I never wanted you to go, but somehow I no longer wanted you to stay either.
I had broken months before our actual ending. I’d already mourned the lost dreams we breathed and learned to do life without you. Not because I wanted to, but because you gave me no other choice.
When days stretch into months and we realize we’ve lost our support system, something different begins to take root within our hearts—even if it’s something we had never expected to blossom there.
I won’t pretend that at times I didn’t thrash around resisting reality’s hard edges, questioning everything, and ultimately wondering how we went from the highs of love to the lows of heartbreak. I won’t say that I didn’t struggle at one point because I wished things were still a certain way or because I was unable to understand where that love went, the love that grew like pink roses along the back roads in August.
But I began to breathe, to accept, and to understand that in these moments where love is lost, we break, but only because we believe that this love is still meant to be here. Yet the truth is that if it was, if this person we loved so dearly was meant to be next to us, they would be.
And it’s okay that they’re not.
All we can do is stop crying over the ones who left because they were never meant to stay—they were only meant to help us grow.
In the time apart, I’ve wondered if we were always destined by the grave hands of fate to part ways after our lessons had been learned, after we’d been ripped apart and rebuilt into better selves. Maybe we’re all traveling a temporary path where we’re only visiting each other’s lives, making memories and creating smiles so that we can leave each other better than when we found each other.
And if that’s the case, then there is nothing to do but smile, be grateful for your presence, and wave goodbye as we walk away.
We can choose to process heartbreak as a “conscious uncoupling,” in which we lovingly and respectfully part ways once our part in the story has been completed—because sometimes what we thought was the whole book turns out to only be one chapter.
While not everyone is meant to stay in our lives forever, the only thing greater than the tragedy of lost love is trying to hold onto someone when what we need to do is simply release them into the winds of the universe. And we have to find peace with that, with understanding that sometimes it’s better to just walk away than to figure out how to hold on to the feelings and dreams that one of you no longer wants to carry.
While many relationships seem to have an expiration date before they even begin, sometimes we experience connections where it feels like we’ve traveled lifetimes just to get to this moment. So when these relationships hit speed bumps or one partner pulls a disappearing act, we reach out and grab on tight because we’re just not ready for it to end.
We hang on, even if it’s just to the memories, and resist letting go because we can’t understand how a love that felt so right suddenly went so terribly wrong. We could question for years and still never come up with an answer, because the reality is that when a story is over, sometimes there is no warning, no happy ending—it just simply ends.
In those moments, we struggle the most because when we spoke forever from our sweet lips, we meant it, and when we said I love you while looking deeply into their eyes, we meant it. But sometimes, staying becomes more difficult than leaving because we haven’t yet slayed all our demons or grown to understand who we truly are, and so we choose to leave, or we’re left.
And we cry rivers of tears while wrapped up in front of burning fires or standing in hot steamy showers, afraid we’ll collapse to the floor. We cry as we’re driving, listening to the songs they used to send us that spoke of how this was no ordinary love, and perhaps we even cry as our pink nails type out a story on a keyboard—a story we never thought we’d write.
But at some point, if we’ve actually done all of the work that we have spoken of, if we’ve really reached a certain level of awareness and consciousness, then the only thing left to do is smile with gratitude for the memories, breathe deep, and accept that everything is as it should be in this moment.
At times, it may seem like a forever love is the stuff of urban legends, a tale we tell ourselves after spending too many lonely nights watching the moon. But I believe it does exist—we just have to make space in our lives for what is meant to be by letting go of everything that wasn’t. Because when it comes to relationships, if it’s meant to be, it will be—and we’ll never have to beg or convince to get it.
All we can do is trust the flow of life, trust what each new day brings, and try to approach it as our best selves. We can love and let go simultaneously; we can grieve and move on, but most of all, we can remember and accept the reality of now.
Because underneath even the deepest heartbreak is the reality that once we stop crying over the one who was truly never meant to stay, we can make room for the one who will.