I’ve been with my husband for three years and married for half a year.
Before meeting my husband, I’d never had a serious relationship.
None of my past relationships lasted longer than eight months, and the eight-month relationship happened when I was a teenager.
It doesn’t matter anymore, but back then, I was very insecure about it.
I thought something was wrong with me. Every break-up was intense and painful. I believed I was unloveable. I was desperate to fix myself.
And sure, I did.
I had a long list of things that were wrong with me and I fixed them one by one in therapy and through many other self-investments.
What I was wrong about, though, was that I wasn’t unloveable. I was loveable, I just didn’t know how to love myself and choose the people who were capable of loving me too.
I even had evidence of that.
The other day, I found a bunch of saved Whatsapp chat files between me and some significant exes—significant not because we were serious but because they left a big emotional impact on me.
As I read those conversations, I CRINGED.
I saw clearly the errors of my way.
Some observations I made:
The guys were either ambivalent or avoidant by nature. They didn’t ask any personal questions about me. They didn’t show any genuine interest. They were experts at sending mixed signals, future-faking, and creating false intimacy.
I was desperate to have more of their attention. I did and said many cringe-worthy things to keep the conversations going and gain some sense of control.
My anxious attachment style was fully activated because I never felt safe with them, so I became easily triggered and my judgments were heavily clouded. I was a walking anxiety bomb.
I could not read between the lines and do the right things for myself. Instead, I reacted out of instinct and secretly hoped that being emotionally genuine would move them, but it never did.
I wasn’t being myself, and none of these guys got to see the real me. I couldn’t be myself when I was constantly anxious. I didn’t really know anything about these guys either—I was too consumed by my own issues.
I decided on these guys before they proved to be worthy of being chosen, and they knew it. They knew they didn’t have to put their best foot forward because I already accepted mediocre. They didn’t take me and my needs seriously.
They were happy to string me along and use me. If I had acted “cool”, I don’t know when it would have ended.
A guy was special to me not because he was actually special or right for me, but because he caused me the most anxiety. Feeling “butterfly in your stomach” is a damn red flag. The more anxiously attached you are to a guy, the worse he is for you.
My memories of these relationships are a bit blurry at this point, so it’s validating to have a snapshot of who I was back then and see why things went the way they did from my changed perspective.
I no longer identify with the girl I was but knowing how much and how long it took to get to where I am now, being able to have the secure, stable life that I’ve always wanted, I had so much empathy for her and wished I could go back in time and guide her through those dark moments.
In a nutshell, my love life was a mess because:
I had unresolved issues.
I chose the wrong people.
I didn’t know what was right for me.
The good news is:
When I fixed 1, I could fix 2. And when I fixed 1 and 2, I could get to 3.
That’s what I did.
But there’s another crucial step: Stop whatever you were doing and start committing to the healing process.
My transformation didn’t just happen.
I had my personal breaking point and called it “enough.” From then on, I had to do things differently.
I set goals for myself and aligned my actions with them:
To reclaim my power
To build a life for myself
To find a serious relationship
These goals were important to me because they were the building blocks on which other things could grow and flourish.
It was very hard in the beginning, but trust me when I say it’ll get better. In a few years, you’ll look back and thank yourself.