I realized this soon after it ended—that I’d spent three years expecting someone else to love me when I didn’t love myself.The guilt and shame kept me single for almost a decade. I’d start getting close to someone and then find a way to sabotage it. But mostly I was afraid of hurting someone else again and having to live with that.
Also, keep in mind: if you want to feel love again in the future, the first step is to prepare yourself to give and receive it.
My ex-boyfriend had to juggle multiple roles, from therapist to cheerleader to babysitter.
The whole relationship revolved around holding me up.
Long after I let go of the man, feelings about the relationship held me back. If you’ve been holding onto an old relationship, now is the perfect time to let go. When a relationship ends, it’s tempting to dwell on what you did wrong or what you could have done differently. When you start revisiting the past in your head, pull yourself into the moment.
This might seem productive—like you can somehow change things by rehashing it. Focus on the good things in your current situation: the friends who are there for you and the lessons you’ve learned that will help you with future relationships.
You can only do that if you feel love toward yourself. If I looked at that unhealthy relationship or the following decade as time lost, I’d underestimate all the amazing things I did in that time.