I know you love him, love her. I know that you gave yourself away to this relationship; I know that you were selfless and fought so damn hard. But at the end of the day, are they standing beside you? Are they fighting, too? Are they dropping their swords, surrendering because they’d rather lose a teeny bit of their pride than lose you?
At the end of the day, do you matter? Matter enough for them to go to battle—with and for you?
These are the questions we’re sometimes too afraid to ask ourselves because we already know the answers. Because we’re falling into empty beds at the end of the night, feigning disinterest while we scroll through our partners’ social media feeds, wondering where they are and who they’re talking to.
These are the fears that run rampant through our minds because we know we deserve better, but walking away seems a lot more terrifying than settling with what we have. So we laugh, pretending like it doesn’t hurt because god forbid we be anything less than collected and cool.
But at the end of the day, who are we really hurting but ourselves?
There is something to be said for being the person who cares, for putting your needs aside and working on a relationship, even when it falls apart at the seams. There is something to be said for being the better person, for giving a crap, for believing in love even when your partner doesn’t.
But at some point, you have to draw a line. At some point it’s not about doing the right thing, but protecting yourself. At some point, love becomes foolishness, and you have to put yourself first, too.
You can love as hard as you possibly can, but that won’t make people love you. You can do everything in your power to be the best boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, partner—but that won’t change the way someone else’s heart beats. There’s only so much you can do or give; at the end of the day what matters is that your passion is reciprocated. And if someone doesn’t care for you, doesn’t value who you are and what you bring—stop making excuses.
Stop making excuses for the girl who is ‘too tired’ every single night, but has all the energy in the world when it comes to her friends or other dates. Stop making excuses for the man who says he’s just ‘too busy’ to care about you or to send you a text for multiple nights. Stop making excuses for the partner who promises commitment, but avoids the conversation at all costs, or the spouse who doesn’t make any effort to build what has been broken between you two.
Stop making excuses.
Love was never promised to be easy; we were never given a manual, a how-to book, a one-size-fits-all solution for how to act and be. We were supposed to get hurt and get messy, supposed to have moments of confusion and frustration and fear.
But we were not meant to give ourselves to people who could care less.
We were never meant to bend until we break for someone whose interest is pursing all that he or she can gain without sharing anything in return.
The world has clouded our perceptions of relationships these days. So often we’re faced with temporary, and so people run at the first sign of trouble. We can’t do that, but we can’t destroy ourselves trying to save someone, something that doesn’t want to be saved.
We can’t sacrifice our hearts for what only resembles half-love.
Please don’t jump ship when something gets challenging, but don’t overstay your welcome with someone who treats you less than the ground crunching beneath their feet.
There is a difference between complicated love, and abusive love. There is a difference between salvaging the wreckage and saving yourself.
So please, if you’re not valued, if they don’t care—gather the pieces of you and run. Find who you are without them as your definition. Find what you love when romance is not the answer. Find who you can become when you’re finally freed. Find someone who looks at you with reverence and never dreams of giving you anything less than all.
Find what you deserve, and don’t stop looking until you can hold it in your hands.
Stop making excuses; for the right one, you won’t have to.