My first long term relationship started when I was a teenager.
I didn’t know what I should expect from a boyfriend or what I deserved. So anything this new guy did for me would keep me thinking that he loved me.
He did all the grand gestures that I knew to expect from a guy. I thought it was romantic. In hindsight, our relationship was extremely volatile.
I remember one time he had gotten mad at me for hanging out with my close friend instead of hanging out with him. He sent me lots of texts saying how I was a terrible girlfriend and how he couldn’t believe I could be so selfish.
It really hurt my feelings and he knew that. So to make up for it he sent flowers and candy TO MY SCHOOL! Such a huge gesture was totally unheard of. I totally fell for it and accepted all of his wrongdoings because I never had anyone give me so much attention before!
There were many more times where he would go above and beyond to ‘make it up’ to me. When he’d lose his temper at me, he would later show up at my house with a dozen roses, chocolate, a card, and lots of apologies.
Each time, I always gave in and forgave him. But in the back of my mind I always thought “with time he will change” and “as he matures he’ll grow up and stop acting foolish.”
I thought that if I was good enough, he would change. And that I could change him.
But he didn’t. We continued to breakup and makeup, just like we had before.
I remember one of our last fights so clearly. He came over to my apartment and we started having the same fight over the same issues in our relationship.
After fighting for a while it just hit me…it finally clicked in my mind: This was him…and this had always been him…and he was not going to change. I couldn’t argue him into being who I wanted him to be.
After years of thinking if I was good enough he would change, I had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t change anyone. Only he could change himself. I could only change me and how I respond to my circumstances.
I was finally done trying to shape my boyfriend into the man of my dreams. The fact was, he wasn’t. Even on our best days, I still was left wanting something more out of my relationship.
We weren’t good for each other. No amount of flowers or cards or chocolate could change that. And letting go gave me the freedom to find someone who could be the man I needed.