…. but you are responsible for how you deal with it.

I was given that advice when I was going through a break up of a relationship many years ago .. and it is something that has made more sense to me as I grew older.

I know at the time I felt my world was shattered .. even though I knew the relationship was toxic .. not just for me .. but for my ex too … it wasn’t healthy .. it never would be.

But when it ended (not my doing) … I found myself tortured by the “what if’s” and the “if only’s” … and in reality it was not my ex that continued to hurt me for so long .. but myself… and it took me a long time to realise this.

Sometimes acceptance of a break up seems impossible, it is a pain that strikes deep into us .. and can hurt us more than the death of someone we love because it is so personal…. and because of this we place ourselves in a position where the “torture” of the hurt becomes a comfortable place .. an important place .. as it is the only thing we still have that emotionally ties us to the person we loved.

We cannot help who we fall in love with as much as we cannot help who falls in love with us.   From personal experience I know I have dated some lovely women .. and some have hurt me .. and some I have hurt  .. but what keeps me with someone is not how attractive someone is or what they have .. but how we connect and how “safe” I feel with regard to trust.  I need to be able to talk to someone, I mean really talk and know they are listening.

These emotions are not something we choose, not something we can force .. they just are… but what we forget is not everyone has the same depth of emotion or the same character that we have … and when things fall apart we are often left questioning ourselves .. and asking for answers that in reality we will never get.

A friend of mine told me the other night that I need to “get out there and start dating again” … but the reality of the situation is that there is no-one I want to date .. there is no-one who can give me the peace and safety that I know I need … I find that in myself when I am alone ..

…. and this is where the twist begins … I was sick of relationships, of all the shallowness and drama and basic lack of respect and with the added pressure of setting up my new career, I took an active decision to stay single.

Then just when I wasn’t expecting it ….I did meet someone online.. we started talking because I simply liked her smile  .. and the friendship developed over nine months .. and I found myself thinking “ooh I like you” .. and i told her … but she was very honest with me and told me she was relationship phobic.. and just wanted friendship.  Fair enough .. as I said above, you can’t help how you feel…. and I am old enough and wise enough to accept that… BUT .. there was still this little … “what if” that niggled at me.

Eventually, through circumstance a few weeks ago we did meet, and for me it was something I needed to do .. and I think, deep down, so did she.

We got on very well, as friends, I found her company easy and really enjoyed meeting her and we had dinner and a great evening .. in fact we met twice that weekend .. the second time at her request … and although I was disappointed that it was no more than friendship, I accepted it.. she is important to me and I would rather have her in my life as a friend than not at all…. and I did tell her that.

But for some reason that made her feel uncomfortable and that really was the last thing in the world I wanted .. so she decided to end all contact.

I did email her to ask what I had done that made her feel that she had to do this … I am horrified about it .. and a bit ashamed  … but .. she has not replied .. I doubt she ever will.

Am I hurt .. very … this situation has hurt me more than I can understand … but I have this feeling that I was being judged, not on who I am .. but on other people from her past… or perhaps from her present.

What can I do about it .. well, I have no idea … If I contact her again it would only make her feel more uncomfortable and I am not prepared to put her through that again.

So I took an active decision … whatever the problem is, I am sure it is not my doing … and for that reason, and that reason alone, it is time to close the chapter and move on … perhaps with my head slightly bowed … and take all of this as just another hard lesson learned…

And if by chance, the woman I am talking about ever reads this .. I wish you all the things I told you and I am truly sorry to have lost you out of my life.