He said, “I need a break.”
He said, “I need time to think.”
He said, “I just need time for me.”
He said, “It’s not you; it’s me.”
And so the little flame of hope has its spark – and it burns, and it burns, and it burns, and it burns.
Maybe this isn’t ‘the end of your relationship – perhaps you can make it work. Perhaps it’s not over.
He says, “I’ll call you.”
He says, “I’ll text you.”
And you hang on to the hope that he’s telling the truth. You hold it close in the palm of your hands. That promise holds your picture of forever. That promise holds your tomorrow. That promise is what is keeping you together.
You sit, and you wait.
Your phone buzzes and your stomach does a flip.
You think it could be him – but it’s not.
It never is.
You tell yourself he just needs a break.
You tell yourself he just needs time to think.
You tell yourself he just needs time to find himself, alone time, solo time, quality time.
You tell yourself he didn’t say, “I don’t love you anymore” – so he still must.
So you keep waiting.
You keep sitting.
You keep looking at the phone.
And then you see from Facebook or Instagram that he’s not alone, he’s not alone at all. He’s out on the town, with your old friends and some new faces, too. He’s smiling in the photographs, and he’s laughing in the videos. He’s spending time with other people, and it’s clear that he’s enjoying himself.
You tell yourself he’ll call tomorrow.
That he took the time he needed, and now he’s back to being himself, and you two can go back to being together.
But he doesn’t call.
The thing is, he’s not going to call.
And you have to stop lying to yourself, and pretending like he’s going to come back because he’s not.
And your life is too short and too precious to spend waiting for the phone to ring or buzz. You deserve more than that – you deserve a love that’s bigger than that.
He’s not going back.
Say it to yourself, aloud. Repeat it as many times as you need to hear it.
He’s not going to come back – and it will be ok.
It will be ok because this was not the love that was meant to last for forever. The love that you shared was not the love that was going to be there for the good times and bad, for the successes and struggles. It was not the love that was going to dance with you until the sun comes up and hold your hand when you’re sad.
This was not that love.
This was a love that taught you about what you need, about what you want, and about what you should be giving and expecting from your relationship.
This was a relationship that taught you.
And that teaching, if you listen to it, if you learn from it, if you embrace it, will bring you one step closer to where you’re supposed to be.