At 11:35 pm, my phone chimed, and a notification message popped up on my lock screen. I picked it up, and it read, “I feel like I’ve lost my best friend.”.
A second later, another chat bubble appeared that read, “I lost someone who understands me,” and before I could reply, my phone vibrated with a third message saying, “I lost someone who’s there for me.”
Though we were communicating over our mobile phones, I could feel my friend lingering in a state of melancholy on the other side of the screen.
I knew her since I was 17 and if I could encapsulate her love story in less than 20 words, it’d be: She’s the Earth, and he’s the Sun. All she does is to orbit her world around him.
Maybe we have friends who are similar to mine — friends who love their partners more than they do. Perhaps we’re also guilty of being in the same shoe as my friend.
Love is not an addiction but a commitment.
An addiction is putting your partner on a pedestal where you’re ready to sacrifice your hobbies, interests and even friendships in pursuit of self-worth, and attention derived from the other party.
A commitment is a shared responsibility where both of you take the oars and paddle the boat together. In a relationship founded on joint efforts, you don’t feel exhausted loving your partner, and neither do you lose yourself in the process of loving them.
You Are Enough
The trouble with my friend in the last five years was being a love addict. His world became hers. Whenever her love interests (not boyfriend) decides to pull the plug and call it quits, it was as if her world was decimated and shattered into smithereens.
In her defence to salvage the situation and convince him to stay, she’d blame herself when things wouldn’t work out. She’d cast self-doubts over her esteem and ruminate over whether she is worthy of being loved by him.
My friend, who has the kindest and biggest heart I know, is willing to compromise for him while she silently bears the cuts in her heart.
The truth is, she is more than worthy of being with someone who’d put in the same amount of efforts as her in a relationship. She is capable of receiving the love she deserves. She is capable of having someone with a high level of emotional maturity who’d talk things out instead of leaving when things get rough. She needs to know that there’s someone out there who’d embrace her flaws as much as her lovable traits.
More importantly, she has to understand that her self-worth isn’t determined by how much he loves her.
There’s No One Like Them
“I’m afraid I won’t ever find anyone like him.”
Those words flashed across my phone screen as my friend expressed her emotions heart-wrenchingly.
Yes, indeed, she won’t find anyone like him. She won’t find someone else who strides like the way he walks. She won’t find someone who gave you the same stalk of sunflower on your first date together. She won’t find someone who has the same jersey with his name on it.
There are seven billion people in the world; not everyone is identical to one another. The reason why she’s head over heels for him is that he’s treated as the only fish like there ever is in the vast, blue ocean. What she hasn’t done was to paddle her boat to other fishing ports that’d offer her a plethora of fishes.
I know this advice sounds cliche and is probably overused, but there’s truth in it. Incompatibility in a relationship isn’t the end of the world. It means that you’ve invested in the wrong person.
Instead, you should be investing in someone who complements your expectations and has the same goal as you in a relationship.
Your Love Doesn’t Make Them Stay
“I waited three years for him while he figured out his life. Why can’t he do the same for me?”
Here’s the thing about relationships: you can shower someone with your Love and do anything in your power to keep them, but that doesn’t mean they’ll want to stay.
A person who needs to be convinced that staying in a relationship with you is worthy of their time isn’t someone for you.
Love is a choice. Everyone has their freedom to choose who they want to fall in love with, and with choice comes commitment. It’s as easy as that.
If you’re like my friend who bets her faith in their “relationship” on his sweet nothings, don’t. Someone’s interests in you are how they treat you. Their actions will tell you where your relationship is going.
Anyone can cobble up a sentence and say, “You’re the only one for me.” but it takes genuine commitment to show that they choose to love and be with you every day.
The day after she messaged me, my phone lit up with a text from her, and this time, I can’t help but smile with a sense of relief.
The message read:
“I told him I’m not going to put my life on hold to wait for him. Truth be told, I don’t know if I’ll wait. But as long as he’s safe and happy, I’m contented enough.”
That is the hallmark of emotional maturity and a friend who finally sees her self-worth.
Thank you for reading!