If you feel haunted by the loss of a relationship, you are not upset because someone is no longer in your life. You are mourning one idea you had about what your future would look like, and what it means about you that one person you saw in it is no longer there.
The idea that you can “lose” a relationship comes from the idea that you can also “win” a relationship when you’re good enough and smart enough and pretty enough and more enough than everyone else who could possibly be a potential partner to the person who chose you.
… And that is not how life works.
You do not lose relationships, you outgrow them. There’s no code that says every person you come across is destined to stay in your life forever and ever. In fact, very, very few people will stay with you throughout the duration of your time here.
This is not because you are too flawed to love. This is not because every relationship you have is destined to ultimately break down.
This is because, over the course of your life, you will grow. You will change.
You will be different. Relationships will come into your life and they will run their course and they will change you in some important way and then they will pass.
Relationships are not safeguards against loneliness. You can’t whittle yourself down to being as nice and accepting and likable as possible in order to ensure that as many people as possible won’t leave you. Relationships come and go, that is what they are designed to do.
Sometimes they leave quickly. Sometimes they leave with a sting. Sometimes they fade, and sometimes you’re blindsided by their exit. Sometimes you don’t even realize what’s happening until it’s too late. Sometimes you see the warning signs and dodge a bullet. Sometimes you try to hold on and realize there’s nothing left to salvage. Sometimes you choose. Sometimes you don’t.
And yet, no matter what, if a relationship leaves your life, there is a reason it has left. There is some part of it you have outgrown, or are no longer benefiting from.
Sometimes you are at fault. Sometimes you are not. Reviewing what happened and taking responsibility for the former is an important part of the healing and growing process.
… But being in pain over every relationship that you no longer have in your life is a waste of your time, and comes from the false belief that if you were good enough, absolutely everybody would stay.
And they wouldn’t.
Relationships end when they are meant to end. They are over when they need to be over.
You come into this world alone, and you leave this world alone. Those you meet along the way, however temporarily they remain, are only here to guide you to be more at peace with yourself.
Whatever feelings someone’s absence in your life triggers within you is not their problem to resolve. It is yours. It is a hole that you are trying to fill with another person who does not want to play that role in your life, which means that you have no business placing them there, demanding they stay, and blaming them if they don’t.
Sometimes, the way that people leave is the lesson itself.
Sometimes, their absence is the experience you need to have in order to reclaim the power in your life.
Sometimes, realizing how you are being selfish and unaware is the greatest gift that someone else can give you, and it will only come when you get the rude awakening you need.
What is no longer a part of your life is no longer a need in your life… even if you can’t quite see over the horizon yet.
You are not meant for the people who leave you, you are not always at fault for the people who have left, and you are not broken for those who have faded into the distance. Embracing the ebb and flow of life, and the impermanence of it all is the way you will learn to love people when you have them and be grateful for them when you don’t.