(http://pulanglangit.blogspot.com/2008/07/emotional-limbo.html ; july 14, 2008)
Limbo – a state of waiting or uncertainty, in which final judgement concerning the outcome of a decision is postponed, perhaps indefinitely.
Emotional limbo is that state when you’ve gotten out of one relationship and have somehow gotten over it, but you’ve not quite completely moved on to a new one yet. Sometimes there is that emotional gap in-between.
Luckily a lot of people do not have to go through that. The luckiest people just try once, and they immediately find a love for keeps — no time needed to move from one to the other. There are others who just can’t live without having a “someone” in their lives — those who sashay from one relationship to the other, leaving virtually no time in-between.
I am not a stranger to emotional limbo. Most probably, I’m in one right now. And I’ve been there possibly a few times before. Let me describe how it goes.
The time after the dissolution of an actual relationship. It doesn’t matter how short or long the relationship lasted, but what matters is how emotionally involved you were during the relationship. The more intense the emotions in the relationship, the harder it is to let go. But after the letting go, what comes next?
Sometimes you end up asking that a million times to yourself, not noticing that months, or even years, have passed. Somehow at the back of your mind, you know the answer. Somehow you know that the real question is “who comes next?”
But you can’t answer that just yet, because your last relationship probably taught you that there was something wrong with the choices you made before, and you need to somehow re-think your criteria. You can’t answer that yet, because part of you is afraid of the possibility of being emotionally involved and being abandoned in the end. Maybe you’re just too emotionally exhausted to move on to a new relationship right away. Or maybe, you actually don’t want to answer that yet, because you’ve found the extraordinarily wonderful satisfaction of being on your own, sans the complications of a commitment.
I, me , mine. There is no other person involved in the equation to complicate any decision that needs to be done. All that is critical is your happiness or your despair. You can spend all the time and money on yourself, pursue the things you’ve been wanting to do for the longest time.
There will still be times you’d miss the old times, that feeling when someone would call you everyday just to know how your day has been; when there’s someone to snuggle up to during weekends that you share doing nothing at all. All that emotional residue will always be there.
Sometimes you look forward and wonder where the real love of your life could be, if you have already met him/her, or how and when you’ll meet him/her and how you would know that the time has come. Anticipation for what is to come.
It’s not at all bad. It’s how you deal with it that can make it worthwhile. A period of waiting could be the best opportunity to do productive things or just absolutely random things. Travel. Learn a new skill. Shift careers. Meet new people. The opportunities are endless.
One nice thing to do is to write “100 things I want to do while I’m in emotional limbo,” or something like that. You don’t have to write all 100 in just one sitting. You can start with 10 and add to it as time goes by. I did that once before, and it turned out to be really interesting. But I didn’t finish doing the 100 things, then a “someone” came along. Maybe I should do a new 100 list now?
But don’t mind me, I’m just making all of this up. The emotional limbo is an abstraction I chose to create.