I’d been with this guy for ages. I can’t tell you how long exactly because it’d been on and off since the first time we hooked up.

From the very beginning of our relationship, I was the one giving more. The one putting all the effort into our romance while he kept holding parts of himself back.

He always had an excuse: He was emotionally unavailable. This was the best he could do, the only way he knew how to love me.

Silly me didn’t only settle for breadcrumbs of his love. Instead, I was even happy that I’d managed to make such an unattainable man mine – although he never truly was.

I was so grateful for every bit of love he gave me. Every smile, every kiss, every text was so special to me because it was coming from one who was obviously unable to love.

I won’t lie to you. I felt miserable most of the time. I wanted out but I just couldn’t.

Besides, he was giving me just enough to keep me by his side. Just enough to awaken hope inside of me and prevent me from leaving.

I’ll be honest here. This entire scenario turned me into a naggy kind of a woman. Instead of changing my situation, all I did was complain about not being able to change him.

So, the other day, our regular fight began. I told him how bothered I was by how little attention he was giving me.

pensive woman in black top sitting near wall

I told him frankly that I felt unloved and unwanted. I said that I felt like he couldn’t care less whether I stayed or left.

I complained about how he never did anything concrete to keep me by his side. How he never moved a finger for the sake of our relationship, while I was moving mountains for the two of us.

And you know how he responded? He told me, “What more do you want from me? I’m doing everything I can.”

At that moment, it hit me: This was really this guy’s maximum. He’ll never try harder and this is all I’ll ever get from him.

He really was convinced that this is how a relationship should work. He genuinely thought that he was the perfect boyfriend.

After all, he wasn’t cheating on me (as far as I knew) and he wasn’t physically abusing me. According to him, that should do it.

I asked myself if this was enough for me. Was I ready to settle for these breadcrumbs for the rest of my life?

It didn’t take me long before I came up with an answer: NO, and it never will be.

woman in blue jacket looking at sea during sunset

So, what exactly was I doing next to this man? He won’t change, my criteria won’t change. Consequently, the only logical solution is that we’d have to part ways before it’s too late.

Just like that, this one sentence cleared my vision. It forced me to take off my rose-tinted glasses and for the first time ever, see things how they really were.

Somewhere, I read that there are 20 steps between two people. Well, for all of these years I was making 19 and he wasn’t ready to make just one towards me.

You’re probably thinking to yourself that he didn’t say anything awful. This wasn’t a big deal and I was just making unnecessary drama.

But trust me, this sentence really was huge. And I’m thankful to my ex for saying it out loud.

You know why? Because it saved me from my own misery.

It saved me from all of my hopes (that were clearly in vain all along), from my own deceptions, from this relationship that was doomed to fail from day one.

I’ll be frank. This doesn’t mean that I’ve gotten over this man overnight. After all, I’ve loved him for so long and he can’t be erased from my heart and mind in a split second.

Yes, it will take me a while to heal. But at least now I’m headed towards my recovery.