Not too long ago, I found myself in a situationship where I was choosing between walking away and hanging on. This doesn’t happen to me often. I like to think I’m emotionally equipped to know when something isn’t favoring me.
Alas, I don’t always have it all figured out, after all. I told myself that people can change when you give them time. I held on to that. He had some of what I wanted in a life partner, but he had two major problems. He’s insensitive to other people’s pain and he NEVER says sorry.
I know some will think this shouldn’t be a reason for me to walk away. But I did think long and hard about it. A man who never says “sorry” is guarded by one thing, “ego.” I wasn’t going to stick around to find out other challenges I’d face because of his pride.
When I asked why he doesn’t feel people’s pain, he said people get what they deserve. He believes that if you are suffering, that means you did something to deserve that misery.
I think it’s shallow and way too judgmental to see people this way. I also think there’s some unresolved trauma that made him turn out the way he did.
For a while, I tried to understand he wasn’t perfect. No one is, anyway. I told myself if I stayed with him a little longer, he would learn how true love feels. I thought if he could feel loved, he will eventually start to understand other people’s lives better.
Love can change a person, they say. I surrendered my heart to make him feel. He was modest. When he showed concern, it was more of an obligation than of his feelings. I know I can be emotionally detached too but that is when I don’t want any serious business with the person. So I understood perfectly what he was doing.
The moment I said goodbye to good riddance
When you find someone you love, the feelings shouldn’t be forced. Unfortunately, this guy I dated had a different spectrum about love and human emotions.
I realized the height of his insensitivity when I fell ill during winter. I couldn’t get up from my bed. I was down with a fever and he was lying down next to me.
I woke him up to get me the aspirin in my kitchen cabinet. He didn’t find any. He said I had run out. I never miss having aspirin in my home. I knew I had some, but I was too sick to get up.
I asked if he could go and buy some across the street. He refused. He said it was 3 am I should hold on till it was bright. Instead, he prepared ORS for me to drink to keep me hydrated and reduce the fever then he went back to sleep.
After drinking the ORS I got a little strength so I went to the kitchen and took two tabs of aspirin. By morning I was relieved to drive to the hospital because my boyfriend had an early appointment he couldn’t miss.
I was admitted to the hospital the entire day for observation. To my surprise, my boyfriend never called or showed up to see how I was doing.
I was disappointed. I felt betrayed. After I returned to the hospital, he was already home eating takeaway food. I walked straight into my bedroom, packed all his belongings and brought them to him in the living room.
“I think it’s time for you to leave,” I said.
He was shocked. He had the nerve to ask why I was acting immaturely. I wasn’t in the mood to argue so I helped him carry his bag outside my gate. And I never spoke to him again.
I had allowed our relationship to linger because I convinced myself he would treat me differently if I was ever in pain. I believed he loved differently because he was a logical person. But who was I kidding?
How to protect yourself in a one-sided love
In a one-sided relationship, one person is investing while the other is receiving. The problem with this relationship dynamic is that it can be draining and difficult to sustain in long term.
In a healthy, balanced relationship, both parties can depend on each other and you know where you stand with them. A mutual, equal relationship provides stability and security.
However, if you ever find yourself in a one-sided relationship, here are five things you can do to make your partner step up.
Don’t be afraid to walk away
It’s never going to be easy to walk away from someone you love, so don’t expect it to. Your fears will keep you from leaving. Your judgment will be clouded. You will think you are making the wrong decision, and that you may not find anyone better.
Fear keeps us from making the right decision. You need to recognize when your fears are speaking and remind yourself why you entered the relationship in the first place. You should have it in mind that a relationship that isn’t serving your purpose or fulfilling your expectations is not worth keeping.
Establish emotional boundaries
Women easily let their guard down when they love someone. But men keep their walls up long enough till they know if she’s “the one” or “just another” pretty face.
You need emotional boundaries to keep you from investing too soon in a man who won’t meet your expectations. When your self-esteem is compromised, your fears kick in. You start worrying about losing him. You become super vigilant on signs and behaviors that could tear you apart.
If the man you are seeing isn’t returning the same effort you put into the relationship, then it’s time to re-evaluate your decision. Ignoring the red flags will only complicate your life.
You should know men are vulnerable when they love, so if he’s giving you the I-got-it-all-together vibe, then you are not the woman he loves. One can only be emotionally detached when they don’t love you.
Know the difference between what you want and what you are getting
Most people don’t know what they want so they settle for what they get and then complain that their partner isn’t doing enough.
Before you enter a new relationship, you should know what to expect from your partner. When those things aren’t being fulfilled, you need to express your feelings without sounding needy.
Expressing what you need from him isn’t neediness. Rather accepting what you don’t want so you don’t upset him is. If you have to walk on eggshells around the man you love, he’s probably not the right person for you.
Focus on yourself more
We easily prioritize our partners when we love them. When you make him a priority and put his needs before yours, you neglect yourself.
In a relationship, you are not just dating your partner, you dating yourself too. So you should treat yourself with the same love and care you give your partner.
You shouldn’t make your partner the center of your world because that can make him grow bored of you. Never neglect your dreams and desires because those are the things that attracted him to you in the first place.
Pull back if he’s not committed to you
I know what you must be thinking now. You are worried he might find someone else if you pull away from him. Well, if he does, that will only prove he’s intentions about you weren’t true to begin with. In that case, you dodged a bullet.
When you are in a one-sided relationship, you will find yourself doing all the hard work. You plan most of the dates, you are the one initiating the calls and texts, and still, you are not his priority. Something or someone always comes first on his list before you.
Pulling back is extremely important if you are in such a relationship dynamic. When you keep your distance, you will be able to access your relationship better. And if he really loves you, he will come running after you. Your absence will force him to step up so he doesn’t lose you. But if he doesn’t change his attitude towards you, he was never into you from the start.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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