This is about me. And this is about him. But it’s also about you.
It’s about how you’ve been talking to yourself. It’s about the lies you’ve been propagating and believing. This is about the weight we have on one another. This is about how words live longer than we do.
It’s about what you’ve been shouldering in silence or wrestling with openly. It’s about heartbreak because the timing’s off. Or when you’re too incomplete yourself to rescue someone else. It’s about loving someone who’s broken and needs time to heal, a healing you can’t initiate or speed up but that can and must only be divine.
Part of love is being let down. Nobody checks all the boxes or aces every relational test with flying colors.
He let me down.
I knew it would happen. I was okay with it happening. The aftershock of rejection still came in surprisingly strong waves. He warned me, waving the flag right in my face: “I’m not the best option for you right now.”
I should have known. Conveying the truth to your infatuated heart is the most devastating part. Because two months earlier you were writing in your journal about how he was “a piece of adventure lingering just outside your reach” and now he’s come close enough to kiss and you know clearly in your head that what you want and what’s right are two very different things.
How do you separate an inextricably woven heart and mind in order to make a decision you won’t regret?
In his song, “Curious”, Andy Mineo sings:
“Be careful who you make memories with. “
It’s true. Because forgetting is a fable. And memories never die. They just soften around the edges and stop drawing blood.
I didn’t have the privilege of closure.
The book’s lying there, open to the second to last page, and I’m still stuck at the cliffhanger.
I’m wading through two feet of emotion just to get ready in the morning. I’m struggling to stay sane, to not let his disregard define me as worthless. And I wish, desperately, that God would step in and pull me back into the boat. And as stupid as it is I wish he’d call me, wanting to hear my voice.
But God’s letting me feel this and the boy’s not calling.
It’s taken two months of silence.
It’s taken two months of wondering every day if anything would change and going to sleep knowing it wouldn’t.
Two months is way too long.
But slowly, surely, day by day…
I got over him.
It took a lot to get here.
It took unceasing, godly feedback and encouraging comments from friends. They told me: “You’re going to find someone who will absolutely ADORE you,” and simply “You’re worth more.”
It took being convicted about my long-term goals and being moved once more to pray for the man I may someday marry. Prayer is a vital aspect of thinking about commitment, and I too often write it off as cheesy. I thought compiling a list of characteristics I want in a husband was something a pining, weak, insecure woman does. No. Prayer and petition for a godly partner is a righteous decision of a strong woman. I need to make it happen.
It also took me realizing that social media isn’t real. Social media plagued me in an entirely new way these last few months, torturing me with its lies. It’s so odd, not hearing from someone but seeing them broadcast parts of themselves to the world. It’s as though they’re okay talking to everyone as a whole, just not you individually.
I’ve angrily asked God so many times why he made me this way. You know, sensitive. Romantic. Tender-hearted. Forever a victim of the whims of my emotion, completely powerless to forget about a guy who forgot about me. I’m always head-over-heels, singing every word along with Sam Smith on repeat. Most dangerously, I have a desperate desire to rescue.
When I realized my need to rescue, it all clicked as to why I held onto him so long: I wanted love, I remembered his words, and I wanted to rescue him. Hook, line, sinker.
When silence is reality, an outlet is necessary. Especially if you’re like me. So I wrote lots of poetry. About a poem/day. These poems are angry, infatuated, bewildered, bitter, amazed. I’m proud of these words. They are passionate and fierce and full of love. Many of them are about him and the ways I felt, but I wrote them for myself.
I also turned off secular music for 20 days. I put in only the explicitly upward. My go-to albums had too many songs that either dripped with infatuation (like I needed any more of that) or basically said “I hate you you loser, I’m better than your %&*#”, neither of which I needed in my heart. Music has a powerful influence on me.
Now I’m listening to Taylor Swift and Beyonce and music that makes me feel like I want to: strong. It gives me confidence to listen to strong women who know their worth and don’t compromise, but also admit to human weakness and personal failings. Especially when it comes to love.
Not long ago read this incredible book about singleness called “It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single by Sara Eckel. There’s a quote in it I’ll never forget:
“Gradually, I learned to live with the original hurt: simple loneliness. I learned to say “I feel lonely right now. That’s okay. Everyone feels lonely sometimes.” I started to regard the clench in my chest for what it was: a neutral sensation that passed, just something that happens to people, like the flu…
Now, sitting at home and feeling pain is, admittedly, not the Saturday night anyone would choose. And of course it did nothing to solve the logistical problem of my isolation. The phone didn’t suddenly ring with a stunning invitation or news that the guy I was pining for had asked for my email…But when I stopped feeding the fire – ‘Why didn’t he call?’ ‘Why am I such a loser’ – it very slowly sputtered out.”
If we were really desperate, we’d be always on the hunt for the next warm body to call home. That’s not us. We’re making waves and hustling hard. We’re dressing up, meeting people, and getting opportunities.
Let me correct a stigma I’ve believed for too long: wanting a serious relationship is NOT a sinful desire. It isn’t evil or bad to want romantic love. For years I’ve seen it as a “satisfaction” or “contentment” problem if I felt lonely. Sure, it’s easy to idolize romantic love. I know. I DO IT ALL THE TIME. But the “Jesus is my boyfriend” mentality is pathetically empty. Loneliness is NOT a spiritual deficiency.
It’s okay to want love. It’s okay to mourn love. It’s okay to feel sad when love goes sour.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that every phase of loving someone and losing them: the infatuation, the loneliness, the heartbreak, the disappointment…it all means something. It’s beautiful. And it’s all yours. Own it.
When you love someone, don’t stop loving them because everyone’s telling you to. Spend some time with yourself and with the Lord, puzzling through everything. Work on separating your heart and your head. Then make a decision with your head.
And when you do make a decision, to date that boy or not to, don’t set aside the moments of intense hurt you felt. Remember them and vow not to feel them again, because you’re willing to wait.
You don’t actually HAVE to compromise when it comes to finding a quality person to date. You know that, right? You just have to learn to say no when it’s hard and all you want is to do is hold a cute boy’s hand. Patience is hard, but that’s kind of the point.
Tears shed in the late night, the aching burn of being alone…this is the currency of worthwhile waiting. That’s what I learned this time around.
What’s always been a comfort to me is knowing that the Author of my story is perfect and His storytelling is sublime. He makes no mistakes; He never writes a bad ending. He sees you those nights when you’re curled up in a ball in your bed, feeling nothing and everything at the same time. He knows the pain of rejection and the sting of being ignored. There’s an immense comfort in being understood. And you know what?
It took all these things and countless more, but I finally did it.
I got over him.
Because you never really “get over”. You just move on.
You fall in love with yourself.
And you know, falling in love with yourself, and with your life…it’s pretty incredible.
Because you realize that you matter. And you have a lot to offer.
That realization alone makes all the things I’ve felt these last two months completely worth it.