Stop settling.

Stop convincing yourself the guy you cry over every other night is the "one for you."

Stop using the fact that you've put so much time and effort into him as an excuse to let yourself stay with him just to be abused and cheated on over and over again.

Stop telling yourself he has potential. We're getting too old to say "he's a boy, and boys mature slower than girls."

Stop accepting when he tells you "that's just how I am" when you beg him to change his ways. That's NOT just how he is, that's just how you let him treat you.

Stop letting your unconditional love get taken for granted.

Stop blaming yourself.

There's a fine line between him making mistakes and him being a loser, and he crossed it a long time ago. Telling yourself and everyone else that he's "your loser" doesn't make him or the situation any more tolerable.

Being in this relationship will kill parts of you that you will never get back. It's going to have an impact on who you are for the rest of your life. You will never get rid of the anxiety and distrust for as long as you live. No matter how much counseling, medication, or time you spend alone, you will never fully heal. It's nearly impossible. You will just have to learn how to deal with it.

You're probably thinking, "Who is this girl? Why in the hell does she think she has any idea what I go through?"

Girl, I was you. I was miserable, and I was OK with being miserable for the rest of my life if it meant my ex-boyfriend was going to date me forever. I was in a relationship that I was willing to die for, for all the wrong reasons.

I was the most unconditionally loving person you could ever meet.

I spent endless nights crying. When I say that, I mean I spent endless nights lying in my bed, wearing his t-shirt, the ring he gave me, and squeezing the teddy bear he'd given me on our first Valentine's Day together, while I cried my eyes out and felt my whole body sink into my bed until I couldn't feel anymore. I used to beg God to not let me wake up the next day because I was unsure if I could handle another day of rejection.

I wasn't crazy, even though I was convinced I was. When someone promises you forever, every other day. Tells you they love you, and takes it back once a week, for several years, it leaves a lasting effect.

When someone cheats on you with your closest "friends" and even family, but apologizes for hours and begs you not to leave them until they're blue in the face, but goes behind your back again the next week... it tends to cause this thing I like to call the rejection of rejection. When I say that, I mean that your mind is literally rejecting the fact that you are being rejected, and you become obsessed with proving you aren't being rejected. That's where all the excuses I listed previously come from.

With that being said, it takes time. It takes healing. It takes a huge realization.

It takes more growth than you know you are capable of, but you can do it.

It took me years. Do you hear that? Is that registering as you read that to yourself, and your anxiety becomes triggered?

It took me years.

Realize it now, especially if you know you are well on your way there. Take red flags seriously and don't become obsessed with trying to turn rejection into love. I promise you it does not work that way.

Anyone who knew me knew I was the most "in love and loyal girl" to ever exist. I mean, people literally felt bad for me because of the things they knew that I didn't, but they didn't have the heart to break it to me. No one thought I would ever get over him, because I promised myself and everyone else I would always have his back. It's just "who I am," or now, who I was.

I can tell you this, and it's up to you whether or not you listen. You are the only one that can change this.

It did get better. I actually found new love. I recently received a message from my new boyfriend, that reads as follows:

I do it because I love you unconditionally and want nothing more than for you to be happy. I do it because you pick me up everyday even if you don't realize it. It could be a look you give me. Or the way you kiss me, or just the way you say my name. You're my better half and I need to take care of my better half, It's the only good thing I've got going for me besides my sweet little boy. I thank the man upstairs for you every single day.

DH

To be honest, I've had dozens of guys say sweet things to me. I never thought they would mean anything because the only time they ever meant something is when they were coming from my ex. I wholeheartedly thought I would never fall in love again.

As I sit here and write this, and cry because I can't believe I made it out, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. My life feels like it has been saved from the eternal hell I thought I was going to endure forever.

So stop making excuses, no matter how much you think you love them.

Learn to love yourself more than you could ever love your significant other, and then you will learn what true, unconditional love is all about.

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