It wasn't too long ago I was dating someone who didn't want me in any real way. Three years went by, slowly as hell, because there was nothing more in the world I wanted than to make him mine.
But he just wanted me for my body. And when I finally gained the courage to end things with him, I was in a bubble of pain. It took a whole lot of time and a whole lot of space, but I got myself out of that bubble.
Once I did, I came to terms with the fact that the guy I'd once made the center of my world didn't even break my heart at all. He shook me up, yes, but he never really knew the real Sheena, which means he never had my heart in his hands. He knew parts of me, and I lost parts of myself in him, but that was all it was.
A lot of times, women think they've gotten their hearts shattered when, in reality, they fell too hard with the idea of the person, or they just fell in lust. It's important to know whether or not you actually got your heart broken, because falling in lust hurts, but it's easier to fall in lust than it is to fall in love. And if you go into your next relationship equipped with that knowledge, you won't let yourself feel the pain of the fallout from falling in lust as much the second time around. Falling in lust will seem like a walk in the park.
In retrospect, I can say with certainty that I didn't fall in love with this guy of mine, because I didn't hand him my entire heart; I only gave him half of it. And you can't have your heart broken when you've only given half of it away.
Here are six signs you've never actually had your heart broken:
1. Your heart, or his, was never open to begin with.
I wasn't able to fully be myself around my guy, and that's how I discovered he never broke my heart.
But you know what else I realized? He never felt comfortable being his full self around me. In fact, I'm not sure he even knew himself. And how can you fall in love with someone who isn't himself around you?
You can't. You either fall in love with a version of him or just the feeling. And you can't get your heart broken when it was never completely open to begin with.
2. You find your body, not your mind, missing him.
When I ended things with my guy, the pain felt more physical than anything else. I missed the sex, the cuddling, the having someone to go to bed with every night.
As for the conversation with him? It was secondary. I could've done without it. My girlfriends, I'd decided, were enough for me, but he was able to fill the other voids.
He didn't break my heart. My vagina just got used to him, as weird as it is to say that.
3. Despite the fact that you miss him, you can imagine a life without him.
Close your eyes. Picture the man you're going to marry. Is he that guy who supposedly broke your heart? If he isn't, your heart is still intact.
This may seem obvious, but if you wanted this guy only in the moment and not for the long-term, you were never in love with him, which means he never broke your heart.
4. Your desire to fall in love outweighed the reality of it.
When you supposedly fell in love with him, your mind tricked you into thinking you were in love because you so badly wanted to be in love with anyone at all.
And in the same way, when the thing you had with him ended, your mind tricked you into thinking you got your heart broken, too.
I know, the mind is powerful, and it can do dangerous things.
5. He was more of a conquest to you than he was a person.
It was never about him. To you, it was all about the chase, and you might not have known it when you were with him (or still might know it), but if he'd actually finally given himself to you, you would have no longer wanted to have been with him.
It's a tough truth to swallow, but much of the time, when we're attracted to someone who only wants us in one way, there's something about us that makes us attracted to people like that.
You want the emotionally unavailable guy because you like the chase, which means you're not opening yourself up to getting your heart broken.
6. You weren't in love; you were in lust.
When you do fall in love, you finally gain the ability to pinpoint what falling in lust feels like. Lusting is painful in its own right, but it just isn't the same as falling in love. The difference is falling in lust doesn't break our hearts, even though it feels like it does.
When we fall in lust, it's like we've only given half of ourselves to the person, but when we fall in love, we've given all of ourselves to a person. Being rejected for all of who we are is a much bigger fall than being rejected for only half of who we are.
I've found it takes falling in lust a million times to finally allow yourself to fall in love.