Several years ago, I met a man whilst on a holiday.  We spent a heavenly week together, travelling a little and spending time at his beautiful family home.  I was introduced to his family and we all got on tremendously well.  We shared some magical moments that will stay with me forever.  After those 7 days were up, we both felt like we’d spent a lifetime together.

So you can understand my hopes that when I got back to the UK, I would be deluged with phone calls, emails and loving texts, telling me how much he missed me and planning our next visit together. 

Day 3 of being home and I’d heard nothing from him.  So what did I do?  Unlike perhaps a more rational person, who might think it best to leave it as a holiday romance and move on, I pushed it.  I texted him, saying I wanted to speak.  When I didn’t hear back from him after several hours, I began to pace the room, looking at my phone and willing it to signal his reply.

In those moments, I craved his attention because I told myself I needed it; I needed to know that he cared about me so that I would feel good about myself, safe in the knowledge that someone out there loved me and could fill the emptiness I felt inside.

I’ve read many books and listened to people say “love yourself first” and for two years I remained single, proving to myself that I could do well on my own and I did.  But the moment I got involved with someone, all that unhealed stuff came up.  I even found myself saying “I can’t live without him” to a friend.  Blimey!  I didn’t even know him for the first 41 years of my life and I lived just fine without him then and have done since!  And having spent just a week with him, I didn’t really know him on a day to day basis; being on holiday gives you a rose-tinted view of someone, but  what was he like at home?  He may well be a complete pain with annoying habits, but no, in my mind at that time, he was the one.  I smile when I think about that now.

Herein lies the problem:  I wasn’t seeing the reality, and I wasn’t taking the feedback, which is that he had enjoyed our time together, but he was offering no indications that he wanted to take it further, even though my head had already walked us up the aisle!

The lesson in this story is this: don’t push something that isn’t going to give.  A wall is a wall, not a door.  Listen to the feedback that’s being shown to you.  Don’t stop and wait and try if you’re not invited; move on, and fast.  Each valuable moment I spent waiting for him took away from my openness to meeting someone who really was available and wanting to be with me.

I give thanks that the relationship didn’t continue, as it’s given me the opportunity to truly learn that I am enough, as I am, with or without someone.  Love is always available to me, I know that now.  I didn’t then. 

“My Need For You Is Not My Love For You”K. Bradford Brown