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love out loud: better love next time

A few weeks ago, my ex changed his facebook relationship status.

Some of you might know him as Bon Jovi. Others of you might know him by his real name (and even though I have zero misconceptions about how many people read my articles and the realistic likelihood of legal action, I still prefer to avert any complaints people make about being written about with ‘you’re not identified anyway’ [assuming ‘it’s only slander if it’s not true’ and ‘don’t do dumb shit if you don’t want people to know about the dumb shit that you do’ haven’t worked]). And yet others still might know him as the guy who wouldn’t change his facebook relationship status.

Even though we weren’t actually all that compatible, and even though we only dated for two months, and even though I’m currently in the happiest relationship I’ve ever been in, seeing this change to Bon Jovi’s profile come up in my newsfeed was nonetheless a little jarring. That little voice of self-doubt crept into my mind.

Why wasn’t it me?

There are a number of possible answers to this question. He might have reassessed his stance on facebook relationship statuses and realised they’re actually not the ordeal he once thought. Perhaps he’s more ready for a relationship now than he was a year and a half ago. Or maybe he likes her more than he did me.

Often, it is our inclination to feel inferior to this person and take it personally, thinking that if only we were thinner/smarter/whatever, they would’ve made these gestures for us too. In truth, it is more reflective of where that person is in their life and a changing approach to relationships, rather than anything to do with anybody else, including their current and past partners (although, of course, they help to shape such attitudes and whatnot).

In this particular instance, although I have no idea why Bon Jovi has now chosen to change his status, I can guess that it may indeed be because he likes his current girlfriend more and is more committed to her than he was to me. But this is where an important distinction to be made: this does not implicitly make her better than me (though credit where credit’s due: she is a better a dresser).

Whether someone loves a person is really not a good measure of their worth, nor are the gestures made by the person that they’re with. I know some really awful people whose partners obsessively love them and are wholly devoted to them, even though it is often to their detriment. Conversely, I also know some amazing people who are both generally awesome and chronically single. I am fortunate that I am now dating a very kind and very cool person, but I’ve also fallen for unkind and uncool people in the past, and my liking them had zero bearing on whether they were any better or worse a person than the next joker.

People change their minds. They learn and develop and grow, and, granted, this is sometimes propelled by who they are with. But your ex-partner being more accommodating/loving/whatever towards a new flame is no reflection on you, and it is really important to remember this. I’m certain that if you think back to every person you’ve ever not loved yourself, you’ll still be able to think of a lot of good qualities they collectively had that didn’t become immaterial simply because you didn’t love them.

Just because one person didn’t love you doesn’t mean you’re not worth loving. And just because one person wouldn’t change their facebook relationship status when they were with you doesn’t mean no one will ever want to.

Unless your next partner doesn’t have facebook. Then you’ll never know where you stand.

(Image credit: 1.)

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