You can only lose what you cling to. – Buddha
Most of us have feelings of regret at some point in our lives. Things we wish we had said or done differently (or not at all). However, it can be toxic to cling too tightly to the past. For me it’s like a venomous snakebite. The longer you wait to treat the wound the more conditions worsen as the venom spreads throughout your body.
Regrets can give you a sense of loss, sadness, or even anger. But suppressing those feelings or denying them will only prolong the pain. It can virtually take over your life and essentially become who you are. We must keep in mind that this continued suffering is of our own choosing. While no one wants to feel the pain of regret, letting it fester only makes things worse and serves to keep happiness at bay.
Emotions are temporary; they change like everything else in this world. We don’t need to attach ourselves to negative emotions. The only thing for certain is that nothing is for certain.
Yes, all actions have consequences, but those consequences may not always be in your control. I once held onto a relationship just because I needed closure from him so I could move on. But we can’t change others, we can only change ourselves. I eventually ended the relationship and created my own closure so I could “shed” the past. Not only did I feel better, but also I was free.
Instead of holding onto the loss of someone or a relationship, grieve. Regrets come from the mistakes we make, and everyone makes mistakes. We should learn from our mistakes and move on. So reflect, learn, and grow. Don’t let your past define you, but let it help shape who you want to be.
First and foremost, in attempting a relationship you need to make sure you are both EMOTIONALLY available; that is, you both are available and willing participants. An effective relationship should be mutual and reciprocal. If you overlook, or try to rationalize the “unavailability” of your partner in order to avoid short-term disappointment you run the risk of long-term misery.
Over the years, I created a skewed perspective of what a relationship was suppose to be, which seemingly led me to men who were emotionally unavailable. The men I chose were often evasive, involved with multiple women, or avoided expressing any emotions or feelings for me. Yet I craved their love and attention. Why?
Now that I think back on it, my obsession with these men simply masked my own unavailability and vulnerability. I was too afraid to risk falling in love because I had been hurt in previous relationships. After being hurt, again and again, I began to think the problem wasn’t the relationship, or the guy, but me. This low-self esteem and insecurities dictated who I interacted with. I chose the love I thought I deserved; that is, if we think we are shit, then we deserve shit.
Discovering this about myself made me realize my own worth. I now work on my own emotions, rather than trying to find it in men. One of the most empowering feelings is to accept and love yourself. Once you understand yourself, and what you want, you learn you don’t have to settle for anything less than that.
Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you. -Steve Maraboli
In our 20s most of us are hypocrites (and even assholes) at some point when it comes to love and relationships. We will tell anyone what not to do, and then turn around and do just that. Why? Because we are young, inexperienced, selfish, and love is unpredictable. Moreover, people are flawed and sometimes make mistakes especially with matters of the heart. At this time most of us don’t even know ourselves let alone what we really want and need from others.
However, even with that being said there are 3 truths about love I have learned that will never change:
1.You must love yourself before you can truly love another.
As cliché as it may sound it’s the truth. It goes along the same lines as, how can you expect others to respect you, if you don’t respect yourself? I mean, if you want to get technical, you can still love another even if you hate yourself, but that love is shallow and not pure; and when there is no depth to love, it will eventually shrink away. It is an unhealthy kind of love.
2.To get love, you have to give love.
Let’s take a metaphorical approach for this one. The Dead Sea, it takes everything the Jordan River gives yet in turns gives nothing. So it is said for that reason to be “dead.” If that is so, then if, you are only receiving, and not giving love, then you are also dead (in terms of love). The whole point of a real relationship is for there to be mutual and reciprocal love and that can only work when two people are equally benefitting from the relationship.
3.Love is the reason we are all here.
Every value, principle, and belief has at it’s root love.
Texting, Tinder, and Technology
Living in the digital age has permanently changed the way we communicate with one another. Advances in technology have availed us to a variety of electronic means of communication that do not require face-to-face interaction. From texting to snapchat, these “shortcuts” are intended to make life easier. But they also have a down side that often causes confusion, unhappiness, and stress. Part of the appeal to these alternative forms of communication is that there is less human interaction with one another; making the beginning of a relationship feel less intense. For instance, pressure of rejection is lessened because you are not forced to actually confront the other person.
Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola, authors of It’s Just a F***cking Date, explain how the “continual morphing that has come with the advances in communication technology and social networking has turned dating into a blur of booty calls, ambiguous hanging out and ‘window-shopping’…”
Case in point – you need go no further than your friendly and convenient app store to meet people. Tinder, a mobile matchmaking app akin to “window shopping,” matches couples based on their attractiveness to each other. All that is required is a link to your Facebook profile photo (photo only!). It allows you to set your own geographic radius to find a match. Although, take caution in using this app, you never know who is really behind the picture.
Based on my relationship experiences, electronic communication sucks. Two things about it that really bother me. First, people are now making assumptions of who you are based simply on your photos rather than actually getting to know you. The second is simple, yet seems to be overlooked, text messages lack tone, voice inflection, and facial expressions making it easy to take things the wrong way.
While it seems more comfortable and convenient to communicate with friends via electronic messaging, it is actually a less effective way to establish a meaningful relationship. Conversations are shortchanged when you rely on texting, because you miss the emotional complexity that takes place in a face-to-face interaction.
Ultimately, you reap what you sow here. You can’t depend on electronic communication to sow the seeds of your relationship. It’s then doomed from the start.