It isn’t hard to fall in love with someone and start to compartmentalize your life around them. It’s not hard at all; it’s actually effortless, unconscious and really emotionally convenient. You start to divide yourself into pieces — things you like about yourself, things you don’t, things you want to change, things you want to be, things you want to avoid, etc — and you use that person as a glue; a kind of synapse that allows each piece to coexist and interact with each other independently and without interference. You use that person to link parts of you that are only disjointed because you disconnected them. You were whole on your own, but you broke yourself so that they could hold you together and fill the gaps. You stay with them because you’re terrified of falling apart once you come unglued and those synapses stop firing.
We put too much weight on our relationships. It’s not a bad thing to want someone. You should be able to lean on them for support and feel stronger when you’re with them. The problems start when you use that person as a foundation to build yourself on. They shouldn’t be responsible for supporting all of your weight. You shouldn’t prop yourself so precariously on another person so that any movement on their part shakes your world and threatens to bring it crashing down.
Too many women stay in relationships that aren’t nourishing, positive or constructive because they think they have to. We don’t always trust our ability to be happy and content on our own. Though our need to be self-sufficient is easily understood theoretically, it becomes a little abstruse when you’re in the thick of things.
You can’t remember how you were happy before him. You’re sure you never cared this much for someone, and everything before them is unclear. Who did you used to talk to before you could roll over at 3 am and ramble to a semiconscious boy about all of the things keeping you awake? What did you used to do with your time before late night dinners, Netflix sessions, and random weekend trips became tradition? How did you do anything with ease, when everything with them feels instinctual and routine?
Falling in love with a boy is easy. Falling in love with yourself is much harder. It’s easy to pass the responsibility of your happiness off on another person, and it gives you someone to blame if things don’t go according to plan. No matter how badly you want someone, no matter how high you think the stakes are or how deep you’re in, you can always walk away.
It may feel like everything is ruined, but it’s not. You’ll move on. You’ll love someone else and wonder how you were ever happy before him. You should fall in love naively and often. The best kinds of love make you feel like you can’t breathe. I hope you find someone who you want so badly that you feel you’re drowning. It’s okay to feel deeply. Just know that when it passes, you’ll be fine.