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What To Do When You No Longer Recognize The Person You Once Loved

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Originally published on Unwritten by Sahar Eini.

It's hard but it happens. And it hurts like hell. You love someone who may have loved you once upon a time, but now it's just not the same. You go over your texts and conversations over and over again in your mind. When did things fall apart? Where did things go wrong or fail to go right? People change, but not like this. You start to become frustrated because you can't piece together this puzzle and no one can explain why. You feel hurt, angry, and betrayed. You feel rejected. However, this realization brings more than just negative feelings and emotions.

It's a strange feeling waking up one morning and realizing you're better off without him. After five years of being "together" - whatever that meant - it feels good to be living life on my own terms, not having to worry about his happiness. I spent so much time trying to be the best I could be, for him, that I never took a step back and realized that at one point it just stopped being reciprocated. I'm not saying that he didn't care about me at all; just that he cared about himself a lot more. But that's when it hit me; he was no longer the guy I fell in love with 5 years ago. Love is a tricky thing, you think once you have it, it will stay forever but sometimes love fades away.

That feeling you're initially left with, that feeling that something is missing, it changes your life completely, and you can either give in to the pain or you can build yourself back up again and learn something from it. Not only did I lose the guy I was completely in love with, I also lost my best friend, the one person I thought I could trust with everything, especially my heart. It's heartbreaking at first, grasping the fact that he's gone forever. Maybe I grew up when he refused to, or maybe he drifted away while I stood still; whatever the reason, we just weren't the same anymore. I believe that he was the best version of himself when I first fell for him and somewhere along the way, he became less of a man than the one I once knew. Or maybe I just had such high expectations for him because I could see his true potential.

"Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows." - Unknown

Distance and time gave me the clarity I needed to close that chapter in my life and finally just move on. And for the first time in a long time, I felt liberated, like I was living my life for myself again, no one else. People change, I get that, but you never expect the person you thought you were going to marry, to turn out to be a completely different person. What was I supposed to do now? I'll tell you what I did. Started a fire. I grabbed one picture, one shirt, and one gift, and just threw them in a bonfire and watched them burn away, just like our relationship. Sounds kind of cruel in print, but it's nothing against him; I still love him, but I needed a fresh start, and who am I kidding, it felt great.

I don't regret any time I spent with him, good or the bad, it helped shape me into who I am today, and I'm pretty proud of myself for that so I do thank him. I'll always have his back no matter what, but the trust I once had for him is now gone.

Because of him, I learned a few important life lessons: you're a lot stronger than you think. Time really does heal all wounds, it just may take awhile. And sometimes you truly are better off without the one person you thought you could never live without. He is definitely still a part of my life and as complicated as our history was, his "friendship" still means the world to me. It may be because I feel like I'm becoming friends with a completely different guy, just with the same face.

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