Love + Sex, Love

I believed I was the reason my relationships failed – until this happened

I changed into a completely different person, just how they wanted me to be.

I can’t remember how many breakups I’ve been through. I’ve lost count. Sometimes I wondered if they just weren’t the one for me, but most times I believed I was in the wrong in the relationship.

Years ago, my first boyfriend broke up with me because I was too busy for him.

He wanted to be my first priority, above everything and everyone else. I did try for him. It was my first relationship and I didn’t want to disappoint him. So I abandoned my family time, barely spent time with my friends and even neglected my studies, all for him, but apparently, it wasn’t enough.

And I believed, our breakup was my fault. I should’ve spent more time with him.

After a while being single, I had a new boyfriend. But it didn’t take long for him to break up with me too.

His reason? I was too fat for him. When we were first dating, I was a little bit skinnier, but few months after that I gained weight. Although it wasn’t much and I was only a size 3, it didn’t please him. He preferred the way I looked before I became ‘fat’.

I tried to diet so I could lose weight for him. Now I know it was pretty impossible, for me to lose that weight, but I was desperate for the appearance I had before. So, I worked out for hours a day and starved myself. Sometimes I fell sick because of it. And it was pointless because he still dumped me anyway.

Again, I believed it was my fault.

That wasn’t even the worst breakup excuse I’ve heard.

There was one time when I’d lost touch with my goals, passions, and dreams. This time, I was in a relationship with a guy with a ‘traditional’ mindset.

I told him about my big dreams, but all I got was his disapproval. He wanted someone who could fulfill her responsibilities as ‘his wife’ – or in other words, full-time housewife. For him, a woman should be committed to domestic responsibilities and house duties. We were in a serious relationship and already had marriage on our minds. I was madly, foolishly in love with him, so I changed my mind and sacrificed my own interests just for him.

Still, it didn’t work out. I still couldn’t fit his ‘perfect’ wife requirements.

I had more relationships after that, but they all failed. Some ended for ridiculous reasons. Sometimes I dressed up too much to their liking, and the other times it was my habit of hiding my ‘natural look’ behind my makeup too much. The weirdest reason of all? I talked just like his MOM.

I thought there was something wrong with me, which ruined every relationship I was in. I always changed so much about myself to try and make the relationships work. I put my boyfriends as my top priority and forgot to look after myself.

Finally, I decided that maybe relationships in general just weren’t for me.

I stopped dating for years. I rejected a lot of men that wanted to date me.

But there were times when I’ve plenty of happy couples and wondered what made their relationship work. Slowly, I started to realize one thing.

The men respected their partners. They let their girlfriend be the person they wanted to be.

This whole time, I lost myself just for the sake of a man.

I was never the problem, they all were.

I compromised my needs and interests so I could be ‘worthy’ of them. I completely lost my self-worth as well as my identity for the sake of a relationship. For those undeserving men, I distanced myself from my family and friends.

I realized it was time for me to find myself again after losing myself to all these unhealthy relationships. I had a lot of passions and hobbies before, but they were all forgotten and I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy them as much as I used to.

Compromises and sacrifices are important in a relationship, but not to the point where I had to forsake my self-value just to make a man happy.