Falling Out of Love

On a beach in Tenerife last summer, with sand blowing in my eyes and something like joy burning in my heart, I realised that I was in love with someone who I knew could never love me back. In October, my heart was thoroughly broken when I was proven right and in November, those feelings had decreased to a painful roar. By December, they’d pretty much gone completely. Whilst realising I had those feelings in the first place was certainly terrifying, the most upsetting part was watching them fade. I want to talk about that now, when it doesn’t feel like the world is falling apart.

Falling out of love is just as it sounds: you fall. The strength of the sadness is shown by whether the eventual crash to the ground is painful or not; whether you’re left miserable for months afterwards or whether the very idea of feelings scares you now. It’s the slow creeping of dread when something happens that shakes your world enough for feelings to go. In short, it hurts but it’s not the sharp pain of heartbreak: it’s slow, draining and you’re left exhausted by the end of it. However, you’re left without those feelings and that can be a good thing.

I’ve “fallen out of love” three distinct times. The first was from a toxic “friendship” that was so beautiful to start off with but it turned into something I depended on in the most unhealthy ways. The second was peaceful but equally as painful; it was realising that there are some utterly right people at the wrong times. At the third, where I didn’t know what was right or wrong, I utterly shattered. I’ve been told that for months, I was blank and so unhappy; I only remember that time in the most distant of ways. However, for all the heartbreak, each separate instance taught me new things. For that reason, I’m glad that they happened: each consecutive one hurt me worse but I gained a whole lot of perspective from them.

The loss of friends and feelings showed me that processing things, for me, can be quite difficult. I realised, the third time, that I had been purposefully blocking myself from thinking or expressing what I wanted, so much so that all of it would be suppressed until it was tangibly ripped away from me. This is why things have been so horrible; I haven’t given myself time to understand how I reacted in the past, or how other people might have reacted to me. I didn’t blame anyone for it and whilst I don’t blame anyone now, I never truly spoke about things the way I needed to. This summer is about understanding both myself and others; I’ve got potentially years’ worth of events to untangle in my head.

After I came to that realisation last summer, I started to write it all down. In the notes on my phone is a specific set of thoughts, going from 22 August to 1 September, essentially documenting what I was feeling. I had no other way to let it out. When I read over them a few days ago, it brought me back to those days but I was also so shocked at how at times happy and at times confused I was. In the mayhem of losing feelings afterwards, the positive aspects of those feelings withered away so that all I could think about was the losing, rather than the love itself. That love was so beautiful and as I still have a lot of respect for the person in question, I almost felt guilty about reading back on what I’d written.

I think back to that windy August day on a Tenerife beach and feel an acute sense of sadness but also this aching nostalgia. When I wonder what could have been, I try to remember how it was to lose feelings so strong that surviving without them seemed impossible. Well – I survived – and I don’t want to have to go back to those desperate wishes to just stop feeling like this, to just please stop because I couldn’t breathe from the unhappiness. Remembering myself back then isn’t filled with regret: it’s just sorrow that the loss of such feelings affected me so deeply.

Now, I’m in a place where the loss of feelings hasn’t occurred in a long while. I still get moments where I think about situations and get a wild spike of remembered pain but it’s not a current pain. I want to have closure – even after all this time – and sometimes, it’s very difficult to let the past be the past when it’s informed so much of what I am now. Getting closure isn’t the same as “dragging up” old memories. It’s taking those old incidents and making something new from them.

Perhaps I’ll speak to the person about how I was feeling – to all of them, if I can. Perhaps I should have done that before writing and perhaps writing this will have unpleasant consequences. I can’t bring myself to mind. I’ve spent too long holding my own mouth closed that it’s time I spoke, a little, about how I felt when I couldn’t at the time.

I don’t want warped and ruined memories any more. I want to be able to look back on the times where I was in love or when I fell out of it without the accompanying fury about myself. When I think of “falling out of love”, I don’t want to think of the crash: I want to think of the happy and the bittersweet moments, without that becoming something to obsess over.

I can’t exactly pretend that I never felt anything in the first place. All I can do is understand that they happened and that that’s okay.

I wish I could have spoken about it on my blog a bit more. However, back then, I was afraid and unable to think clearly, the thoughts too fragmented. Maybe now, I’ll start to have that freedom without simply running.

Have you ever fallen out of love? How did that affect you?

From Elm 🙂

17 thoughts on “Falling Out of Love

  1. I fell out of love. It was freeing but mixed with pain as I knew I’d never be enough for said person and I lost myself for awhile but I wouldn’t change a thing. Your post was beautiful thank you so much for sharing it.

    • Your comment perfectly summarised how I felt when I was falling out of love, in how I lost myself. I think that the efffects from such experiences will last for a long time but I’m much better off now. Thanks for sharing your own personal experiences – it means a lot ❤

  2. I love your honesty and it takes me back to my younger days. I think that falling in and out of love with both friends and partners is an integral part of finding our own selves. It’s a part of growing up and the change of the lenses we see the world through. As a lover of books, my mind could really get away with me on those “what could of been” thoughts and I think I built situations and maybe even my own feelings into things they weren’t. I think that naivete of young adulthood is the culprit. However, the world is rarely more wondrous and full of possibilities than when you are young. It’s that same naivete that makes things amazing that can make us hurt. With all things in life, it’s layered.

    • Oh my gosh, that was one of the most beautiful things I’m ever read. The idea of layers really stuck with me; I feel like young adulthood is filled with so many pressures but can also be colourful and wonderful and magical in how our view of the world transforms. I equally love books and find my imagination wandering to ‘what if’s” far too often, where my perceptions live in a world of my own making. It’s great to know that I’m not the only one who felt that way sometimes.

      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I’m going to treasure it as something which captures my thoughts exactly. Have a wonderful day xx

  3. Hey Elm *waves* I really loved this post and I’m so proud of you for writing it. Falling out of love truly is the worst. I haven’t had much experience but I find there is the ache after you realise. It’s like there’s been a shift in the universe. I’m a believer that things happen for a reason, sort of like you, I think that falling out of love has taught me things about myself which I didn’t know before. Hopefully you’ll be able to sort through your thoughts and I’m always here to help if you want me 💛

    • And always same to you 🙂 the beautiful thing about this community is that people are always here when others need them. And ‘a shift in the universe’ is exactly it. It feels like something’s tilted out of balance, until the balance comes back and it’s disorientating. Love teaches us so much about what we may be capable of and of our own strengths, too. I’m so proud of you for getting through it and feeling better for it on the other side xx

  4. When I think of falling out of love, you immediately think about a significant other and actually, you’re so right by saying you can fall out of love with a friend and gosh, it sucks 😦
    Falling out of love this year was probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to gone through and before I felt heartbreak, I underestimated the power of love. Love is such an interesting and crazy topic to discuss. Also how raw and truthful you are in your blog posts always shine to me as you being such a true character which is good in itself. Much love X

    • Hey, you too. I’ve always admired you for picking yourself up after the heartbreak; you are truly wonderful and I know you haven’t had an easy year. Don’t underestimate the power of your own strength. Love is so interesting because it seems to be different for everybody but also to affect people in such similar ways.

      I’m also glad that you liked reading this. Having people interact with my words makes everything worth it. I hope you’re doing well and I’m proud of you xx

  5. this is absolutely beautiful. i love how you described falling out of love the three separate times and how it affected you in different ways. i can definitely relate, but when i fell out of love (if i could even call it that?) with someone recently, it was surprisingly sharp and quick, like ripping off a band-aid. they did something that broke me thoroughly in two and made me realize what a mistake it was to care for them, and in the end i was simply grateful it was a fast, incredible hurt instead of a dull ache that throbs for ages. anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on everything as always–it’s amazing how your mind works xx

    • Thank YOU for stharing that. I’m so sorry that has to happen to you; it can really break you to pieces especially when they do something so sudden and heartless. You know I’m always here for you if you need to talk. I’ve had that sharp pain but the slow pain was always what truly ended things. I hope you’re okay xx

  6. This is amazing, now looking back on my past I can remember times where I have fallen out of love with friends and family members, it’s quite sad that you don’t love them or I don’t seem to care about them anymore hpeeves, I do feel that you can fall the in the love.

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