I hate to break it to you, but if you’re seeing someone right now, more likely than not—You’re going to break up.
For most people, that thought is absolutely terrifying. Me? I take comfort in it. Not all relationships are meant to last. However, in a world that idealizes the notion of a ‘One True Love’— the idea that you’re not with #TheOne is gut-wrenching.
Who wants to wake up to someone, knowing that one day they’re going to be gone for good?
But again, not all relationships are meant to last— and when you internalize that, you can take in those moments and appreciate them for what they are: Life. Little bits and pieces of life.
When you internalize that idea, you can take a step back and forgive yourself when things fail.
Now, I’m friends with nearly all of my exes. Oddly enough, they are the most supportive of my writing and of my dreams. They actively cheer me on from the sidelines.
Yeah, I know— apparently that’s weird.
Apparently I should be sitting on my couch brooding for months on end and trash-talking whenever the chance comes up. I should be drunk texting my most recent ex, and secretly pining for him through bouts of not-so-casual loathing and between pints of Ben and Jerry’s.
According to most people, I should pause my life whenever their names come up, in order to talk about how much of a jerk they are, just because a romantic relationship wasn’t in the cards for us.
Pardon mon français— but fuck that noise.
Just because things didn’t work out, doesn’t mean that the relationship wasn’t meaningful. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care about each other. Just because things didn’t work out, doesn’t mean that the relationship was wholly negative or even a toxic one.
Sometimes, you’re just not compatible— And you know what? That’s okay.
When things don’t work out, the worst thing you can do for yourself is to dwell and to hold resentment.
When you spend time being bitter, or petty, or hateful— You’re only hurting yourself.
Sure, there are certain circumstances— like abusive relationships— where you are absolutely justified to secretly wish that the other person gets hit by a bus. However, after a certain amount of time, if you’re not making your way toward moving on— you’re hurting no one but yourself.
Regardless of the situation, forgiveness is key.
Even when it comes to abusive relationships, you need to learn to forgive in order to help yourself. I’m not saying that you need to forgive your abuser— but you DO need to learn to forgive yourself.
When you forgive yourself— you create the space necessary to make progress, and to start healing. Otherwise you’re going to spend your life haunted by memories and owned by your emotions.
Forgive, and let be.
When things don’t work out: Learn to forgive. Shit happens. Life happens. Be gentle with yourself, so that the next step you take is bold and powerful and strong.
Learn to forgive yourself, so that you can make room for an incredible future.