The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart.
-- Sioux Legend
I have just waved off someone who I considered a possible significant other. I write this in such a blasé way because it is not the first time, of course. My friends have said, “You always have bad luck” and “Someone will come along.”
Both of these may be true. I honestly think the saying is right, though. It's not them: It's me.
A few months ago, I was lucky enough to meet someone who made me laugh, listened to me and respected me fully. These were only some of his wonderful qualities.
It should have been straight out a textbook: You meet, you message, you meet the family, you are together.
I could feel myself wanting to fall. I wanted nothing more than to curl up next to him and tell him I couldn't be without this feeling. I could see it all unfolding, and I wanted it to work. But wanting something to happen does not necessarily mean it is supposed to happen.
I then realized that I can't love someone -- not yet, anyway. Not in the way he needs. With this realization came the rest, like dominoes in a line:
1. I would be a terrible partner.
It is never going to be fair to him if I promise my commitment and then flake all the time. I have no idea who I am just yet, and I am not sure I could put in the effort a relationship requires if I'm not ready for it.
It is more selfish to date someone for his or her feelings than walk away for your own, despite what people will tell you when you end it.
2. Love is important, especially when it is focused on you.
I have been working so hard for the last year to love myself. It's exhausting, and it has not come easily. While I am putting so much effort into loving myself and reinventing myself into someone I actually like, I find little time to channel that energy into someone else.
Of course I loved this boy. But could I be in love with him? Could I give him the kind of all-encompassing, full throttle and exciting love he deserved?
No. I've already given my heart to someone else right now: myself.
3. It is about sacrifice. It's not about losing yourself.
Everything is a little bit of give and a little bit of take. This boy lived an hour away from my house, and we struggled to find the balance between being both here and there. We also struggled to talk about it, and so, we hurt each other silently.
I found myself sitting on his couch, wondering who I was doing this for if we weren't even technically together yet. I have already lost myself in a relationship before, and I can recognize the feelings and steps from the last time.
This recognition began, and I turned to fight or flight mode (in that order). We argued, and I learned that I was being selfish. I think he did, too.
Then came flight mode. I haven't seen him since.
I cannot really speak for him, but I know I have spent my time living my life and taking part in my own personal growth. We will grow from being apart, and maybe that's what we need.
4. Not now.
You don't know what's coming. It's the most beautiful feeling, and it should be filled with hope.
I'm making the move from Australia to Southeast Asia in a few days, and I hope to continue the self-loving journey I'm on while I'm there. After that, there is no plan.
Maybe we will see each other again, and maybe it will work. Maybe he will meet a girl at university, and they will have kids. We will catch up for coffee, he will show me pictures of them and we will laugh.
Maybe I will never hear from him again. Life is a roller coaster ride. Just when you think you've done a big drop, something else comes along to shock you.
Be ready for anything to happen. Just hope that in the end, you will have enjoyed the ride.
5. It's okay to not be ready.
I'm not sure when I will be ready to commit to someone again. Anyone who really loves me will understand that. It could be in three weeks, and it could be in 30 years.
There's no rush, and you just can't force yourself into something. As one of my best friends has told me, “You just do you.” It's the only way you can try to get through it all. If you're not ready, tread lightly, be honest and try not to hurt anyone who is ready.
I can't love that boy the way he deserves and wants at this moment in my life. I hope he knows that I tried, and that I am still learning. We all are, and sometimes, that means saying goodbye.
Blame is a dangerous thing. Try to avoid it when a relationship ends.
Instead, forgive. Forgive them – all your thems – and yourself.