The Pain of Falling out of Love
You Never Even Realize. This is What it Feels Like.
There's no falling, only fallen. When you know, you're already there. The realization, the clarity, the awareness; it all comes after when it's too late.
"Better if we do this on our own. Before I love you. I'm gonna leave you. Before I'm someone you leave behind. I'll break your heart so you don't break mine."
Coming to terms with falling out of love is a process that by the time you realize it is happening it has already happened. It only starts making sense when you’ve already fallen. When you haven’t had the chance to stop yourself, to even try. When you finally realize it, it's because you’ve already fallen and clarity finds you. The battle you've been fighting inside. The problem that you've been trying to fix. It becomes as if the answer was always there. But, only now you can see it.
No longer confused. No longer in knots. No longer wondering what if. No longer holding on. No longer wasting effort trying to fix something you can't.
Because the most painful part of this honest clarity that you now have is what a part of you had known all this time has finally come to surface, it's no longer something you can ignore, deny. No more darkness to the uncertainty you felt. Only light. Painfully, blinding light.
The most confusing part of it, for you and for them, is that...
The fall isn't ever something that you're aware of, or something you remember. You only know that you're there. A place where you didn't used to be, unable to return to where you once were. Trying to assimilate that thought. Trying to swallow the new reality that you've ended up in. Having to come to terms with missing feelings, wanted feelings, that are now absent.
You didn't know. You didn't see it coming. You didn't realize. Not then, only now.
A scary notion to be somewhere, in something one moment and then seemingly be somewhere else, out of something another moment ,not at all remembering the in between, what got you there. How you even got there.
As if you skipped getting there and are at the end and can only look back now realizing what was unconsciously happening.
That’s the most devastating part. The worst realization that you finally sadly understand. That all this time everything you thought was fixable. Or just you overthinking. Relationship problems that you could overcome. Potential problems within yourself. Things that annoyed you. Space you wanted. Independence that you desired. It was all a part of the fall. You just didn’t know. You didn’t realize.
Falling to fallen. Beginning to end, skipping the middle.
It’s an unconscious, slow process that happens without you even realizing it. Like a silence bullet in the darkness. That by the time you see it and realize it, it’s too late. Ripping through you as you finally begin to understand what has been happening all this time. Coming to accept that nothing can change it.
You’ve tried to stop what a part of you inevitably knew wasn’t stoppable, wasn’t fixable. But to no avail. A part of you knowing, but the part of you not ready to face it suppressing it.
Trying to grasp the thought, the reality of something that you thought was in your control; but in reality, you had no control nor consciousness of what was happening within you.
We never see falling out of love as the real culprit to the health of our relationship until it’s already gone. Until a piece of it is no longer alive for you. The want. The feelings. The love.
Confused by still loving and caring for the person but trying to separate that from the fact that you are not in fact in love, at least not anymore.
We try to do everything we can to fix it, to fix ourselves, to fix the relationship, thinking it’s something that we can fix until we finally realize that we can’t. Before we finally realize the truth that deep down we’ve known for a while, but not put a face to, not put a reality to.
And one of the worst parts is trying to find it in yourself to try to explain, try to tell a person who clearly is in love with you, that you’re not. To hurt someone who is on a completely different page than you. Someone who you never wanted to hurt. Who you still care and love so much. Hating yourself for what you know you’re gonna have to do and for taking so long to understand the things you’ve been feeling. Ruining something you know could have been beautiful while trying to understand that you don’t get to choose how you feel.
Not wanting to let it go. Let them go. Because you know how rare they are. How beautiful what you both had once was. But knowing that you can’t keep holding on. You can’t keep hoping. Knowing that you have to face the reality of it. Because it’s not fair to you or to them to keep doing this. To keep waiting for feelings that may never come back. Keeping them and the relationship both in limbo. One foot in while the other is out.
Knowing that you have to let them go.
Feeling like you’re doing things because you’re supposed to. Going through the motions. Trying in hopes that things will magically spark again. Wanting so badly what isn’t real anymore, at least not for you. A part of you feeling guilty for that. Hating yourself for somewhere along the way falling, not being the same person you were when you fell in love. Blaming yourself. Rethinking everything. Wondering when it happened.
Letting go of the past, having to face the present. Forgetting the dreams, facing the reality.
And the most painful part of it all is when you finally came to the realization and awareness that this wasn’t what you wanted anymore. They aren’t the person that you want to spend your life with anymore. That all the hopes and dreams, the future you planned in your head is no longer going to happen anymore. And that you can’t be the person that they deserve anymore.
Knowing that you’re gonna have to tell them, clearly able to see how in love with you they still are. How much they want to be with you. How much they love you. How much you’re still their person. And that breaks your heart even before you’re ready to tell them. Thinking about hurting a heart that you never thought you’d hurt but always protect by things that were never in your control. Truths that you didn’t want to face, didn’t want to acknowledge and accept. Until you could no longer ignore them. Just wishing that you felt the same.
Accepting that you can still love them but not be in love with them.
Until you've tried everything you could to fix what you believed the problem was, fix yourself. Until you've finally realized what the real problem is and that you couldn’t fix that. A devastating conclusion that comes with that awareness. Because the answer to this problem is the end.
Knowing that you have to let them go because you both deserve better and what you have left isn’t right at this moment.
Finally understanding that the fight you’ve been fighting for so long was always one you were going to lose. An internal fight that was slowly tearing you to pieces from the inside out. And grasping that the sooner you put your white flag up, the less casualties there will be. The less pain that will be inflicted. But getting to that point, finally understanding yourself that has been a journey in itself. Ripping you to pieces in the process.
A hard reality and truth that many of us are not always ready to hear, but in time, we will be.
Never thinking that the thing that will end something with someone you wanted to marry would be that you fall out of love.
Letting them go not because you want to but because you need to. Because want isn’t enough to sustain something that isn’t there anymore, especially when your heart isn’t there anymore. Your happiness isn’t there anymore.
And falling out of love isn’t usually something you can fix or change. A very hard pill to swallow. It’s an unfortunate part of taking a chance on love and growth in this life. But, you have to be strong enough to do what’s best for your happiness and your life. And do your best to treat other's hearts with kindness. Which means letting go of things and people who don’t bring you happiness or benefit you anymore, even if they once did. Letting them go because it’s what you both deserve.
Little do they know that your heart has felt the pain of this long before you would ever even think of hurting theirs. Long before you wanted to. Because coming to this realization was a heart-breaking notion. Having to face an end that you never wanted.
Finally able to swallow the reality that you couldn’t wrap your head around, accept for so long.
“Hardest part is knowing that I had it. Something almost perfect, we were almost perfect. Maybe it's too late for me to save this, but I gotta face this. No matter how I hate it.”