Each story has a beginning. A love story is no different.
Things are fun and exhilarating. You are happy and optimistic about where everything’s headed. Everything is finally falling into place. This new chapter feels like the start of the life that you’ve always wanted.
But regardless of how your love story starts, it’s not the beginning that matters.
The women below, who are anonymous, each experienced their individual love stories differently but each love story began with hope and excitement about what lied ahead. As time went on, their relationships changed and morphed into something else. Something that, though beautiful at times, became an ugly reminder that a happy beginning doesn’t always lead to a happy ending.
Two common emotions after a breakup are confusion and sadness. Many people even spend the months after their breakup questioning where things went wrong and mourning their lost relationship. For these women, it was no different. It took each of them time to digest where their relationship went sour. But after enough reflection and thoughtfulness, these women realized there were signs all along that warned them of a heartbreaking finale.
And even though they didn’t know then what they know now, they learned what they don’t want in their next relationship. And life is all about learning from the past, and learning from others. Here’s to hoping that you can learn from them.
Below are quotes by 6 real women between the ages of 20-32.
“My last relationship taught me all I needed to know about identifying red flags. Compulsive lying, abuse, manipulation, selfishness, inability to solve problems and communicate with me like a normal adult, always making up excuses and hiding things from me, never wanting to introduce me to those that were important to him, comparing me to everyone else in his life, hyperbolizing emotions while displaying none, always finding fault but ignores his own mistakes. However sometimes, it’s not the obvious red flags stemming from your significant other that you need to pay attention to. In truth, the most important red flag that I could have learned from was the insecurities, the self-doubt, the depression, the anxiety, and all other mental stressors that were manifesting in me as a result of his toxic behavior. I didn’t know it then but if a man doesn’t make you constantly feel at peace and you can feel yourself changing, it’s time to walk away.”
“There are many things that I would consider red flags in a relationship but one thing stood out to me with my last boyfriend. My ex always made excuses about spending time with my family. I didn’t pay very close attention to it at first but as time went by, it became very clear to me that he was uninterested in ever getting to know them on a closer level. Even though I explained how this hurt me, he had no interest in changing . This caused a great deal of tension between us. It kept growing and we couldn’t over come it. Eventually, our relationship ended.”
“Unfortunately, I found out that my ex-boyfriend was a substance abuser when it was too late. It started with him using weed here and there. Eventually, I could only deal with him when he was using because without it, he would be extremely agitated. Then he began purchasing 40 ounce bottles every day. It even got to the point where he would purchase two bottles a day along with smoking weed. When I told him he might have a problem, this caused more issues. He always needed a sedative to be normal, and that in itself is not normal.”
“A big red flag that I overlooked in my past relationship was name calling from my ex. I told myself they were just words and tried not to let them hurt me. I tried to justify it by saying it wasn’t a physical action. Now that I’m older and have been through my fair share of frogs, I know that words are more damaging than bruises. I learned the hard way, of course, that a healthy relationship involves respecting each other even when you disagree and see things differently.”
“Something I wish I would have seen earlier in the last relationship was that he wasn’t talking to me. Like of course he was talking, but he was not communicating about us. We were taking things day by day and didn’t communicate about what the future may hold for us. I wish I had noticed it too. I wish we had the serious conversations that we never had. I guess we were never on the same page like I thought we were and I wish I saw that sooner.”
“I used to date a guy who was in some ways perfect for me; good looking, sporty, clever, fun, funny, outgoing and nice… At first, things were great and I thought I’d got the perfect guy. It was about 4 months in and I remember getting slightly annoyed at a few things he would do, and I kept putting them down to the fact we were just different and not exactly the same like I first thought. He wasn’t a planner whereas I was and I struggled with how he would constantly say he would let me know about things but wouldn’t until the very last minute. Often times I would have to ask him again. He rarely took initiative to see me and he wasn’t emotional unless he was drunk. Although he had qualities that I liked, I wasn’t a priority. This was also transparent to me when I bought him a Christmas present and he lied straight to my face saying that mine was on its way. It never came. It’s not about wanting a gift, it’s about putting thought into making someone feel special. He didn’t make me a priority and didn’t care to make me feel special.”