It is quite hard to mistake, what it feels like when you are truly wanted and desired. If you have never known what that feels like, let me tell you.
- It feels like being yourself is easily the only expectation.
- It feels like everything you say or do is welcomed, understood and even when it is not the most positive of contributions, accepted
- It feels like you don’t have to be perfect, you just as you are, is enough.
- It feels like the sweetest of friendships. A friendship that even distance and time cannot diminish.
- It feels like the very least of effort. You never have to try so hard to connect or to matter.
It is impossible to mistake the feeling of being a priority. The feeling is undeniable when you know you matter. There is no mistaking what it feels like to be listened to, and cared for you in a way that is apparent that what you want, and what you need is considered by the person you love. Their actions consider you. I stress this because it is often the reason why we run into disagreements with people we love. Their actions don’t consider you. They act knowing fully well that it would harm you. Their needs are so much more important, and are a more pressing priority than your pain. Your hurt is a risk they are willing to take.
You spend so long in this foggy area, unclear on what it means for the person you love, to keep taking the risk of hurting you. You question yourself, you question your friends. You lay in bed pondering, shying away from the devastating blow of facing the answer to the question, what does this all mean? You want to get to the bottom of it. You want to feel different. You want to feel like you again. You want it all to end. But what about the good parts? Sometimes, you still even feel the butterflies. What about the amazing connection, that special secret thing only two of you share. Those moments that feel electrical. The relief, the feeling of rightness, when you are both happy. Maybe a connection this powerful is worth fighting for. Surely, once they finally realize what they could lose, things will be different. So, you threaten to leave, hoping it jolts them into this realization. But you are always there, even when you threaten to leave.
When we threaten to leave while being present physically and emotionally, our unspoken message reads loud and clear. “I will leave, if you don’t…”. Our threats are laden with longing and hope. A one sided yearning for change present in the ultimatums we make.
When your threats of leaving are dependent on performance expectations of your partner, it tells them that you are still present and ready to be with them till they finally get it together. They are aware of your willingness to stay, certain of your preference to stay, even as you believe you are passionately giving them an ultimatum. What they can hear is that they have another chance to have you still with them, despite the fact that they have hurt you deliberately, by choice, multiple times. They hear it, they see your struggle to be strong, they just don’t care enough to give you what you want, because they just don’t love you enough.
- The disconnect happens when you realize that there will be no change.
- The disconnect happens when the change finally comes too late and after too much.
- The disconnect happens when you become aware of the time you spent giving unreciprocated loyalty, attention and love, to a human just like you, who acted like those things were not difficult for you to give.
- The disconnect happens when you realize that a person that deliberately hurt you, multiple times, does not deserve getting any more from you, emotionally or physically.
- The disconnect happens when you become at home, with the realization that you would rather be happier loving yourself on your own, then hating yourself with a person who is supposed to love you.
- The disconnect happens when you realize that they have nothing to offer you, but more pain, more distress, more insecurity, more questions and more anxiety.
And when that disconnect finally happens, when your heart finally gets exhausted from loving tirelessly to no aim and no reward, then you will be strong enough to walk away. And when you do, you will look back on your experience and say to yourself, Never again. And I hope that you keep that promise to yourself.
By Doreen Caven