When Love Outlasts The People Who Couldn’t Stay

When we love someone, I don’t think it’s the kind of thing that ever entirely goes away even when that person does. It would be a beautiful thing to see love reciprocated every time. To know the person, we feel something so deeply for will always feel the same way for us. But it isn’t always the case. Sometimes love beats us to the relationship before someone else gets there; sometimes, the other person can’t get there themselves for their own reasons. Sometimes it takes someone loving and caring for us to realize we are not where we need to be ourselves. And sometimes we fall into relationships with the wrong people even when they have the right intentions. Sometimes goodbye leaves us with all these feelings for another person, and it never truly goes away.

Maybe it subsides within us as we begin to navigate our life without them. Maybe new love enters our lives and our hearts, and this person can love us back the way someone else wasn’t able to. Maybe we move on the best we can even if it didn’t make sense and we didn’t deserve pain. No matter how endings found their way to us and why we love someone, they stay in our heart, and that’s okay.

It’s okay to still feel something deeply for someone of the past, even if you’ve healed. It’s okay if hearing their name still makes your heart race. It’s okay if you still sometimes long for what was while still living in this moment right now of what is. We all do that sometimes. The heart has no limit for the people it welcomes; there’s no max capacity for who resides there, there’s no rule that says you can only love the person you’re with right now. New people enter our lives and earn the love within our hearts, not to replace anyone from the past; they are there to add to the experiences you’ve already has. They are there to show us the love right now isn’t there to make you forget what was but make you value what is.

People are programmed to wonder what could have been, and it’s normal. It’s normal to see something and think of them. It’s normal to miss them sometimes. It’s normal to go somewhere or see something, and it’s them you see there. Because each relationship and each person you ever loved brought something different out of you, no one else could. Each relationship and each person you’ve ever loved taught you something. Each relationship and each person had with them memories that will stay with you even as you create something new with someone else. And you’re allowed to miss moments and memories and people but still love the person you’re with right now and do it fully.

Sometimes temporary people take up permanent places in our hearts, and it shouldn’t be our goal to forget them but rather look back at something, and someone beautiful whose memory lasts longer than they were able to. Sometimes temporary people teach us permanent lessons about what we want and need in a partner moving forward. Sometimes temporary people are the ones we need most at that moment. So if there’s someone you still have so much love for even after all this time, it doesn’t mean you’re not over it, it just shows you how real it must have been, and love like that takes courage.

About the author
Kirsten is the author of But Before You Leave, a book of poetry about the experiences we struggle to put into words. Follow Kirsten on Instagram or read more articles from Kirsten on Thought Catalog.

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