“There is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long, I feel this is right for me, I know that this is wrong. No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what’s right for you. Just listen to the voice that speaks inside.” ~Shel Silverstein
A few years ago, I was invited to go swimming by a man I knew. I accepted.
I didn’t know him well. He would sometimes say hello, be friendly and warm to me. Other times he’d ignore me. As he had been a close friend to a girl who I knew for many years, I looked forward to getting to better know him so that we could be friends.
His friend and him both dived multiple times off the diving board. I was petrified when it came to my turn.
The emptiness beneath me made me paralyzed.
To encourage me, my new friend climbed up the steps of the diving board and jumped on the board. He then kissed me in the mouth. Although it was cute, the situation made me feel even more stressed. I didn’t know him at all, and the fact he was blowing hot and cold made me feel uneasy.
After I got off the board without jumping, I thanked him for coming to encourage me. I still preferred that we remain friends.
In the months to come, I would bump into him and he would ignore me.
Six months later, I was walking along the street when he ran from a restaurant and offered to take me skiing with his friends. I accepted. I was surprised by his new attitude and relieved to know that he wasn’t mad at me anymore for sending him off at the pool.
We had a great day skiing with him. He was very friendly.
The next evening we met at a local pub. He told me that he wanted to go on a date. I said again that I would prefer to stay friends.
He didn’t even look at me when I passed by him later that night on the pub steps. It hurt. It hurt me. I wished that we could keep our good relationship.
After this, I began to feel uneasy. I told him I was changing my mind because I wanted the relationship to return to how it had been earlier in the day when he seemed warm and charming. That’s how our relationship started, but I quickly realized something was wrong.
I noticed when he needed or was planning to spend a night with me, he would be warm and generous in his compliments. When I was useless, he became cold and distant. I was manipulated by the sudden change between two extremes.
He also acted secretively which led to an atmosphere of distrust.
He also always made a schedule for himself in which he allocated me specific time slots.
When I suggested we meet at a different time than he originally planned, he would not relent until I caved in.
I felt like I was a pawn in his chessboard. I was tired of the lows, but I became addicted to the highs.
He was unwilling to ask himself questions when I brought up problems in our relationship. He convinced me each time that I was to blame for the problems. I was crying as I begged him for forgiveness at the end of our argument.
After every argument, I felt like the problem wasn’t solved and my frustration grew.
He left me after we had a constant argument.
Other breakups with ex-boyfriends left me either relieved, heartbroken or both. This breakup has left me with a serious identity crisis.
When my ex-partner discovered a flaw within my personality during our relationship, he couldn’t help but magnify it, and constantly remind me about it.
When I doubted myself, that’s when it happened. Was he or I right? Perhaps he is right, but I am the person described by him.
It took me some time to realize that the relationship was toxic. When I looked back, I was surprised at how I had ended up in this situation.
How could I be left by a guy I never wanted to date and with whom I never felt romantic feelings?
Also, I wondered why I had tried so hard for this relationship to work if I was unhappy throughout the entire time.
In other relationships, I’ve always had feelings for my partners. Those magical feelings that make you euphoric at the beginning, and every time you see someone who looks a little like your loved one, you think it’s him.
The unease I felt after being ignored caused me to change my mind.
My ex-partner has never forced or coerced me into being in a romantic relationship with him. I am an adult and responsible for the choices that I make.
His strong-willed personality always defeated my decisions.
Listen to your inner voice. Be in tune with yourself. You can listen to your inner voice and know what you feel is right or wrong.
Don’t be afraid to follow your intuition, even when people insist you go against it. Does that mean you have to think only about yourself? No, obviously. If what is asked of you is against your instinct, even if there is no reason for it, you should not do it.
I would have saved him from a relationship he didn’t want if I had trusted my instincts and refused to meet this guy. I may have hurt him a little, but I wouldn’t have ruined his life. Moreover, it would have saved me unnecessary pain.
You will regret less or no decisions made with your heart if they go wrong.
It can take time to learn to listen to your inner voice and follow your instincts without feeling guilty—especially if you learned growing up to put other people before yourself, as I did.
If you feel that someone or something isn’t right for you but worry about upsetting someone else, remind yourself that a little short-term discomfort can often save you a lot of pain down the line.
About Pamela Nylander
Pamela Nylander Ph.D. is a medical engineer and biologist. She enjoys playing chess and exploring the natural world. She founded CilantroNews.com to help people find natural remedies for their health issues. She believes that natural health is the best way to achieve good health.
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