But you know. Inside, you know. The love may still be there, but there is no respect. No mutual growth. No sharing. And when you are away from that embrace, you can see clearly that you are not being treated with the respect you deserve.
Why do you stay? Sometimes love doesn't last forever. Sometimes love was only meant for a season. Sometimes it wasn't really love in the first place. There still may be feelings of love, of affection or those little butterflies when she kisses you, but when the feelings of defeat, insecurity and loneliness out weigh those feelings, perhaps it's time to take a look at the state of your relationship.
When you are not in a loving, encouraging relationship, it stunts your growth. Not physically, of course, but mentally, emotionally... Worse case scenario, you may start believing that you don't deserve better; that even though he treats you badly or even treats you as you're a passing thought and not a priority, he must still love you because you "connect"... Don't confuse love with lust.
I am not suggesting to give up and go elsewhere at the first sign of trouble. No, I am essentially giving you permission to assess the situation and realize that if it wasn't meant to be, nothing you do as only one half of the relationship is going to make it work. It takes two to make a relationship work.
You need to love yourself first. If you can't love you, no one else can. If you allow him or her to treat you in a certain, unhealthy way then they will keep doing the same thing. Do not put up with behavior that you do not deserve. You are worth so much more than that. Know that you are worth more and know that you will be okay if you have to walk away.
The sign of insanity is doing the same things but expecting a different behavior. Don't get caught up in that insanity. If your partner is unwilling to change or grow to help keep the relationship strong, it's time to think about walking away. Yes, I realize that sounds like conflicting advice. (You should love your partner, just the way he is and don't go into a relationship expecting him to change.) And while that is true, there HAS to be some change when two people from two different worlds come together. The object of a healthy relationship is to always keep your partner's needs in the forefront of your mind. If he or she isn't reciprocating, things get off balance. You have one giving all the time and one taking...
Go where you are loved. Don't stay trapped where your love is stifled and not appreciated. Go where people are happy to see you. Go where your dreams are fed and encouraged. Where your opinions are respected and heard. Where you can be comfortable in your own skin and not worry about whether someone will still love you or not. Don't ever let someone else be responsible for shutting you down. Know your worth.
Yes, love takes work. But it shouldn't be work all. the. time. Be strong enough to let go. Be strong enough to walk away. Be strong enough to stand alone. Life is too short to stay in a relationship that does not bring you joy or fulfillment.
Love is good. Love is kind. Love lifts you up and doesn't tear you down. Love never lets you feel unwanted. Love is sharing and growing and acceptance. Don't accept anything less that true love.