I once chuckled at the thought of “It’s complicated” actually being a relationship status choice on Facebook.
I would think to myself, why would anyone do that?
But somehow I found myself in one of those “complicated” relationships that I once side-eyed.
I met a guy who seemed like everything I wanted, he was funny, good-looking, smart, shared the same values I did, but looking back, the one thing I realized stood out more than any of those things is that he needed me. Yup, I had a bad case of needing to be needed.
We both admitted our attraction, and I thought this was the beginning of a budding romance.
Got along. Check
Loves God. Check
Loves his family. Check
I could go on and on with things that we slowly discovered we had in common, and I can’t lie we meshed well, like a glove even. Anytime we were together the conversation flowed, the laughter was loud and the vibes were positive. Even as I’m writing this, I think about how we just clicked without a second thought.
As time went on, we became really good friends, we told each other everything, knew each other like the back of our hand it was the perfect recipe for a beautiful love story. But when I wanted to sit down to have a conversation about where our relationship was going, his response went something like
“You know you’re just to good for me, and I don’t want to ruin our friendship. Nobody has ever been what you’ve been to me, but I know me and I would ruin this.”
I should have listened to EXACTLY what he said, but instead, I heard:
“I want to be with you, I know you’re good for me, but I don’t believe in myself and I need you.”
But he said exactly what he said.
So instead of backing away and protecting my heart, I made it my duty to show him that he was good enough and I also made it my duty to show him that I was too. He called, I answered, he messed up, I covered. He needed prayer, I prayed. He needed encouragement, I encouraged. All in the hopes that he would finally see his true self. That he would finally see me.
As years went by, I began to accommodate. Accommodate his ups and downs, allowed him to control the pace of the relationship, everything was always on his terms and sometimes I would come up for air and recognize how backward it all was that he was telling me he didn’t want a relationship, but anyone with two eyes could see how he treated me like we were in a relationship.
And I would try to back away, a few times I decided enough is enough and I deserve better, but then a crisis would happen or he would tell me he needed me and I came to his rescue. Every. Single. Time. He knew what to say and how to say it to reel me back in.
Then I was back at square one, giving, loving, praying, pouring my virtue out and doing life with someone who was not willing to be committed to me but left remnants of his person in other people.
But still, I chased, thinking “If I could just help him figure out how great he is, everything would come together.”
Then one day, it hit me, like a ton of bricks. I was so busy chasing after him and chasing after his greatness. That I left mine behind. I became tangled in drama, his confusion made me confused and I’m typically a very clear woman.
I didn’t recognize the woman I had become.
Who was this woman that was allowing a man to have control like this, who allowed her wants and needs to be overshadowed by someone who couldn’t even commit to her, who settled for anything because it's better than nothing, right?
I spent so much energy trying to be loyal, staying because he said he needed me, loving because he needed it that I wasn’t doing that for me.
But I don’t blame him.
I allowed this to go on for so long. I forgot my worth. I put aside my standards and values.
I chased and chased until I was out of breath and on the verge of collapsing.
So it came down to a choice.
Stay in this cycle and help him find himself and try to help him love me and see that I was worthy or decide to come up for air and start chasing after me?