“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours; if they don’t, they never were.” R. Bach
These words become reality every time two people who are right for each other find themselves in the wrong timing.
I know a lot of people who don’t believe in wrong timings. I probably wouldn’t either if it hadn’t happened to me. I was head over heels for somebody who just wasn’t ready for a real relationship—at least not the first time we dated.
When I met him, he had just got out of a 4-year relationship, and all hell had broke loose inside of him. It was like he had to make up for all those years he had felt trapped in that relationship.
I knew that right from the start. I saw it, but I couldn’t help myself…I fell madly in love with him, and it was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.
His kisses were imprinted on my body. His laugh and all the conversations we had stimulated my brain. The chemistry between us was undeniable. It was like a magnetic force that was just pulling me closer to him. No matter how he behaved or how he treated me I was stuck on him.
I kept looking through his fingers. I kept seeing the good and ignoring the bad. I made excuses for him without any need to hear the actual words “I’m sorry” from him.
All my rules didn’t count for much anymore. Before I knew it, I was in a casual relationship, hoping that one day, it would all change for the better. I thought that day was just around the corner…and I couldn’t have been more wrong.
He wasn’t even close to being ready for a relationship—at least not an exclusive one and that was all I wanted. Someone entirely mine.
He took my heart with him…
My heart couldn’t even break properly. It was just emptiness inside of me that he alone could fulfill. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t go after him. I didn’t beg. I just kept repeating to myself the old phrase I heard somewhere:
“If you love someone, set them free.”
I wasn’t an expert in love, but all I knew is that it should never be begged for. It should never be forced, and if it doesn’t flow naturally between two people, it is doomed.
Him leaving was like a cold shower that woke me up from a dream. The pain was so real that it made me see that in spite of what I felt, I deserved better, and more importantly, that I deserved true love.
Getting through all that pain was excruciating. I think I wasn’t even aware of the true intensity of my feelings until I left. They overwhelmed me. My world came crashing down. I couldn’t stop the tears. I couldn’t contain my thoughts.
There were so many times I wanted to pick up the phone and call him. There were so many days on which I wanted to “accidentally” bump into him in that small coffee shop he goes to before work. There were so many nights I wanted to text him.
But the little voice echoing in my head, “If you love someone, set them free.“ was so powerful that it stopped me.
There was nothing I wouldn’t have done for him. There was nothing I wouldn’t have done to keep us together, but I just couldn’t transform him into someone who was ready to give me all of his love.
You see…there is no way in which you can force someone to love you. You aren’t supposed to beg for love. All you can do is give them the freedom to chose you.
That was all I wanted. For him to chose me. For him to be sure about me…sure about us. So I set him free, always hoping deep down that he would find his way back.
All that was left to do now was take care of myself. To patch up my wounds. To fill with self-love the emptiness inside of me where my heart had once stood.
That was exactly what I did. It took me a long while to stand on my own two feet again. I had to learn to smile again—really smile, not fake smile with all the pain hidden underneath. I had to make peace with the fact that he was no longer a part of my life.
When I actually moved on with my life and the thought of him stopped hurting, he wanted to come back into my life again.
I have to be honest here. My first instinct was to let him in, to pull him close and plead to the heavens that the same scenario wouldn’t happen again. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t risk that numbness and emptiness coming back to me.
It was a great while, a lot of his efforts, long texts and explanations, until I let him in again. He was ready now. He wasn’t afraid. The hell in him had turned into heaven. He needed to find himself before he found me again. I guess we were both a bit lost, him more than I, but nevertheless, the timing was all wrong then, and it is just perfect now.
The time we spent apart made him mature. It made him grow into someone who was emotionally stable which was not the case before.
He came back with a heartbeat I didn’t recognize, with a tenderness I never got from him before, with the humility of a man who knows he has done something wrong.
He knocked me of off my feet again, but he also brought the tranquility and safety I needed. I am happy now. Happier than I’ve ever been because he just added to a life I had already created for myself.
I don’t regret giving him a second chance. It was the best decision I ever made. And if you find yourself in a similar situation my advice is this:
Don’t rush into forgiving someone. Take your time, and see if they have really changed. Let them try to earn back your trust. If they don’t succeed, don’t take them back. Not everyone deserves a second chance. All stories are different, and sometimes timing isn’t the major issue.
I got lucky I guess. The reasons for two people splitting vary, and there are things that you just can’t surpass.
But once I took a closer look into our whole story, I realized that he had never lied to me. I knew all along that he was a mess. He had never promised me anything. I just fell in love with him, not minding the warning signs or his words.
I couldn’t—or I didn’t want to—help myself from falling for him. Just like I couldn’t ban him from my life when he came back. I couldn’t say, “I don’t care anymore” when I missed him all along.
I guess, sometimes you need a second round to make love work.
Him coming back made me believe in miracles because when you think about it, “If you love someone, set them free.“ is like provoking destiny. It’s a test to see if the love you felt from someone is true and reciprocated.
Leah Lee – Writer. Dreamer. Adventurer. Eternal Optimist.
I am an English language and literature professor and writing came naturally alongside that. It was something I did for me until I decided to share it with the rest of the world.
I write about love, emotions, relationship issues and ways to solve them and most importantly about empowering women to become the best versions of themselves.
My inspiration comes from all that I’ve been through in life, and it was a bumpy road but full of valuable lessons. I hope that my experience will do some good to all of those who like to read my work.