“I can’t believe he’s already hooking up with someone else. We’ve been broken up for two weeks!”
“I feel like I didn’t matter at all. She moved on so quickly.”
I hear statements like these all the time from people who are still nursing a broken heart. They struggle with letting go and fully healing from the ending of a relationship because they can’t accept the reality that the other person has moved on, and seemingly without looking back.
But more than that, the person hasn’t ever done the one thing this person needs them to do to feel better about the loss of the relationship—tell them that they mattered.
We all want to feel acknowledged for the part we played in somebody’s life, especially if it was a significant relationship. When we have loved somebody for years, maybe had children with them or even only dated them for a short period of time, the ego part of our brain has this desperate need to be acknowledged. To be told that our presence in that person’s life meant something to them.
We’ll continue to suffer if we wait for this.
Why do we need this acknowledgement so desperately? Why is it really so important to us to have that one person give us that validation? Do we really believe that we didn’t matter at all, that the relationships we have with other people didn’t mean something to both us and them without their validation?
Here’s what I’ve realized amidst my own suffering around this: it doesn’t matter.