You’re gasping for air in-between each sob and your eyes are swollen and stinging. When you’ve finally gained control of yourself, you feel this empty pit deep somewhere inside you. You’re not quite sure if it’s your heart or your stomach. Your head hurts and your ears are ringing from the silence that now follows your panic attack. You just experienced your first true heartbreak and now you really understand the word: heartbreak.
It was a foreign concept you heard about from the movies, or maybe friends, but now you know first hand the true meaning. You’re broken and you can’t picture ever being whole again. Days seem endless when you can’t eat and can’t sleep. All you’re left with is thoughts of what happened and where it all went wrong. You can see people growing tired of your desolation, but you don’t know how to save yourself from it. Your entire world was destroyed and you have no control over what happened to you.
Some time passes and you’ve slowly started to feel like yourself again. You’re not just making it through the day, you’re starting to enjoy it. You find yourself laughing again and your smile doesn’t hurt anymore because it’s no longer forced. After endless months of pressure by your girlfriends, you decide to download a dating app, because how else do you meet anyone nowadays? You’ve been avoiding this moment but now you’re hooked…this swiping thing is actually kind of fun! And some of these guys are pretty cu—…oh God, is that a penis? That’s definitely a penis. Alright, left swipe. Thank goodness, back to the hotties. Hey! It’s a match! Alright, hmmm, what to say?
“How’s your night going?”
“It’d be better if you sent me some pics ;-)”
Uhmm. Alright, unmatch.
Oh, a new message! Aww, he thinks my dog is cute. And we’ve got three mutual friends! He loves to play tennis, too.
So you set up a date with tennis guy. You two go to grab drinks after work one night and drinks turn into dinner. You share stories about college and discuss your family lives. You come to find out you both are huge Harry Potter nerds. He’s managed to keep you laughing and smiling throughout the night and after he grabs the check and pays for dinner, he walks you to your car and gives you a kiss goodnight that puts butterflies in your stomach for the entire ride home.
He texts you that he had a nice time and you text him thanking him, again, for dinner and great conversation. The next day, you keep your phone on you looking forward to hearing from him again. Nothing. Maybe he’s playing the two day rule? So the next day you keep your phone at a distance, promising you’ll only check it after work. 5PM rolls around and you get slightly anxious picking up your phone…nothing. And nothing the day after that either. Congratulations, you’ve officially joined the wold of 21st century dating and you’ve had your first “ghosting” experience.
No one can tell you why, exactly, you won’t hear from him again. Maybe he’s a great liar and didn’t actually have a good time. Maybe he was rebounding from his ex and wasn’t ready to date after all. Maybe he thought you two were going to sleep together and didn’t want to waste his time when you didn’t. Regardless, you’re never hearing from him again. So back to the drawing board.
Jump ahead two and a half years where you’ve accumulated an incredibly long list of guys you’ve dated and have now grown cold and bitter to the dating world. You’ve not only been the ghostee, but you’ve played the role of “ghoster” a few times, as well (something you’re not proud of admitting). You’ve been catfished and you’ve been lied to. You’ve had a couple of guys that you dated for a month or so but inevitably didn’t see long term potential with. You now have first dates down to a science but rarely agree to a second because at this point, you know exactly what you’re looking for because you’ve found everything you definitely do not want.
You haven’t had a serious relationship since your heart got broken and you’re starting to wonder if you ever will. Why is this so hard? Every time you get screwed over by another guy, you call it quits for the dating game. But you’ll always end up right back in it, because who wants to be alone? You have to play the game to win…sometimes it just feels like the game is rigged against you.
You’re a good person. You’re a kind, caring woman with a good job and great ambitions. You are a good conversationalist and you’re intelligent. You’re independent and always give more than you take. You are loyal to the people you love and you’re forever trying to help those who need you. So why are you still alone?
I can’t answer that. I wish I could because then maybe I could figure it out for myself. But I can say this: Don’t give up hope. Don’t ever compromise yourself for a man because you’re incredible the way you are. Sometimes people are in the right place at the right time and sometimes they’re just not. And this is okay.
We’ve been in the wrong places at the wrong time for love. The cards haven’t been in our favor.
But when a man isn’t there to fill that place in our heart that needs companionship, we find others to fill it for us. Look to the friends that have been there for you through the tough times and the family members that have built you up. Look back on the moments of laughter and love with the people you DO have in your life. Be thankful for the opportunity to grow with those individuals and don’t ever forget them because they helped you to be full in spirit all on your own. So one day when you are in the right place at the right time and the cards are in your favor, you can feel confident in the words of Rupi Kaur:
“i do not want to have you
to fill the empty part of me
i want to be full on my own
i want to be so complete
i could light a whole city
i want to have you
cause the two of us combined
could set it on fire”