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No one ever said moving on was easy. But sometimes it feels as if getting over the end of an actual relationship is a walk in the park compared to the nights you will spend awake at night missing something with someone that you never really had.

Often when there’s a break-up, divorce or separation, there are clear reasons why you just couldn’t make it work. And when you are struggling through the pain, these reasons make it much easier for you, and your rational brain, to make peace with the fact that what you wanted just couldn’t be. In an almost relationship though, the struggle lies within trying to grasp why something that seemed so right never made it off the ground.

The limbo we feel when stuck between dating someone and just hooking up with them is exciting. Not knowing where it’s going and if it will end suddenly, makes each and every moment together that much more meaningful. That feeling in your stomach each time you say goodbye, not knowing if it will be the last time, makes letting go so much harder. Because the truth is, when you’re involved in an undefined situation, anytime can be the last time.

When you don’t know where you stand but you know that everything feels so damn good, you roll with that instead of the stress of an actual relationship. It’s carefree, wild and hot. In almost relationships you don’t talk about how you feel, you talk about your days and text about nonsense. In some cases, you don’t talk at all because you’re too busy doing other stuff that you can’t get enough of. You don’t fight because there is nothing to fight about. And when you lose all that, it’s sucks even more than losing an actual significant other that you really couldn’t stand anyway after 4 years.

That’s when we ask ourselves, if it was so fucking amazing, why didn’t it happen for real, not just behind the scenes, after 9pm, or on the 13th of every month? 

Often in the case of the almost relationship, we are left not having the answer. Nothing makes sense. You can re-read every screenshotted text you have, replay every conversation in your mind, but none of it seems as if it was ever real. Do they have multiple personalities? Was it me, was it timing? No, no and no.

The frustration is endless and makes moving on that much harder. Even when we don’t have the answer and learn to accept that, what stings is not just the memory of how amazing it was, but what it could have been. You know damn well that if it became something real, it wouldn’t have ended up in some boring AF, sexless, stale relationship, like some people you know in monogamous relationships complain about. You feel this way because all you ever got to see and feel was the fire and sparking that up with just anyone is rare.

It’s hard not to think about an “almost” person when you drive home from yet another mediocre date and all you can do is chain smoke and think you’re never going to vibe with anyone again or wanna rip their clothes off the way you used to with them. And you’re mad at the universe, and at them because it never became what it should have.

That unattainability keeps us in the mindset that won’t let go of what could have been. Sometimes that’s why after something that never started ended, we can have many opportunities popping up every day with others, but we don’t take them. Because we don’t want what’s easy and laid out for us. Easy is boring and average is conquerable. This actually makes us think even more about what never was because if you can have whatever you want, why the hell couldn’t you have that? This is the unmistakable curse of the almost relationship and why it keeps us stuck.

Luckily, eventually you can get unstuck. Realizing that in the end, they just didn’t chose you. Whether they faked the whole thing, or just didn’t want to or couldn’t give you what you needed, holding a candle to someone who only almost gave you what you wanted is a waste of time. Yes, it could all be so simple, (Lauryn Hill you were right) but someone who can’t see that is not what you want.

Don’t dream of the day they come running back ready to give it their all. It’s likely not going to happen, and if it does, it probably will not come in the shape and form that you hoped. No they’re not going to show up at your door in the pouring rain and if they do, hell I even give you permission to jump on that. But this is not a Taylor Swift song, unless it’s one about someone who screwed you over.

Do not consider yourself lucky if you get some half ass meaningless late night text. This means nothing except I miss hitting that, send nudes or I’m bored. If it did, they would try harder and keep trying. Attempts like that represent exactly why it was what it was, an almost situation-short of defining that they want and need you, fully. If they can’t tell you that or that they want to give it an honest wholehearted try, whether it’s now or later, you have to go on with your life accepting that it just didn’t happen.

Once you can let go of what feels like a missed opportunity with the perfect person for you, you can open yourself up to new opportunities, even if that means sucking it up on shitty dates with knockoffs of them. Because before you got into your almost relationship, you were probably getting over something or someone else, looking for the spark you never thought you would find. But you did, even if it didn’t work out. And if it happened once, it can and will happen again. Next time just remember that almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

 

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