As a woman, I’m moved to write this article because I want other women to realize the importance of self-worth. What I’m about to share is a personal story of my own failure. Initially, I was hesitant to share it because it was too private for me, but my mom encouraged me to write about it. “Use your pain to help others,” she said. So, here I am, telling my story.
Months ago, my ex and I split up. I loved him, and I thought he was the one. I was heartbroken, but after everything ended, I finally realized that the worst part of it all wasn’t losing him; it was losing me. To be honest, what happened to me was embarrassing, humiliating, and hurtful. I still can’t believe it can really happen in real life. It’s true that being a good person doesn’t mean people will treat you the same; having good intentions doesn’t mean people will have the same intentions too; and being loyal to someone doesn’t mean they won’t cheat on you. I learned it the hard way.
Looking back, I can see how my lack of self-worth allowed me to stay in a relationship that wasn’t healthy for me. I let my partner’s needs and desires take precedence over my own. It wasn’t until the breakup that I realized how much of myself I had lost.
So, here are the lessons I want you to know.
- Never drop your value just to make someone stay in your life.
Everyone makes mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. We make mistakes, learn from them, be someone better, and don’t repeat them. When your partner makes a mistake, forgiveness can be a powerful tool for moving forward. However, if they repeat the same mistake, it is not a “mistake” anymore. It’s a choice. It’s a “mistake” to them because they got caught again. There are two kinds of forgiveness, in my opinion: the kind where you forgive while also giving them another chance, and the kind where you forgive but move on without them. You need to use them both wisely. My mistake was that I dropped my value and forgave him for the same mistake twice. I wish I had realized sooner that when someone isn’t being honest with you from the very beginning, they will keep lying to you.
- Love yourself the same amount of love you give to your partner.
I was so focused on making him happy that I forgot I was supposed to be happy too. I tolerated his every action and lowered my needs based on what he could accept. I gave in a lot. My patience had reached an extreme level. I’m not saying that I was not happy with him. I was, for a while. His happiness was my happiness, but unfortunately, I didn’t get the same amount of love from him. I was never asking him for too much, though. Just enough for him to do all the little things and never ignore me. Then I realized I was just asking the wrong person to do all that. I always chose him, but he always chose himself.
- Once you realize you have given more than you received, Leave.
Love should be mutual. When the feelings are mutual, the effort will be equal. Never lie to yourself to stay in the relationship just because you love him. I loved him so deeply that I forgot I needed the same love too. I tolerated him so much that I didn’t realize I was gradually lowering my value to his level. I was so loyal to him that I betrayed myself because I always wanted to believe him. I forgave him again and again without knowing I was actually destroying myself. I regret that I didn’t walk away from the relationship sooner.
- When they ignored you, completely ignored you, there is no such thing as needing space. Let go.
Do not force anything. When they are not mature enough to sit with you and fix the relationship, just f**king leave. Let go of the relationship. You’re both supposed to be on the same team. Not you against him or him against you. A strong relationship is supposed to survive hardship; you don’t let your partner face the hardship alone. You can’t be selfish. When you’re in a relationship, it’s not only about you anymore. And we, as women, tend to write a long paragraph for him to read. My advice is: don’t. They don’t care. They don’t care about your feelings when they ignore you; what makes you think they care to read your long text? You need to realize what kind of woman you are. Don’t beg, don’t chase. A high-value woman doesn’t do such things. When you know what you bring to the table, it’s not your loss. It’s theirs.
- You don’t need closure as much as you think you do.
Some things are better left unsaid. I never had a chance to be heard by my ex. I moved on from the unfairness that happened to me. It was hard, indeed. I was resentful, I held a grudge, and I was angry. Everything I knew changed in a single day. I felt humiliated, and I needed to learn to accept the apology I never received. My ex and his mom expected me to keep my emotions for later (like I was some kind of robot) after all the hurtful things they did to me. As I heal myself from the trauma, I keep reminding myself that I am not what they did to me. I am not the pain that they caused me. I am a hero who endured the struggle, and I’m proud of it. I wish they would heal so they wouldn’t do the same to others. The closure? Believe in karma.
- Humans are not perfect but there’s always someone better for you, out there.
When I was in a relationship, I always had this belief that I needed to adapt to the person I was currently dating. It was the wrong idea, though. You can’t replace negative behaviors and adapt them with positive thoughts. You only teach them to keep treating you poorly when you do this. Stick to who you are; when it’s not okay, then it’s not okay. If you feel angry, you are entitled to feel angry. Your feelings are valid. Never apologize for that. Never leave any space for them to manipulate you. If you think you deserve better, then you deserve better.
- Always trust your guts.
One of the most important things in a relationship is trust. I don’t believe in controlling my partner. He’s free to do anything he wants with his life. His choices and actions will show me how important I am to him. But, at the same time, I have strong gut feelings too. Every time I have weird feelings about something, I am never wrong about them. For example, I hate checking my partner’s phone. I don’t do this often, but once my gut is telling me to do it, I do it anyway. That’s how I caught my ex cheating on me. Just remember that people are scared when they have something to hide. Never let your partner bullshit you about trust when they can’t even trust you to hold their phone.
- Don’t rush into a relationship. Let him earn your trust.
I jumped into a serious relationship with him after a month of knowing each other. I dated him after our 2nd date (which was a day after our 1st date). I know right, what the hell I was thinking? I was so caught up in the idea of being with him that I ignored all the red flags. I guess I can blame myself for this. Let a man earn your trust first. That way, maybe they will appreciate you more. Also, keep in mind that everything in our lives is changing. Always look at the 10% of the recent phase of the relationship, not at the beginning of the relationship where everything was still beautiful. Men, once they get you, they stop doing what it takes to get you. Consistency is very important. Don’t ignore your needs.
- Don’t be scared to be the one who walks away. Don’t water a dead flower.
When we love someone, we tend to wait for them. We want to save the relationship, even though we have seen the signs. Most of the time, deep in our hearts, we already know the answer, but our mind tricks us into believing something we want to believe. Listen, don’t fall in love with potential. Don’t fight for it. Who someone “could be” still doesn’t change who they are. Be more afraid of losing time than losing someone who won’t fight for us. I made mistakes by being the only person who cared to fix the relationship. It was stupid of me, but a lesson learned. I deserve someone who is willing to fight with me, not the opposite.
And last but not least, to all women who read this, no matter where you come from, how you grew up, or what level of education you have, be independent. Get used to being alone and doing things alone. Be a strong woman. Be brave. You never know what will happen to you in the future. I was left wandering alone in a foreign country when it was almost dark and without any sympathy. I had nowhere to go. I was treated unfairly. I got blamed for something I didn’t do, and once I got affected by it, I got humiliated and was blamed for not being able to keep my emotions. Imagine if this happened to you. Would you survive? Life is unfair. Just know that.