Will You Ever Love Again?
When I was only 25 years old, just days before Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend at the time returned from a 3-week vacation. During our time apart, (like many women might do) I had spent a long time thinking about our future and where things were headed. We’d been dating for over a year, and had talked about marriage in the way you do when you’re not yet engaged, but it’s essentially a certainty. My world was flipped upside down, though, because after he showed up at my door, arms overflowing with gifts from his travels, and showed me his 400 pictures from his trip, he said those fateful words “I’m breaking up with you.”
Time, the patience of my family and friends, and the love of the RIGHT man have shown me what a true blessing that ex-boyfriends departure was. Had this man instead returned on the exact same day and professed his love and proposed, I would have said yes, and that thought haunts me to this day. I distinctly remember the feeling in the weeks that followed that I could not – and SHOULD not – love again, because my “instincts” were so wrong that I would surely only be hurt again.
This message of being unable to trust our instincts after a rough breakup is a concern I hear echoed by the large majority of my clients. Happily, though, I now have a message of great news I can share with them.
Is that voice you are hearing your instincts or your desperation and fear?
What I realized was that my instincts had been with me every step of the way – and they had been right. They were the nagging feeling I had that he didn’t really love me – even when he said he did; that he didn’t really enjoy being with me as much as I enjoyed his company; that at the first opportunity, he’d be off on his next adventure regardless of whether I was with him.
The voice I had been listening to that told me to stay with him was not the voice of instinct, but the voice of desperation. I was driven by the fear that I would never find someone else, never find someone better – maybe even by the suspicion that the reason he didn’t love me was that there was something wrong with me. It wasn’t my instincts that were driving me to stay with him it was fear. In fact, my instincts were working as hard as they could to get me to head in the opposite direction!
If you’ve ever had concerns about trusting your instincts, it’s time to figure out what voice you’re really listening to as you lie awake at night reflecting on yourself and your relationships. Are you feeling uncertainty about where you stand or how he or she feels about you? Are you feeling under-valued and under-appreciated? Do you constantly check in with your friends to see how they feel about the relationship or your boyfriend or girlfriend? 9 times out of 10, THESE thoughts are your instincts. So listen to them! Trust them to tell you when things aren’t right, and act accordingly!