The Real Reason It Hurts When People Leave

God & Man

I keep asking myself why people leave? I keep wondering what could have possibly happened that changed their minds overnight? I keep wondering how someone can make you feel like you’re everything they ever wanted one day and then wake up and decide not to talk to you anymore.

I have always associated people leaving with heartbreak. We’re sad when people leave because we wanted them to stay, we wanted a love story, we were looking forward to an exciting journey with them and happy that we’ve finally found someone to share our insane life with.

But then I realized sometimes it hurts when people leave even if you never really dated them, even if you weren’t really in a relationship and calling that heartbreak is unfair and slightly delusional. But sometimes it hurts just as much as heartbreak. Sometimes the pain is just as deep as the pain you felt when a real relationship ended.

And I’ve come to realize that the reason why it all hurts just the same is because when people leave, we inevitably question ourselves. We have to ask questions we’ve been avoiding to ask. We have to look inside and divulge our deepest fears and secrets to figure out what went wrong.

The reason why it hurts so much is because it brings your insecurities and your fears back to life. It forces you to take a closer look and examine every flaw and every imperfection.

It means that we have to be brave enough to unravel the harsh truth that we need to fill whatever void we have with ourselves instead of looking for strangers, exes or almost lovers to fill that void.

And people would do anything to fill that void, they would do anything to avoid facing their demons, they would do anything for reassurance, they would do anything to safeguard their hearts. They want to maintain their balance and the easiest way to shake their balance is to make them feel like they lack something, to make them feel like they’re not good enough, to make them feel like someone else has something better to offer. And the easiest way to do that is by leaving them before they’re ready without any explanation, without closure and without a reason they could understand.

In all honesty, we don’t always miss the people who leave, we probably weren’t even in love with them, we just liked the fact that they silenced our noise, they made us forget about our insecurities for a little while, they made us feel wanted and important. They made us feel like we can be loved.

And once they take that away, we’re forced to face whatever we left behind before they came into our lives. We’re forced to fix the broken pieces that we thought their presence in our lives could fix.

But when people leave they teach you a very important lesson: only you can fill your void, only you can fix yourself and only you can truly love yourself forever. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.


Writing makes me feel alive. Words heal me.

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