Millions of people search the internet for answers on exactly why they got dumped. There is no lack of content explaining why a man (or a woman) is “just not that into you” or “ what ‘not looking for anything serious’ really means.” When someone cuts the chord on you, regardless of whether it blindsided you or you could see it coming from a mile away, it hurts—a lot. The pain of knowing that you will never see, nor hear from that person you cared about sucks, and we (or at least I) search for ways to understand what happened—as if knowing the reason why it happened will reduce the heartache.
Truth is, it doesn’t. Whether the reason is he really figured out he wasn’t ready for a relationship, he just met someone else or he just isn’t into you anymore, the outcome of it is still the same; he or she doesn’t want to be with you. And while it hurts, the truth is, it doesn’t make them a bad person (no matter what your group of amazing and supportive friends say).
I am 33 years old and I have been single for nearly 5 years now. I’ll admit that a good bulk of those dating years have been spent working through my own dating fears about rejection and other baggage collected throughout this lifelong journey. I was very pessimistic about dating, skeptical of almost everyone, and likely didn’t give a lot of very good people a chance. Then one day, I met a guy online that I remembered from college. We didn’t travel in the same circle of friends, but I remembered his name and that he was cute. I honestly went into that first date expecting nothing—if not some mutual chatter about our alma matter. What I thought would be my usual one-date wonder—turned into the happiest 2 months I have had in almost 5 years.
I felt calm and at ease in his company, thought he was smart, funny, sweet, caring, courteous, respectful handsome—and for the first time in a long time I trusted someone. I take dating day by day, and have learned to take nothing for granted, but overall we both spoke and behaved as though we genuinely liked each other. I’d say 99.9% of our dates (minus a horrible picnic I planned) were outstanding. We enjoyed each other’s company, of that I am sure. But, as we all know, dating is fickle, and you can go from hearing “I’m really lucky I met you” to “I don’t think I’m really ready for a relationship” faster than you can google “dating sucks.”
He did what was right for him—and in many ways what was right for me. For whatever his personal reasons were, he didn’t feel as though he could willingly be in a relationship with me in the way I deserved. Yes it sucks, yes I cried (and tried to google what that REALLY meant) —but you know the surprising emotion that came out almost immediately? Gratitude.
I was sincerely just grateful and incredibly happy that I met him. I never truly understood the saying “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” until now. So many times when something ends we look at it like a painful failure—and that can bring out an onslaught of negative emotions. But in this case, I’m seeing this as a huge victory. Even though it was a brief 2 months, it’s amazing at how someone can impact you. For the first time in a long time I actually cared about someone. I was truly happy spending time with him. I was genuinely happy for his successes while I was with him! I enjoyed getting to know him, and I wouldn’t have changed anything about him.
I am sad that it ended—and the first morning I woke up realizing I would never hear from him again was a solid punch to the gut. But life can be tough and throw a lot at us and we should always be thankful for the happy times, even when they end. Mourning that loss is a part of life—but I think we’ll also fare better if we reflect and be thankful for the fact that those moments happened. And I now he’ll never know this, but he gave this dating cynic something she hasn’t had in a really really long time—hope that maybe I actually can find happiness with someone.