Let’s play out a scenario, a couple who are crazy about each other torn apart by the concept of “what if this goes wrong”.
To figure out if the relationship is worth fighting through this cloud of doubt for they decide to spend some time apart, both figuring out if they are willing to risk getting hurt.
But the irony is, you’ve now taken yourself away from the reminder of what you’re fighting for, you want to figure out if you can get past your “what if” problem and you’ve chosen that the best way to do it is by not being around them.
It feels like you’ve taken the problem and somehow let it come in the middle of the two of you. Now it’s turned into a you vs them situation, where the game is who can act like they’re less bothered and who can pretend to care less. As if the time apart isn’t phasing either of you.
How it should have been, is the two of you vs the problem. There’s an issue in your relationship, well you know how people typically get over that? By facing it head on together and supporting each other through times of uncertainty. That’s how problems get sorted, not by ignoring them and creating more distance.
The one proven way to make any relationship stronger, is by getting through the hard parts together as a solid unit. Not by pushing each other away and hoping that an empty space will solve everything for you.
Relationships take work, so take that issue the two of you have and use it to make you stronger together, by twisting it into a the two of you vs the problem situation.
As much as some people may disagree, space and distance do not help two people overcome a relationship problem. An issue in a relationship should be handled by the two of you together and if it turns out that the problem can’t be fixed, at least you can say you’ve tried.
Giving up and pretending like you don’t care is the biggest relationship failure, give the two of you some credit. Risk the make or break scenario.
Looking back at something and thinking you could have tried harder is the biggest punch in the face kind of feeling you could ever have.
He’s not the first waste of space to make you question your worth and make you feel like you’re not good enough and I hate to admit it, but you’re young so he probably won’t be the last either.
Whats the saying, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find one that’s well … a little less slimy.
I actually think the saying should be you can have a lot of free trials before you find one that makes you want to sign yourself away for a lifetime subscription.
I know that right now this one seems like the end of the world but it’s not, he’s just the most recent one and the freshest mark of experience. You’ll be fine trust me.
He wasn’t even worth the sleepless nights and constant back and forward messages to all your friends asking for advice on whether you should reach out, that was wasted effort. What you should have been doing as soon as he made you question how he felt about is focusing all your effort and attention on remembering why you’re one the most amazing people he could have ever come into contact with in the first place and when he realises that it will suck for him.
The second anyone makes you question where you stand with them is the moment you need to spend less time focusing on them and more time focusing on remembering who you are.
And yes I get it, you really liked this one, he seemed different. They normally always do at the start, but you can’t convince someone to see how amazing you are and if they can’t see it, well f**k them. Spend more time around your friends and family who make you feel like you’re worthy of more than just a fleeting spot in someones life.
So I know it will hurt right now, you’ll be wondering why you weren’t good enough, why he would walk away and pretend like the two of you never felt a connection stronger than either of you had ever felt before.
But remember, it’s not your fault he’s scared of being with someone who he knows is better than him.
You were more mature and adult than anyone he’d been with, you weren’t scared of your feelings and although you can admit to not being perfect you wanted to grow with someone who wasn’t ready to make themselves better.
Please just remember, you’ve been here before, you might be here again but the main thing is …. you’ll be fine. You don’t need someone else to be you.
Many of us are taught that persistence is the key to being happy and successful in life. If we work hard and refuse to give up hope, then things will go well for us. This mindset serves most of us well. We struggle, but we’re resilient, so we persist.
But what if we start doing this at the sake of our own sanity and happiness?
I know it sounds like such a positive thing, being persistent, never giving up, believing in people no matter what. But what happens when the things you won’t give up on are the things that hurt you?
Maybe, you need to learn when it’s ok to give up on someone because you know that a situation no longer serves you for the better. Or maybe you just need to be told that it’s ok, it’s ok to give up on someone when they’re no longer showing you that they care.
When you’re bought up to see so much potential in the people you love, and want so badly to see them recognize that potential in themselves. You probably choose to let the good outweigh the bad, to focus on the light instead of the dark. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what happens when that quiet persistence leads to unbalanced relationships?
What happens when you never learned how to give up, how to let people go, how to put your own needs first?
How can you learn to give up on someone when all your life you’ve been told to go after what you want with everything you’ve got and not to stop until you’ve got it, even if you’re the one putting in all the effort and not getting anything back?
In all honesty, I’m not sure you can.
If you’re someone who is born to be persistent and not give up, I think you’ll always be that person. What you do need to learn though is when to step away from someone who is giving you nothing back.
But if you can learn to put more effort into developing yourself, slowly you can realign your goals. Suddenly you’ll realise that your goals sound more like teaching yourself a new language, writing a book or finishing a puzzle, instead of thinking of ways to get someone else to realise what’s holding them back and stopping them from being happy (obviously with you).
It’s not your job to heal them, something that takes years to learn. But if that other person can’t seem to let go of things that have happened in their past, it isn’t your job to heal them. Everyone goes through shit. That’s life. But if they’re someone who can’t let go, well that sounds like a them problem not a you problem.
Eventually you’ll realise you’ve managed to distract yourself with your own personal growth that you’ve given up on them anyway.
So how can you give up on someone? I don’t think you intentionally can. But life goes on and as you realise they’re not moving forward with you and you’ve outgrown them, it will happen without you even knowing it.
Why are you with just one man? Why is it that the guy you can call yours has prevailed over all the others who came before him?
Well, obviously, each failed relationship that has happened up till now has had its own unique defects that lead to the break ups.
So maybe a better question is, why can I believe the love that is offered to me this time is different?
Loving someone is a unique ability only humans can create awareness around. It’s an art because we can improve upon the skill, sort of like a craft. The more we feel it, the better we become at understanding it and how we handle ourselves when we feel it.
I once read a quote that’s always stuck with me, “Falling in love is easy. Staying in love, that’s the challenge.”
But to even consider staying in love, we have to make a choice: At the low points, in the time of doubt, will we keep choosing love? And are we willing to do so even if the person may not choose us one day?
The uncertainties in love are quite frankly bloody terrifying, the thought of the person we’ve chosen above everyone else one day not choosing us scares a lot of people away before anything has even really begun.
How can we know someone will make a great partner? Father? Or even a bingo teammate well into retirement? Yes I know that’s a lot of forward thinking but it’s worth considering to save yourself some heartache.
How can we know we won’t be betrayed? Our hearts not crushed? Our love not taken advantage of?
And the answer is plain and fucking simple: We don’t.
We don’t know how our lives will play out, and that runs true, especially when it comes to love. We can plan and analyse as much as we want, but we will never know for certain how things are going to go.
But just because we can’t be certain doesn’t mean we can’t try.
Loving someone is a choice. You find a person that makes your heart flutter, whose company you thoroughly enjoy and who you have amazing chemistry with. You understand each other; you could see yourself growing old with them because you can wholeheartedly be yourself around them.
So you choose them; you choose to try and make a life with them. But it won’t be the only time you’ll have to choose them.
Because the doubt will creep in. They’ll eventually hurt or disappoint you, you’ll start thinking about the negative things and even at this point, you’ll still want to choose them. Even over all the hurdles.
And the choice really comes down to your capabilities and willingness of working through the inevitable low points, because being with them surpasses everything else. You don’t mind riding out the lows with them because experiencing the highs is worth it every time.
If they choose you and you choose them then that should equal, I hope, lasting love.
You have open and honest communication, regularly checking in on one another. You both have the ability to speak our emotions, fears, and appreciations of one another. You acknowledge the hard times will come, but you’re certain you have what it takes to get through them.
And when you wrap all of this up into a package, that love seems like it will withstand time.
But all because we are both making a choice. A choice to stay in love and work through the highs and lows together because you know that being together is worth it.
Recently, I came across a Ted Talk by a woman that did a questionnaire with a man that led them to fall in love. That woman, Mandy Len Catron, wrote the initial article which consists of the 36 questions to ask your partner to fall in love.
Readers wanted to understand the magic of Catron’s relationship’s success; everyone wanted to know if the two were still together.
But Catron was wary of answering because the success of their relationship wasn’t based on 36 questions designed for creating love.
The success of their relationship hung on one main thing: a choice.
The two chose to love each other, every single day.
Sure, love is a bit more nuanced. But lasting love, I believe, is not.
You’ll never find a perfect person who won’t disappoint you at some point, it’s just human nature, none of us are perfect. Every single relationship is going to have its low points.
And when those lows come, you’ll have to make a choice, a choice to stay in love or not.
But in the end, I believe that’s the secret to lasting love. Choosing to love the person you’ve chosen no matter what, through all the tough shit and all the amazing stuff that you wouldn’t want to be experiencing with anyone else.
The last time you asked her, “What do you want?” She wasn’t really sure how to answer you, so she stayed quiet thinking for a while. It felt like a big question, and she knew she didn’t want to mess up the answer.
But secretly she knew what she wanted, she was just way too afraid to say it. It seemed silly to say it aloud, and she wasn’t ready to admit it to herself anyway just out of fear of getting hurt by owning up to her own feelings.
But now she would know that she should just give the answer she could feel on the tip of her tongue. So ask her again and this time she won’t hesitate. She won’t stay quiet even though she’s still afraid, but she knows this is bigger than her fear. If it means she has to stop being scared and take a risk, she’ll do it.
Ask her again and she’ll tell you. She just wants you.
Although she’s scared to admit it, she wants you in the unfiltered moments, where you’re both still half asleep but you reach out and pull her close towards you in the mornings, with her hand on your chest and you breathing in her hair while you’re sleeping, that’s what she wants. She wants you when you nestle in closer just to be near her as she runs her fingers through your hair.
She wants to wake up next to you, she wants to know that you’re safe, that you’re hers and you’re not going anywhere. She wants the safety she feels when you’re beside her, because one’s ever given her that sense of calm and safety before.
She wants the dark days with you, she isn’t scared to sit with you on the days when the sun has fallen from the sky and light ceases to exist.
She wants you in the moments when you can’t figure out why she would even want you because your life feels like a mess sometimes and you think she deserves better but she wants to always be there to reassure you that you matter and that you’re doing the right thing. She just wants you to always believe her when she tells you how valuable and amazing you are.
She will even still want you when you break her heart, when she walks away crying and wondering if that’s the last time she’ll see you. She wants you when you push her away and shut her out because you’re scared because she’ll still want you when she does the same.
She wants you even when you’re working through difficult periods of life together. When shit gets real and struggles become almost too much, she will still want you.
She wants you on the good days when you make her laugh so hard at your stupid jokes that she can’t remember what the silence sounds like. She wants you when you smile at her just because you’re happy to see her.
She wants that lazy Sunday morning feeling with you. That feeling when the sun is moving through the sky but time is standing still for the two of you, waking up in each other’s arms with not a brief care in the world for that short period of time.
She wants you when she see the hope in your eyes, the hope that the two of you might make it. She wants you in the midst of the uncertainty, because nothing in life is guaranteed, but she seems not to mind it so much when she’s with you because she’s excited for the two of you to figure life out together one crazy step at a time.
When most of your life you’ve been the person who pushes everyone away who tries to get close to you, you already fully understand why people leave and give up on you. You’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s just been that way for you for the longest time and you’re unwilling to change now. You tell yourself that it’s exactly why you built all those walls up, not allowing yourself to the possibility of vulnerability.
You have fully convinced yourself that love is a game of mind. And a perfect relationship is maybe a myth but it’s also thinking ahead about every single thing that will or won’t work. You want to address it with well-thought-out plans, like how it should be or how you expected it to be. You think about all possible scenarios of how a date will and should go and come up with an endless amount of action steps depending on the scenario you formed in your head, because you’ve already assumed it’s not going to end well.
You pride yourself with the ability to manipulate a conversation to get what you want. And you’re certain that you have your head above your heart, keeping yourself constantly in-check in crucial romantic moments everyone else warned you about. Because you’re smart and will never lose your senses in situations you can’t control.
But suddenly, with one of fate’s playful attempts to catch you off guard, you see yourself attracted to that one person who showed efforts, who never gave up in pursuing you, and who made it seem like you matter enough for them to be persistent. You know, the one you least expected. They sometimes cross your mind in the middle of the day. You look forward to their good morning and good night texts even if you tell yourself you don’t care, and if they didn’t happen you wouldn’t be bothered. Yet behind all that, you know you don’t want them to stop trying.
Then one day, you start to believe that your strong facade was worth taking down a notch. And you realise that maybe a relationship and love isn’t always about being logical, analysing situations obsessively for reasons they’re not right and it won’t work out and ultimately pushing someone away before you find out their flaws or they upset you somehow ….. so you want to try and make sense out of it.
You still refuse to be the girl you realise you’re turning into. You whole heartily refuse to let yourself accept that all the cheesy feelings that are seeming to surface are actually happening. You still try to disregard the thought that maybe, just maybe, it’s the first time you’ve experienced feelings like this without your mind holding you back like all the other times because you’re scared. You repeatedly tell yourself that it’s nothing. Only it’s not the same as how you thought it would be, it’s different this time around and you see a whole new side of you that you never knew existed, this time it’s calm and not scary after all.
You refuse to believe that you’re this affectionate on the inside. You feel a hint of neediness, a feeling you recognise but want to keep hidden because until now, you thought you’d managed to stop being like that. You catch yourself on a lazy Sunday wanting to see them, but you’re wishing it’s just a phase in passing or your PMS acting up and this wanting them will go away. You think that it unless you ignore it, it would only mean you have succumbed to the idea of keeping yourself open to being hurt and that is the last thing you want.
You refuse to accept that you’re becoming the one who is feeling more because you always thought of it as a weakness. You do your best to make yourself believe that you’re not becoming too attached. You distract yourself by doing other things to get your mind off the fact that you’re thinking of them too much. You can’t help but think of them every second of every day and wonder if they feel the same way. But what makes it more difficult is that they can’t find out because you can’t let them feel like they’re smothered, or worse that they’ve got you, the strong independent woman, tamed and right in their grips.
You refuse to accept that all those walls you caged yourself in don’t matter anymore. You pretend that not talking to them for a day is okay and you’re totally cool with it. But in reality, you just want someone, them specifically (of course), to see past your strong exterior and denials, and tell you that it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to feel emotional, and it’s okay now because they’ll be there for you and with you.
Suddenly “catching feelings” will affect you in all sorts of ways. But it doesn’t make you vulnerable nor susceptible to illogical reasoning (well, not all the time anyway) But rather it keeps you afloat, inspired, and you’ll actually remember what it means to be human and take someone into consideration when you’re making big decisions other than just yourself. It’s still something you’re learning, and it’s okay even if it’s very different to how you thought it would be.
She’s the curve ball in the game you didn’t even know you were playing and you’ll realise eventually, that girl would have given you the whole world, you just had to be ready to catch what life was throwing at you.
“But this wasn’t the exact plan I had, it isn’t exactly lining up with how I thought things would go” I get that, but hear me out…..
You know she’d have made you smile even after you’ve had a bad day, she would have sat and listened to you for hours until you’d spoken about it so much that you no longer felt stressed and you’d have felt safe because you know she’d have never judged anything you said.
You’ll realise eventually that when you find someone who’s only genuine concern is your happiness, you should hold onto them no matter what.
When you find someone in this crazy messed up world who still has kindness and good intentions in them for someone other than themselves, you’ll want to hold onto them for as long as you can, because they’re a rare breed these days which sucks!
When you realise that she was someone who bought out the best side of you, maybe it’ll be too late. Because you’ll have pushed her away not truly realising what you’re doing.
You’ll realise why honesty didn’t seem so scary with her, why you didn’t get the urge to tell her stupid white lies like with all the others before. It was because you felt like anything you told her wouldn’t be met with judgement and finding someone who accepts all parts of you exactly how they are without a sense of ‘yeah you’re great but if you done this I think you’d be better’ is rare.
Imagine being with someone who’s happy to accept you exactly as you, even though you both know you have flaws and you’re not perfect, but she doesn’t care because your flaws make you imperfectly perfect to her.
You’ll realise soon enough that there’s no one else you want to share your good and bad days with, someone who you want to celebrate your successes with and also sit down in a calm silence with when times have got a bit tough.
How long do you think you’ll have to look until you find someone who makes this whole ‘dating‘ thing seem as easy as she did?
Being with someone who understands that family time and down time are as important as the time alone the two of you have. How many people are like that in the world, who don’t make you feel guilty for not making them a priority in your life even though they’ve just come into it, who are selfless enough that they want you to go and do all the things that are important to you, because that makes you who you are and she’d never want to change that.
You’ll realise you miss her when silly things happen throughout your day that you wish you could tell her about, or you’ve thought of something funny on a tangent that you know she’d laugh at even if she didn’t want to because she loved how your mind works.
When you figure out that you’re supposed to be with the girl who makes you feel like you’re good enough just the way you are. It might be too late.
The one who wants to encourage you in every step you’re taking in your life, who wants to help you be better if that’s what you want. Who’s excited to do this whole weird thing we call life with no one else but you. The two of you might have known where you’d end up but the middle was blurry and that’s ok because you were going to figure it out together.
You’ll realise eventually that the girl you’re supposed to be with may not tick every box off of your ‘what I wanted in another person‘ check list. But she doesn’t need to, because what you needed was actually what you never thought to expect, so maybe the universe knew exactly what you needed, but your ideas had become a bit confused.
Life works like that sometimes, it will throw you a curve ball when you don’t want it to, you’ve just got to be open to the idea of catching it … especially when it could win the whole game for you!