It all still feels a bit surreal. You still can’t believe that someone like him would have any interest in someone like you. To be quite honest, it feels slightly terrifying. But that’s just a normal part of beginning a new relationship and letting someone new into your life, you tell yourself. Clearly, he sees something special in you, and you can definitely tell there’s something different about him.
It’s the way he talks—about himself, about life and the world, and to you. Those long, sweet messages, so heartfelt and deep—what other guy would ever think that way? He makes it so clear that he’s serious about you. He tells you how much he loves you all the time.
You’ve definitely never met anyone like him before. That’s a good thing, you tell yourself. You want someone with a strong presence. Although…deep down, something does feel…well, a little off. Maybe it’s because of how he never seems to think much of the snarky remarks and negative comments he often makes. Maybe it’s that when you’re with him, you find yourself holding back things you wouldn’t hesitate to say to your friends, and a little hesitant to be your usual, quirky self. Maybe it’s that you feel like you should’ve gotten over that initial timidity and discomfort quickly, yet it’s still lingering there.
When he yells at you, or gets angry with you after misinterpreting something you said yet again, you want to stand up for yourself, of course—but you become too wrapped up in hurt and confusion to even know where to begin. How could someone speak so gently in one breath, then so harshly in the next? How does he always manage to turn things around on you and make you feel horrible for speaking your mind? Is he incapable of saying the phrase “I’m sorry I made you feel that way” or something? In fact, you realize, it seems hard to tell him anything that he could have a bad reaction to. So there are some things you decide to just skip altogether.
Bringing him around your friends and family always feels a bit risky. Will they act in an acceptable manner today? It’s not like you can tell everyone beforehand to be on their best behavior…that’d just sound weird, not to mention rude. But the thought of having to hear his comments, muttered only to you under his breath as soon as everyone else is distracted, or receive a look of disbelief when someone says or does something “out of line,” or listen to his unfiltered complaints about their flaws in a private conversation later on, is almost enough to make you want to.
You wish you could tell him how uncomfortable the mean things he says about others make you feel—but you can’t imagine venturing into that realm when he already makes your more personal concerns sound so ridiculous. You don’t want to come off as one of those crazy, hypersensitive girls who can’t lighten up.
You can’t help but notice that your friends’ relationships seem a little different from your own. They just seem…freer, less tense, like they have no reasons to be insecure. It’s hard not to feel a twinge of jealousy. But then you convince yourself that you’re just idealizing, that things can’t be as perfect as they appear. Those girls must have their secrets too, and those couples must have their problems.
Besides, when things are good between the two of you, they’re really good…
You just wish you didn’t have to wonder how long that goodness will last.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, please, please, let this be the article that convinces you once and for all that none of it is okay. I have been where you are and letting myself believe that that behavior was normal, over and over again, ended up hurting me more than I ever thought it could. I know how scary it can be, but while you’re waiting around and holding out so much hope for things to change, you’re prolonging an already long and difficult process of emotional and spiritual healing, of getting back in touch with your true values and standards and all the things that make you you. Leaving a toxic relationship is not easy. But if you look around, you’ll likely find many supportive hands reaching out to you—it’s just a matter of taking them. You are not alone. You are not powerless. You are beautiful and deserve so much better—pure, true love that really is patient and kind, that will make your heart feel full and whole again.