1. Realizing that loving and being in love aren’t the same thing.
When two people who are perfect for each other end up not working out, it’s usually because one of the two feels that he or she is no longer in love with the other.
Relationships can be incredibly intense in the beginning — even more so when you’re dating someone who could potentially be the one. As the novelty and excitement of it all die down, however, so do the corresponding emotional responses we experience.
Not feeling your heart flutter when you see your partner doesn’t mean you’re no longer in love. It just means you are no longer worried you may lose him or her. Sadly, this is a deceiving feeling as you can always lose anyone at any time.
2. Realizing that finding someone to love is a lot easier than finding someone to love you.
You can fall in and out of love weekly if your mind is open to it. Of course, it would be a very shallow sort of love and surely wouldn’t last, but nevertheless you would still feel many of those emotions most closely related to the phenomenon. The hard part is finding someone to love you in return.
A lot of factors come into play when considering whether or not a person is even capable of loving you — so many factors that, in the end, it all comes down to luck.
If he or she happens to be in the right place in life, in the right mindset, then he or she may fall for you. Such windows are small, however, and are missed more often than not.
3. Realizing that you’re capable of treating people horribly.
Love brings out the best and worst in people. When things within our relationships are going the way we wish them to, we’re the nicest individuals in the world.
But because we put so much on the line, open ourselves up and put great trust in another individual, when we feel threatened, we lash out with horrendous fervor.
There is no better person than a person in love and no more horrible a person than a person feeling he or she may lose that love. You need to accept how horrible you can be in order to realize how much it takes to avoid being that person.
4. Realizing that your emotions can play tricks on you.
What most people don’t realize until it’s too late is that our emotions aren’t good indicators of reality. First, we have the reality that exists outside of us, that isn’t subjective, but entirely objective — a reality that exists only in the physical sense.
We then add a second layer to this reality by perceiving and interpreting what we perceive. Only then do we experience emotional responses — but not in response to reality itself, but in response to our interpretation of it.
Feelings are the third, and furthest removed, layer that make up our personal reality. If we misperceive, misinterpret or misunderstand something then our emotions will reflect the errors we make, not what actually exists.
Most relationships fail because of just this — misinterpreting reality, drawing the wrong conclusions and then allowing our misleading emotions to get the better of us.
5. Realizing that although forever is scary, it can also be comforting.
Fear of commitment is a real thing. Every time we commit, we are simultaneously rejecting all other possible alternatives; there are always opportunity costs associated whenever we make a decision.
Most decisions don’t worry us too much as we feel that we can reverse them if necessary. When it comes to love, however, most of us believe that it is or, at the very least ought to be, forever.
Making a decision that you believe you need to stick to for the rest of your life is scary. What if you make the wrong decision? What if you’re going to miss out on something better? These will always be possibilities — you can’t wrestle with them because these questions will never go away.
Instead, focus on all the positive things that having a special someone in your life allows for. The truth is that you are never stuck when it comes to relationships… unfortunately most people don’t realize this until they let that special someone get away.
6. Realizing that missing someone can hurt indefinitely.
Most physical pains are temporary. Emotional pains, on the other hand, have the ability to last for decades. They may not be constant, but they have the ability to resurface again and again for years to come.
All that’s necessary is for one experience, one thought, one memory to trigger another painful memory. Because we’re only human, we learn from experience. The only way to understand how much it’s possible to miss someone is to miss that someone that you now know you could spend your life with.
You will never miss anyone the way you miss the one that got away. I can say this with certainty because if you do manage to find another special someone to spend your life with, you’ll sooner die than let him or her slip away.