I am having a great time missing my ex.
No sane person would admit that, right? Missing somebody is horrible. It’s grueling. It’s a lonely, painstaking affair. It robs you of your happiness and sets you apart from what you want.
And yet so many of us seem to get stuck there.
Something ends, and we refuse to move on from it. We cry our tears out. We change our lifestyles. We make all of the necessary adjustments that are healthy and productive and strong after something so important ends and yet we cling to their memories still. We use them as an excuse to not try with anyone else. We use the pain of being not over someone as a reason to stop putting ourselves out there.
We get comfortable inside of missing people. We build homes there and defend them with the whole of our hearts.
When you’re choosing the pain of missing somebody, you are choosing your own form of pain. It’s self-inflicted. It’s within your control. You can make the conscious choice to miss them, so you do.
You reject potential romances because you can’t imagine re-creating intimacy. You hide yourself away because you tell yourself you still have pain to process. You use the not-being-over someone as an excuse to opt out of every situation that scares you. Because as long as you’re rejecting the world – and not vice versa – then you are still the one in control.
When it comes down to it, it’s just easier to miss someone who’s gone than it is to pin your hopes on something real. It’s easier to mourn someone than it is to take real chances. It’s easier to dwell on the heartbreak you have than to set yourself up for another. Starting over is a process that is inherently laden with risks, and they’re risks you don’t feel brave enough to take.
But at what point during this painstaking process do we make the choice to call ourselves out?
We can stay put where we are almost indefinitely – letting chances and trials and opportunities pass us by because we do not feel ready to start over. But some part of us must know that we’re only doing ourselves a disservice. We’re no longer heartbroken and bleeding. We’ve been on the mend for a while. And after a certain point, we’re simply protecting our hearts out of fear.
It’s never going to feel comfortable to put ourselves out there. It’s never going to feel natural to date someone new. There will always be an inherent, unavoidable risk that comes along with the decision to put ourselves back out there in a real way, but it’s one that we need to embrace if we ever want to stand a chance at moving forward.
Nothing bad ever happens inside the safety of the walls of our heart-ache homes, but nothing wonderful happens there either.
All of the best things – the brightest things, the most courageous and incredible and awe-inspiring things that have the power to move our lives forward – happen outside the walls we have built up.
And at a certain point, we all have to decide that we owe it to ourselves to tear them down. To step outside of those walls. To try again, even if we’re terrified to do so.
Because there is no future to be had inside the tired, beat-up remnants of the past.
But there’s a helluva future outside of them.
And as soon as we’re brave enough to face it, it’s ready for us.