Some of my acquaintances have asked me why did I decide to jump into the dating pool after so many years. Yes, it has been a few years – four to be exact. Well, many things changed in my life recently. For example, I found out that more than anything else, I want to be in a happy relationship, to love and be loved. It’s not exactly do-able if I were to remain single. More importantly, I found out that the guy I was (am?) in love with for the past four years did not love me the same way. Before I explain, let me rewind time and tell you the story from the beginning.
I moved to California five years ago. I spent the majority of my first year here meeting people and making new friends, something I thoroughly enjoy even today. During one of the gatherings, I met “K” and connected with him instantly. It was not love at first sight, but he broke down my wall of hesitation with his charming pursue. What did he do? He would drive almost 80 miles round trip, several times a week, just to have lunch with me. He would engage me in some of the most interesting conversations at all hours of the day.
After hanging out platonically for almost one year, he finally asked me out. How can you say no to a guy who drove 80 miles just to hang out? It took me a little while to warm up to him, but I soon fell head over heels for him. But as my love for him grew stronger, he began to withdraw himself emotionally. We had arguments over his emotional availability more often, and two years into our relationship, I called it quit. However, since we became friends first before we dated, I thought it was perfectly OK to hang out as friends afterward. Or so I thought.
Even as our relationship turned south, our friendship flourished. We became closer than ever — we would share inside jokes and lean on each other for support and advice. He would call me to hang out, and we would have lunch and/or dinner about once a week. I didn’t know it at the time, but hanging out with him even as friends deepened my feelings for him. It took a vacation away from him to discover my true feelings for him. So I asked if he would give the relationship another chance.
Turned out while my feelings for him deepened, his feelings for me changed from a romantic one to a purely platonic one. Not only that, he’s now dating others. Needless to say, I was devastated. Looking back, I realize I let his enthusiasm and friendliness fooled me into thinking he still cares about me the way he used to. I thought the fact that he wanted to hang out so often meant that he still harbors romantic love for me. Well, I was wrong…very wrong!
What do you do when you love somebody who doesn’t love you back? You learn to let go of the emotion, the past, the dream of the future, and everything about that person. It took me a while to get it straight in my head, but I am finally learning to let it go. And part of letting go is rediscovering others around me. That’s why I decide to date again. It’s the only way I am moving forward with my life in the romance department.
Learning to let go is one of the hardest things I ever have to do. But every time I think about how difficult it is, I say to myself, “This is not helping” to stop myself from feeling sad. Acceptance follows, even if it’s for just a little while. But with each passing day, it gets easier.
For all you heart-broken souls out there, I feel your pain. Sometimes it feels like you are suffering by yourself all alone, but that’s not the case. At least I am suffering alongside you, even if I don’t know you. In the end, you will triumph, and you will feel good again. You have to believe that!
This post is dedicated to my friend, ADK. While I can’t be there for you in person, I am with you in thoughts!