Small Life, Slow Life: Fairytales. Why it matters that you get to choose. And some thoughts on marriage, too.

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Sunday, 6pm: kneeling down to lock the door at work after a long, satisfying week. I was saying goodbye to a dear friend and her baby who had come to visit and we lingered in the doorway, chatting. Then, as it happens rarely but surely a few times during one’s lifetime, I had the unique, definite feeling that someone was staring at me. I shook it off and said goodbye to my friend, but my heart did a weird speeding-up-thing that it does when there’s a reason to be on high alert. And then, scanning the area in front of the glass doors, I locked eyes with him.

There, less than twenty feet away, the ghost from my past.

Seated at a table, chair facing me, clearly not looking at the person he was with who was speaking to him.

No, he was definitely looking at me.

A brief second that felt like an hour ensued where he might’ve, you know, nodded…or raised his hand in greeting. He did neither, and I did what any normal girl does when confronted with the one who screwed with your head in the past: I totally panicked.

I jumped back. My heart pounded. I looked again. Yep, still looking at me.

I stepped back and put my hand on my chest, and stammered to my co-workers that he was there…the guy who’d made a mess of me years back, the one who continually messed with my head even though he had a girlfriend, the one who sent me the most incredibly dear, thoughtful gifts and said we were meant to be together even though I had a boyfriend, the one I finally kicked out of my life when I really wanted to give things a chance with C.

One co-worker ran to the door and said, “Umm? He’s gone,” which made my heart beat even faster. He’d seen me…and bolted.

My other co-worker shrugged his shoulders and one said, “You’re making a big deal out of it; it’s just a coincidence.” Um, pshh, definitely not…but whatever.

Why was he there?  He lives far away. What the HECK was he doing there?! Why come to that parking lot, on that day, at that time? Why point the chair in my direction? Why just…stare at me like that?

Time went on. I thought about it. On my way home, I called a friend who had been there for so much of all of it, those “screw with Jen’s head” years. And I randomly blabbered out this realization, which is why I’m here right now, slightly embarrassed over morphing into a teenager for a hot second, writing this to you:

“When I was younger,” I said to my friend, “I thought you’d meet the person you were going to marry, and then all other suitors who had a chance at your heart would disappear. You know, Poof! Like, if you were meant to be with the person you married, the fairytale would begin and life would eliminate all other contenders. They would be dismissed. But what I now know is that they don’t disappear. Marriage isn’t this thing that is meant to be that pops up and solves all problems. Marriage is a choice. Every day, you choose. If you want the ‘happily ever after,’ you get it because you choose it, every day, every time. And when the other people who make your heart race pop up, you lock them out of your heart and re-choose your spouse. Every time.”

She, my friend, who is recently married, totally got it. “It is a choice. You don’t just get to have your spouse for the rest of your life. You choose that person every morning that you wake up.”

And as I walked in the door and told my husband the story (we have a “no secrets” policy), I realized that what I was realizing about marriage isn’t just about marriage. It’s true for everything.

Life doesn’t get loaded and locked into place. You make a choice. You decide who you are, every day.

It’s all action. Nothing is given or set in stone. “Who you are” is a very liquid, malleable thing.

You decide in the moment whether to say the cruel thing that wants to leap off your tongue, or whether to be kind.

You decide to tell your friend the rumors being spread about her, because she deserves to know.

You decide if you are the sort of person who gives second chances, who honors the benefit of the doubt.

You choose to repair a damaged relationship or to burn the bridge.

You decide to have an impeccable work ethic, to be true to your word, to keep your promises.

You choose not to interact with the ghost from your past, because you’ve been down that road, and you know exactly where it ends.

Life is part becoming who you are, and part deciding who you are.

I’ve loved discovering this in my marriage, because I can choose everyday to be a good wife. At work, I can mess up and choose to out myself and be a better boss. I can abandon my workout schedule and have the chance again to choose to be an athlete.

People who have met me in my thirties have such a hard time believing that I once was a totally wild, impossible to reason with, kind of crazy person. I lied, I cheated, I got myself into all kinds of trouble, I ran away to another country and I threw an engagement ring in the ocean.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned I can choose who I am. And so I’ve chosen to be better. To be honest. To be kind. To dig my heels in instead of running away. To be responsible. And every time I make a little choice, I add to the new, stronger house I’ve built. Eventually, it will be impenetrable.

A concern of mine for people who believe strongly in the law of attraction is that LOA (and novels, and Disney movies) can suggest that things arrive to you, wrapped up and perfect. You manifest the fairytale and poof! The fairytale is there.

What I’ve experienced is that it’s more like a box of ingredients arrives on your doorstep and you have to make the fairytale. From scratch. And your oven temperature doesn’t always read right. And sometimes the recipe calls for a teaspoon when you really need a tablespoon, and parts of the recipe are in some weird language you can’t even understand yet. And if you want to keep your freshly baked fairytale, guess what? You’ve got to keep stirring those ingredients together, everyday.

Kindness. Compassion. Attention. Affection. Willingness. Patience. Trust.

In your marriage, in your career, in your life.

When my husband brings me coffee in bed, when he gets tears in his eyes because I’ve got tears in MY eyes telling him about something amazing that happened at work, when he makes the bed even though he hates it, and he plans secret dates for us…that’s not a fairytale that was delivered to me. That’s a fairytale that we wanted, we forged, we lost, we regained, we fought for, and we continue to work on. Everyday.

I’ve chosen that when I see the ghost from my past, I don’t go getting hooked by my curiosity into interacting with him. I continue locking the door and I walk away. Because my recipe doesn’t call for weird ingredients that can spoil the whole thing.

People write to me and ask me all the time, “When will this suffering end? When will I finally stop feeling sad about my ex?”

That’s a difficult question to answer. Because time IS a factor when you’re healing from something like that. Part of it is buckling down and facing the suffering, the grief, the loss. But it is also at least 50% choice. When I decided to get over C, it worked because I decided to get over C.

You may not get that right now. You might be smack in the middle of suffering and can’t see your way out.

But when you see a light at the end of the tunnel, for God’s sake, go for it! Make the choice.

You don’t have to remain the jilted lover, the heartbroken ex, the pathetic victim. You get to choose.

So choose something else. And choose it every time you have a chance.

xo,
Jen

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40 thoughts on “Small Life, Slow Life: Fairytales. Why it matters that you get to choose. And some thoughts on marriage, too.

  1. I use to wake up and choose to do whatever I could to get my ex back. Now, every morning I wake up and choose to fill my life with as much happiness and joy that I can possibly squeeze in. That doesn’t mean life is easy though. Tonight I’m curled up in my bed missing my ex — but even that can be joyful when I choose to focus on the good (such as my cozy bed, the opportunity to text my amazing parents, and the ability feel emotions like sadness because I’m alive!).
    I’ve learned that happiness is a choice (thanks Jen!) and truly believe that it can coexist with sadness and longing. And so that’s what I am choosing to do and be tonight. I am sad because I had my whole life uprooted unexpectedly, but I’m also so happy because I choose to notice the good that still remains (and the good that came from being dumped). Happiness is available to us at all times and at any moment, even the most heart wrenching moments, there is an unlimited amount of things to be happy about.
    Have a good weekend Jen!! And thanks for another beautiful post. Xo

  2. Dear Jen

    Again your words brought me to tears. Remember a few weeks back I wrote to you saying how sad I was and that I had been stuck in my own dark tunnel thinking there was no way out? The snap, as you like to call it, finally happened to me. It happened when I thought I could die because of emotional pain. Amazingly how it snapped me out of it!

    And you know what, I started to date again 🙂 I started to feel the excitement when I receive his daily texts, I walk again with my head held up high. I see everyday is another brighter day. The ex who ran away has became less and less occupied in my mind.

    You are right, so right, Jen. It is all about me, that I finally choose to let him go, completely. And that I choose to be happy again, to live again a life that I deserve to live.

    From the very bottom of my heart, I thank you a million times for your help to the heart sick people out there. And I WAS ( no longer “AM” ) one of them!

    Much much love from Switzerland
    Annie❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  3. This could not have come at a more perfect time. As you can probably tell, I am an avid reader of your blog ☺ and your writing is so profound and inspiring. At first (like I’m sure is the case with most people), I found your blog through the “How I got my ex back” post and followed your advice hoping the outcome would be the same for me. While I was reading the advice about how getting the ex back is irrelevant and how it’s about personal healing, I told myself everything was very logical and true, but I didn’t believe it, even though I KNEW it was true. I’ve never known something was true, but still didn’t believe it. It’s a concept I still can’t explain. I still don’t think the “snap” has happened for me yet, but I think it’s close and I’m getting closer and closer to it everyday. Since “officially” deciding to stop trying to get him back 3 months ago, I’m taking baby steps to heal.

    Something that I can’t seem to shake are the signs, though. I’ve mentioned a few of them before and more have happened since then. On the day of the sixth month marker since we broke up, I turned on the radio and our song started playing from the beginning, a song that I haven’t heard in a while. Just yesterday, I went to a popular “festival” in town with a friend. I expressed concern about seeing him, but she assured me the festival was huge and that I wouldn’t see him. We parked and started walking for a little bit until I realized I forgot my phone in my car. As we were walking back, guess who I saw? Yep, the ex. Seeing him having such a good time with his friends truly broke my heart. It felt like I was instantly transported to the dark place I was living in 6 months ago. My friend quickly grabbed my arm and we turned the other way before he could see us.

    Honestly, I WANT to choose happiness and end the suffering, but these signs are making me uneasy instead of comforting me. I’m trying to find the meaning of our song playing on the radio (which I only listen to in my car, making the odds of hearing the song even slimmer) or seeing him (on the way to get my phone, which I never forget….), but I can’t. I really feel as if these are preventing me from moving on and chosing happiness. Any experience on this subject?

    • Oh yes I had tons of signs with C. Tons. I felt crazy. But in the end, I decided to move on because letting the signs affect me was killing me. So I asked the universe to make the signs stop. I said, “If he’s the man I’ll eventually marry that’s fine, but please stop the signs because they hurt too much. I have to let him go because not letting him go is destroying me.”

      I still saw them sometimes but they decreased in frequency a lot. And you know what? He was the man I married; that is what the signs meant. But even if you’re going to be with your ex again, you still have to let him go. NOW. Regardless of the signs. Because not doing so is hurting you. You’re seeing signs and living your life as though something will happen because of them.

      If he’s going to come back, he’ll do it because you’re happy and not so dependent anymore. Guess what will get you there? Not holding on. Not waiting. Not counting signs. 🙂 Unfortunately there is no getting around the letting go. And if you’re seeing signs as strongly as you are, letting go will actually SPEED up the process, whereas holding on makes everything slower.

      If you’re seeing those signs, sit back and trust that he’ll be back. And then know that he’ll only arrive again when you’re strong and happy. Let the signs remind you that you have work to do, rather than reminding you of him!

      • I do apologize for the vent-like update. After letting things sit for a short while, I’ve come to see how getting mad hurts no one but myself. I’ve also come to realize that people are going to do what they want to do and it’s not my place to judge or call anyone “two-faced” because that’s not fair. However, it IS my choice to decide what I will and will not tolerate. I will not tolerate people who do not come to me when they have a problem. I will not tolerate wanting to be with someone who will not stand up for me. I will also not tolerate surrounding myself with people who are willing to speak negatively about their friends.

        I still stand by what I said about my snap, though. I’m done with wasting my time on someone who doesn’t value me. I feel as if I said this before, but have never felt so sure about it until now. I haven’t cried (or even thought about crying) in 4 days, which is a great step for me. I know good things are coming my way. It used to bother me that there wasn’t a logical set of steps that I could follow that would have brought about this outcome, but it will happen. You just need to let go and you’ll be free.

        Also, I feel so much more in control of my relationships. I’ve decided that I’m not going to apologize for my actions because I truly believe I did nothing wrong. I always used to say I was sorry just to keep the peace, but I’m worth more than that. I clung on to my ex because I didn’t think anyone else could love me. Now that I have been talking with a new guy, I know that other people see the light in me and see that I’m worth it. Even if it doesn’t work out with this new guy, there will be someone else. Hope is not lost. I’m done settling in life. I deserve the absolute best and nothing less.

        Also, I wanted to let you know that back in July, I made a scrapbook with all of my favorite blog posts and comments from you. I used to carry it with me everywhere and look at every night. My therapist loved it and agreed that you have some pretty insightful things to say 🙂

        I feel as if my original update did not accurately represent all I have learned, so could you please delete it? I’d rather have anyone who is struggling to read this post, rather than the previous one because I am focusing on what is truly important here- the realization of self-worth, harnessing my power and working towards my happiness 🙂

        Jen, thank you so much for your advice and compassion. You played a great role in my healing process and you are such a beautiful person. You truly deserve all of the happiness that you have worked so hard to achieve. I know that there will be days when I’m not feeling so great, but it’s reassuring to know this blog will always be here for me. Wishing you all the best, but please know that I will always be an avid reader of your blog! Looking forward to the all of the new posts for the new year!

        • I deleted it and I totally understand. You got caught by the negativity for a moment which happens to all of us. Glad you corrected and are setting standards for who you let into your life now. ❤️

          You are the sweetest! This comment made my night. If I even helped your healing 1%, that makes it all worth it. I know how much pain you were in and I’m so happy to see you coming to the other side of that. There is great joy ahead for you and I look forward to hearing about it! ❤️ Sweet dreams Isabella! 🙂

  4. Hi Jen! Your post really made me think. You say that guy made your heart race and that you chose your marriage every day. But isn’t it a sign that you are not completely 100% happy? I mean we have to choose only if someone else is still an option, even if it is just somewhere deep in our hearts. And if we have made final decision on who our life partner is and who we are 100% sure of, then how somebody from our past can disturb us?
    I must say though that I do not have an experience of being involved with anyone for years but I have a feeling that if you do truly let go, then no one before matters. Or is it not so?

    • If you imagine that no one from your past can ever catch you off guard, I think you haven’t had enough life experience yet. 🙂 I 100% choose and totally am in love with my husband, 100% happy! ❤ The whole point of my post is that remaining deeply in love is a choice — it's not just something that is automatically there and can be taken for granted!

  5. Hey Jen,

    We speak from time to time. This post is phenomenal. This is one of your best. What I did realize is –
    The “snap” is a process too. it takes time. I’ve let other men into my life finally, ones who love me and are wonderful to me and make me incredibly happy. I go back and forth, have good and bad days. I have started seeing my ex for who he really is – and seeing that he kept in touch with his ex and his other flings and didn’t really give a damn about us beyond a point – I think “what was I doing with someone who doesn’t treat me right?” I don’t want him. You’re right, I made that choice and got my life back. Even though I have days when I wish I knew that he would come and Tell me what a big mistake he made by letting me go, I sensibly cut the thought off, I tell myself “I need me, and my happiness.”

    I don’t want my ex back. I want to grow, love and see the world.

    • The snap was a process for me too bluecitrine.

      There was a lot of back and forth (and optimism, desperation, confusion, the works!) but there were also moments where I simply felt free, released, and at peace and it was during those moments that I was able to see my ex and my situation much more clearly. And each time I had those moments of clarity, I was catapulted further and further along my healing journey until one day I was able to look back in absolute awe at how far I had come.

      I just wanted you to know that just like you I prayed and prayed to hear that he was sorry for letting me go — I wanted to hear those words SO BAD. But, somewhere along the way I realized that the desperation I had for hearing those words was just my ego needing validation that I was a good person and that I was worthy of love.

      My ex has recently come back (though I haven’t yet taken him back — you can read a bit of the process in the comments at the end of Jen’s Letting Go post) and I’ve heard the words I was so desperate to hear. But you know what? Since finding this blog and really devoting my time and energy to healing and learning to know and appreciate my worth, hearing him say those words had no affect on me. I no longer need his validation to know I am an amazing girl. I KNOW I am an amazing girl. And I’m not just saying that. I truly believe in myself and how amazing I am and now he sees that too — but so do so many other guys 😉

      Tonight I am sending you love, and I hope that you too experience many moments of true peace and are soon able to look back and be in awe at your healing.

      xo

      • Sarah,

        That is so wise. It’s weird, so weird how I feel we are all the same person in different points on the exact same journey. I relate to all that you have said and I almost cannot believe how there’s an inner conflict that makes me cry but that same pain tosses me back into the tide and I swim a hundred miles forward.
        I want to heal. Tonight I pray sincerely that there need be no dramatic measures, There need be no more crying, no waste of time or energy. I want to let go. For good. I choose to make that decision because I, am SUCH a precious source of love and energy and goodness and I have so much to offer to this world, to people who love me. I want to be purposeful and no matter which part of my mind doesn’t believe that, I believe in my worthiness. I don’t need a man to validate me, certainly NOT my ex.
        Though having some amazing men around Doesn’t hurt 😉 I pledge, for goodness sake, for yours and mine, for Jen, who makes so much sense – I will rise up and fucking enjoy my life. I am and I will.

      • Sarah and bluecitrine,

        Thank you for sharing your stories – I hope to be where you both are very soon. I don’t know why there is so much comfort in meeting others who know the pain you are enduring. Seeing how things worked out for you both just reinforces that things will turn around and I will be happy again. Learning to love yourself sounds so simple but its definitely still a journey for me. If I could take back all the mistakes I have made in my relationships and reconsider who I gave my heart to I would. I am starting to believe that you attract people who reflect the way you view yourself and I have not loved me in so long, its no wonder I made bad decisions. I want to see me and love myself – flaws and all because genuine love is unconditional. ❤

      • @Sarah , Amen to your HONEST and BRAVE words.I have such sympathy to this blog that I come visit now and then and read jen’s words again again.
        they really helped me through all the stuff.

        @Rae, sorry for your loss and wish you the best too. Just believe in yourself and your worthiness and strenght.

        cheers
        Kolbeh

    • Hey bluecitrine — you’re so right, the “snap” is a process too. It’s tension and pain that builds and builds until it finally “pops” and all that pain gushes out.

      The last two lines you wrote really got me. I want you to grow, love and see the world too. ❤ Proud of you.

  6. You motivate me so much – sometimes I visit your blog just to re-read your words, so they are imprinted in my mind and heart. They provide light when the clouds are above me. It has been a difficult past month and a half for me, something about loss leaves you so empty – not only am I dealing with my breakup but my grandmother passed away two days ago. I wish I could just have the snap already but I have taken steps to get there. I finally blocked my ex from social media and on my phone (boy, was that hard). I started following you on Instagram (hope that was okay) because seeing how happy you are is encouraging to me, it pushes me to keep going. I apologize for writing you an email about my relationship, I knew you would not respond (and I get it!) because it was the same old story but something about getting it all down and hitting send was a relief in itself, so I am sorry for using you as my personal diary. Very soon I will write to let you know about all the happiness I have discovered in my life,every cloud has a silver lining. 🙂 ❤

    • Hi Rae,

      So sorry to hear about your grandmother. 😦 I lost mine a long time ago now but it still hurts.
      The snap will come; it’s a matter of time and it happens the moment you really can’t take anymore. It is inevitable that it will happen.
      Totally okay that you followed me on Instagram…I never got your email though?
      Jen

      • Jen,

        Honestly, the email didn’t matter. It’s a good thing you never got it because it was pure spewage about my ex. I will send an email when things are more positive. My trip to Hawaii is next week, so I will def. keep in touch. Just wanted you to know that you have been a great help. ☺️

  7. HI Jennifer !

    Good things 🙂 I think I’m coming to terms with letting go. Plenty of back and forth but the overall answer to the question “will it make me happy if my ex comes back?” truly is “No”. I’ve realised that my happiness is mine to find and is NOT coNditional. I’ve realised the answer is me. It feels like that 100% carefree happiness I had before I met my ex is just one step away- it still evades me so I’m taking it slow.

    After a long period of grief and growth, many days and weeks and months of crying and hoping, lessons of realisation and true eureka moments of joy, I think I’ve found myself like never before. I allowed a wonderful new man into my life. He is hardworking, passionate about his dreams, respects me and cares for me as a friend and as a lover, treats me really well and the chemistry is pretty amazing- I least expected it after all that heartbreak and feeling that I’ll never feel that chemistry again when my ex walked out. (To anyone reading this, this comes from the girl who cried “he was the one, how couldnt he see it?” over and over when my ex left me – my intuition that my ex was my soulmate was so strong, but I’m over it !!!! A big part of what we believe to be intuition can be just hormones, ego and the mind – after all we are chemicals, believe me. To anyone feeling that pain, you are only a fEw weeks or months from full blown happiness again)

    I feel amazing chemistry and great love with this new man and it’s nowhere close to what I felt for my ex – I DONT feel like I’m sinking, I feel I’m rising now. I DONT feel insecure or needy or awful, I’m full of confidence and know I dont have to prove myself to anyone.

    However, Jen, I want that 100%freedom where I reach a point where I don’t care whether my ex exists or not- I feel sorry for his losing me and I wanthe to reach that state of wishing him well. I am over that part of me that’s addicted to sadness – I wanna surround myself with family and friends and amazing people like you.

    Love
    BLUECITRINE

    • You will find your 100% freedom. Closure will come. It always does. 🙂 I’m so glad to hear about all of these new developments! I always tell people that just moving on with someone new is SO much easier than getting an ex back, but like you said, we’re chemicals and we get stuck on the last person we were with. 🙂

      • I Found my 100% freedom !!! I remember you everyday Jen, every single day. I remember my sad times too and how much they taught me. I didn’t Even realize when I found my freedom but I did 🙂 and I realized it when I realized I don’t have that gut wrenching, heart heavy, sinking feeling anymore when I think of my ex- I am so so happy with my life right now and I am so glad I picked it back up and I feel like life is so kickass now, more than before. My standards are so high I realized I couldn’t fall for one new guy I met who liked me but was a big flirt – I was like “oh I can do wayyyy better” to myself. 🙂 and I am. Lovely ladies, give it time. There’s bigger joy ahead. The snap will happen – it is sometimes slow. The recovery time is different for everyone. They key is – stay busy, stay with the pain, accept the process and trust life to bring you your best joy and It WILL – it did, for me and it 100 % will for you. I’m no more in touch with my ex, I wish him well and I’ve an amazing life. Find your happiness ! It’s waiting for you
        Much love
        Blue citrine.

        • Ah! It made my morning to get this comment! I’ve been struggling with a couple of commenters lately who have not had their snap and don’t believe it’ll happen, so thank you for sending this. I remember the deep amount of pain you were in and it gives me such happiness and comfort to know you have your life back. I know the feeling you have found and you can trust that it will stay there. Three years later and my freedom is still here. ❤️ I’m truly so happy for you!

          • Dear Jen, I know exactly why. To all my lovable adorable amazing friends out there, who share my boat, we unfortunately don’t look at change as a scale or a spectrum, which it actually is. We look at change as something drastic. Let’s Imagine that you were at thirty percent power when your ex (aka the guy or girl who is going to regret it by the time you will be happy with your own life) left you. You didn’t recognize you have been at 40 or 50 or even 60. You’re making the climb , you’re progressing but all you sense is that you’re less than 100 %. The snap that Jen talks about is the time you soar beyond the 100 % or the finish line and go positive – like 110 %. That is when we “notice” change. Because despite this being a spectrum, the feeling is positive and not one bit negative. And time is a factor is this . So don’t worry that you’re not recognizing the change , it is happening. I, like you, was scared that I wouldn’t have my 100% back – I do now, more than 100. I’m a 200%. I love people, life, work and friends more than ever. Let it happen. Trust the process ❤️

  8. Just wanted to give some perspective to those who may experience signs. Signs work in funny ways because I strongly believe we attract what we want to see. After my ex left, I felt so hopeful because I used to see all these signs of him. I saw what I wanted to see, but not necessarily what was meant to be or what was going to happen. After a while, I stopped thinking about him and the signs stopped. Recently, I met someone who was a childhood friend of his and bam, the signs started back up. What used to give me hope, now makes me roll my eyes and say, “Really universe? Leave me alone now. It’s done.” I’m not saying that you only see signs because you secretly want something, but that can play a major role. Moral of the story- keep moving forward and don’t read into things too much.

  9. hey ! This is actually a really nice post. I relate so much to it mainly because I’ve been in a really loving relationship in the past obviously with my share of attention from outside of it, but I chose my then-boyfriend and my love for him every single day.
    However I’m in a fix Jen.
    There is a guy I like. I’m looking for something long term. Nothing significant has happened yet – we have been on one date and it was more friendly than anything, I know he likes me. He did reach out for another date and we fixed a day for it but it didn’t work out because he was sick – having said that, I did feel however that he grew emotionally distant all of a sudden. I’ve been careful with keeping my space and giving him his space so I don’t understand what happened. I’m faced with a fork – 1) we are both going to soon be separated by physical distance and even though I dream a lot, I understand the practicality of long distance relationships being challenging. I do however feel that I would kick myself for letting him go and hence I got to know him better. How do I deal with this sudden Mental/emotional distancing from him/ how do I get my power back ?
    2) I’m not interested in chasing him down and I choose myself even if it hurts to disconnect from him. However some of my colleagues at work may know that I like him and I feel it might ruin things if they prematurely talk / gossip about it. How do I stop the mental preoccupation and worry ?

  10. Hey Jen,

    How do we choose love, trust and respect over insecurity, jealousy and comparison? Insecurity begins to wane once a relationship becomes more certain and concrete. It’s easy to feel love when we are secure externally however I believe it’s that self love and self worth that lead to security in the first place! How does one internally practice letting go of worry, comparison and insecurity in the setting of budding love, without seeking that external validation and confirmation from the other person ?

    • I think you already said it — it’s standing in the fear and insecurity and recognizing the untrue thoughts. Though I generally don’t advocate getting into a relationship until self love is firmly established; otherwise it’s way too easy to lose yourself.

      For help with tackling insecurity/worry/comparison, I like the work of Byron Katie. You can find her work online and don’t have to buy anything. She’s a master!

      Re-reading The Four Agreements in the start of a new relationship is a good idea too! I also love his other book called The Mastery of Love!

      • Hi Jen,
        How are you? I love the posts you write about violet and it inspires me to be married and have a family soon 🙂 ❤️
        I keep coming back to you. I’m hoping you’ve some insight into this.
        Interestingly, this relationship with this guy Things were going so well with for a few months didn’t work out the way I thought it would. We both started with a good intention of eventually getting serious. We liked each other for a few months and things went well for a while. I was certain in my decision that I wanted to be in a serious relationship and he wasnt ready for that despite telling me that’s what he eventually is looking for. I stepped away from him because I’m not ready for something that blurs friendship and relationships and I know my worth. We started and stopped so many times and each time we started again it was better but this time it REALLY came apart. It really crushed me to let him go but I’m NOT ready to “see where it goes”. I know I want something serious and I didn’t corner him, I simply stated what I wanted nicely and when that wasn’t the way he approached it I stepped away. After the disagreement in our views and he was sad and offended and let me go. How do I let go ? I didn’t want to hear from him on my birthday which was yesterday and he literally sends me a text saying that regardless of what happened and how things went he wants the best for me. I don’t know why I’m feeling this now. there is so much pain.

        • It’s always painful when we have a preferred outcome and the other person doesn’t agree. However, you said yourself that you know your worth. You owe it to yourself to stop starting and stopping (because you lose a little power every time you do that), and stay firm this time.

          How to let go? I feel like I could write a million blog posts and never truly help someone with that, but oddly enough, you commented on this exact post which is where I think I’ve said the truest thing I can:

          Time is a factor, but is also at least(!) 50% your CHOICE.

          I finally got over C when I was so sick of feeling sad about him and I actively chose to get over him. Every time I’d think of him wistfully, I’d remind myself that he didn’t want what I wanted and that I wasn’t going to waste my time anymore.

          I’d stop myself mid-thought and say, “No, I’m not going to think like that anymore. Because if he wanted to be here, he would be.”

          It still took time. Rejection hurts. It’s the worst! But you’ve already done the hardest part which is walking away because you won’t settle for less. Because of that alone, you’ll feel better a lot earlier than most people do.

          Hang in there. ❤

          • It’s hard to. When you know he loved you not very long ago and then he just moved on as fast as he could to be ready to go on dates with other people. He didn’t allow any of this to hold him back – How is that even normal ? And why is it taking me longer than him to come to terms with this ? I’m two weeks into the process of accepting this.

          • Dear Jen,
            Please pray for me – I go on my first date today. I decided to date a little before I’m ready- I am excited but also nervous – what if it’s odd ? What if he douses me with affection or keeps away sensing that I’m distant ? I do wanna have a good time and allow this new guy to make me feel beautiful. occasionally I do get thoughts of what’s my ex might be up to. But I’m able to tell myself that it doesn’t matter because it’s not significant and it doesn’t change my life. Will this eventually go away too ?

            • It will go away too, yes.

              The date WILL be odd. Go in knowing that and just try to be open and have a go time.

              My first date after C was terrible! But then our second date was wonderful. Keep your expectations low and just enjoy yourself!

        • It was a disaster. He wasn’t like anything I thought he would be :/ no chemistry and he was just TOO desperate and all over me. I swear I went in just wanting to have a good time. I’ll continue to keep up and do the work 🙂 and update you on good stuff. Thanks for believing in me ! ❤️

  11. I don’t even know how you do it. I’ve learned more about life and myself through you than I have through any one. Thanks for being so awesome ❤️ Thanks for thinking my feelings are so important that you respond. Thanks for treating me like I treat me or how my sister would treat me. I prefer my time to get over him in that case. Yeah I got mad at his text and told him why I think he has no right to tell me that he wants the best for me after how he behaved – he ignored, deflected and characterized me with no good reason and just left me guessing and abandoned me out of the blue when he realized how I felt for him and that he was getting closer to me. But that, I guess, is secondary. I will take my time and heal. I will change my thoughts into “He didn’t want what I want, and if he did he would be here, but he’s not. So I need to move on” like you thought.

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