You know that feeling when you want to be with someone and they don’t want to be with you back? And you can’t possibly imagine how that can be. Like, how can it be that I think you are so perfect for me and you just don’t feel the same way? You say, “we’re perfect together…why can’t you see that?” And you sit there and think and think about all the ways it’s such a perfect union. We have common interests. We have the same values. Everyone agrees that we make a great couple. We like to do the same things and when we’re together, it’s electric. And we have a lot of fun. (“Remember that one time when we did that one thing that was super awesome?!”) You are the sun and the moon and the stars, etc etc. And you imagine the day when he’ll just realize that you were his dream girl all along. And then it’s happy ever after (and you can finally have that wedding you have been dreaming about).
And then you see him with another girl. And it breaks your heart. And you feel bad about yourself and decide that you are going to be alone forever. That this is the ONLY person that would ever make you feel the way you felt. Your one true love is now in the arms of another. Game over. Devastation.
I’ve been thinking about love today. Like I do, all the time. And came upon this question in my head. If you think that someone is perfect for you, and they don’t seem to agree that you are perfect for them, what does that mean? Where does that leave you? How is it possible that you can be wrong?
I’ve been reading “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” which should be called “The Seven Things Every Person Needs to Know About Life, Period,” and although it wasn’t talking directly about love, it speaks to it wonderfully.
One of the chapters is all about choice. That no matter what we think, we have a choice about every single thing in our lives. I may not choose for someone I like to not like me back, but I have a choice in how I feel about it. I can either choose to let it ruin my day, or choose not to let it ruin my day.
And I know what you’re thinking.
That this is bullshit because we feel how we feel and we can’t help it. That it’s not up to us how we feel.
And I used to be of that school of thought. That something happens and I react. I feel a certain way. And that’s true. You may not be able to choose what initial reaction shows up, but you can choose how to feel about that initial reaction. The book notes that it’s important to differentiate between what you’re reacting to. When we react to something, we aren’t reacting to the person, but rather to our feelings about that person. And our attachment to our feelings get us in trouble, every time.
I don’t actually know the answer to how it can be that we want someone that doesn’t want us back. But I can postulate. And in that…this is what I’ve come up with:
1) Love is about a mutual choice to be with someone. If it’s not mutual, i.e. they don’t want to be with you, it’s not meant to be. Period.
2) People tend to want what they can’t have, so perhaps, this person isn’t actually “perfect” for you after all, but rather you get to make up the story that they are simply because you can’t be with them. You imagine this perfection, in your head. And that’s not real.
3) True love shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself. If you feel that way, it’s not a good fit.
I’ve been on both sides of this spectrum, and when I’m on the side of “I don’t like you back” I’ve just always felt like it just wasn’t the right fit. The guy could be the most amazing guy on the planet, but it just didn’t feel right to me. He didn’t do anything wrong. He’s awesome. Just not for me. Sometimes things don’t make sense. We can’t rationalize the WHY’s of the love world. Be we do have choice.
So my only answer to why someone you love doesn’t love you back is that that is the Universe’s way of protecting you from the wrong fit. It’s just not right for you. That relationship ultimately wouldn’t make you happy and feel fulfilled. And you can’t make it be right. And you didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t make a mistake. Love finds its way to us. And we never know when or how it’s going to show up. But choose to be open to that. And then choose to feel differently about whoever is pulling on your heartstrings.
And here’s an exercise. Anytime you feel all bummy about love, or feel that kick in your gut when you stumble upon a pic of your ex with a new girl, go outside and take a walk and BE PRESENT to what’s around you. I’m serious. Be there, in that moment, on that walk. See the skyline. And the trees. And feel the ground beneath you. Breath in the air. Be grateful for what you have, right here and right now. So much suffering happens when we’re living in the past (memories of how amazing it was with your ex, or the visual of that pesky pic of him and that new girl) and the future (imagining that you guys will get back together and have a million babies), but real truth lies in the present moment. So go for a walk. Get present. And accept that everything is as it should be.
You are not alone. And you’re not doomed to be a lonely old lady with cats. What you want, wants you, ultimately, and everyone else in between is just practice.
And all this reminded me of the song “Achy Breaky Heart” so Natalie and I took the liberty to learn the line dance for you. Enjoy.