"Most of us have loved people who were not right for us at some point in our lifetime. Maybe the timing was off, maybe we needed to grow individually, or just maybe they were just lessons that we needed to become the people that we're meant to become. We are aware that some people come into our lives for a reason, some a season, and some a lifetime. However long it might seem, be thankful for the gifts you received from them." -Unknown
When I first met her, we instantly clicked and became fast friends aided by the fact that I was dealing with my father’s death and she was by my side whenever I needed someone. she was empathetic, easy to talk to, and very open and gladly, I related to her immediately. People who loved the wrong man or woman usually say that it was painful and it really changed them. They learned to embrace the pain and to live every day of their lives with that void caused by the people they loved. They blamed themselves for being not good enough or for not fighting for that person that much. Some of them even regretted having met that person and wished that they could turn back the time to undo their mistakes.
Meanwhile, loving someone, whether he or she is right or wrong for us is never an accident. We meet people either to change our lives or for us to change theirs but have we cared to understand that if we try to understand and look into the positive and be optimistic, there are good reasons why falling in love with a wrong person is a stroke of luck. Early on, it became clear to me that while we were friends, we would not make a good romantic pair. We had extremely opposing political views and philosophies guiding our lives, as well as different communication styles. For example, in the beginning we would get in arguments about religion. I consider myself spiritual, but I am not very religious. He would constantly try to get me to have religious conversations with her. From my point of view, it felt as if she was trying to push her views and misunderstandings on me. It was exhausting. I didn’t feel respected or heard in my love journey.
I also felt like she was a different person, depending on what group she was with, which made me uneasy. I try to be authentically me wherever I am, and I love who I am. As she shifted personalities, it was very confusing to me. It made me wonder, “Who are you, really?” It's funny how people sometimes say that they could love someone so much even if they don't love themselves enough. But what is good about having self-love is we just don't tolerate the bad behaviors of our partners because we value our worth more. We are not afraid to walk away from a relationship if we are not treated the way we deserve to be treated. We are confident in what we are bringing in the table and our value does not depend on how our partners treat us.
One blessful day, my friends shook heads with her and told me she wasn’t good enough for me. “Nazira, she is too judgmental,” they would say. “I just feel like there is something very off about her; she makes me nervous.” As I got to know her better, I suspected that one reason for her behavior was that she had previously been involved in an extremely toxic relationship. In fact, it was so dysfunctional that law enforcement got involved. It made me ponder, “Do I really want to be with someone who attracts this kind of relationship into their life?” But I stuck by her during that time because she had been so present in my life when my father passed. I believed she deserved the same thing from me.
On the day she kissed me, things started to get fuzzy. When we were alone, things felt very relationship-y. However, when we were in our regular environment, we acted like best friends. I told myself that I could balance the division, but I couldn’t. I started to shove the multitude of reasons we shouldn’t be together under the rug, only to take them out occasionally to shame myself for wanting to be with her.
As the months passed by and our weird relationship continued, I realized I was starting to have authentic feelings for her. I was wearing rose-colored glasses and only saw the good parts of her, but I still didn’t feel right about the nature of our relationship. One morning it finally hit me. I had a dream that she slapped me across the face. In the dream, I was sobbing, begging her for forgiveness as I held my hand over my black eye. I woke up crying because the dream felt so real. While in “real” life she had never physically hurt me, I realized I was feeling disrespected emotionally by her and myself. I knew I had to make a change but she was so deceiving to the extent that she hurt me and I failed to recognized it simply because I was deeply entrenched in the relationship.
I broke things off with her about a week after that. It was beyond difficult and she was experienced about it and apologized for her part in the ordeal, but it was not the itinerary I wanted to go. So many parts of me wanted to go on acting like nothing was wrong, but my heart knew that it wasn’t a path I could travel any longer. My friends always advise me to leave her because she was not accurate with the terms of the relationship but I kept voiceless to their sentiments.
While loving someone “who is not right for you” can be painful, you can also find some amazing lessons. Love isn’t always meant to stay forever but sometimes it only stays for a season, and that doesn’t make it any less beautiful or valuable. Here’s what I learned from my relationship and why I have never regretted falling in it.
Sometimes even when we know something won’t necessarily end well, we still have to go through it. When we took our relationship to the next level, I knew in my instinctive that this was likely not going to end in a happy way but I would never change to be the agreeable, conservatively pampering guy she wanted to date and eventually marry. My mentor told me, my sisters told me and my friends told me, but I still went through it. Why did I do that? Well, I do not know but a strong man is one that takes risk without looking back. I remember talking to a therapist a few years ago about this phenomenon. She said, “Honey, we aren’t here on this earth to rise above life. We are here to walk through the grime. The magic is in the mess.” We learn our lessons by going through intense life experiences, not by skipping through them.
We need to liberate the shame. This goes along with lesson one above because shame is such a thorny sensation, that one wrestle with daily. I felt so much shame for having feelings for someone I knew in my heart was not the best person for me. I would beat myself up incessantly. I realized that if I wanted to move on, I had to stop putting myself down because shame was keeping me stuck. To proclamate the shame, I would just talk to myself like I do to my best friends. My best friends went through a similar situation this past summer and I always told him, “Saasi, I don’t know if this is going to end well and this doesn’t look healthy. However, if this is what you need to go through for your growth, I will be here to hold your hand and catch you when you fall.”
After he moved on from the situation, he later told me how much this meant to him. “You were the only friend who didn’t judge me. You acknowledged my journey. It helped me move on a lot faster to have someone accept me exactly where I was.” In this case, I needed to be my best friend. I wish that in the past, I would have allegorically taken my own hand and told myself that I would be there for myself through the mess. I needed to do that for myself.
I also realized that giving and receiving love are natural human needs. I comprehended that part of the reason I had chosen to be with “this girl” was that I wanted to give and receive love. That is a beautiful thing right all because I fancy loving people idealistically. It feels great, and when it was just us living in the present moment, it was a beautiful experience ever had. On the flip side, I do believe it is important that I give my love to someone who can welcome it with a pure intention. I recently saw a quote by Lisa Chase Patterson, “I always say, never sleep with someone you wouldn’t want to be.” I wholeheartedly agree with Lisa, but I believe it goes deeper. Don’t give your heart romantically to someone you don’t want to be.
Finally, I have come to contention that we acknowledge the dark parts in ourselves and love them. I have been involved in mindfulness studies since I was sixteen. I hold myself to a high standard and want to be an example of a mindful being, but I am still a human. There are still parts of me that seek love out of destitution and wanting to be believed. There are parts of me that are attracted to fixing people and feeling in control. While I have worked through a lot of pain and trauma in my life, there’s also still this little boy inside of me who wants everyone’s approval. These are parts of myself that I work on daily, but I have to be patient with myself because, lots of times we attach to beliefs about ourselves at a very young age and we have to shell them away, layer by layer. It can take a long time but patience is required. However, I think this process is what makes it beautiful. Life is not a race; it is a journey.
While this love story will not end in a relationship status update on Facebook or a proposal, it ended with some beautiful memories and some even more extraordinary lessons. I realized I don’t regret our kisses and love shared. I don’t regret sharing my secrets with her because it only beautified our lives and consolidated our relationship. And I especially don’t regret loving her. Instead, I choose to be grateful for how the relationship helped me grow and made me the man I became—very bold and principled in making decisions.
Hope it helps you!! I always stand for the interest of the people and together, we shall fight for the change that we always wanted because, love doesn’t hurt but loving the wrong person does.
Author; Issah Musah Aziba KNUST, Kumasi [email protected]
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