We have all been (or at least most us) in those relationship that are neither stagnating nor going anywhere. A reader of this great blog of ours (but do we say?) was in a relationship for about one year or slightly more. He, an established man in his education, career and single life and she, established in her education, career and love of life. (Now don’t take the love of life to mean that she was partying around, painting the town red and hanging from bar stools – it just means that she loves life, loves herself and knows that all will be well). Now, when I say that Adam was well established in his single life, this evidenced itself in how the relationship came to fizzle out – somehow they reached the crossroads and based on what I know about Eve, she knew which path she wanted to follow. That would be the path of commitment. For Adam, his feet froze at the crossroads and suffice to say that even if the feet had been thawed out, he still wouldn’t have been inclined to move towards the path that Eve’s feet wanted to.
Now, I have written here before that I think there is no need to force commitment down someone’s throat if that is not where they intend to go in life. Admittedly, there are those who are not inclined towards commitment but some day they meet someone who rocks their world or something changes in the lives and their minds, and they decide to commit. That said, we need to appreciate that there are those who want to tie the knot and everything that comes with that territory (kids and all) and this is where it is important for Eve and Adam to be clear about what they have in mind when they get into a relationship. If I want commitment but I am in relationship with someone who is wishy-washy about long term commitment or his idea of commitment is nothing close to what I think it should be then I am most likely going to get screwed – and not in a nice way!!
Back to the real topic….
This Eve and Adam’s relationship withered away and in the end, she called it quits. As she had gotten so frustrated with being in a relationship where she was trying to get on the same page with a partner who was not really keen on the same thing, she wanted her space and she cut off all communication with Adam. A few months down the line after the break-up, Adam began sending her messages telling her “I miss you”; in the messages, he told her that he couldn’t believe that she was not with him and there was a chance for them to make something out of what they had. In fact, thanks to these man-made short messages á la phone, Adam expressed much more about what he felt about not having Eve around than he had about having Eve around whilst they still had the relationship.
Now, I have been a recipient of these “I miss you” messages myself. The truth is that when someone we liked enough to be in a relationship with sends us such messages, it is possible to interpret them to mean a lot of things. I know – they are just three words but trust me, they can mean a lot! I thought about these interpretations and came up with some conclusions:
- “I miss you” is most often not a code for “I want you back”. Many of us may fall for the thought that “I miss you” means that the ex wants you back. Now, think about the flip-side; however much this person may have hurt you or however much you may have been let down, you do miss the person. I mean, you liked them, spent time with them and may have even shared a bed, floor, etc ;). But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want them back. It just points to the fact that they feel the absence of you and your being in their lives. It was ‘something’ they had, now they don’t.
- If the “I miss you” messages are backed with an effort to makes things right, then they may count for something. You have something to look at more than just messages on your phone. When I say efforts, I mean EFFORTS – not just building castles in the air with words but some solid action. This would for example mean being prepared to look at what ailed the relationship and taking steps to taking things forward in a way that actually sustains that relationship for both parties in it. If all the effort the other party is making is from the comfort of whatever piece of furniture they have rested their backside on, then they are just that – messages.
- “I miss you” messages that are just worth their face value stop you (and the other party) from moving on with your lives. Unabashedly, they can give you a false sense of hope and you continue to cling on to the idea of what could be. This means that you are unlikely to be in the heart-space and mind-space to move on, to getting used to not being in a relationship with this person and to look forward to what else life may bring – or to just being.
- If you “shared” a bed, floor, or whatever other location, “I miss you” could mean that s/he misses just that – dipping into the cookie jar or smoking the cigar. You don’t need us to tell you that going back to satisfy the itch will probably not translate into getting the relationship back on the burner. Enough said.
If “I miss you” (I know it may sound like music to your relationship ego) doesn’t translate into a solid action for a relationship you want, I suggest that you let them do the missing away from your life. Gather yourself and move on with life. It is beautiful.
Have your say.