“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In Fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can kno who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.” –Maya Angelou
In the space of a few minutes I received two emails from broken-hearted women in tears. I know, it’s not the craziest thing you ever heard — all of us have been through storms of the heart. But the minute I read the two messages together…
I felt a message of my own to all women who invest love and energy and hope into a man: To all women who wish for a certain beautiful future, then find their hands filled with sand. I know your heart aches, but I have a word for you, and it is this:
You are a strong woman.
You are stronger than you think.
Did you forget, just for a moment? For the space of a few exciting days or weeks? Did you let yourself believe that everything beautiful was coming to you through a specific man?
It happens to the best of us. But then we dry those tears, crawl out of bed, throw open the window to the winter wind, and remember ourselves: how strong and invincible our hearts and souls are. There are mascara smears all over our pillows, but we are strong women.
The first email message was long, so I’ll give you the breakdown:
- Renee was excited about a movie star. He wanted to have lunch with her! They set up a lunch date.
- As the weeks passed, and the big day approached, she didn’t hear from him. Against her instinct, she sent a quick email to check in.
- He said his phone had “gotten wet” and so he’d been out of contact. Her bullshit detector went off, but she was still open.
- He changed the date of their date. She wasn’t available then, so she counter-offered a different option. He agreed. She was still hopeful.
- He cancelled. Profuse apologies. His excuse: “busy schedule.”
- Here comes the mistakes otherwise strong women make: She messaged that she understood. She offered to remain friends. She asked to still meet.
- He complimented her as a woman and said, “Stay in touch.” They didn’t meet.
- She cried for days.
Darling, that last item is the one that breaks my heart. Here’s the direct quote from your email: “I’ve been crying for days.”
You two never actually met. It was going to be your first date. You KNEW things weren’t quite right. And still you let herself in for this kind of pain.
Before I tell you what I absolutely LOVE about you, Renee 🙂 , let me share the other message, from Marina…
Here’s the second email breakdown:
- They met online 5 months ago.
- It was her first real-feeling connection with a man since her divorce, 13 years ago…
- He began to talk of coming to visit her for their first date, and she was excited. They seemed to have much in common.
- He suddenly pulled completely out of the picture. He offered several lame excuses like, “personal issues,” and “family,” and “life change.”
- She tried to maintain contact, but he remains unavailable.
- She is heartbroken.
In a quote from your email, Marina, you said “I honestly thought he could be the one.” No, darling, that was just your hope in the future, not in this particular man.
What I love about you strong women
In the course of writing me, both of you said several things that you already knew. The instant those men pulled away, your relationship radar threw up signals. You recognized the excuses for the lame, ridiculous attempts at saving face that they were. You knew you should let him go.
But you stuck around for the ugly, messy explosion that was the end of the relationship. And it hurts.
But you know what? The two of you have SO much going for you.
1. You invest your heart in hope
I love that you believe in a beautiful future. I love that you’re actively working toward your dreams. You could choose to invest less deeply at the very beginning (adopting instead a “wait-and-see” attitude), but you throw yourself in with abandon, and deal with what comes. That’s hard on you, but you’re not defeated. Heart-achey, yes. Defeated, no.
Sure, it was messy and not very ideal for you. But you saw the signs the instant they arrived, and suspected them for what they were: signs that this one would not be the one.
3. You reach out.
You took the time to write it all down and send it to me. You probably counseled with other girlfriends, too. A woman connected to other women is stronger. Way to go, you.
4. You weep, but are not broken.
It’s okay to be emotional, to let the tides of sadness flow. But I can still hear the song of your heart. It’s faint, but it will soar again. This is just a new beginning, and you remember what that feels like.
My advice to you
Want more insight into your personal strengths in love and relationships?
And have you taken the Love Number quiz? It’s my gift to you, it’s completely free, and not only will you get to take the quiz and learn your Love Number, but you’ll also learn exactly how to improve your number, in order to be the strongest, most beautiful woman you possibly can.
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