Pretty much all of my life, I’ve believed that being witht he right person was almost like a foolproof key to hapiness. With my first boyfriend, I truly believed he was the one and even after we broke up (very painfully), I still believed it was a question of being with someone. I fell in lust/addiction/toxic love quite quickly after that, and in the absence of the person I pined for who was not really emotionally available and more of a lesson than a source of joy in my life, I made stronger friendships, tried new things, and found parts of myself I hadn’t felt able to fully expose with my first boyfriend. With this less healthy love, I was hurt in predictable ways based on my own self loathing and the things my ex didn’t like about me but most of the time was kind enough not to point out, and I just kept coming back for more over the course of three years. It even alienated my close friends who just got tired of hearing about my obsssion. I couldn’t get over my initial image of him, and when he eventually fell from that pedestal, I still craved his approval even though being with him didn’t give me the same high it once did-a classic symptom of addiction as my friend pointed out. Eventually things finally ended when I got an internship in another city, although the actual breakup trigger was a really trivial and hurtful thing which finally showed me the kind of person I was really dealing with, and I didn’t beg him to stay.
The summer I met someone I thought was the love of my life. Due to extenuating circumstances, we were not able to be together and both of us were leaving after the summer. We had a solid friendship, and something just clicked. Saying goodbye to him was really hard, and the sadness didn’t go away. I told him how I really felt and asked him for us to try and be together, but he (probably kindly) just told me with the distance it just couldn’t work but he’d like to remain friends if I can forgive him.
We have remained friends, and he’s been a big source of support when I’ve been going through some major life changes, and I like to think that I have been helpful to him too. In the past couple weeks he has felt a lot less present to me, which may well mean he has other suff going on or another girlfriend or something. I don’t blame him, whatever it might be. But I do finally reocgonize that the man of my dreams may be just that- the man of my dreams, and while I will always love him as a friend and as a human and am unspeakably grateful to have found a human I connect with on such a soul level, I have stopped chasing him and will let Destiny decide. Maybe we would be great together, but he’s on a different continent and happy where he is, as I am happy where I am. While I probably would have been willing to try something long distance if I was convinved he was committed, I recognize that the larger issue is that for whatever reason, he’s not willing or able to be present to me in the way I want and need from a partner. Or at least, not now. And for a HUGE change, I’m going to let it go.
I’ve felt so sad and disappointed in him, realizing that if i dont make the first move or chat him up, he won’t often reach out to me and sometimes when he does and I get back to him, he’s stiill not really there. It could just be a question of timing, I don’t assume any ill-will on his part. But sometimes it is all in the timing.
And I deserve to be where I am right now, happy. I don’t have to miss him. He’s not the one that got away. He was the right person at the wrong time, and while it’s taken me a while to really understand it, I’m glad I finally do.
And now I am faced with all the mental space I have frieed up from not worrying about whether he does secretly likeme back or not, whether i should be oquettish or direct, and just like, chillax and not worry about whether/where our paths will cross and what I’d ahve to give up in order to be with him.
Because the truth is, for him or anyone, there are certain things I’m just not willing to give up. Most of all, I dodn’t want to sacrifice the sense of aliveness, of personal growth and adventure, taht comes when I follow my heart. Love is the greatest adventure, and if you are trying to plan and scheme ot make it come true, it’s not the real thing. It would be one thing to follow my heart and make a drastic change for love if my heart was in it aand so was the other person’s. But to hypothetical think about how things might happen in the future is missing out on all the possibilities for love now.
I recently met someone I enjoy as a person with what little I know him and who gave me great pleasure. He is nothing like the guy I left behind, physically or in many aspects of personality and temperament. In fact, he’s much more like me. While this dude is actually leaving for adventure, I would have liked to have the chance to know him more and am happy for the time we did spend together. While I was afraid it would turn into another episode of loving someone far away, or worse, not loving every since because letting of C the other guy I have felt a certain snse of numbness, and as well as spaciousness- giving him up mad e a ton of room in my mind and heart, he took up so much space- or liking someone just because they gave you pleasure and you feel guilty for NOT having more fo an emotional connction, I’m just so happy to have found that maybe love is available to me in places and people I didn’t expect. Maybe every guy I wrote off as an impossible prospect but just interesting enough to date is actually my true love in disguise, and my image of true love only looks a certain way because I have been in denial of who I really am and ashamed of myself.
I may not get everything I think I want in a partner, but I will get what I really need and more. Even if it doesn’t happen in the way I expected.
So for the first time since I heard a fairytale, I’m not obsessed with having my Prince. Even more of a change, I’m not in search of where I belong, my mission in life, or obsessed with meeting my next objective. Life is less dramatic, but infused with joy and space to really breathe. I”m not thinking of a thousand things at once and worried about an imaginary problem, I’m just content in the moment for the most part.
And I think this is really how things get better, and how people really fall in love. With life, with themselves, forever.
Sometimes saying Yes to Life is having a drink with a handsome stranger. Sometimes it’s following you rheart thousands of miles from where your head and everybody else say you should be .Sometimes saying Yes to Life is letting go of someone you love.
And today, it’s going to be sitting in the park drinking champagne.
Can’t beat that, right?