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There was this boy…doesn’t it always start with a boy?
We met through a group of mutual friends at an outing one cold, winter night. He was handsome in a weird kind of way, which made him super sexy to me.
I knew by the end of the night I was interested. I was attracted to him. He was nice. And he was putting out the vibes that he, too, was interested in me. I mean, what more did I need? That was enough information to pique my interest. It was hard meeting someone, let alone someone who had potential.
We ran around in the same circle, so I wasn’t surprised when we bumped into each other a lot after our first meeting. We quickly became friends.
We began texting and calling each other all the time. I was still attracted to him. He was still nice. And he continued putting out the vibes that he was into me.
It wasn’t long before we started dating.
I was all about him. He told everyone we were together. I felt happy to be coupled up. I was happy because I had someone I liked. I was happy because he liked me, too. So I went ahead into a full-blown relationship with this man.
As time went on, I did all of the work to move our relationship along. I created a life for us. I shaped us into who we became as a couple.
Along the way, things felt off. I felt like I was the only one in the relationship.
We hardly ever did anything together. There were no romantic dates. We never rode bikes or played golf. We didn’t go to parties. We did nothing together except be in each other’s life, which entailed saying we were together.
But it wasn’t just about the activities we didn’t do together. There were other things missing that I expected from a romantic relationship. There was never any playful time getting to really know each other. There was never a time when we would talk about our hopes and dreams. There was never any time when we would lay in bed next to each other and stare into each other’s eyes.
We were missing everything about the romantic part of a relationship.
I realized I had always been the only one in this relationship. I mean, he was there. But he just existed.
I held on to our initial meeting and built an entire relationship from one night with the boy who had potential. The nice boy I was attracted to who was interested in me as well.
I never got to really know him to see if we were a good match. Or to see if we were compatible. He never did anything special to make me fall in love with him. I kinda just fell in love with the idea of having someone. I just held on waiting for him to become someone I was supposed to be with. I held on waiting for him to become who I was meant to be with.
And because I built the entire relationship on my own, I couldn’t leave. I invested too much time just to walk away. I stayed even though I knew I wasn’t happy. I kept telling myself he would be everything I ever wanted—one day. I just kept waiting.
I stayed because there was hope. I hoped one day he would be the man I needed in my life. I hoped one day he would be the man whom I could spend the rest of my life with. Someone to grow old with. A real partner. Someone to hold my hand when I was scared. Someone to hold me tight when I cried. Someone who would stand by me no matter what. Someone to support me and back me up when things got hard. Someone to just be there for me.
He was never those things. Not once. Not ever.
I complained to him. I begged him for more. But he was who he was. And he didn’t see the problem in the relationship. He said we were fine, even though I said I needed more. And I couldn’t walk away. I held on to it for dear life, still waiting for it to be more. Waiting for it to be something.
I wasn’t giving up on us.
Things got worse. I constantly nagged him, still begging for more. He refused to give me more. And yet, I still couldn’t walk away. He was going to become what I needed, one day. He would. Or I told myself that until I realized I had to let go of the false hope I lived with for so long. Because this wasn’t real at all.
False hope is when desperate individuals are stuck in dead relationships with the false hope they will come alive either again or one day. We are in a false hope relationship when we are looking forward to something that has a strong chance of not happening.
How do we know if we are in a false hope relationship?
It’s obvious. If we are questioning it, most likely we are in it.
Our inner self is screaming to get out fast. We feel it in our gut. We see it in our eyes. We know it in our hearts.
Our happiness begins to diminish. We begin to feel unsatisfied within the relationship. We feel lost and broken. We don’t feel enthusiastic about where we are. We feel hopeless.
We feel stuck and continually look for reasons to stay. A recurring pattern forms yet we stay hoping one day something will change. But that one day never comes.
We find ourselves repeating the same complaint to different people. We talk about it so much that we can’t even stand the sound of our own voice when we talk about it.
We internally rack our brain about what we wish we had done.
Our bodies show signs of anxiety. The continued hopelessness in our relationship causes stomach pain, nausea, headache, or insomnia.
Here are a few ways to say goodbye to a false-hope relationship for good:
1. Be honest with ourselves
We should identify our relationship needs including deal breakers. If this truly is false hope, we must acknowledge the truth of the situation, which will begin to set us free.
2. Give ourselves space
Sometimes we may need some time to figure it all out in our head. It’s okay to take the time on our own to really dig inside ourselves to figure out what we want and need from someone. It is acceptable to have wants and needs within a relationship.
3. Spend time on our own
We must give ourselves comfort and understanding of what we had been through. It’s going to take time to learn how to be on our own again, but with time, it gets easier.
4. Give ourselves something new to hope for
Look to the future for hope and endless possibilities. We are beginning a brand new life. Fall in love with the world around us. It’s goddamn beautiful.
5. Believe there is love out there for us
Hold out for a love that is meant for us. A love filled with passion, romance, and playfulness. A love that feels real.
6. Get back out there
When the time is right, open yourself to meeting someone new. We must first prioritize what we want, need, and must have in our next relationship. But keep an open mind and heart when it comes to love. Sometimes, it may just surprise us.
These tips can help us start the process of moving forward.
I’m letting go of false hope. I want something real. Even if that “real” is on my own, I would rather be alone with my version of real than live the rest of my life in a false hope.