Hopelessly Devoted: 5 Reasons Why It's Toxic To Hold Out For Your Ex

by Haley Love

You meet someone who is unlike anyone you’ve ever met. You feel things you didn’t even realize the human body was capable of feeling.

You fall in love. I’m not talking about petty, childlike infatuation. This is a genuine, relentless, selfless love.

You’re best friends and partners in crime.

Through every up and every down, you’re there for each other. You cheer each other on with every success, and you catch each other after every fall.

You think you have forever. That's what you tell each other, isn’t it? But rarely do we have forever.

In this generation of instant gratification and curiosity, it seems like someone always leaves.

You're crushed, and it lasts for weeks, months and even years. Everyone says you deserve better, and you will find someone else.

But at the time, you don’t want to hear it. However, when people say, “He will realize what he lost and regret it," you choose to listen.

The optimism starts flowing in.

“Yeah, I was a damn good girlfriend. We had a real connection. I can’t imagine being with someone else, and I don’t think he’ll like it, either. We just need time apart, and we can reconnect. It's still possible.”

So, we hold onto the hope the person who chose to walk out of our lives will one day wake up and think, “What the f*ck did I do?”

He’ll hop onto his motorcycle, speed recklessly down the highway, bust through the front door and ask for another shot.

But holding onto this hope can be toxic, and here are the reasons why:

1. You will continue to see him.

You will find any and every excuse to see this person. You'll try to retrieve arbitrary items you left at his place, you'll decide to grab lunch and catch up or you'll agreed to a hook up.

No matter what you choose, you will see him. Every single time, you will hope to spark something within him, whether it's old feelings, new feelings or regret.

But, you won't.

2. You will experience unnecessary setbacks.

After each interaction, you will have to lose him all over again. Each time leads to another night in bed with Ben & Jerry's, bawling to your best friend over the phone.

Each time, you have to restart the healing process. Whether we believe it or not, science proves time really does heal all. Neural pathways and chemical reactions associated with this person will weaken and fade.

However, this cannot happen if you don’t disconnect yourself completely or at least for a while.

3. You will turn away someone great.

Whether you download Tinder and start dating, or you allow yourself to meet someone in a completely serendipitous way, someone amazing will eventually come along.

This person will be cute, funny, charming, smart and sweet. However, you will never have more than one date with this person.

What if your ex comes back?

4. You will turn down opportunities.

Maybe you get an opportunity to travel for a month, or you have the chance to take a job in a new state. Maybe it’s something as simple as not making a weekend trip because you know he'll be at your friend’s party in town.

Either way, you'll turn down opportunities that, without your dwindling hope, you would've jumped on.

What if he shows up with that apology, and you’re not around?

5. You will delay your own happiness.

Ultimately, holding onto this hope delays you from moving forward, meeting new people and starting new adventures.

It prevents you from taking the necessary steps toward achieving your own happiness.

Now, I'm not naïve enough to believe you can just push this hope aside and let it go. I know, try as I might, I haven’t been able to.

To be honest, I think a small part of me will always be hoping my "one" will come back into my life, and we'll reconnect in a fairytale-like manner.

However, I believe you gain strength and happiness when you choose yourself over this hope.

Whether you decide to give a great guy a chance or move halfway across the world, always choose yourself. The rest will fall into place.