Growing up, we’re all but promised our own happily ever after and fairytale romance. We’re supposed to find Prince Charming and live the rest of our lives basking in true love—or the closest facsimile we can find—forevermore. That’s not only unrealistic, it’s outright misogynistic. When I was with a guy who turned out not to be the real deal, I chose myself and walked away and I’m happier than ever.
1. MY RELATIONSHIP STATUS DOESN’T DEFINE MY WORTH.
I was confident before I was ogling over a guy and I’m sure as hell keeping my confidence now that it’s over. Even though it may seem like everyone else is in a relationship, being taken doesn’t make you better than anyone else just like being single doesn’t make me worse. I know I’m more than whether or not I’m alone, and that’s all that matters.
2. I GAVE MYSELF TIME TO BE PISSED AND THEN I MOVED ON.
It’s human nature to be angry or upset when something falls apart, especially if there were real feelings involved. I wanted to be chosen by the guy but when it was obvious he wasn’t all-in, I decided to grieve for a bit but then brush myself off. Dwelling on it was only going to make me feel worse, and the minute I decided I was ready to step forward, everything became so much better.
3. I LEANED ON THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME BEST.
My friends and family were my backbone when I was rejected. They’ve shown me time and time again that they’re there for me, which is more than I can say for any guy I’ve dated. My circle reminded me that I was better than him and gave me the space to get out my feelings.
4. SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO FALL DOWN TO BE ABLE TO BUILD OURSELVES BACK UP.
I’m a firm believer that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It stung like crazy to be told I wasn’t enough, but him not liking me the way I wanted gave me the strength to find what I needed within myself. I don’t need a man to be happy and I definitely don’t need one who doesn’t know what I’m worth.
5. WE ONLY KNOW WHAT WE DESERVE WHEN SOMEONE SELLS US SHORT.
If it wasn’t for his unrequited love, I wouldn’t understand what I was looking for. Now I’m aware of my standards and unwilling to change them for anyone. I want someone to look at me the way I always looked at him and to want me in the way I couldn’t stop wanting him. Anything less isn’t for me.
6. I SHOULD FEEL EVERY SINGLE DAY THAT I’M LOVED.
It’s not unrealistic to want constant reminders that I’m with someone who wants to be with me. Everyone has needs and one of mine is feeling like I’m enough. He wasn’t willing to give me that so as much as it hurts, I know I’m better off. Someday maybe someone else will try but until then, I can do a little soul-searching. Besides, there are plenty of other fish in the sea.
7. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING ALONE.
It would be great to find someone who chooses me as I do him, but the reality is that I may decide I want to be in a relationship with me, myself and I. Whether it’s just for now or long-term, the stigma against being single in your young adult and adult years is total bull. If I decide I’m fine on my own, I won’t let anyone tell me differently.
8. HE NEVER WOULD’VE MADE ME HAPPY ANYWAY.
It was easy at first for me to think he would change his mind down the road, but the truth is it was only going to go downhill. When it came down to it, he showed that he was unable to give me what I needed and that would have only become more clear after more time. If anything, I’m glad I realized the truth when I did so I could get a head start on moving on.
9. WHEN I HAVE THE REAL DEAL, I’LL APPRECIATE IT EVEN MORE.
After pining after someone who didn’t want me back, finding someone who does is going to feel that much better. I won’t have to worry about whether or not he’s interested and committed and it’s going to feel incredible.
10. MAYBE ONE DAY, I’LL BE READY TO TRY AGAIN.
If the stars align and I decide to jump back into the dating game, at least I now know what I’m looking for. At the end of the day, I don’t need a guy and if I make the choice to have one, it’ll be because he is willing and able to choose me every day too.