How Being With Mr. Perfect Taught Me To Love Myself (Ingrid Mercé)


As I look back at all of my previous relationships, I can’t help but notice the poor choices that I have made in men. It had nothing to do with their physical attributes, upbringing or what they did/didn't do in our relationship. The problem has always been that I didn't love myself enough to recognize I deserved better.

My last relationship reminded me that it was history repeating itself. This time around I had taken the time to get to know myself, or at least that was the lie I told myself. When one relationship ended I spend time not dating, practicing healing. Before I met my ex-boyfriend I took a year away from the opposite sex, focusing primarily on myself. Building this wall that would be so easily knocked down.

I still remember the first day I met him. We talked for hours about everything, spanning from childhood to religious beliefs. Before me, sat a God-fearing man with his priorities in order and in normal "hopeless romantic" fashion I was interested. The relationship moved at a fast pace and we were inseparable. The “honeymoon phase” was in full effect. With time came comfort; the mask began coming off.

He constantly compared me to his exes. Often telling me he didn't understand how he was attracted to me. In retrospect, I'm surprised I stayed for as long as I did. He would constantly disrespect me by telling me about his previous interactions with women. Laughing or teasing me if I became too jealous. Always telling me that I was overreacting. Putting me in awkward situations with women that he had been involved with prior, and during our relationship (which I later found out). But with the bad came the good. He was always there for me and willing to help in any way possible. No matter how bad the verbal abuse got I just threw an insult back, we'd fight and then we would make up. This dangerous routine continued and changed how others perceived me.

He had got me caught up in his own demons. Too blind to realize it I continued to date him. Constantly struggling to find my happiness. Negative event after negative event happening and I had finally reached my breaking point. I hated him and I hated myself for allowing him to hurt me. It wasn't just his fault though, I learned the hard way that a woman that truly loved and respected herself would know when the sake of a relationship wasn't worth it. Once I ended the relationship I immediately regretted it. My loneliness was causing me to have second doubts and even made me approach him with remorse; as if I was the one who did something wrong.

Of course, he didn’t let me off that easy. Tormenting me and dangling his new-found freedom in my face, I was devastated, hurt, and alone. It was that low moment that helped me realize the reality: he was a threat to the woman that I was becoming. A predator that preyed on my lack of self-love and my inability to accept the truth. Dating him was the best thing for me at that time because the changes that occurred after were magical. I grew. I became everything that he didn’t want me to be — strong, confident and independent. Months later he was running back to me, apologizing and asking to give him a chance to explain himself. I ignored him. Couldn’t bring myself to be pulled back into his madness.

Sometime later, the lessons have been learned and the pain has healed. I gained confidence in the same things about me that he used to tear me down. As I continue this self-love journey I am appreciative of the lessons that he taught me. I am a much happier person knowing that I made the right choice ending the relationship and not continuing communication with him (after his multiple attempts). Falling for Mr. Perfect taught me that no one is perfect and true self-love cannot be destroyed, even if it is tested. I am currently loving the hell out of myself and I refuse to allow myself to be misused again.

“You can't forgive without loving. And I don't mean sentimentality. I don't mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, 'I forgive. I'm finished with it.'” - Maya Angelou


Ingrid Mercé is an Atlanta based writer. She is the creator and curator behind the blog,, a collection of her work. She also covers an array of topics as a contributor for some of your favorite blogs

Honoring the collective voice of womanhood, the Lessons From Love series was created to provide a community of support for women currently in love, or healing from love. The series will use personal narratives + testimonies to empower women to make effective dating decisions and to pursue the love they rightly deserve. 

If you're interested in being a last minute contributor, submit your 700-1000 word piece to Please include your name, website (if applicable), and brief bio.

  • Share:

You Might Also Like