. i’ll capture the college* one. I’ll call him steve. steve was a cool guy. the first guy that i ever met that was smarter than me, lol. of course, it started all sweet and innocent, but there were signs early on that we both weren’t ready for this. the first sign was this incident that didn’t even involve me, lol. he, his ex & another lady had a love triangle going on while steve and i were spending time together. i’m extremely honest, so much that it gets me in trouble. i told him about other people that i was flirting with, but he never told me anything about this triangle thing that apparently almost came to blows. being childish and competitive, i let him believe i knew nothing about it and continued acting normal as can be til i gave him an ultimatum, “ask me to be your gf or i’m outtie.” to me, this would prove to those other girls that i was the one he wanted, CHILDISH. he asked, though, with the cutest scavenger hunt and i said yes. the first months were full of cupcake love….i still don’t remember my 19th birthday and it’s not because i was lit, lol. i’m sure something crazy happened, but i’ve blocked it from my memory bank.
spring 14 is when things turned for the worse and continued to worsen. i went off for an internship in freezing, snowy ohio all by my lonesome. the job, location and new loneliness gave me a bunch of issues, personally, that leaked over into our relationship. steve began ignoring me and spending every second with his friends even when i expressed my need for attention and a listening ear. i flew down to nc for our first anniversary to surprise him & he still wanted to be all around his friends, i should’ve paid attention to that, but i considered these people my friends as well so i didn’t mind. he also spent his spring break in ohio with me, so it wasn’t complete turmoil 24/7, but when it got bad, it got really bad.
the following summer & school year proved to be too much for him & to handle. my 20th birthday was the biggest incident. he blacked out drunk & put his hands on me. he didn’t hit me, but he threw me against the wall and immobilized me while screaming an apology in my face. i don’t remember screaming, but i must have done something because his best friend burst in the room to hold him back and allow me to get away. i only stayed away for 5 min, crying in the hallway in complete disbelief. after that, i tried to give him rules to keep the drinking in check, but i was only met with attitude and dismissal. if i ever said anything about his drinking while out in public it became an argument that i didn’t want to have. i was terrified. but i started to live my own life without him and that was also an issue. i wasn’t sure what to do…i gave it my all, but it just kept getting worse. he was depressed and would blame me. i’d voice my discrepancies and he’d threaten to hurt himself if i left. while in the relationship, i didn’t realize that this was toxic manipulating behavior, but now i know better. sex was different…it was scary. i felt my voice was stolen from me and i was this new nadia that i hated. i wasn’t eating, doing anything for myself, he was always first. i was trapped until some epiphany happened. i think it was a movie or a book, but i connected the parallels to my life and decided to make a change. i had to go. he had to go. oh, btw, he thought everything was fine.
that was the one that broke me. i lost myself. i became a doormat. a “good” girlfriend, i thought. now i know better. i see the signs from a mile away. by no means am i perfect, but i know my worth. & through the bs and hardship, i learned my deal breakers.