The woman who responds to texts in a heartbeat (or sends multiple texts), even though it takes him forever to respond.
The woman who tries too hard for a man who doesn't try at all--or even deserves a sliver of her attention, to be honest.
The woman who ignores her gut feeling about a man that's telling her He doesn't actually give a shit or He just wants to get in your pants, and believes his sweet, empty words instead.
The woman who doesn't believe in her own value and, therefore, ends up with men who don't believe in it either.
The woman who can't end a relationship because she's afraid to be alone, and she'd rather settle for men who don't know how to make her happy--or care enough to try.
The woman who tries to change his mind when he's decided we want different things, and keeps hoping he'll eventually change his mind.
The woman who gives and gives and gives without return--in healthy relationships, there isn't even the question of whether there will be return.
The woman who gives into pressure, even if she worked up the courage to set up her boundaries.
The woman who loses herself and her heart in the heat of the moment.
The woman who refuses to listen--to everyone and everything around her that tell her Stop, and look at yourself. You've never been so miserable. Who is he to do this to you? Or you to allow him into your life?
The woman who needs to feel needed by other people, but doesn't care much about herself.
The woman who cannot stand to be alone.
The woman who doesn't know how to love herself and cannot show men how to love her.
The woman who believes she deserves to be punished by abusive relationships--or that this is the best she'll ever have.
The woman who feeds off of attention and affection as an essential ingredient for making it through the day, the night, the week.
The woman who takes excuses--excuses that mean absolutely nothing to the man at all, instead of putting him back in place.
The woman who believes the world will be kind to those who are kind to the world when, in fact, it can be quite the opposite.
Admittedly, I have been all of these women stuck with all of the wrong men. I am not to blame for the actions of others, but I am responsible for allowing those behaviors to continue and not insist on the treatment I deserve. The major turning point in my life was when I was with a man who insisted he loved and cherished me but left in a heartbeat--all because I stuck to my own values. Up until that point, emotional blackmail tended to be much more subtle--then it became so blatant, it sent shockwaves throughout my entire sense of self. What if none of this is about me? How can someone so obviously disrespect me and my decisions? How do I move forward and find someone who is worthy of me?
The question used to be: how do I make him see me as worthy? You can't. What you can do is be a respectable, high-value woman and ask yourself: is this a man who is worthy of you? Does he deserve to be with you? You cannot put yourself second to a partner or, frankly, almost anyone else. The man who is worthy of you will insist on putting you on an equal level and will never, ever make you feel lesser than him.
I cannot promise myself that I will not repeat these same mistakes, because we all make mistakes all the time. However, I have been able to better think about what led me to make them and how I can move forward in better relationships over time. Part of what had to change is the people I choose to love, but the other part involved changing myself. And boy, it's been a long road, but I'm grateful for all the lessons I picked up along the way.