This is originally a piece I wrote for Thought Catalog, which they published, and you can find it on my profile here.
1. “JUST STOP DWELLING ON IT ALL THE TIME. IF YOU STOP THINKING ABOUT IT, EVENTUALLY IT WILL FADE AWAY FROM YOUR MIND. TIME HEALS EVERYTHING.”
Sound familiar? It’s a phrase that numerous people throw around thinking that it makes their friends and family feel better – they think by saying this it’ll help you get over a difficult relationship.
Perhaps it feels like you’ve lost your best friend or maybe like you’re always lonely now. Maybe you go to bed happy that they sent a friendly goodnight to you from wherever they are, but wake up with a heavy ache in your heart because you know they’ll never be yours. Over time your soul will start to mimic homesickness; never regaining that sense of security and comfort that you found in your person.
You might have become anti-social, constantly lost in a dream-like state, in which you create scenarios that cannot happen. You dare to continue dreaming, wishing, praying, and hoping that somehow that person becomes your miracle.
2. “JUST BE OPEN TO NEW PEOPLE. WHY DON’T YOU GIVE THAT PERSON THAT LIKES YOU A CHANCE? I MET THE GREATEST DATE ON TINDER AND WE’RE SO HAPPY NOW.”
Don’t you love hearing that from happy couples? They mean well though, they’re just trying to get you to where they are. People who actually get to be with the one they want no longer remember the uphill climb it was to get there; the sleepless nights and dreadful days are forgotten due to the sheer bliss of love. Can you blame them, though, you’d forget the misery, too, if the one you wanted said yes to being yours.
Giving the new person a chance is downright laughable; you aren’t able to love anyone new and you’re sick and tired of trying to force yourself to do it. It’s okay. You don’t have to find someone new just to get over the old – it won’t work out anyway because your heart isn’t ready for it and because you don’t really want it.
3. “THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT HAVE BIGGER PROBLEMS. TRUST ME YOUR LIFE ISN’T HALF AS BAD AS THE PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES. BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE BECAUSE YOU’D BE CONSIDERED LUCKY IF YOU LIVED IN ETHIOPIA.”
Really? This is what they’re going to say to you when you feel like your heart is going to stop any minute as it’s shattered? No. You understand others have it far worse. They don’t have shelter, food, clothing, and water – the basic necessities of life. And yes, it is much worse and you couldn’t possibly imagine living that way. However, the pain of others does not minimize yours; the situation others are facing does not make you feel any better about your current state.
You can be grateful for the things you have while still hurting over what’s happened and it’s okay to do that. Never let others tell you that you’re not that hurt, that you don’t have it that bad, or that you have to stop dwelling because the world has bigger problems. It’s okay to let yourself experience what you need to at this very moment.
4. “YEAH, WELL LOOK AT MY RELATIONSHIP. WE FIGHT ALL THE TIME AND HE/SHE UPSETS ME SO MUCH. AT LEAST YOU DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT.”
No, not true. They get to see their person all the time, physically hold them, hug them after a fight, and kiss them when things are going well. Their issues are solved by their partner; they feel good at least once a day. It is not the same as not having that person in your daily life; it’s not the same as being away from them.
5. “TRUST ME, IT WASN’T LOVE. YOU’LL MEET SOMEONE BETTER; YOU DESERVE BETTER. WHEN YOU MEET THAT PERSON YOU’LL JUST KNOW AND YOU’LL REALIZE WHY IT DIDN’T WORK OUT WITH THIS ONE. JUST BE PATIENT, YOUR TIME WILL COME.”
Wow, can this be more cliché? First of all, nobody can tell someone how he or she feels about another. It wasn’t love? They cannot know that. They don’t know how your heart beats faster and slower at the same time when your person is near you. They can’t fathom what it feels like when the slightest touch makes you weak in the knees and creates a fog in your mind. They don’t know the dreams you have of your ex telling you exactly what you want to hear, the way your blood rushes through your veins when you hear your guy or girl say they love you, or the happiness you try to make yourself feel by convincing yourself for a moment that this dream is reality.
You know that you deserve better than the one who isn’t with you and you know that maybe one day you’ll find a companion that can make you happy, but this isn’t the time to tell you that. You’re still hoping, grieving, and trying to make it work with the only one who makes your heart beat. You’re devoting all your time and patience into handling the situation you’re in, how can you be expected to have the patience to wait for someone new to come into your life or to have the strength to work on learning someone new? You don’t want to think about why it didn’t work out this particular person because you’re still expecting things to change in your favor. So thank you, but no thank you, because you aren’t able to just trust that your time will come.
It’s perfectly all right to be sad, to hold on even tighter, and let yourself continue loving that person because the world does not and cannot understand how you feel. No other person can truly grasp the pain of losing your specific relationship. At the end of the day, it’s you that has to deal with what’s happened, and it is okay to cope the way you feel is best.