We received a message from someone in our following over the weekend that got us talking. This person was truly suffering when she reached out to us because after two months, someone that she had fallen head-over-heels in Love with decided to go back to their Ex with no warning and then blocked and ghosted her altogether.
She was crushed (as anyone would be) and was asking us if there was anything she could do to salvage the relationship. I don't think she liked our answer which was to recognize that this is not a relationship worth salvaging, that this person clearly didn't care about her the way she wanted him to.
Even if she could salvage the relationship, it would ultimately end up hurting more and she should focus on re-building her self-esteem and learning to expect more from relationships.
Perhaps what most stood out to us about this woman's situation was how unprepared she was going into the relationship. And since we get requests like this all of the time (and have done all the same things ourselves in the past) we know that she's not the only one.
We know the feeling of falling in Love very well. Especially when you are lonely, the promise that someone could permanently take that away is something that anyone would want to believe in. Generally speaking, life is challenging, at times depressing, and can even be terrifying, so when someone tells you that they love you and will always be there for you (as he did in the instance we've been talking about) of course you will want to believe them.
And of course, when all of that is suddenly ripped away, you'll want to believe that there is a way to get it all back.
Here's the big problem: When the false illusions you had about the relationship become shattered and rather than facing up to that fact, you start to question yourself with things like:
Did I do something wrong?
Maybe I should change?
Maybe I'm too much?
Maybe there's something wrong with me?
When you start asking questions like these, you're setting yourself up to exchange your self-esteem, dignity, and confidence for a relationship with this person. This is the beginning of a highly toxic relationship.
All too often, we end up in situations like this not recognizing until way too late how far down the rabbit hole we've gone, and how much we've lost in the process. Usually, only when the pain of losing yourself becomes greater than the pain of losing that person is when you'll finally recognize what has happened.
So much of this will be prevented when you become absolutely clear about a few things before you consider starting a new relationship. In this post, we're discussing 3 specific things that you should know before going into it.
#1 Just because it feels good, doesn't mean it's Love
One of the less popular (but most important) conversations we have with people who are experiencing the disillusionment of a new relationship is: It's not that you're in Love with them, it's that you're in Love with the way they made you feel.
To really discuss "what Love is" is outside the scope of this post but we will say what it's not--It's not the feeling that you have for someone after a couple of months of dating. Early on when you say "I Love you," what you usually mean is that "I Love the way I feel when I'm with you."
This one confusion is causing most of the problems you have in new relationships. We assume that what we are experiencing is Love and that therefore this relationship is somehow "special." The idea that you have something special with that person makes you cling to that person, and you forget that these experiences can be created with many people.
A meaningful relationship is not the electricity that you have when you first meet someone. It is something that you build with someone over time.
As soon as you begin to think that what you have with this person is something "special," you place yourself in a position of needing that person for you to be fulfilled, happy, and connected. They now have your power and all they have to do is withdraw a little bit of their "love" to ignite that craving inside you. The wrong person can and will manipulate that power.
When you understand that these experiences are not something special that comes from a specific person but rather the universal experience that comes when two human beings share a connection, and you also understand that there are millions of people you can potentially create those experiences with, you free yourself of the need to cling to any one person. Now you are actually free TO LOVE.