I take forever to get over things. And I’m not talking exclusively about romantic relationships, either. When I was 13, I read a poem, which became my favorite poem. Six years later I was still obsessed enough with it to get it as a tattoo, and four years after that, it’s still one of my favorite works of literature.
But maybe that’s a soft example. I’m still not over the divorce of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. My favorite show when I was 9 is still my favorite show (Gilmore Girls does not age, however.) The interests and hobbies I have now are the ones I’ve had my whole life, and I’m a remarkably unchangeable, stubborn person.
I find myself constantly thinking about things that happened to me when I was younger, like when that bad friend said this to me, or when I did something horribly embarrassing at that college party. Not that I’m still haunted, but I constantly feel like I still love the things I’ve always loved, and still am affected by the things I’ve always been influenced by.
I’m constant. Immovable.
So, yeah—it takes me a while to get over things, if at all. Most of the time, it’s a long chunk of time after big events happen that I heal from them. I used to be ashamed of that characteristic of mine: while my friends got over breakups in a flash and were onto dating the next and the next and the next guy/girl, I was still thinking about the past, sometimes with pain, sometimes with healthy nostalgia, but always thinking about it.
Why did I dwell on things I couldn’t change? Why couldn’t I be like my friends, resilient, carefree, and seemingly thick-skinned? Even if I was proud and didn’t show it, I was pretty thin-skinned, or so I thought.
But as it turns out, I’d rather be a dweller than someone who gets over love too quickly. I’d rather love deeply and for a long time and be in pain, than forget all about it when it ends. As it turns out, my penchant for getting over things slowly means I’m emotionally strong, not weak.
If you’re like me, and you feel ashamed about taking so long to get over past relationships and things that have hurt you (or in other words, people and things that you’ve loved), then listen up. Here’s why you’re awesome, not weak:
You take love seriously
When you fall in love, you fall hard and you fall for the long haul. You’re the kind of partner any person would love to be with, because you’re affectionate, honest, loyal, and your love doesn’t run out or change. When you love someone, you’ll probably love them forever, even if you’re not with them anymore.
Even if you break up, you’ll probably always be there for your ex, sometimes to your detriment. That capacity to love is an asset, however, because…
You’re honest about your emotions
People who take a long time to get over emotional attachments are aware of their emotional needs and work harder to see that they’re fulfilled. They don’t settle for okay when they know amazing is somewhere out there for them.
You’re not a serial dater because you crave deeper connections and a longer commitment to one person, rather than seeking superficial attention and acceptance from a string of casual partners. You’re mature about your decisions, and you don’t let people into your life easily.
You know how to recognize the real thing
Those who love deeply and take a long time to recover from that loss know love when they find it again. They’re not distracted (as much) by lust or infatuation, because they’re aware of what real love is.
You become more independent than dependent on others for your emotional needs
When it takes you a long time to get over someone, you’re less likely to look for others for that acceptance and love that you crave, because you know what the real thing looks and feels like. So you become emotionally stronger, relying on only yourself to supply that constant stream of love that you desire, rather than on a new, casual partner.
You also rely on your friends and family because you know that love is unconditional and forever.