However you’re feeling right now is okay. Missing them is okay. Being mad at them is okay. Feeling like you don’t want to even consider dating anyone else is okay. The feelings will work themselves out in time. You don’t have to ignore them or pretend you’re okay. Cry, scream, throw something. Let the feelings overwhelm you, because that’s the only way to process. And eventually, when you’re ready, let go.
You’re not alone.
This isn’t meant to minimize what you’re going through but to remind you that many of us have been where you are now and have made it through. Some of us are still in the midst of it. Some of us are speeding blindly and headlong down a road that will lead us to the very place where you’re standing now. Take comfort in knowing you’re not alone in this and that how you feel, however you feel, is valid.
They wouldn’t or couldn’t give you what you need.
It’s okay to miss them, but don’t forget why they’re not in your life anymore. It’s easy to romanticize them and how you felt with and about them, but don’t forget all the times they let you down. Don’t discount all of the good, but remember that they weren’t able or willing to be the person you deserve.
The feeling will pass.
You won’t miss them forever, and maybe that’s a bittersweet thought. The day you stop missing them is the day the memories fade, and maybe you’re not ready to consider forgetting all you shared. Maybe you’re ready to feel okay again, but you’re not sure how to do that yet. One day you’ll be ready to let it all go. If that day isn’t today, guess what? That’s okay.
Be kind to yourself.
Don’t think you shouldn’t miss them because time has passed or because they chose not to fight for you or for any other reason. Be kind to yourself because you were brave enough to love them enough to miss them. Be kind to yourself because you’re doing the best you know how.
Take as much time as you need to heal.
Missing them doesn’t mean you’re not healing, it just means you need a little more time. There’s nothing wrong with that. Grief doesn’t have a timeline. Don’t view this as a setback but as another step in the healing process.
Talk to someone about it.
Don’t be ashamed of how you feel. Maybe you feel embarrassed because you think you shouldn’t miss them. Talking about it and about them is another step in the healing process, and the people who love you will understand.
Maybe you don’t really miss them.
It’s hard to tell the difference between actually missing a person and missing the way they made you feel. So ask yourself: Do you really miss them? Or do you miss that hopeful feeling that accompanied being with someone who made you feel things that maybe you never felt before? Do you really miss them, or do you miss the potential you saw in them? Did you love the person they really were or the person they wanted to be? It’s okay to see a person’s potential and hope they reach it, but it requires significant work on their part, not yours, to reach that potential.
It doesn’t matter if they don’t miss you back.
Some well-meaning people may tell you not to waste your time missing someone who doesn’t miss you too. They’ll say something to the effect of “Don’t waste your time on someone who couldn’t see your worth.” While they do have a point, that doesn’t really matter. The heart wants what the heart wants, and right now, your heart wants them. It won’t be like this forever, but it’s okay right now.
You don’t have to give up hope.
I’m not saying you should put your life on hold and wait around for them, but it’s okay to feel optimistic that you may find your way back to each other once you’ve both had time to grow. Sometimes timing really is the biggest problem we face. You don’t have to write them off completely if you’re not ready for that step. Do what feels right for you.