If you break someone’s heart, you do not have the right to waltz back in without explanation. You are obligated by your previous actions to provide some kind of reason (not excuse) for your thoughts and words. “It was my problem, I got over it,” does not qualify as a reasonable answer. What was the problem? How did you get over it? And more importantly, what does that mean for future “problems” you might have? Did you learn anything about how to deal with your problems? Are you now willing to not let someone else pay the price for your process?
If you hurt someone’s feelings, regardless of what you think they mean to you (or don’t mean, as the case may be), it’s a matter of human decency to at least acknowledge that you’ve hurt them. That uncomfortable, sometimes embarrassed feeling that comes over you when you think about talking to them again is not an indication that you should avoid them – it’s a sign that you know you did something that caused hurt. It doesn’t even matter why you hurt their feelings or whether or not you feel justified. In fact, it’s probably more important if you did feel justified because then you can explain what your thoughts are. If they don’t know – if you don’t make sure they know – then you have done nothing to help them grow, in addition to stacking up your own negative karma.
We all know that the first person we have to love is ourselves, but when someone else has agreed to do that, too, there’s a whole process of exploration that is really important. Everyone has a different definition of love, a different style of expressing it, and experience shows that many people/couples who could be fantastic together don’t make a serious go of it because one or the other demands or expects that their lover express love a certain way. This is dangerous and flawed for a wide variety of reasons, not the least of which is that when we limit what we are willing to receive (assuming a relatively healthy manner of delivery), we are also limiting what we are willing to give and what we are willing to accept (which is slightly different from “receiving”).
Something that all people have in common is an idea in their hearts of what the perfect lover/partner will be for them. There’s another process that we go through when we mature that demotes the shallow things (height, hair color, eye color, weight, etc) and focuses on or defines the deeper things (philosophy, patterns of appreciation, love styles, values, etc). Sometimes a person we meet has some or all of what we want, but sometimes they have just enough that we are intrigued – and it turns out that they also have things that are not on our “list” that we ultimately would find more satisfying than if we’d gotten exactly what we wished for.
The overall purpose of this discussion is that, especially as we date and expand our potential of romance/love, we absolutely do have to recognize that we are pursuing our own interests and needs – but we also have to recognize that we are taking someone else’s hearts into our hands as well. In hearing tales of love gone wrong, things going sideways, crazy exes, and freak-out break-ups, it occurs that if we remembered some of these things above – all based in the universal principles of Unconditional Love, Respect, Honesty, Honor, Integrity, and Compassion – then even when a couple isn’t a perfect match (or even a “good” match), some good can come of it anyway.
The fact is that the pursuit of love is inherently selfish – you want to find someone to be with to make you feel good, to make you feel wanted, loved (ideally) – and that is completely acceptable. Just be aware that every single person that you are going out with or exploring or considering or even just talking to with romantic potential is also on a selfish quest. This is not a bad thing, this is necessary and fantastic to realize. The consequences to the actions above, though, come from taking the selfishness too far, from closing off from the needs of others. This single problem is why so many marriages fail, too: that when each person is championing their needs selfishly without accepting the needs of their partner, they do not bring the two sides together that are meant to make a good partnership.
And this critical balance should and must be established from the very beginning to set the tone to maintain and celebrate it throughout the whole relationship, no matter how long or short it is.
The caveat is that some people will not read this, will not learn these lessons, and will lose, will carry around wounded hearts, will bemoan their fate, and other similarly selfish activities. There is nothing to be done for them until they’re willing to grow. But those of us who do know and remember these lessons will find a truer love, often faster, and if nothing else, serve as an example to others who have an opportunity to see it.
Because having a broken heart sucks, sure, but knowing that it’s really doing you a favor makes it a little easier.