Love can be the grandest feeling in the world, and other times it can feel like the most agonizing suffering. Especially if you love someone you can’t be with.
Loving another person is one of the greatest joys in life, but it can also be one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. Contrary to popular belief, love doesn’t always end up a fairy tale. Sometimes two people who love each other simply do not end up together. When you realize you just can’t be with them, that can cause immense pain.
Paul Hudson writes in EliteDaily, “You’re not going to love everything about the person you are with, but you love enough about him or her to live with the things you don’t love. Not all people are willing to, or even able to, compromise. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, regardless of what our emotions tell us.”
Here are 6 ways to cope with the agony of loving someone you simply can’t be with:
1. Enjoy what you already have.
It’s hard to find good, reliable friends these days. If you find yourself loving them for their honesty and compassion, perhaps holding onto that friendship is worth something.
You might catch yourself wishing for more, but remember that it will never work and only lead to more pain- not healing.
2. Self-care and boundaries.
Yes, you can still be friends with them and the friendship might turn out to be the best one you will ever have. However, if you soon realize that being friends isn’t enough for them, you may have to remove yourself from the friendship- even temporarily. There’s never a reason not to take care of yourself and your emotional well-being, and if they truly care about you they will understand.
3. Maintain stability.
For some of us, having any sort of connection to the other person will be impossible and only lead to more suffering. If you can’t be friends with them, then you will need to go no-contact. It will not be easy.
You will need a support system of reliable and caring friends who will remind you of your strength when you want to reach for your phone, or run into the arms of the one you can’t be with. The only way to start the healing process in your heart is to focus on you, not them.
4. Write it all down.
You don’t have to keep a journal, or start working on a novel, but writing down a few things can be an important recovery tool.
The things we feel can sometimes end up as one big jumbled mess in our heads. Writing things down can help to clear that chaos up a bit, and find out what is really going on.
Start small. Write down how you feel in this moment, then move on to what you went through when you were disappointed or hurt by the other person. Create your own story and then let it go. Now that it makes sense, we can move past the painful emotions that are holding us back from happiness.
5. Get closure.
When you are at a point where you can comfortably speak to the other person without raising all kinds of emotional sirens, it is a good idea to tell them how you feel. It doesn’t have to make sense to them, as long as it makes sense to you. Chances are, a lack of emotional understanding is what led to your realizing the two of you couldn’t be together, so they don’t have to fully grasp your reasoning. But you can try. It feels good to get those emotional releases off your chest.
6. Start dating again.
And maybe start with yourself. Take yourself out on dinner dates, go to the movies, have a spa day- treat yourself like you would treat the person you want to fall in love with.
After you have spent some time on yourself and learned to love all the corners of your soul, go back out there into the dating world. Love will probably hurt you from time to time, but that doesn’t mean you should ever give up on it.
One day, if you keep hope alive, you’ll find the love you’ve been waiting for and you’ll be grateful for not settling before.