Love and hope are powerful emotions, as is a fear of being alone. Have you ever been in this type of situation? You know, the kind where your heart aches to be with someone, so you just choose the closest person without even stopping to think why this person deserves to be in your life. There is a strong temptation to allow for more heartache by entering the wrong relationship simply because the heart is crying out. The truth is, though, you’re smarter than your loneliness. If you are finding yourself in a situation like this, it’s time to tell your heart to “shut up” and let you think. Thinking is going to allow you to analyze what is right and wrong, and hopefully act in the best manner.
This post is dedicated to one of my best friends, we will call her Saki, who is going through a similar situation. She broke up with her boyfriend of five years a few months ago and she’s questioning her position in life now. There are days when she wants to give up and go back to her ex, and then there are days where she’s willing to move on and goes out on dates. She’s confused. She has heart ache. She doesn’t know what is the right path for her.
Saki and I had a conversation about this topic recently and it brought me back to a few relationships I had put myself into in the past. I think we’ve all been there — those relationships where we know deep down that something isn’t right but we continue with the facade simply because 1. It is what we know, 2. It is what’s most convenient, or 3. It is what is preventing us from being completely on our own.
A few months ago, I went through the whole dating thing. (Most of you know this, and most of you know I’ve pretty much decided to quit looking, focus on work, and let the future happen when it’s meant to happen..) However, during the spring and beginning of summer, I found myself in a few different dating relationships. And as each new person entered my life, my ideals of love and a blossoming relationship seemed to dwindle every day. The dating game is difficult. You begin building this relationship with someone and it breaks, so you begin with someone new and it breaks too. With each new stumble your heart grows a little bit tighter. Trust becomes harder to earn, the will for commitment decreases, and love becomes a distant dream. Everyone needs someone sometimes. However, when you go through a number of someones trying to find the right one, sometimes the appeal gets lost and you JUST. WANT. TO. BE. DONE.
As this appeal is lost, the heart grows lonelier. With each new failure it almost seems as if the heart beats faster and louder. There are so many other factors that magnify the cry of your heart also.
One big factor is the media, such as seeing your friends post cute little statuses about how in love they are and engagement announcements and baby photos and etc… I mean, really? I’ve heard multiple people in my life ask, “Why is my love life nonexistent when that girl from high school is already happily married?! What’s wrong with me?”
Another factor is reputation. Dating numerous people makes others talk. Go on too many first dates, you’re too picky. Meet people in a bar or club, you’re a floozy. Date a number of people at once, you’re a player. It doesn’t matter if everything you do on your dates is innocent, people always think the worst. No one wants to be thought of critically, so clinging to the first person you begin dating who isn’t a psycho might seem ideal.
Personally, I don’t like the dating life. I’m all for meeting new people and socializing, but I like commitment. I like having one person to always be able to confide in, and spend time with, and just enjoy knowing they’re mine. I like being in a relationship, and I miss that component in my life. That ache in my heart ended up hindering me more, though. I began dating someone who was emotionally unavailable. Not only did I enter into such a relation, but I allowed that person to drag me along for three months with no commitment plans. That’s not what I wanted in my life! I didn’t want to go week by week wondering if the guy was back with his ex-girlfriend, or feeling ridiculous because I hadn’t heard from him in days. I wanted someone who wanted me. Wanted me for me. Yet I clung to the first person I saw a glimmer of hope in and wasted the beginning of my summer!
As for Saki and her ex, she’s gone the entire summer bouncing back and forth with him. She knows he’s not good for her, and that they’re not meant to be, but it’s what she knows. She is questioning whether it is better to be with someone wrong for her rather than be by herself for awhile. Is trying to force love better than being lonely? This is a question she asks herself daily.
Yes, being lonely sucks.
But being lonely takes too much time to deal with too.
I finally figured this out when my “summer fling” broke up (I say that loosely because he never wanted to commit so I don’t really classify it as breaking up) with me for the fourth time for no reason at all. That is when I stopped listening to my lonely heart and began thinking with a clear mind.
Yes, I was lonely, but did spending time with this person actually end that loneliness? No. Actually in all honesty, he made me feel lonelier. I knew what I wanted in a relationship and I knew I wasn’t going to have that commitment from this person, but I still chose to hold on. Knowing this caused me to be annoyed and cast blame on myself. I singled myself out; I isolated myself in my own mind. I don’t know if I’ve ever been lonelier.
So I started thinking with my head, rather than my heart. And guess what? I’m pretty smart. I realized the type of potential I have for a relationship. I rediscovered how caring and loving and patient and pleasing I wanted to be to someone else, and how I wanted those things in return. I concluded I deserved more.
We all deserve to be in a relationship with someone who prioritizes our needs and desires amongst their own. Relationships are meant to be a partnering of two people. You give and you take. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s those relationships where the couple can work through disagreements and come out on top that actually work.
You know what you want in a relationship. If you don’t, figure it out before you try to enter into one. The heart can be a great judge sometimes, but it’s not always the most rational — especially when it comes to a lonely heart. Look at the healthy relationships around you and pinpoint what makes them successful. Look at your past, and decide what worked for you and what didn’t. This is something I’ve been doing for awhile now and I’m truly happy with my life at the moment. I’ve quieted my lonely heart by focusing on the positive friendships and family relations in my life, I’m continuing to bring my all to both my jobs, and I’m not worrying where my “soul mate” is or what he’s doing or why he’s not presently in my life.
So that’s my advice, guys: Think with your mind for awhile and make a clear approach to the type of successful love life you want to have. And most importantly, don’t settle for anything less.