“What if we rewrite the stars?
Say you were made to be mine
Nothing could keep us apart
You’d be the one I was meant to find“
“No one can rewrite the stars
How can you say you’ll be mine?
Everything keeps us apart
And I’m not the one you were meant to find“
Six o’clock turned into seven-thirty and even then I was still going to be late. I had three dogs that weekend and my hair was in that awkward hair stage where nothing looked “cute” — especially not for a first date! No pressure, it’s not like I made a wild first impression by talking about how turtles fart through their mouths. Only a crazy person shares that kind of information with someone they haven’t met!
I snapped on some extensions and sped over to Dave N Busters.
“what if he is some 45 -year -old pervert?” “what if I say something stupid?” “please be normal!”
There he was, cute as a button. Piercing hazel eyes and a smile that could light up any room– he was lovely. We did the awkward side hug and a sigh of relief could be heard on both sides as we realized that the other person was indeed who they claimed to be. You never really know with this online stuff.
Not even five minutes in and the conversations began to flow organically. We rolled with it. He learned all about my pet peeves and a little of my crazy Raleigh story. In return, I learned that he didn’t eat red meat and that he believes if he could impact even just one life, then his own life was worth it and fulfilled. Before we knew it almost four hours had escaped us and that meant it was time to say goodbye. He walked me to my car where we would once more be awkward and his voice would crack because of all the nerves. I got into my car and KNEW immediately that I wanted another date with this guy. There was just something about him.
The following Thursday we found ourselves within arms reach once more. This time? Tacos at my favorite taco spot in town “El Rey Del Taco”. Of course a big fail on my end because why would you go to a taco truck that is known for the red meat- if you don’t eat red meat? He was a trooper though.We spent the next hour eating tacos on the cold floor hiding from the wind as we discussed even more frivolous topics, like how many chickens it would take to defeat an elephant (apparently 5 was way off). Once again it was time to say goodbye; I still remember the slow walk to the car because we didn’t want the night to end. So we lingered. We lingered some more. Eventually, we parted ways. I remember sitting in my car and telling myself yet again “there is just something about him”.
I never knew I was on borrowed time, but even if I did know, would it have changed anything or would it have changed everything?
Fast forward a few weeks/months and we were creating all sorts of adventures. Giving back to the community in small ways, walking into thrift stores to pick out books that describe the other person, circus after circus, movie dates, trying new foods around the city, occasional trails, scavenger hunts in the middle of target, accidentally walking through parades, more food adventures, tons of dog walking, spontaneous freak accidents, the lantern festival, car karaoke – we were living our best lives! He would get every door for me and I would give him my iced free beverages, every time. The chemistry was there and every place we went to, the people around us could see that. We knew this because of the constant eyes watching us engage with one another.
It was as if I was living out my own Hallmark movie.
If you have ever seen a Hallmark movie, or really any movie, you know there has to be a conflict. The climax was soon coming.
We were on the couch watching Star Wars and I fell asleep. I was waking up in the middle of the little whispers he was speaking as he played with my hair, “I love you“. Not entirely coherent of what just happened, I asked him to repeat what he said but he smiled and continued playing with my hair. So I dismissed it. Externally.
Over the next week, I began asking myself if I too felt that way towards him. I mean, anyone who KNOWS me, knows I am the girl with commitment issues. I am the girl who has spent years of her life being single and found comfort in that. I am the girl who doesn’t have any Pinterest boards dedicated to what I want my future wedding to be. I am the girl who self sabotages when I think I found a good thing. I am the girl who has had trust issues and abandonment issues that I have wrestled with since I was seven years old. I am the girl who has constantly felt less than and rejected by the world (never enough).
Then it dawned on me that for perhaps the first time in my life, I felt that feeling that everyone always talks about. The feeling of “sure”. That feeling that says I choose YOU. That personal and intentional decision to say I will choose this person again and again- no matter what. That desire to step into the scary unknown with another individual. What a foreign concept to me! I was sure about him! I closed my eyes and I could see it too. Could this be….. my possible person?
“No one can rewrite the stars/ How can you say you’ll be mine”
Just as the seasons come and go, this romance soon came to its end. I imagine you want the details. That information is neither here nor there– there is my version of what happened, there is his side of what occurred and somewhere in the middle is the reality of what took place and the small details that the other person may not have fully seen. That much I have learned.
Instead of pointing fingers or sharing “tea” regarding what happened, I want to focus on the things I have learned and praise the progress I have made personally in my journey concerning love.
Some of these points are things I have learned from previous relationships or things that I have finally healed from and can reflect on the growth now. If you have recently gone through a breakup or are learning to be content in your singleness, I hope you can get something from these tips.
Chemistry doesn’t equate to compatibility.
In this lifetime, you will probably encounter dozens of people that you instantly hit it off with. It can be easy to confuse that for compatibility. Good chemistry will always be there. You can disappear from that person’s life for a year and when you two reconnect over coffee or you casually run into them- it’ll come back . The dynamic won’t necessarily change, so you have to. Intentionally. Otherwise you could find yourself settling in a relationship or compromising on something you care about because (let’s be honest) we see people through filters when we get attached to them.
Let yourself FEEL all the feelings when going through a breakup.
The best thing you can do imo when going through a breakup is to not dismiss or suppress your pain. You’re hurt! It’s gonna suck! It will probably suck for a little while! Fast forward a few months though and you WILL be better, stronger and healed- if you DEAL with your internal self.
Never chase or beg someone to stay.
Many years ago I was dumped by a boy who basically told me he no longer had love for me anymore. I remember being crazy about the kid (we were young) and it was not easy for me to accept that he did not want to be with me. One day I called him over because I needed “closure” but in actuality I was just trying to convince him to stay. Ultimately he told me that it was NOT going to happen and he drove off. I was so desperate at the time to be loved– I CHASED AFTER THE CAR AS HE DROVE OFF *crying*!! Fast forward a few years later and I was sitting across the table from a guy (different guy) who was telling me he couldn’t pursue a relationship with me because he was still in love with his ex and “unsure of what he wanted”. I still had not learned that you NEVER chase or beg someone to stay. So I once again, tried to convince him to keep me in his life. That also didn’t end up panning out well. At the end of the day, people make their own decisions and we have to learn to respect when someone does not see the value in keeping you around. As crappy as that sounds.
You deserve space too .
Piggy backing off the last one, you deserve space too. When someone needs time to themselves, you also need it. This is prime reflection time! What tends to happen is when I allow myself that personal space, I often find that the things I thought I wanted, aren’t really what I wanted at all. That fresh set of eyes from a clear head space– game changer.
We all heal differently- that’s okay.
I know you want to find some comfort in the idea that they are also at home crying while reliving all the memories you two shared. However, that is not always the case. People heal in different ways and the process looks different. Some people choose to not deal with their pain at all and that is even scarier but, it’s again, their decision. You have to accept your reality by understanding that they may not endure the process of healing the way you think it should look. It may even hurt you. Let me remind you that how she or he reacts after a breakup… it is not a reflection of you. They may not be intentionally trying to hurt you (unless you cheated- then probably but that’s a blog for another day) so remind yourself to show grace, even when it doesn’t feel pleasant.
You aren’t responsible for anyone else’s happiness and no one else is responsible for your happiness.
This one is relatively self explanatory but I will take it a step further by saying that texting your ex shortly after a breakup to express your sadness, probably isn’t the most beneficial thing. You don’t want someone to feel obligated to keep you around. Your happiness is not their burden to carry. If you feel bursts of emotions, reach out to a friend, go for a walk or find a puppy to pet.
Trying to date someone else before you’re healed from former wounds will only lead to more people being hurt AND delay the process of your personal healing.
I am preaching to the choir when I write this one! Trust me, I have been there before and I have had moments recently where I thought maybe this would make me feel less sad… but it only makes things worse. Loneliness is brutal. We can jump online and find a date within minutes or whatever else you’re looking for to fill the void. But that won’t help. You will walk away from the exchange feeling even more sorrowful. It may not always be immediate, but it’ll catch up to you. It always does. Not only is that detrimental to your own growth and healing but it could also leave a scar on someone who was just taking a shot at life/love.
Don’t let one failed relationship dictate how you walk into the next.
As I mentioned earlier, I have some serious issues. I will say that this is one area I have really grown in the last two years. I have learned to separate former trauma and not project those anxieties onto people I am getting to know. The same rings true for romantic relationships.
You are enough.
We will never understand the fullness of another person’s mind or actions. There is only what we see and what we perceive. Unfortunately that means that sometimes people are going to treat you in a way that is not a reflection of who you truly are (and vice versa, to be honest). It is so important to understand that regardless if someone could see your value, you are still enough! You are still loved! You still have a purpose!
You aren’t meant to marry every person, so it’s really okay if someone is just not that interested in you.
I have learned to embrace the idea that you don’t get to marry every person you meet. That’s why when I meet someone new, I strive to be as genuine as possible. I accept that I am not for everyone, so why try to fit the mold to look like someone or something else? In the end, if someone is going to like you or not like you, it should at least be contingent on the fact that you were authentically you.
Just because you feel “Sure” about someone doesn’t mean that they will be yours forever.
I would be lying if I told you guys that I have accepted the fullness of this one. This one still stings when I think about it. I sit in front of my laptop, tears welting up because the wound is still healing and that’s okay. I will say that what gives me hope for today and tomorrow is the idea that God desires the very best for all of us. It does not mean I was too good or the other person was too good, it just means perhaps it wasn’t the best match. Maybe there is someone out there that can challenge and compliment his life in a way I couldn’t. What if there is someone out there who is passionate about the same causes that I am and we can travel the world for the advocacy of human trafficking? I have absolutely no idea! I just know that I am choosing to trust the process. I trust that things will work out for both him and I. Whatever that looks like and whoever that brings. I also have learned that prayer really does make the difference. It is really hard to be angry or bitter towards someone you are genuinely praying for.
In spite of your pain, there is still good that can come and there are still lessons to be learned.
In this heartache I have experienced, I have also learned so much about how far I have come as a person. I am no longer the girl who is scared of commitment but I am now the woman who has learned to take risks (within reason) for the sake of love, because one day, I will get it right. I have learned about the woman I want to grow into to be ready for when I actually meet someone one day. I have learned more about what I want to look for in a future spouse and what kind of non negotiables I will set.
Love is patient- there is no need to rush.
Take your time getting to know a person. Love is patient. When it is genuine, there is not a relationship timeline for when things need to happen. Pace yourself.
Starting over sucks- so don’t settle.
There is a lot of resources that go into starting and developing a relationship. It can be a lot of work and sometimes tedious, so make it count! Don’t just settle on the next pretty face you find but figure out what you value and what you desire for yourself and your future. It could very well save you some heartache down the road.
It might feel like the end of the world but it will get better in time.
Okay, so maybe right now is not the time to play the song you two would always sing in the car together. Maybe getting dressed up or going to the gym is more of a chore and you’d rather be crying in the shower? I don’t know. What I do know is that this part really sucks. Everything reminds you of that person. You keep checking your phone. You hear their name everywhere. You really just want to fill the void, I get it. So during this season I encourage you to pick up a hobby. Learn a new skill. Learn that language you told yourself you’d start studying. Launch that freaking non profit. Take up kickboxing. Go get some vocal lessons. Handle your business by dealing with your emotions but also put positive influences in there that’ll boost your serotonin levels.
There is your side, there is their side and somewhere in the middle is what actually happened.
I never understood this concept until I watched “The Marriage Story” on Netflix. In all conflict there is always more than meets the eye, especially in romantic relationships/ break ups. Sometimes what is perceived in the aftermath is what causes most of the animosity afterwards. One wrong text being misconstrued or unspoken expectations causes another to become bitter, etc. This is why prayer continues to come into effect. To help us forgive those who we feel have wronged us but also to have a shift in our hearts to see our less than perfect selves in the mirror.
It’s okay to be sad but do not let yourself become obsessed with the matter that you begin to wallow.
Seriously! This was major for me and I am so grateful for a sister and a couple special friends who weren’t afraid to call me out when I began to wallow. Wallowing is dangerous. This is a big reason why the hobby or skill is a very practical tool. I don’t believe that most people intentionally want to wallow but it does happen. So make sure you reach out.
Don’t let your healing be contingent on the idea that the other person will one day regret the split and try to have you back in their life.
This is a scary mentality to have when we are trying to also be at peace with what happened and move on. This is a false healing. The point of healing isn’t to learn to be okay without them until they come back. It is for you to learn to find and love yourself all over again- in a new way. The reality is that some people will never acknowledge the fact that they hurt you and that what they did may be considered wrong. They could be going on about their life happily while you’re there pining over them still with this glimmer of hope that MAYBE they will think of you and regret their decision.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to heal is to block or unfollow them, even if it’s for a season.
This is the part I hate. This is that tip of the iceberg. Once you click unfollow, you don’t get the constant updates on them. You can’t see who they follow or what they are up to on the daily. You are shutting yourself out completely. This is the scary part. The part that makes you feel rejected all over again. This is the part where you return to your life before they ever existed in yours.
But you need it. You deserve it. Your healing is so worth it.
You have come so far. You are no longer that little girl who is scared to love- who is scared to feel emotion. You have come so far. You are no longer that little girl who is rejected. Your King Jesus tells you just how lovely you are and what a treasure to Him you are. He chooses YOU! Over and over again! You have come so far. You are no longer that girl who self sabotages. You are now the woman who understands she is enough. You are the woman that understands she is worthy of the greatest pursuit. You are the woman who will not become bitter, but will choose to become better- because you dealt with yourself first.
In conclusion, I have commited the next six months to learn to love myself once more and learn to love these quiet moments of being alone, in complete singleness. I have chosen to be super honest about my journey with my inner circle and intentionally not suffer in silence. I have been consistently in devotion and prayer so that I leave no room for bitterness to creep up. I have reflected on my growth over the last few years and identified negative traits that still have to work through. I have taken time to consider the kind of person I will want to look for one day and who I want to become while I am running my own race. I recently picked up vocal lessons and a few other small projects to boost my morale. Some days are easier than others. Some days are so busy that I don’t even have the capacity to think of anything else. Then there are those days or nights where ALL the thoughts come flooding in. This is the joy in the journey and it is not always easy or comfortable but there is always good that can come in spite of pain. I am on my own road to healing and wholeness and I am so grateful for a community that walks this road with me.
There will be a day where I am ready. There will be a day where I meet someone who isn’t scared to love and I in turn will not be scared to love. There will be a day where I am healed and have learned to accept and move on. There will be a day for many things. There will be a day where I let myself be “sure” again– one day.
You know I want you
It’s not a secret I try to hide
But I can’t have you
We’re bound to break and my hands are tied