My ideal man rejected me. I was heartbroken, devastated and full of regret. But was this a painful blessing in disguise?
I met him in the most unexpected of places. I wasn’t even looking to get married but there he was right in front of me. I was filled was hope. As a divorcee, I was considered ‘damaged goods’. I didn’t think it was going to be this easy to meet my future husband. I expected to settle for someone less, someone who would see marrying me as a compromise. I certainly didn’t expect to go to an event, unexpectedly bump into him, and be infatuated at first sight.
I spent the rest of the event in shock and withdrawn. I was consumed by my thoughts. I searched for him on Facebook, needing to find out more about him. I thought of all the ways I could make this marriage work. I justified the compromises and sacrifices I’d have to endue to make this work, the sacrifices I’d promised myself I’d never make for a man. But, somehow, this man was worth it. He was the only one that had come anywhere close to Mr. Ideal, someone who’d give me an ideal life.
But then, reality hit – he rejected me. My initial shock turned to crushing disappointment, then to “oh well, I wasn’t looking to get married anyway!” However, I couldn’t shake off lingering feelings of sadness and a constant need to cry. I experienced low moods, lethargy and feelings of frustration and impatience. Why? How the hell did that happen? I was infatuated with a man I barely knew, and I created a fantasy life in my head. How could I be heartbroken over someone I didn’t even know?
After my bitter and painful divorce, I said I would never let this happen to me again. I said I’d never get emotionally attached to a man until I was sure I truly know and love him. I said I’d never allow myself to be put in a position where I’d need to renounce my job, money, family for a man, and yet there I was, ready to sacrifice everything for an imaginary husband.
Why or how did I get emotionally attached to this stranger? Did I think I could change him, get him to do what I wanted so that I didn’t need to compromise? Was he just going to come and save me from my problems and give me the dream life I desperately wanted?
What Rejection by Mr. Ideal Taught Me
His rejection left me angry. I was angry at him for not being the man I thought he was or the man I wanted him to be. I was angry because he didn’t live up to my expectations. I was angry at him for portraying his life on social media to be so great. I was angry because I believed it was his fault I was emotionally attached to him and now I’m heartbroken over someone I can’t be with.
I recognised I was living in a fantasy in my own head. I created stories about what life would be like, all the amazing holidays, dinners and adventures we’d have together, just like his Facebook posts. I started to believe I would live this life, and so I got emotionally attached to a total stranger. I thought being with him was going make life all better, but was it really? I had become attached to this fairy tale-like illusion because he had the life I was trying to create for myself, and being with him was going to give me that life instantly! I didn’t want him, I wanted his life, and having that life meant marrying him.
I chose to create stories in my head.
I chose to believe those stories.
I chose to see him in a flattering light.
I chose to ignore his flaws.
I chose to get emotionally attached to a stranger.
He did nothing, and yet he received all the blame for the pain I was in. I hurt myself.
Today, I know Mr. Ideal was just a figment of my imagination. I am the only one who can fulfil my dreams. No one is going to come and save me – I must save myself. I’m the superhero in my life.
Have you been emotionally attached to man or woman, and felt grateful when things didn’t work out? What advice would you give to others out there in love and heartbroken? Please share your thoughts so we can all learn from each other.
Article featured on Brown Girl Magazine