How Do You Know When It’s Time?

How do you know when it’s time to start moving on? Is it normal to just want a distraction, any distraction, just to get your mind off of all of the sorrow that seems to consume you? How do you choose what qualities to look for in a new partner? Am I even ready to be looking for a “partner”? No, I think a “placeholder” is a better term. How can I even consider moving on when I’m still struggling so much just to survive the day? How can I give any part of myself to someone new when I feel as though there’s nothing there to give?

Then I think about the effort that would be required in having a conversation with someone new. What do you say? What parts do you talk about and what parts do you leave out? How honest are you supposed to be? I think that if I were truly honest with anyone right now, they wouldn’t be around for very long. And so, I put on this happy face, one that isn’t real, one that maybe feels ok for the conversation or even for the night, but it never lasts. Then that lonely reality comes back stronger than before, or so it seems. 

What do you do when every experience, every story, since you were 19 years old, includes a person who made the choice to remove themselves from your life? Do you stop telling those stories? You’d have nothing left to say. Do you leave him out? Should I include him and speak about him as a distant part of my past? Nothing feels quite right… And maybe that in itself, is a sign that I’m not ready. But how on earth do I get there? When will my heart feel ready to open to even the idea of future love? It seems so impossible. 

I’ve said this from the start – I don’t do well being alone. I’m in this big house all alone. I spend my evenings after work all alone. I decorated my Christmas tree alone. I spent most of Thanksgiving alone. So much time alone. How do I become ok with that? It’s a hurdle that I don’t think I can overcome. I never have been able to. Where am I supposed to find the strength to do that now? 

I know that I need to focus on myself, love myself, accept myself – be genuinely “ok” with myself. Once I do that, everything else is supposed to fall into place. Someone can only love me once I fully love and accept myself. But I feel like I don’t even know myself. Who am I without the person who was my other half for such a long time? Even though we had independent lives from one another, he was always there. A safety net, a partner. I don’t even know who I am now.

I know that this is Step One for me. I just wonder when I’m going to feel ready to take that first step. 

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