What It Feels Like To Break Up With Someone You Thought Was “The One”

Originally published on Thought Catalog

At one point in your life, you will find someone who will be your very definition of love. They will set your world ablaze, awaken every crevice of your soul, and penetrate your heart so deep that you’ll feel as if you’re burning from within. You will feel vulnerable and exposed, stripped of the power you thought you’ll always have over your heart, mind, and body. They will turn you inside and out and change you and reveal dormant parts of you that you never even thought you coexisted with.

You will fall passionately, even selfishly in love. And you will spend many years with them, weathering trials and surpassing problems, even overcoming challenges that seemed too big for your love to handle. You will be obsessed over the idea that they are “the one” and that you can’t spend the rest of your life with anyone else but them. You will change, and your friends will start to worry.

When things start to get tough, you will turn a blind eye to all the warning signs and tell yourself that your love can conquer all. You will make yourself believe that your love will prevail, even if all odds don’t always turn out to be in your favor and fate seems to be telling you something you should listen to. No one, not even your friends or family, can coax you out of the dangerously-in-love situation you have created.

But then as the years pass and the seasons change, problems will pile up that neither of you would be able to handle anymore. The difficulties will be harder to surmount; the differences too glaring to ignore. Your monsters will rear their ugly heads and bare their fangs and tear each other’s skins apart. Both of you will want to claw your way out, yet you will, for a few more months or years, believe that this will still lead to something magnificent in the end — marriage, maybe. You will live for this distorted dream. You will stay.

Each day will be a struggle — to fight or to let it slide, to turn away or to give in, to stay or to go. You will be caught in the crossfire of these unsettling questions; you will stand at the crossroads of critical decisions. You will be stuck in limbo, waiting for something you know at the back of your mind would never happen. They will, at this point, also have the same questions. Both of you will stand on shaky ground; your relationship will be neither here nor there.

At first, you will try to rekindle the dying embers, piece the relationship back together, and save it from going completely downhill. You will convince yourself that what you have with them is worth fighting and staying for, despite the constant disagreements, the seemingly petty fights that actually stem from deeper wounds, the differences in ideologies and values, the jealousy, the lies, and the shouting matches. You will have a number of reasons to leave, but you will dismiss all of these and insist on staying because you love them.

You will spend many nights crying yourself to sleep, asking yourself what went wrong. You will go by weeks without talking to each other, and when you do, you will fight for the same reasons. It will break you into pieces, and their words will scar you like fire against skin. You will cause them pain, too, and drive them away. The love you share will wither and eventually fade. You will lose your faith in everything; your heart will be twisted and torn, and your eyes will grow weary with tears. You will reach the height of pain.

And then you will feel nothing.

At this point in your life, the decision will be in your hands. Your friends and family will have grown tired of giving pieces of advice you never even listen to; you will have to rely on yourself alone. You will want to talk to them and ask them why or how or what if. But because they have the same questions, they won’t have the answers you’re looking for as well.

You will find yourself at the borders separating the familiar from the unknown. You will hold on tightly, as much as you could, to the comfort of their familiarity. But you will know in your heart that this is not the place where you want to stay for the rest of your life.

By this time, your definition of love will have changed, and you will eventually realize that you no longer find its meaning in them. Something that is supposed to be beautiful shouldn’t be this difficult.

No matter how impossible it may seem, you must find the strength to cross the border and venture into a new chapter.

You will be back to square one. Scary and uncertain as it may seem, it will be a much better place than the one you will leave behind.

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