I Finally Understand Why I Never Had A Serious Relationship

I no longer identify with the girl I was but I had so much empathy for her.

Ellen Nguyen

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’ve been with my husband for three years and married for half a year.

Before meeting my husband, I’d never had a serious relationship.

None of my past relationships lasted longer than eight months, and the eight-month relationship happened when I was a teenager.

It doesn’t matter anymore, but back then, I was very insecure about it.

I thought something was wrong with me. Every break-up was intense and painful. I believed I was unloveable. I was desperate to fix myself.

And sure, I did.

I had a long list of things that were wrong with me and I fixed them one by one in therapy and through many other self-investments.

What I was wrong about, though, was that I wasn’t unloveable. I was loveable, I just didn’t know how to love myself and choose the people who were capable of loving me too.

I even had evidence of that.

The other day, I found a bunch of saved Whatsapp chat files between me and some significant exes — significant not because we were serious but because they left a big emotional impact on me.

As I read those conversations, I CRINGED.

I saw clearly the errors of my way.

Some observations I made:

  1. The guys were either ambivalent or avoidant by nature. They didn’t ask any personal questions about me. They didn’t show any genuine interest. They were experts at sending mixed signals, future-faking, and creating false intimacy.
  2. I was desperate to have more of their attention. I did and said many cringe-worthy things to keep the conversations going and gain some sense of control.
  3. My anxious attachment style was fully activated because I never felt safe with them, so I became easily triggered and my judgments were heavily clouded. I was a walking anxiety bomb.
  4. I could not read between the lines and do the right things for myself. Instead, I reacted out of instinct and secretly…

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Ellen Nguyen

Freelance writer & digital creator | London based | Psychology BSc. Editor of LovefulMind.com, empowering women.