I'm not going to pretend that life is always going to be sunshine and daisies, dear readers. The simple fact of the matter is that sometimes life sucks, and it sucks hard. I'm not sure that there is an emotional experience more frustrating, heart-wrenching, guilt-tripping, or generally horrible than unrequited love. If you remember feeling like Rosaline in Romeo and Juliet – the brief object of his whims only to be side-lined for the flashier, younger model – then you're in the right place.
It is so hard to find value and validation in who you are as a person without reciprocal feedback from another person. Indeed, if your feelings of worthiness stem from the emotional support of another person, as so often it does, that person is, for better or worse, responsible for your state of mind and sense of self.
This isn't fair on anyone
Don't we know it as we angst and stress about the lack of emotional reciprocation we're receiving, all the while lamenting that it's not necessarily even their fault. That's always the kicker, that the people causing such emotional distress and pain aren't actually aware they're doing it. The quest for a satisfying and enduring, comfortable love is a long journey and often one that doesn't have a specific endpoint. Certainly, 'enduring love' cannot be achieved through sheer force of will. Oh, but haven't we tried!
But you aren't alone! I promise you that there are millions of people around the world and close to you that feel exactly the same way; helpless, confused, frustrated, and like you're 'lacking' something fundamental. That feeling doesn't even necessarily go away when you're in a relationship, and there are no two ways about it, love is hard. But it's even harder when you don't feel loved.
So don't close your heart off to love just because someone screwed up.
Trust your heart and your gut
There are two ways that any discussion of your ex can go.
This is predicated on the understanding that the reason you broke up was the reason that any relationship dissolves. Either communication works, or it doesn't and you go your separate ways. Therefore, on those terms, it can be acknowledged that on the one hand – there were very many reasons why you broke up. And the decision to do so at the time was by no means incorrect, or not what you needed at the time.
However, times change and so do people
We would do well to remember that more often in our life. Mistakes need to be made so that we can learn from them. Who's to say that we can't learn from them with the same person. The key difference is that while it is the same human that you're talking to again, it's very unlikely to be the same relationship. You owe it to yourself to put yourself out there and take some risks. Otherwise you won't end up doing anything,
If you aren't using your heart or opening yourself to new things – or even old things – then you can't hope to reap the benefits of a relationship. This can also offer some much-needed closure. Even if it doesn't work out with the ex again – even the second time around – at least you know. No relationship is a waste or not worth your time.
You learn so much from each other, and about yourself
It's unlikely that every relationship that ever ended was never your fault. We have to acknowledge that none of us are perfect, therefore it might be that we needed to change. Not the other person. Therefore, after a certain period of time has passed or we feel more ready for a relationship, who's to say that it isn't worth giving it another go? There was clearly a reason you were together in the first place.
Hang tight, dear readers, because I'm about to go on a deep dive into everyone's diary entries from 2012 to the present… "I'm not good enough. Attractive enough. No one will ever know me. No one will ever love me"
Nah, Not a chance in hell is that true
That's all well and good saying it, but how do you know?
A quick and easy google statistic for you guys: there are approximately 7.7 billion people in the world. Depending on which way you swing, your geographical location, and sexual orientation, you've got a few billion at your disposal. Yes, you can't see all of them or know or even conceive of such a huge number, but it's good news. When we feel alone, unloved, or unlovable, we would do well to remember that in a batting average out of that many people, all of whom are looking for love just like we are, we're bound to hit a few home runs.
You probably have a few stadiums worth of people that would love to get to know you
We are just taught from day one that unless you look like 90s Jennifer Anniston, it's a no go. Well, my friends, most of us don't look like 2019 Jen, and there's nothing wrong with that. But yet, people still find love. People open their hearts to being vulnerable and emotionally available and essentially, are willing to fall flat on their face and get hurt because they know it's worth it.
So there! Leave your insecurity behind and listen to what your heart is telling you!