By now most of us have encountered that person who was everything you ever wanted in someone else. You feel yourself glowing when within their proximity and feeling hollowed out when they are away. But there is something wrong all of this fairytale business.
You love them. They do not love you, and it is written in the stars that they never will. Because as time moves on, so do they. You watch them meet other people, grow distant, and before you are aware of it, they are completely gone. Married, with children, or just completely off the radar. So how do you get over the hurt of losing something that never was?
1. You never really say goodbye
It is sad, unsettling, and a really uncomfortable feeling to be okay for days, weeks, and years, rarely ever thinking about them or their voice or their face. Then suddenly, bam, there they are again, haunting your thoughts. Making you wish you had tried harder to keep them.
Maybe you go into Facebook stalker-mode and try to learn everything that has happened since you last spoke. You tell yourself to just say goodbye and let it go. But I am telling you not to. Remember how this person made you feel. Remember that love.
2. You can love another person
Rekindle it. Recycle it. Put it into something or someone else. Because if you are capable of loving one person this deeply, you can love another. Do not do yourself the injustice of giving up on love just because one got away. We all lose big fish once in a while. Pick up your tackle box. Move on to the next watering hole.
3. That rejection prepares you for life
It sucks, and it hurts. Your heart remembers the initial shock of realizing they are not yours time and time again. But that is okay too. You know why? That rejection prepares you for life.
You get stronger when you realize that you have survived without the person you thought you couldn’t live without. Then take a look at their life, key to their happiness, and realize that while this person is not with you, they are happy as well.
4. Real love is not selfish
If it was true but unrequited love, you will realize that their contentment and joy in life means more than having them all to yourself. Real love, after all, is not selfish.
Now, the above is me speaking from experience. I realize that sometimes these instances do not play out as eloquently for both parties as my situation did. Sometimes the person you can’t get over takes another, darker path. They do not find another splendid being to share their time on Earth with.
Maybe they love drugs, gambling, stealing, drinking, and/or sex more than you. Maybe they love bringing you down, belittling your dreams, and quashing every attempt you make to better yourself just for their pleasure.
Once upon a time, this person might have been something like a knight in shining armor. But they aren’t anymore. So I tell you this: Don’t forget who they used to be, but separate yourself from the person they are now.
5. Your love does not exist
Who you love does not exist. Really. Stop telling yourself you can fix the situation. Everyone knows that pounding the wrong puzzle piece into place just because it looks right does not make it correct. Don’t try to carry their worldly burdens for them. It is clear that they mean to bury you with those troubles.
That love and happiness from the past will not come back. Do not kid yourself about that one. If it was going to – if your partner truly loved you – they would have warmed up to you by now and accepted your intervention. They would have changed for you.
6. Stand up to the illusion
Let them go. Stand up to the illusion. You deserve better than someone who sees you as a pawn. True love means valuing one another equal to the point where nothing would sway you from that emotion. True love should never have to be fixed, forced, or meet barriers from the opposite end.
7. Break this harmful cycle
Do something new. Let yourself understand that you have been, for lack of a better word, rejected. Grieve. Instead of spiraling downward, use that sense of sadness and anger and betrayal to see the reality of the situation.
You will see clearly, eventually realizing that you can no longer do anything for this relationship. You must move on. Reject them instead. Now that you are ready to move on from this unrequited, one-sided love, it is time to do the following:
- Recognize the pain is normal. It has been found that “heartbreak” triggers a response from your brain that is similar to drug withdrawal.
- Do not minimize how you feel. Never tell yourself things like, “I never loved him/her anyway.” Lying to yourself will only make it worse. Instead, take a solitary moment, even if it is just a walk through the park, to consider your emotions. Whether this separation from the one who does not love you is recent or has been going on for yourself, you need to assess what is happening inside.
- Do not wallow. Purging yourself of a toxic situation might make you want to be a shut-in for a few days, but do not let that become routine. Focus on your life, not theirs. Focus on the challenges that await you and only you.
- Recognize that you cannot fabricate love. Sorry, but that is not how this works, folks. You can’t force another person to love you. You should not even go there. The single thing we can control in this life is our actions and reactions to what happens throughout the day.
It takes time, but you will heal. Do what feels right to get over them, even if that means tossing out mementos or forbidding yourself to go places where you two used to spend your time. If you need to talk to someone – a friend or a professional – that is totally okay. No therapist will turn you away from struggling with unshed emotions.
Again, there will be times when their face suddenly pops into your mind. You will remember them with startling detail or hear their voice in your dreams. Just smile at the memory. Learn from the experience. You are strong, self-reliant, and you will find someone else who sees you for who you truly are.