“If you truly want something, you’ll go for it.” Well, have you ever fallen in love with a pair of shoes or a piece of clothing, but didn’t buy it?
Ever gush and go gaga over those cute little puppies or kittens that are up for adoption, but didn’t take any home? Or how about that new vehicle, piece of technology, jewelry, anything that really sent your senses into overdrive but for one unfortunate reason or another, you just had to pass up?
Well, sometimes relationships work the exact same way.
We make sacrifices almost every day for so many very good reasons: We can’t afford it, we don’t have the space, we don’t have the time, we don’t have all the information we need to believe that what we’re getting is truly what’s advertised so we’re afraid to take a risk, and so forth. But, just because we choose not to take responsibility or ownership in no way means that we don’t want it, like it, or even love it!
Sometimes, a sacrifice is genuinely selfless: “I want to be a foster parent so badly, but I’m not home enough,” or, “Wow, I’d really love a dog, but there’s just simply not enough room for him/her to run around and play.” This kind of reasoning indicates that we’re acting for the highest good and actually demonstrates a tremendous character, not weakness.
The same principle also applies to matters of the heart: “I really care about her, but I just got out of a really abusive situation and I’m not completely over my ex.”
“I met this guy and he’s really sweet. But, the last time I opened up to someone, he just dumped me for no reason and I’m afraid it’ll happen again.”
“She’s pretty and a really neat woman, but I’m too into doing my own thing to worry about someone else.”
“God, he’s so handsome and wonderful, but he wants to be intimate and I’m terrified for anyone to see me without my clothes on!”
“I’d love to be in a relationship with him/her, but I’m on medication for a mental illness and I don’t want to subject them to my problems.”
When a client asks me, “How does he/she feel about me?” they’re usually under the impression that if the feelings are there, the potential for a relationship is also there, which is not unreasonable. Most of us, when we want something, we’ll try to find a way to connect with it – put it on layaway, try to make the space, or make that phone call. But, almost always I have to lovingly remind them that just because the feelings are there, doesn’t necessarily mean that the availability is, too.
Some people, no matter how much they may want one, just simply can not afford a relationship, either emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, or even monetarily. (“I’m too broke to take her out.”)
This is incredibly difficult when there’s a genuine, mutual attraction. Unlike a car or a pair of shoes, there are feelings, energy, and hormones involved. When nature brings two parties together properly, but that connection is not made complete on all levels, it brings confusion, uneasiness, and worst of all, self-doubt. It’s like the water on the earth evaporates and creates condensation, but doesn’t rain — creating darkness and uncomfortable pressure in the air.
“What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t he/she want me?”
A lot of people would say that the excuse, “It’s not you, it’s me” is a bunch of crap, but frankly, that’s not always the case. There are times when we can meet someone so wonderful, so radiant, so everything but we just don’t have the inner strength, trust, confidence, health, or environment to sustain a healthy partnership. Sometimes, we may want the person, but not want to share our space. Sometimes, we’ve experienced such a horrible loss in one way or another, we don’t have the energy to grieve and give the proper attention to another person, especially when we need so much attention, ourselves.
Feelings and actions don’t always coincide.
If you’re truly attracted to someone special but not sure if you can make a relationship work, the best thing you can do is talk about it. Nine times out of ten, if someone truly cares, they will be willing to compromise and exercise patience so they can be with you. Don’t run away, cut off communication, or be unkind. Show them respect and compassion they deserve with your truth.
However, if you’re on the other end, and someone you care about tells you how wonderful you are, but they’re just not ready – take their word for it! Don’t read into it. Don’t take this as a “maybe someday.” Regardless of how they feel about you, if they are unwilling to compromise and are very sure of what they want, then “I’m not ready” means “No.” And no matter how much it hurts or how disappointing, the best thing you can do for yourself is to just take their lead, wish them love and peace and not invest any more time, energy, or hope in starting a relationship with them. They have made their choice and waiting for them to change their mind will only accomplish putting your own needs on hold for no reason.
Letting go is merciful.
But, most importantly: Be sad, grieve, feel the frustration, heartache, whatever emotions you feel but no matter what, do not allow rejection to affect your self-worth! Do not believe for one minute that you’re a failure, doomed to be alone for the rest of your life, and not good enough – never!! Because guess what? Believe it or not, rejection always means we’re meant for something better! Everyone falls in love once and then again. This is Nature. This is fact.
And more often than not, it’s really not you.