We humans have the pernicious habit of associating love with proximity. If you love someone, they have to be held closely and under no circumstance should they be let go. To us, loving means giving it our all. It means investing our time, energy, and resources into that person.
And sure, loving someone oftentimes means just that. When you love someone, you prioritize them. They become a major recipient of your devotion.
But in life, there will come a time where we come across people who are only meant to be loved from a distance. I know this may seem contrary to popular belief – contrary to your belief. You assume that you know what love means, that if you love someone, you can’t possibly want to let them go.
You want to fight, hold on, and desperately cling to a love that is inadvertently destroying you.
You believe that loving someone means that you stick by their side no matter what. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be ‘true’ love.
But I am here to tell you that loving someone sometimes means that you need to love them from a distance.
How do you love someone and still walk away, you may be wondering? Well, by being honest with yourself. Utterly, wholeheartedly honest. You acknowledge that this person made a profound impact on your life.
That there may have been a time where no words would have adequately expressed how much this person truly meant to you.
You admit that loving them was incredibly invigorating and intoxicating to the point that you didn’t know how to do anything BUT love them.
You come to terms with the fact that loving that person has been a tremendous roller coaster of ups and downs, and despite perhaps being a fan of roller coasters in real life, your relationship should not be one.
You learn to love someone from a distance when you realize that their presence no longer brings you peace but perdition.
You love this person from a distance by confessing to yourself that the wounds they’ve caused are far, far deeper than you’d like to admit. They are craters, and the little bit of love that this person gives you couldn’t possibly make up for all the damage that you’ve sustained because of them.
Be honest with yourself. Yes, you love them, but the question is: Do you love yourself? Remember, you love someone and still walk away from them by being honest with yourself.
You learn to walk away when you no longer can forgive all the mistakes and forget about all the neglect.
When you find yourself at that point in your life where you no longer can tolerate someone, you need to walk away before you self-destruct.
You can love yourself and love the wrong person from a distance at the same time.
But you cannot love yourself while simultaneously loving the wrong person.
Learn to walk away from someone who doesn’t add value to your life and brings you more pain than purpose. Yes, loving someone from a distance is hard, but it is profoundly easier than loving someone up close who cannot love you back the way you need to be loved.
True love is not confined by distance or interaction. But it is based on the premise that the person receiving your love treats you with respect, honesty, and devotion.
And if someone is unable or unwilling to do just that, then it’s best to love them from afar.
Now, that doesn’t mean that we forget about all the good that they’ve done for us. Nor does it diminish the time that person has shared with us. But it does mean that it is up to us to learn to love them from a distance.
It is our responsibility to walk away, to say, “I love you, but I cannot be with you because you are hurting me more than you’re helping me.”
It is up to us to prevent our own demise. Up to us to come to terms with the fact that our minds long for peace more than our hearts long for that other person.
Indeed, we must love the wrong people from a distance. That doesn’t necessarily make them bad, it simply makes them not right for us.