They Stopped Texting and Turned Cold
What to do when a connection disappears.
Recently, a friend told me they were messaging back and forth with a new person, experiencing a great connection and the elation and excitement of someone new, and yet it quickly went cold. The other person texted, “I’m not connected to you and I don’t feel like this is a good fit.”
She said she was destroyed by it. And it didn’t help that this had happened a few times. Things would be good, and then the other person would decide there wasn’t a connection. She said to me, “You know, I don’t think I believe in love anymore.”
I responded, “That’s because you place love in their behavior. To you, love is them choosing you, them texting you, them thinking you’re their partner, and them validating that you’re worthy. But love doesn’t lie in someone else’s behavior. It doesn’t live in the choices of someone else. It lives in our own choices. If you place love, or your belief in love, in someone else showing up, you will be disappointed every time. And it will be taken from you again and again, until you learn that love doesn’t live there.”
Love and joy are cultivated from within ourselves. They’re birthed through our behaviors and habits, and called into question when we face something like rejection – an inherently painful experience for everyone. Rejection is a neurological cascade of hurt. When we sit in that hurt and allow ourselves to feel it, we can start to see that it’s actually a kind of joy, because you didn’t spend two years with someone who rejected you.
Dating is sorting. It’s a process of getting to know people and seeing if they’re a good fit. If you’re not a good fit for them, they’re not a good fit for you. Love doesn’t fit in that. Love is not the validation that you’re worthy by someone choosing you.
Love is validated by how you show up. Love is validated by not letting those types of interactions derail you. Call it “adulting” or growing up, or call it getting in touch with your feelings. Above all, it’s about learning to sit, to self-soothe or self-regulate, to experience rejection and understand that it’s not about you and has no bearing on your worth or lovability.
But what if it is about you? If this was on you, how could you have shown up differently? What could you have done differently? If you’re not sure, ask friends who can tell you the truth. And then listen, because in all of this is an opportunity for growth.
Relationships are the most beautiful container for healing and an invitation for transformation. They’re an incredible opportunity, and when we avoid them, we’re avoiding feedback. We’re avoiding growth, which can be uncomfortable, and instead of facing the confusion of how to navigate it, we build more walls around ourselves and say, “I’m independent and I don’t need anyone.” In that righteous space of independence is actually isolation and loneliness.
The truth is, we need each other. We need love, we need connection, and we need each other. Yes, we can be fine on our own, but we also require community. It’s a paradox of the human condition. So how do we get to know ourselves and allow others in? Where do we let love live? Who holds the power to our worth and worthiness? If it’s anyone other than yourself, then it’s time to take back your power.