See Me: Before Walking Away

Really? you didn’t see it coming?

It’s taken a lot for me to get to a place where I’m confident in who I am and what I bring to the table. That’s why it’s so easy for me to walk away from a man who doesn’t value me. It’s not that I’m some callous woman who entered the relationship with the intent of breaking his heart. No, I didn’t mean to start something I couldn’t finish. The truth is that somewhere along the way we lost ourselves. I’d most likely sat around watching and waiting for him to step up and treat me the way I deserved, but he never did.

While I don’t speak for all women, I can say that it takes quite a bit of messing up on a man’s part to get me to walk away. It’s not a decision I take lightly because, to some degree, it means accepting that I also played a role in the failed relationship. Walking away also means that I made the wrong choice. Maybe I was too infatuated by his captivating looks, intellect, or witty humor to see that we were incompatible from the start.

Regardless of the rationale for getting into the relationship, walking away is a step that indicates my desire for more. Yes, me walking away means that I wanted more. More of his time, affection, attention, and respect. Oftentimes I hear conversations about women who are portrayed as heartless individuals because they walked away. Their intentions are called into question, and the men (usually) in the group get upset and wonder if the women ever expressed their unhappiness in the relationship.

After kissing some frogs, I’ve learned to be upfront about what I need from my romantic partner to make the relationship work. As a result, I have no problem telling a man I’m interested in or dating how I receive love. I do it for two reasons. First, I want him to know what makes me happy. Second, past experience has taught me that I’m not the most communicative when I’m about to check out from a relationship. If I’m upfront with this man about some of my quirks, he can at least know what signs to look out for. Maybe I’m doing the most, but I don’t want a man to say that I didn’t give the relationship my all. As someone who’s been accused of being a workaholic, too busy for a relationship, and a slew of other things, I want the person I’m with to know I’m going into the relationship intent on making it work.

I’ve read tons of articles about why women walk away from relationships. I’m not proud to admit this, but I am definitely guilty of walking away once my threshold for nonsense has been crossed. Yes, it really exists. What’s the fastest way of losing me? Ignoring me. That’s it.

After kissing some frogs, I’ve learned to be upfront about what I need from my romantic partner to make the relationship work.

— Ethleen Sawyerr

I understand busy. I lead a pretty busy life at times, too. But I am capable of carving a few minutes or hours to spend exclusively with the one I’m with. Whether we’re texting throughout the day or talking on the phone before going to bed, that is his time. I make sure to do what I need to on my end to give him my undivided attention. That’s what I expect from him in return.

When we go days without speaking, I feel like I don’t matter. When he sends a good morning text and is silent for the rest of the day, I begin to question my worth in his eyes. When I tell him I miss hearing his voice and he continues the conversation as if I hadn’t just poured my heart out to him, I feel like a fool. It is at that exact moment that the walls around my heart begin to go back up and my mind starts to rationalize life without him.

It’s not that he’s a bad man—he just isn’t the one for me. I promised myself a long time ago that I would not beg a man for his attention. If he doesn’t give it willingly, knowing that that is one of the few things I ask of him, then I know he isn’t for me. No, fellow navigator, the man God has for me will understand the importance of this ask and strive to please me in that area. Even when he’s had a long hard day, he’ll pick up the phone and spend a few minutes with me before calling it a night.

Fellow navigator, what’s the final straw that causes you to walk away from a relationship? Do you give the one you’re with advance notice before you leave? After leaving, have you ever looked back and regretted your decision? Tell me about it!

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