Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

This year seems to be hinged on looking back. While it isn’t always recommended to glance backward, there is something to be said for the lessons life deals us. Success, failure, it all makes us see things in a different way. Let’s take love as an example.
Relationships, we strive for perfection, don’t we, but what if a failed relationship teaches you the very basics of how to be successful in one? Perhaps, the very next one. We all have the proverbial “one that got away”. The love we’ve tried so hard to make happen, but somehow doesn’t. Even I’ve had a few times that felt like I was doing all the work and it just wasn’t fulfilling, so, I had to walk away.

Here’s what I learned in the process.

No matter how much we try, If they do not love you, you must let them go. Keep them in your heart, wish them nothing but good, and happiness, but walk away. Do not hate or be bitter. It’s time to drive off into the sunset flashing a peace-out sign.

Recognize the red flags. Distance, silence.

When someone takes a person who is honest and openly expresses their feelings and (for lack of a better word) takes them for granted, it is very disheartening. They leave your messages on read, they don’t reply to emails or they give some sort of offhanded, rather cold remark, we have to remember that silence is indeed an answer. The distance that they created is by choice. Protect your heart. They will shove you away until you finally get tired and you don’t come back again. Take the hint. They may not be honest enough with you. They are more than likely with someone else but don’t care to disclose that to you. (and do you really want someone who is dishonest anyway?) Do not align yourself with people like this, you will always be on the losing side.

Accept it and let go.

When someone wants you in their life, they make an effort to make sure you are a part of it. Relationships take two, even just very close friendships. There has to be some interaction. While it may be difficult to disengage with someone that you honestly have feelings for, it is often best to save yourself the embarrassment and quietly walk away. Shrug them off as easily as they dismissed you. Ultimately it feels better than wondering why they snapped at you or ignored you. While it may feel unnatural at first, trust me, not losing sleep over someone that isn’t losing sleep over you, does feel good after a few nights.

Forget about it.

You’re wasting your time, words, effort, and support on someone who cannot (and most likely will not) reciprocate. You can’t spend your time hoping they will come to their senses, nor can you keep dreaming. Stop chasing them, they do not want to be with you. Find someone that does.

Yes, I’ve made a fool of myself more than once, but I learned a very practical skill. I learned what I am capable of giving to someone, and I learned to recognize when someone else is not invested as much as I am. I no longer involve myself in the unrequited version of anything.

Did I find happiness? No, and yes. I didn’t get the connection that I was hoping for, but I did discover that I can be a party of one, and be fine with it until my better half comes along. If they don’t, well, menu please!