It’s hard but it happens.
And it hurts.
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You love someone who may have loved you once upon a time;
You love someone who acted like there was a possibility of love in return, but now there’s not;
You love someone who simply doesn’t feel the same way and isn’t going to feel the same way, ever;
You loved someone deeply who loved you deeply and then this person just switched off and hurt you in ways that were unimaginable at the height of your mutual love;
This person loved you and you loved them and then someone new came along and they left. Friends tell you that you are better than this new person in every way. But your ex is still with Mr. or Ms. New Thing.
Whatever the situation, you’re left with a big pile of hurt.
You recall your exchanges over and over in your mind. Where did it go wrong or fail to go right? What should you have done that you didn’t? What did you do that you shouldn’t have?
You feel rejected and that something really wrong with you. You wonder what you could do to MAKE this person want you.
Maybe your ex is with someone new or just fell out of love one day. Or failed to fall in love on the day you did. That’s even more baffling. There is nothing and no one else. Wait. You’re choosing NOTHING over me? What?
Or your ex has spiraled into some other mindset. They’re depressed or upset or self-absorbed in some way. Wouldn’t you want someone to help carry the burden, you ask.
The answer is please leave me alone.
You’re freaking out. How is it that they want you to help by going away? WHAT?
The first emotion is disbelief. How can this be? How did I get here? How am I hurting over this person? Maybe your personality is draining away…you used to be fun and helpful and have a great sense of humor. Now you’re plain and dull and you’re boring all your friends with your sad refrain of unrequited love.
Part of you refuses to believe it. It CAN’T be so. Something will change. This is a phase. This is temporary. I’ll just sit here and wait for my love to smarten up and see the light. That is what I will do.
Better yet, I will change things. I will call him or her or text him or her. We will get into a big emotional conversation and I will persuade them that this is all wrong.
My suggestion is to STOP and not do anything, which, in the beginning, is the hardest thing to do. You’re having trouble absorbing the news and are doing your damndest to make it different or refuse to believe it’s over.
It’s natural to deny it, but it’s important to believe it. You can take your time but you have to move in the direction of believing it, because it’s true. Let it slowly sink in and do the hardest thing there is to do: Nothing. Doing nothing in a situation like this takes energy. It takes a lot of energy. You will think you spend all your time NOT doing something. And that’s because you are. Your natural inclination is to DO something, which is the thing you must not do.
After you start to believe it and allow yourself to NOT do anything, you will start to feel the feelings. You feel hurt, anger, betrayal. You feel rejected and less than. Your self-esteem is taking a huge hit from feeling rejection.
At this point the urge to DO something returns. You start to take all the responsibility for the ending. You see your mistakes and shortcomings under a big magnifying glass. No wonder why you were left. You’re simply a big loser and you need to work, fast, on becoming the person that your ex will love again. You revisit things that your ex complained about; you make things up; your mind reels with ideas of how to change into someone easier to love.
I’ll be quieter, thinner, happier. I won’t complain so much. I won’t rock the boat. I’ll like the insufferable family and friends that I couldn’t stand. I’ll go back to school. I’ll stop going to school. I’ll wear different clothes. I’ll buy a new car. I’ll get those allergy shots so I can be around that cat. I’ll work in a different industry. I’ll muzzle my kids. I’ll clean more. I’ll clean less. I’ll cook gourmet meals. I’ll listen when spoken to. I’ll go to bed earlier. I’ll go to bed later. I’ll go to church. I’ll stop going to church. I’ll pray. I’ll bargain with God. I’ll help the poor. I’ll devote myself to the eradication of world hunger. I’ll give my next paycheck to the church. I’ll join the Peace Corps. I’ll do anything, ANYTHING, if only You make this person come back. I’ll be everything You want me to be or everything this person wants me to be. I’ll do it all. I’ll do nothing. I’ll be more. I’ll be less. I’ll be everything and anything other than what I’m being right now. I’ll turn myself inside out to be the person he or she will love. I can do it. I will do it.
Stop right there. Forget about changing for someone else. Forget about bargaining for what you should have without bribing whatever deity you believe in. Forget about changing your whole life just so this narrow-minded little bonehead will love you.
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