I was speaking with a close friend the other day who is going through a tough breakup. I have been in her shoes, our exes are quite alike in many ways. My heart is breaking for her right now, I hate seeing anyone in pain, especially someone who is hurting over a person that has not given her his all. She deserves to be cherished and loved and I want her to experience it with someone who is worthy of her love. But she is not at that point yet. She needs to heal and be confident in her own self. She will get there, she is stronger than she realizes. We all get there eventually, heartbreak doesn’t last forever, eventually clarity sneaks in and opens your eyes, and your heart.
Speaking with her over the past few days made me realize quite a few things about myself as well. One of my most difficult and draining relationships was with a man that I met at my most vulnerable time in my life. We lasted 18 months of living together and us getting together happened a few months after my ex-fiance and I broke up. I thought I was healed but in hindsight I was not. He filled a void but he did not fill my heart. I wanted to make it work so badly, but he didn’t. The bad times outweighed the good. I would have a few good days with him, then he would do something that caused me stress or sadness. It was a roller coaster of constant ups and downs. After he moved out, I met someone else. I felt ready but in hindsight I was not completely ready. I hung on too tightly and hoped and projected for something that was not ready to be. Too fast, too soon. It imploded badly.
I asked my friend the question – do you miss him because you are lonely or because you miss him? If he has shown you a side that makes you question being with him, why would you want him back? As I asked the questions I also thought about how I would have answered months ago. A murmuration of thoughts swirled in my head. Now that I can look back, I know exactly why I wanted my ex back who I, and my friends, knew was not good for me or my mental health. I don’t think I actually missed him. After much thought I knew that my real reasons were I hated being alone, I was scared I’d never find anyone again, I was terrified of having my heart broken, again. Those reasons are not valid to seek a new relationship or to stay in one where you are compromising your own happiness. I had to move on and silence the voices within my head that kept telling me that you will never find love again. I had to realize that I am worth more and I deserve better than what he was giving me. It was a tough process, with a lot of self-reflection, but I got there. I realize more than ever what I want and deserve but most of all I know my self-worth and my confidence has returned.
You cannot give your best in a relationship if you are getting into it because you are lonely or scared of being alone. Jumping into another relationship immediately is like putting a tiny band-aid on a large wound. It will only stop a little of the bleeding. Everyone has a different time frame for healing, some take weeks, while others take years. Only you know when you are ready, not when anyone tells you that you are. Just make sure you are truly ready. Ask yourself the hard questions.
My current relationship moved forward at a snails pace and in ways it still is. But I’m okay with that. Circumstances forced it to start slow, but I’m happy that it did. We really took time to get to know each other. And now I am ready and so is he. I’m not sure where we are going but for once I am not projecting and just appreciating the here and now, and that is exactly where I want to be.