Potential relationships seem harmless, but they’re like poison in your life: killing you slowly without you noticing it.
I’m sure you’ve been there: it’s a situationship that ended too early.
You meet someone and let your guard down. You start creating feelings, and they give you all the signs that they like you back. You make plans and meet multiple times per week. You finally feel like the endless search is over.
Until suddenly: nothing.
They leave with no explanation. You’re left to wonder what went wrong. What’s worse: you wonder if you lived a lie. How could you be so wrong? It even makes you question your perception of reality.
It hurts like a b*tch to lose real love. But the potential relationship is even more brutal.
Here’s why (and what you can do about it):
1. You need a clear (and brutal) closure.
When you’re in a relationship, there’s something concrete to end. You made a commitment, so the least you have to do is end it. I can’t lie: even the nicest breakups hurt. You won’t like the ending, but you’ll get one.
But how can you end something that never existed?
Your situationship ended before it became something official. So it ends abruptly, with no explanation. It’s like a ghost disappearing. That’s what makes it so cruel.
The lack of closure stops you from moving on.
You can’t move on because they left you with this empty feeling, like there’s something missing (because there is). You don’t know when or why it ended. You just know it ended.
There’s only one way out of this: create your own closure.
You don’t depend on others to move on. You have the power to do it yourself and in the way that you think is best.
Here are a few ideas:
- Unfollow them on all social media.
- Write a breakup letter and burn it.
- Role play: ask for a friend to pretend to be your (almost) partner and say everything that’s stuck inside you.
It won’t give you the answers you want. But it’ll give you closure, and that’s the first step to moving on.
2. You need to punch rejection back in the face.
You’ll hear all types of reasons not to start a relationship (and they all sound legit): “I’m not ready,” “I want to focus on my career,” “I can’t give you what you deserve.” But ultimately, there’s only one reason not to start a relationship.
You’re not in a relationship because they don’t like you enough.
When someone truly likes you, they’ll never risk losing you. That’s why when someone says, “I’m not ready for a relationship,” they truly mean, “I’m not ready for a relationship with you.”
The potential relationship is a direct hit to your ego.
But here’s the mindset that will help you heal: when someone rejects you, it says nothing about you. It doesn’t mean you’re ugly, uninteresting, or even unloveable.
It just means you just weren’t a good match for that person.
Think of all the people you don’t want to date. That includes your friends and coworkers. Do you think they’re bad people? Certainly not. They’re great people.
Rejection is like a punch in your face.
But when you realize it’s about the match, you can focus on yourself. You can do things you like, learn new skills, and have the confidence to move on to your next love story. That’s how you heal.
3. You need to destroy your perfect love story.
Your situationship is insanely dangerous because it becomes your perfect love story.
Before you call me crazy, let me explain. Since it never happened, you’re free to fantasize about it. Even when it’s over, you spend hours (if not days) fantasizing about what it could’ve been. You fantasize about your dates, your apartment, and even your children. And guess what?
Your fantasy is perfect for you.
Your situationship is perfect because you designed it this way, like a writer creating the perfect love story. It fits like a glove. Real relationships can never compete with that.
How can you move on from a perfect relationship?
Here’s how: you focus on reality. Think back on what that person meant to you. I mean the real person, not the one in your fantasy. Even if they were perfect, they have major flaws. Let me open your eyes.
They left with no explanation. They didn’t choose you.
That’s kind of cruel when you think about it. When you leave without a word, you avoid responsibility for your relationships. Now, not choosing you isn’t a flaw. But it’s a clear sign they don’t like you.
And, in your perfect (and real) love story, you need a person who loves you.
Situationships are powerful because they feel like a real relationship, but they’re not. You hurt even more because it’s a rejection without even trying.
But you deserve more.
You don’t deserve to suffer for an imaginary relationship. You don’t deserve to love someone who doesn’t love you back. You deserve someone who is there for you and chooses you again and again.
So don’t spend any time (or tears). Every minute you spend in the wrong relationship is a minute you don’t spend looking for the right one.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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