At some point I knew he wasn’t who I wanted him to be. But I stuck through it−him going on a weekend vacation with his ex, not having money to pay for dinner, not texting me when he returned from a trip out of town, and forcing me up against a wall as he wanted a kiss when I declined. This emotionally suffocating “relationship” lasted for nearly two years. But why did I stay for so long? Why didn’t I just walk away?

Because I don’t like being wrong. I remember telling my best friend about something he did once and she told me more or less “duh.” He had assholian qualities so whatever he did wasn’t a surprise. But I didn’t need her to tell me that. I wanted her to listen. I decided to stop telling her the bad moments and try to highlight his positive attributes.

I also didn’t want to be alone. Or appear alone, rather. I was already in this by myself as my requests were often ignored and my concerns were downplayed. I tried to play the part so that I wouldn’t hear any “I told ya so’s.” I had been single for about three years. I was always that friend. The last thing I wanted was for someone to be able to throw a failed relationship back in my face.

In any minute, I expected him to change. Damn potential. I figured that if I did so much, he would eventually reciprocate and finally become that guy I got a brief glimpse of in rare moments of candidacy. I didn’t want to bail out and some other girl cash in on all this hard work.

So I stayed. I answered his text messages when I supposedly vowed him off. He knew that after his indiscretions were revealed, I would need a moment and he’d weasel his way back in. I kept that door ajar for so long until I had a sudden cathartic moment that released me. I finally closed that door and chapter for good. And it felt sooooo good. Whew.

Why did you stay in that relationship or “situation” for as long as you did? What made you let go?

Credits: Thomas Hawk

Published by Ashleigh

Ashleigh is a recent M.S. graduate from Northeastern University. She works as an interactive designer in Atlanta and loves dogs, Netflix, and great food. Oh, also the creator and designer of this here shindig you are reading right now. View my impersonal personal blog @

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