I only had one romantic relationship in my life worth writing about. What it actually amounted to was one drawn-out breakup that lasted for roughly six years. How can anyone take six years to break things off, you ask? Well, by believing that the timing isn’t right. Every time I would break things off, I would think to myself, "This would definitely work if I were a bit older, if she were a bit more mature and put together, if circumstances were a bit different." I would convince myself, as would she, that we would work out one day because we honestly believed that we were destined to be together.
Being deeply in love is wonderful because it makes you feel as if you have found your purpose in life. The problems come about when you start to question that love. “Is she really the right person for me?” “Am I making a terrible mistake?” You start to believe that you’re too young and that you need to grow separately in order to manage to stay together and to love each other. So, you break up. Yet, you don’t completely let go and move on. You wait.
Playing the waiting game is a dangerous business. The truth is, you’re not truly waiting; you’re pseudo-moving on with your life. You’re a free agent and you are going to spread your wings -- aka legs -- every chance you get. You’re going to meet new people, make new friends, try new things, have novel experiences. You’re going to live your life the way you want to live it because you feel as if you just had a weight lifted from your shoulders; you feel light as a feather.
Being single is great -- until you start to feel lonely. People need other people in their lives; we need to socialize. We benefit from having people to chat with, people that will support us when things get more difficult. Things always get more difficult eventually. Life has just as many downs as it has ups, and when you find yourself at the bottom of a rut, you’re going to wish you had someone you could be intimate with, someone who can share your burden and ease your troubles, someone there to remind you that things aren’t quite so bad. That’s when we're reminded of that window we left open, just in case we wanted to crawl back in.
Seeing as we never fully let go of our past relationships, we typically still feel a connection. In fact, we have felt a connection the whole time; it's just that when things were all cheery and exciting, we didn’t think about our ex very much. Now that we yearn for comfort, romantic thoughts flood our minds. Maybe we just call him or her to say hi.
Maybe we wait until we’re drunk to send a text. Maybe you’re on the other end of this scenario entirely and you are the one being approached by your ex. If this is the case, and you decided to wait until your past love turns around, you are going to accept him or her with open arms. But remember, your ex is only contacting you as a result of feeling lonely, not because he or she wants you around in his or her life -- at least not all the time, just right now.
What exactly is the sense in waiting for someone? Why not just move on with your life? There’s a rather simple answer to all of this: we are scared. We’re scared of ending up alone, of not finding true love, of being lonely; just as we were scared that we were making a mistake by staying with a person, we are now scared that we may have made a mistake by letting him or her go.
In other words, we are cowards that don’t trust the decisions we make for ourselves. We are scared, so we hold on to past lovers as placeholders, referring back to them only when we start to feel scared of being alone or ending up alone. We figure that getting back with our ex is better than ending up alone… but is it?
You and your ex broke up for a reason. Whether it was your choice or not, there was a reason for it. If the reason was personal, it’s safe to assume that the reason hasn’t changed. Here’s a secret: When something about your boyfriend or girlfriend bothers you enough for you to dump him or her, although the person may have changed his or her habits over time, you’ll always find something else that just doesn’t feel right.
Believe me, I made up so many reasons over six years, the only reason I had left had to be the correct one: She just wasn’t right. It’s not the time that’s not right; it’s not you that’s not right. It’s the other person. Just because you love someone, and even though that person may love you, does not mean that the two of you can function within a romantic relationship.
Even if you could maybe possibly force it to work, why would you? There are so many wonderful, beautiful, intelligent people out there who you may fall in love with upon meeting that it’s irrational to hold onto imagined fairytale endings. You just have to go experience the world and meet these people. There isn’t just one person out there for you. You could end up with any one of at least a dozen or so people. The person you end up with in the end will be the person you decide is worth giving up your fears for.
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