When I was all of 10 years old, my grandmother told me, “If you’re going to expect something in return from someone for doing something for them, don’t do anything at all.” This stuck with me all my life and I remembered that each time I did anything for anyone. I thought to myself that I was doing it out of my own will and love for them and I didn’t expect anything in return. And I didn’t, until I fell in love.
Veer was a perfectly nice guy. We met at a common friend's wedding and there was no looking back for either one of us. We knew we had both fallen head over heels for each other. Our relationship blossomed over the months and he was always the perfect gentleman. He was kind and polite and as everyone could see and would tell me, madly in love with me.
The first few months of our relationship were really happy and fun. Everything was great. He seemed to love me as I loved him, and was always so appreciative of everything I did! He respected my beliefs and valued my opinion. Everything was perfect.
But I was too quick to judge him and his love for me. My friends would often joke with me about how the “honeymoon” phase doesn’t last forever. Well, in my case, it barely lasted four months.
No sooner was I completely in love with him and putting my own life and desires below his, than he started to take me for granted. I did everything I could to make him happy and his life easier and expected nothing in return. But every human has a threshold and I was nearing mine.
I began expressing my feelings to him and tried having many a conversation with him about how he was behaving. I thought that was a chance everyone deserved. Instead, he told me I was being oversensitive and paranoid and that he “did not like having discussions”. Each time I tried to bring anything up after that, he shut me out and needed to take at least two days away from me.
I had been a confident girl all my life. I had stood up for myself and loved myself more than I let myself love anyone else. But I was losing all my confidence. I was losing all hope. I was beginning to think that it was me that there was something wrong with. Was he right? Was I just oversensitive and paranoid and he was still being his perfect self? Doubt and fear started to flood my mind.
A year and eight months of feeling like this is when I finally broke down. I was still trying to make him happy and let him live his life in peace as he always asked me to. But I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally gathered the courage to break up with him.
Today it's been almost a year to my breakup with Veer. Although everything is great and I am at a happy place, I learnt a very big lesson thanks to my relationship with him. I was reminded once again not to love or care with expectations from the other.
I was unhappy in my relationship with him because I expected him to be the same person he was when we started out. I expected him to be as respectful and loving. As admiring of my capabilities and as encouraging of my dreams. But soon it was all about him and that made me unhappy.
But it also made me realise something about myself. I like doing things for the people I care about. And just because a few people fail to acknowledge or appreciate that, it does not mean that I will never come across someone who will.
My grandmother was right all those years ago. Expecting something in return from someone always causes disappointment. So I’m not afraid to fall back in love, I’m not hurt or bruised or scarred. In fact, I am stronger than ever before, because I have learnt to love without expectations.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Nov 27, 2015