He Never Loved You: An Acceptance
Facebook timehop is a motherf***er. At first, I thought it was a cool way to remember some fun/embarrassing moments buried deep in the vault of the original Facebook---when you had to have a college email address to sign up---but now I know better. Oh no, it is not an innocent trip down memory lane. It is a setup. A perfectly constructed way to remember people you'd much rather forget and to be reacquainted with whatever it is that made them somebody that you used to know. (did you just sing the song in your head? same.) I discovered this in the middle of the night in an effort to bore myself to sleep. I logged on to Mark Zuckerberg's baby and staring back at me was a face of a man who, temporarily, shattered my heart. "Facebook, you tried it." was all I could really say before I continued my timeline bedtime story. Though, the next morning he was still on my mind. If you're anything like me, when something ends you replay every conversation, every moment, in hopes that somewhere in there lies the signs you missed.
Finally it hit me: he never loved me. I immediately shrugged off the thought. Of course he loved me. We spent all those years together. We made memories. We shared secrets. We cried together. We had inside jokes. He made me soup when I was sick. He threw me birthday parties. He bought me gifts. Why would he do all of those things if he didn't love me? Maybe he felt like he had to. Or maybe he was playing the boyfriend role he thought I wanted. Whatever his reason, love was not it. Know how I know?
I Was More Alone With Him Than Without Him. When you're in a healthy, loving relationship the beauty of having a partner is that you have someone to journey with. You get to share the good, the bad and the ugly together. You create a safe space in which each of you can be your 100% self without fear of running the person away or eliciting negative feedback. When a relationship is unhealthy or one partner is not truly in it---you're journeying alone. And in this case, the alone feels so bleak because you know it shouldn't be that way. You're longing for a safe space and you know it should exist but it doesn't. You're hiding your disappointment from others and from yourself. You're keeping up the facade of your relationship for fear of failure and it just becomes a never-ending charade of trying to find a reason to stay. Loyalty, if you will.
He Didn't Want To Build With Me. You can't invest a pair of shoes or a bag into anything other than your closet. Lavish birthday parties end when the clock strikes midnight. Instagram moments can be deleted in a single touch of a button. A man who really wants to build with you will sow into your spirit. He'll pray with you and for you (and for himself). He'll want to know what he can do to help you with your dreams. He'll invest in your endeavors from beginning to end. He'll read your scripts. He'll listen to your music. He'll wear your designs. He'll understand that people are to be left better than you found them---not worse. He'll want to take next steps with you---you won't have to twist his arm or provide a powerpoint presentation on why it's about damn time. He'll do what he knows you deserve.
Editors Note: Now, this doesn't mean you bring your brokenness into someone's life and set it in their lap expecting them to fix it. You should enter a situation as a WHOLE being. Don't be dragging somebody into foolishness and then sending him this article like "you didn't build with me!"...Stop.
The Other People In His Life Didn't Respect Me. You can gather a lot about how a man feels about you from the way the people in his life respond to you. Now, there are some crazy mothers/sisters/brothers/cousins out there but for the most part, if a person loves and respects you---the other people in their life will treat you with care. If they are sane, they'll recognize the affection shown to you and want to match it. And a man will demand that it be so. He won't allow backhanded compliments, slights or disrespect to happen on his watch. He'll stick up for you. He'll protect you.
He Didn't Fight Fair. My father would always tell me to not say things that I didn't mean when I was angry. I didn't really know what he meant until that relationship. In relationships, arguments happen. People get upset. Words get exchanged. But often times, we say things in the heat of the moment that have been living deep down inside of us---ugliness can come to the light. However, when you are truly loved by someone, he will make it his duty to keep the lines of communication open and honest so that arguments aren't the only time he discusses his feelings. And, when arguments occur, he'll choose his words wisely as to not cause any lasting pain. Words mean things. They hurt. And often times a person can use your insecurities, secrets and/or past as a way to hold you in a situation that is toxic.
He Never Tried To Make Things Easier. When someone enters your life, it should improve. They shouldn't want to bring any unnecessary stress or strain into the fold. And if you're both focused on making life easier for the other---there will be a wave of ease running through your relationship. There is no reason why you should be more sad, angry, broke, unmotivated, etc... with a partner by your side. Eliminate the waste and let positivity flow.
It Wasn't Important For Him To Have A Relationship With The People I Love. When I truly love someone, I love who they love by proxy. It's important for me to know more about them by meeting the people they consider nearest and dearest. I want to know who is responsible for shaping the person I love into who they are. I chalked it up to "not everyone is the same" but then I realized that by in large, the people I know who are in love---made it a point to know the friends/family of their significant other. It's all in the effort.
Love looks different for every person. And in expression, it can take many forms. But whether you take your definition from Webster or from 1Corinthians 13:4-8, the constant is that love is a multiplier of good. It should not force you to second guess yourself. It should never leave you broken. And you shouldn't have to make exceptions that go against your truth to make it fit in your life. A lot of things dress themselves up like love---but nothing feels quite like it.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
Read more from Iman here.