By James Woodruff for Good Men Project
There’s this thing humans do where after time spent together, we think someone should just know certain things about us. You should know why I’m upset. You should have known that would make me mad. You should have known I’d react this way. The connection you develop emotionally gets this unrealistic expectation of being able to read the unspoken and unknown.
Many friendships and relationships have ended because no one could be bothered to communicate discontent in the moment. Instead of settling a single situation, the resentment builds up and eventually, the only option is to go through the motions of a bitter end.
Not every relationship is meant to last forever, no matter how much you may want it to. To be honest, letting go isn’t the worst. The hardest part is the releasing of everything old and beautiful of what used to be. As Kanye West eloquently summarized this feeling– “memories have to be our most painful blessing.”
Harboring hurt over old issues prevents you from experiencing new joys and making new memories. With the walls down and my heart softened, I’m open to the truth that I don’t have to fit into someone’s box in order to be worthy of love. You don’t have to “be” something in order to have love. It finds you once you’re at a place to freely receive and give it. And most importantly, I decided one day to finally stop letting pride be the reason why someone I cared about didn’t know it.
A lot of us stay in relationships way past their expiration date because we genuinely believe we can’t do better. We fear losing that constant companionship because the idea of finding it again is downright exhausting I can say that I experienced love on a higher level. On the other hand, it’s a strange thing to get what you want and not know how to handle it. Thankfully, losses and failures teach you wisdom.
Because I know what love looks like on a deeper, more spiritual level, my path as a single man is different now. The problem I recognized a few months ago is that you can’t replace what you’ve lost. You have to leave the past where it is. It’s a crime to push people away because they do or say things that remind you of what’s gone, I’m guilty of it. I can say that it’s taken a long to become emotionally free to give the person in front of me a real chance.
If you’re going through the difficulty of letting someone you love go, here’s a few pieces of advice:
Don’t rush the process
People think getting back out there helps. If you’re not idle, you won’t have time to think about shoulda/coulda/woulda. You’re only setting yourself up for lonely nights and an endless cycle of first dates with no follow-up. Falling in love with someone is a journey. Learning how to move forward without them is a series of twists and turns as well. One of the best things you can do to be ready for your next relationship is to heal from the last one.
Say everything you need to say
Closure is self-serving in most cases. What I know now is to not to default or defer to silence out of fear. Express yourself but do it with love and then refuse to revisit it. Letting go becomes a lot easier when you aren’t replaying all of the things you wish you could have said.
It’s okay to miss them
The whole reason for writing this is because I woke up the other day wanting to send that awkward “hey, just thinking of you” text. I wasn’t pining over what we could have been. I wasn’t trying to open the door. I just genuinely missed the person.
As much as you want the feelings to dissipate right away, they won’t. You’ll miss them for as long as time allows. In truth, you’re always going to love a person that you saw a future with. But one day you’ll wake up and that feeling won’t matter as much as it once did.
The universe matches you with the right one based on the energy you give off. I believe that we’re introduced to the people we need at each phase of our lives organically. It’s free will that determines how long they stay and what their exit will be like though.
It’s important to not let a bad ending taint how you view love and the idea of relationships. With love as the goal, you owe it to your future self to be relentless in the pursuit of relationships that are a place of peace. And that means being deliberate and doing the painstaking work of finishing chapters from the past.