All day your thoughts keep reverting back to the man you love so desperately. The man you thought — no, still think — is the one. And because you still have an ounce of hope, he fills and floods your entire mind. At this point you’ve probably had so many bad days with him that you can’t truly remember what he did that makes you love him so much. So here goes the headline, “You are in love with his ghost.” The man you fell in love with, even if it was only for two blissful weeks, has left the building. You are now left with his selfish remnants.
What is a lovesick, hopeless romantic girl left to do? Let him go. You’ve likely been questioning if he actually loves you. Will he ever treat you better? If he loves you, why does he hurt you so much? The honest truth is that you shouldn’t have to ask if someone loves you, because true love, real love, pours out freely at every chance.
When we get used to dysfunctional love, over time it becomes our new normal. I was once in a relationship for so long I forgot how a normal healthy relationship looked. I forgot how love left you with a sense of joy, peace and elation. I was so caught up chasing the ghost of the man I loved, that I convinced myself to believe that one day we would get it right; that one day he would love me the way I thought I should be loved. I was walking on eggshells for so long I forgot what my normal stride was like. Yet, there was a deep-down feeling that this wasn’t what love was. Listen to that feeling. That feeling will lead you out of a bad relationship and into a normal, healthy one.
You deserve to love freely and to be loved for who you are today, and the woman you strive to be. Real love will not make you feel like you need to get a promotion, finish a degree, look better or cook better in order for him to finally love you. The man who truly loves you will love you just the way you are.
The best thing you can do is let go of him today. If he is not sincerely working to make changes in your relationship, then don’t wait another week or month or year. Remind yourself that you deserve more than he will give you. If he has not loved you well by now, he likely never will. And that is OK.
If you release him, the right man will come along. Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you in a constant state of confusion and heartache. I know — easier said than done; but you are strong enough to move on. Don’t worry about the time you invested in the relationship or the thought that once you leave him he will love the next woman the right way. Maybe he will. But even if you stayed with him another year, short of a miracle straight from heaven, you would still be dancing a rhythmless dance with each other.
A person should dance in step with the one they love. Yes, toes may get stepped on occasionally, but you keep dancing — together. Let this go. Find the one that wants to dance with you in your own perfectly unperfected version of the tango.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on My Take on Happiness. It has been republished here with permission.