I’ve been through it so many times: spent so much time and energy in another human being that when it’s over and done, I simply can’t imagine life without them. The person I was before them, whoever that was, has vanished… replaced by a person who looks like me, and sounds like me, but is virtually incapable of existing without a person I didn’t even know two years ago.
Why is that?
I’ve spent a lot of time pondering this question and have settled on a theory that I am fairly comfortable with:
We do not know who we are alone, so when we are with another, we change, sometimes imperceptibly, whether it is to please them or just to fulfill some unconscious need. When the relationship is over, we have no tether to our original self since we had no clear understanding of who or what that self was, so we are forced to remain in our changed state, agonizing over the loss of the thing that had created us.
Imagine how much easier the progression of a relationship would be if you knew, unequivocally, who you are.
1.) You would be able to exist easier at the end because you would not only remember your original self who was completely fine without them, but you would have been so secure with that self, that you would not have drastically changed over the course of the relationship. Instead of mourning the end of the relationship, you could celebrate the things you gained from it.
2.) You would be able to spot irreparable problems in the relationship early on, because you would understand what you are realistically looking for, and you would be able to decide if the “juice is worth the squeeze.” (A ‘The Girl Next Door’ reference). Do you want to work on the problems, or are they just so far from what you truly want that you should just move on?
3.) When the end of the relationship rolls around, it won’t be a surprise. The conclusion will have come to you inevitably and it won’t be with sadness that you let each other go, but with a solid understanding of why it didn’t work out, and how to change things for future relationships. A person who is secure in themself knows when something isn’t right and doesn’t try to cling to it out of fear for the future.
Find out who you are, first, and then the kind of person you want to be with. Make sure that the person you are is the kind of person that the person you want, would want.