run from pain

You can’t find love by running from pain

I know you’re lonely. I get it. You wish there was someone there. You wish someone could hold you. Maybe you just wish they could get you out of your head for 5 minutes.

Your feelings are legitimate, and there’s so many people in the same boat. It hurts to be alone. It hurts to feel like no one cares.

But I need you to be careful. There’s a big difference between dating to be with someone and dating to not be alone.

It’s easy to feel lonely and want a soulmate to fill that void. Friends come and go, it’s harder to meet people when you’re older and a significant other is someone who’s always there. It’s easy to feel like having a girlfriend or boyfriend will solve our problems. That it will make us feel better or at least not feel sad while we’re with them.

That’s the problem. If you’re swiping on dating apps or trying to meet people to escape your problems, you’re asking for trouble. I’m sure you’re not doing it consciously. Maybe it feels like chatting with potential matches because you’re bored. Maybe it’s just a mindless activity, maybe you don’t think of it as looking for Mr/Mrs Right.

The point is you’re still wasting your time. I’m sorry but that’s what it is.

Every decision you make either takes you closer to a healthy relationship or keeps you stagnant. An incomplete you isn’t completed by a relationship.

I realize it’s painful to address whatever causes your pain. I know it’s awkward and uncomfortable. But that’s the point. We have to stretch ourselves to grow and become who we’re going to be. We have to become the person that our future significant other wants to be with. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with you today, but if you’re using dating to distract yourself from your problems then you’re not getting closer to the best version of you. You should want that more than you want a relationship anyway.

Furthermore, you don’t want a relationship where both people are using the other as a distraction. Dating someone just because you hate being alone isn’t going to make you happy. Are you in your current relationship just because you’re scared of being alone? Are you putting up with pain or stress or fighting just because it’s a known pain? And being alone is a dark, scary path you don’t know how to handle?

I’m not attacking you, and there’s nothing wrong with you if that struck a chord. I’ve been there, most of us have. I’m just pleading with you. I’m begging you. There’s great opportunities out there. Whether you’re in a bad relationship or looking for a distraction, you’re not taking a path towards a happy ever after.

A happy ever after comes from two happy people being happier together. It comes from two people who can stand on their own standing taller together.

I’m not saying you have to be perfect and flawless to find love. I’m saying that if you hide from your problems inside a relationship, your problems will still find you. And now your problems are someone else’s too.

Using a relationship to hide from problems also makes you settle. You’re not looking for the person you deserve anymore, you’re looking for anything less painful than being alone. You deserve better than that. You deserve someone who makes you better than your best. And they deserve someone who wants to be with them, not just someone who’s scared to be alone.

This is so doable. I know it can be scary and there might be painful changes you have to make to get there. This is not a question of pain or no pain. This is a question of “How soon do I want to be truly happy?” Because that can’t start until we resolve these root causes that are causing you pain. Everyone has their own issues and I’m not trying to say I have the answers. I’m just saying that you’re the only one who can fix your own problems, and until you are content alone you will not be content with someone else. Your problems don’t go away because your relationship status changes, they just hurt more people.

I’ll say it again. How soon do you want to be happy? I don’t think you’re happy right now, and it will hurt worse when there’s another person’s problems in the equation. But you can take steps. You can get help. You can reconnect with people who know you well, you can heal old wounds and try new ways to be the best you. Don’t despair. There is no wound that a human can’t recover from. And how proud will your future love be that you put in the hard work and made yourself ready for them? What more pure love is there than that? To tell your future love:

“There was a time when I was hurting. I was alone and I was so scared to not have someone. But I knew I would find you someday. I knew you would be everything I ever wanted and I knew that we could be so happy together. But I wasn’t ready. I had baggage and I had scars. So I put my blinders on. I stopped swiping. I stopped distracting myself and stopped wasting time. I knew I would meet you one day and I put in the work for us. I put in the work so I could be the person you deserve. I knew way back then how much better my life could be with you in it and I’ve been fighting for you since far before I knew your name, and I will never stop fighting for you.”

You can say that. You can hold the person who completes you and be the best thing that ever happened to them. But you have to start today. You have to stop wasting time. They deserve the best you. They deserve a version of you that isn’t just hiding from pain but fighting for love. And you deserve the same thing, not just settling for a painkiller romance.

Further reading: If this resonated with you then you might benefit from Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. I spent a lot of time fixing other people’s problems in relationships because it gave me self worth and let me hide from my own problems. It also doomed every relationship at the start. This was a very useful book for understanding which of our issues we need to fix before we can be in a healthy relationship.

You deserve the life the best version of you can create. Let’s stop delaying happiness because we’re scared of pain – I want more for us than that.

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