What we really miss when a partner leaves us

I feel like my heart is stubborn and likes to learn the hard way.

During my life, I have moved a lot. Growing up, I moved every two or three years for my parents’ job. Then I moved to go to college, and later moved for my job. After a divorce, I moved once again.

I’m the kind of person who needs deep roots.

I didn’t always make the transition well because I’m an introvert who sometimes comes across as an extrovert. Plus, I’m the type of person to hold on to, so the uprooting every few years has been traumatic for me.

I felt like I was constantly mourning lost relationships. Then as an adult I was faced with the loss of my marriage and now I am faced with the dating game.

It took me a long time to realize that maybe it isn’t always the people we lose that we miss.
On the contrary, there are times when we miss certain people, and it has absolutely nothing to do with them.
Instead, it’s our reflection in them that we miss.

It’s the way we were with them that we miss.

I had a relationship that didn’t work.

My partner left without looking back, leaving me to pick up the pieces of my broken heart. There were days when the pain of his absence was so brutal that I had difficulty breathing. There were nights when I would curl up in my bed and try not to feel the echo of her warmth and weight invade the empty space.

After this heartbreak, I got up and put the pieces of my heart back together. I have children to raise after all. I didn’t have time to wallow in regret, self-pity, or grief. But I still felt the loss keenly.

Several months later, I still feel this loss sometimes. This person is there when I least expect it and it can be triggered by a random song or word. Something as simple as tying my shoelaces can bring back a memory so strong that I have to sit down for a minute to breathe.

It took a while for me to realize that what I miss most is not the person themselves.

What am I really missing? Its inconsistency? The insecurity created as a result of his emotional withdrawal? I definitely dodged a bullet when he left.

Yet I liked it.

I thought he was perfect for me.

What I feel is not a desire for him. It’s a longing for the way I felt in those moments before he started to walk away. The intensity of our connection was not something I had experienced before. It was intoxicating.

It’s that perfect connection that I miss. I miss the unleashed joy, the one that was for a moment the object of his affection. What I miss is who I was when he showed me his admiration.

When we realize that what we lack is not someone else, there is no point in telling them that we miss us.
It does not concern them. It’s about us. It’s about giving us what we need. It’s about coming to understand what this relationship has brought us.

I realized that this relationship gave me a powerful temporary boost in confidence. After I picked up the pieces of my heart, I gained confidence in myself.

While we cannot give ourselves the intensity of being a perfect couple, we can make sure that we are complete on the inside. We can also make sure that we bring this kind of attention, devotion, and intensity into all of our relationships – family, platonic, and romantic.

We can’t replace someone in our life, but we can train ourselves to give ourselves what we need rather than waiting for someone else to fill our empty spaces.

When we take the time to investigate our own feelings, we can often find ways to resolve our inner conflict without relying on something outside to help us feel better.

I no longer have to sleep lying on the edge of my bed, and there are days when her name doesn’t even cross my mind. I learn to sort through when I miss him and when I miss who I was, breathing his life story and incorporating it into the fabric of my own life, not knowing our interaction would always be so brief.

When I miss the person I was with him, I remember that she is still inside me.

I did not get lost by losing it.

We don’t get lost like that.

When we realize that this is the person we were when we were with someone that we miss, we can make the transition from that lack and take care to give ourselves everything we need in this moment.