I have been that Dumb Girl; the one who stays in a relationship long past its expiration date, convincing herself that things really aren’t so bad. A part of me understood things were never going to change and I knew in my gut that I was never going to get the love that I so desperately sought out. But a part of me still believed it was possible, still remained hopeful that change would come.
So I ignored my instincts. I could feel the heavy hearts of my friends when I would cry to them and I could see the sadness in their eyes each time I told them about another heartbreak revolving around the same person. I even started telling people things were getting better (even though they were not) to avoid the judgments I knew they were passing in their heads.
All signs pointed to “Get the hell out of dodge” and every flag waived bright red in front of my face but I ignored it all because I wanted so badly to believe in love. But believing in love should never mean allowing your heart to hurt and watching from a distance as your emotions are toyed with, over and over again. Love is not dispresctful and it sure as hell never sets out to deliberately hurt someone. The worst part is that when you’re in a bad relationship you, unfortunately, have more hope than balls thus preventing you from making a change. You’re scared to walk away because you really think it can get better and you’re also scared that if you do leave you may never find someone else to love. Worst of all, you have trouble picturing your life without him.
Ladies, take off your blinders and put down the Kleenex. Grab a glass of wine and hear me out. He is not worth it. The pain you feel every time he lets you down is not worth it. The tears you cry over him are not worth it. But mostly, the message you are sending the world is not worth it. The message that you are a woman who allows a man to disrespect her and take advantage of her emotions is not something you are striving for and we both know you don’t want anyone thinking of you as a dumb girl.
You are able to change your situation though. You have the power to make your tears vanish and to help your heart mend itself. You have the power to gain back the respect you have quietly hidden under your pillow, which is still sopping wet from last night’s tears.
You are stronger than you can even imagine and you are smarter than you know. You have a backbone and you have amazing instincts. Just because you’ve been sheltering your true self lately doesn’t mean she’s not hiding at the surface, ready to conquer this situation. You know you deserve better and that you deserve to be happy (which you are truly not at the moment), so the next step is figuring out how to fix that, how to walk away.
It will be hard. Maybe one of the hardest things you will do in your life and you can only do it when you’re ready, but trust me, you will know when you have finally had enough and that is the day your next chapter will begin. It might be a rollercoaster chapter filled with apprehension and sadness, but it will also be one filled with hope and strength, wisdom and respect. Eventually, you will find a love that will open your eyes and make you see the world in a different light. You will find someone who will love you on your worst days and make you even happier on your best. You will find a love that you deserve and you will finally know what it feels like to be respected, not only by your partner but by everyone around you.
Remember to never live with regrets, though. Always learn from every curveball that hits you square in the forehead. Know that your bruised heart can heal, even when it feels like it has been shattered into a million pieces. Great love is not always easy to find but it is always worth the wait. When you do find it, you will appreciate it so much more if you can reflect on your past and the times you ignored your gut, tuned out your instincts, and allowed yourself to stay stuck in a relationship you already knew was doomed.
So, if you are being a Dumb Girl I urge you to remember how smart you really are. You are strong. You know that you shouldn’t be letting someone break you down and continuously break your heart and make you cry. You deserve to be respected and loved until the end of time. If all you needed was a push, I hope I can be the one to nudge you off that scary ledge, only because I know that love will always be there to catch you before you hit bottom.
Shannon Ferguson is a writer who recently returned to her roots in Cornwall. With degrees in Communications, Psychology, and Broadcast Journalism, Shannon created her successful blog, The Love Hawk, and is a contributing writer for many websites including The Huffington Post and Elite Daily. View her blog at www.thelovehawk.com, like her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @TheLoveHawk and be sure to listen to her online radio show “The Love Hawk” every Tuesday at 6pm at www.dunet.ca