I Stop Running after My Exes
Photo by Belle Co on Pexels
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”- Jim Morrison
My insecurity as well as my past anxiety transformed me into a highly sensitive person. This character trait had influenced my relationships as well as my own life for almost 5 years before I came to realize that I was the problem. I was trying to please everyone ―especially my friends― against my own happiness and prosperity as a young adult. I felt that I had to ask each one of my friends if they would be comfortable with anything I wanted to accomplish in my life. Because I thought that the best way for me to prove that I was a complete person was having long-term relationships even if my friends were not actually good to me. Besides, I was too afraid of being alone…
Some people abused my kindness and wanted me to compromise my own success for the sake of our friendships. However, life was really on my side, and opportunities kept coming up even when I was not looking for them. Sometimes I couldn’t reject the opportunities because they were too close to my dream life. Those are the moments that had me realize that some of my friends didn’t love me.
Whenever I accomplished something in my life, some of my friends just disappeared. By doing so, they tore my life apart because I used to feel guilty when someone stopped hanging out with me. As a result, I couldn’t identify myself with my successes, and I felt unhappy and ashamed of my own accomplishments.
That same thing may have also happened to you. You have probably found a new job, moved to another country, or have significantly changed your lifestyle. And you have realized that something else has happened: you have also lost some of your best friends. You start inferring that you have probably done something bad to them. But it’s not the case, there was no argument between you and them. They have just forgotten you as if you were metamorphosed into a new person, and as a result, they couldn’t recognize you. Maybe you have fulminated in a snap from their minds and have left no clue. As you start to be obsessed with them, the worst is yet to come. You have weakened and become depressed. Unfortunately, they have faded away the moment you need them more. Since everything is new to you, it is then challenging for you to build up new relationships. Then you decide beforehand that your past relationships were the best for you. You feel that you are in between your past and your present life. You are stuck in limbo, or in no place. Between past, present, and future, you don’t know what to choose. If you are experiencing this or have experienced this once, here you’ll find some ideas on how to deal with past friendships.
It’s Nothing Personal
You feel that you have left your friends on the other side. And you are still attached to their presence. Don’t feel guilty for not being with them, you have done nothing bad. Losing friends and having new friends are natural processes of life. Most people who hang out with you do it because you are compatible with them. Therefore, if you have changed your lifestyle, they would probably disappear unconsciously. Given that you are willing to evolve, you need to prepare your mind to be able to switch between things quickly, because each part of your life must change with you―including your friends. If they cannot change the same way as you, they will fade away. It’s a matter of self-protection: people tend to avoid the unknown. Your exes are probably as confused as you ―maybe more. They hesitate to reach out to you because they don’t know if it is appropriate to contact you. Their vision of you has become a blur. Some don’t even try to ask why you have changed, and what is your new objective. Guess what? They would like to still be friends with you, but they are not ready to adjust themselves to your new version.
It’s only Transitional
It takes courage to reorient one’s own life. When you decide to make such a decision, you need to foster your mental strength and level up your stamina so that you can face the losses of some friendships. Some people will make you feel that you are unfaithful to your friends when you make the decision to transform your life. You might even convince yourself that your past life was better and regret the changes that you have made. The first months might be the worst because at that moment you will also have to adapt yourself to your new lifestyle. Afterward you will find out that the transformation was good for you. Maybe you will be able to build up even better relationships than what you had before. Bear in mind that you will become more mature. In some way, you will know more about relationships. Thus, you will prioritize quality over quantity and reach out to people that can evolve the same way as you.
Photo by Keegan Houser on Pexels
You Don't Have Friends, Enjoy Loneliness
It’s a very good thing to be with people in general. When it comes to those you really love, it is more than being happy: You feel an intense and deep emotion that you cannot describe. It seems that the moments you have shared with them are irreplaceable. However, being alone can also be helpful. Yet the more you have enjoyed being with friends, the least you will be able to face loneliness. In the end, it’s a matter of adaptation. During the moment you are alone, try to start an activity that you have always wanted to do (learning a language, reading, doing exercise, etc.), and you will find out that it was worth being alone. You will also know yourself better because you will have time to practice mindfulness and self-reflection. You will focus on how you see yourself rather than how people see you.
“Friends change . . . friendships change. Real friends move with these changes and talk about them as they are happening.” — Anne Wilson Schaeft
Let them Dance, but now Choose the Rhythm
When you become stable and have totally adapted to your new life. If it is for the better, some of your ex-friends will want to hang out with you. Let them come if they want, but never let them pull you back. If they cannot adapt to your new life, then let them be! Each one has their goal in life. What may be bad for you, can be good for them. Don’t try to make compatible what will never be. You can always care about your ex-friends without hanging out with them. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you no longer are. Don’t be a slave of your past, be the captain of your future instead. Be with people who can help you become who you want to be, and you will find your paths to success.