Knowing how to comfort someone is a skill that not everybody has. In fact, some of us outright suck at it.
It doesn't make you a bad person -- maybe you're awkward under pressure, or uncomfortable, or didn't have healthy models of empathy. Maybe you just panic and don't know what to do.
A friend once had a beloved and compassionate coworker panic and offer his computer monitor when she cried at his desk. She was gesturing at the box of tissues next to the monitor, but thanks?
He had never seen her as anything other than totally composed and on the ball. Sure, it was a disaster of a day but she was the one who always saved the day without breaking a sweat. Her actually being shaken was such a shock to him that he kind of shorted out and just started panic-offering her things.
Computer monitors are terrible for tear absorption.
One Reddit user asked:
... computer Kleenex wouldn't even crack the top 25. It's kind of disastrous.
Thanks, Teach!Interested Saturday Night Live GIF by HULU Giphy
"So, have they found someone new yet?"
One of my parents died. My parents had been married twenty-five years. A teacher asked me this question five months after the funeral.
She later told my surviving parent that my depression was because I had to share a room sometimes with a sibling. Not because of my dead parent.
A Music Career
At my boyfriend's funeral a girl he went to high school with came up to me and tried to comfort me by saying she knew "exactly" how I was feeling because she was in love with him too.
They never dated, they weren't even friends after graduating high school.
Now she's made a music career from writing sad love songs about him that make it sound like they were together.
Happy Birthday!Episode 4 Birthday GIF by Friends Giphy
A few years ago, I caught pneumonia, and a stomach virus at the same time. Needless to say, I was really really sick. I was in the hospital for 9 days, and one of those days happened to be my 27th birthday.
One of my aunts that I don't really know was in town, and wanted to come visit. When she got there, she gave me a card for my birthday, which was nice, but when I read it, it said "since this looks like it'll be your last birthday, I'll say my goodbyes now LOL".
Now, I'm all for dark humor, but at that point I'd already lost 14 pounds from throwing up, I had a 104 degree fever for multiple days, I was delirious and hallucinating, and hadn't slept in days. I was in legitimate fear that I was actually going to die.
Told my mom after I was better that I didn't want to see that aunt ever again.
The Original Owner Of The Book
People say and do some weird sh*t in attempts to comfort others. Myself included.
But the biggest stand out was when my mother was first diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer (she is doing great now). She received a second hand book called Cooking and Coping with Cancer.
The original owner of the book didn't need it anymore ... because he died of cancer. So his wife thought my mom would like it.
The intention was kind, but it was just a bit depressing.
When I had my first miscarriage, husband and I were attending a Word of Faith type church.
Their words of "encouragement" were that our baby had died because of some hidden/un-repent sin in my life + my faith wasn't strong enough, and I should just keep praying.
You would think that a church of all places would embrace you in your suffering and loss.
These guys (& gals..) just kind of out-casted us like we would bring them bad luck.
It was a weird time, and after that I found it hard to hang out with any of them or believe most of what they were teaching.
We went on to have a healthy little girl and found a much less toxic church, but to this day if anyone mentions the prosperity gospel to me I have a lot of things to say.
No Dogs Go To Heavendon bluth 80s GIF Giphy
My wife and I got a dog back before we were married. GREAT dog. Wonderful animal. Very much our first child.
Fast forward a few years and our sweet girl had to be put to sleep. I was at work and upset about it. I couldn't stop leaking a little just thinking about her. My very Catholic friend told me that, if it was any comfort, dogs don't have souls.
Panic And Dog Food
I was this person unfortunately. I don't react well with sudden bad news and often say the first thing that comes to my mind out of sheer panic.
I went to get my hair cut in college and as I sat down the small talk started. She asked how things have been blah blah blah. I asked how she had been (it was our first time meeting) and she says "my dog just died."
Immediately the alarms are going off in my head, a man is running around my brain blasting a whistle trying to figure out my next step.
"At least you'll save a ton of money on dog food now."
No... Please no!
Unfortunately it was already said, everyone stopped what they were doing immediately, you could hear a pin drop. She just continued cutting my hair for what was the quietest haircut I've ever got. I couldn't even apologize I felt so bad and so awkward.
I just shut my damn mouth and looked straight ahead while hoping I still had both my ears by the time I left.
"That's What Drug Addicts Do"
My cousin died of a drug overdose, my father called me to tell me the news.
After I got off the phone, visibly upset, I told my husband (now ex) what had happened. He said:
"Well what did you expect to happen? That's what drug addicts do, they die. And he did it to himself, there is no reason for you to shed a tear, get over it."
then went back to playing video games.
I didn't even know what to say to that, and just went to the other room to mourn by myself. It was an abusive situation and I am still in the process of getting divorced 2.5 years later.
How NOT To Treat A Phobia
I used to have a phobia of scarecrows that began when I had a repeating nightmare where I would be chased by one in a dark cornfield.
A girlfriend I had in high school invited me along on a youth group trip. She didn't tell me much except we were going to a camp the next state over and would be doing things like going to an apple orchard.
The first full day, we all get on the bus, and she tells me that we were going to a corn maze.
She hid this from me as she thought it would help with my phobia given she'd be with me and it was day time... I dumbly agreed and made it through the maze while white-knuckling her hand the whole time.
When we got out, I asked how much longer we'd be at the maze... that's when she told me about how it turns into a haunted corn maze at night... anyone want to take a guess at what the actors were dressed as...
It did not turn out well in the slightest.
I had a huge anxiety attack mid-maze and tried to make a b-line for anywhere not the maze by running in a straight line through the field. I got disoriented, I got lost in the field, I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest, I was in the literal setting of my nightmare... and there were multiple scarecrows chasing after me.
Imagine the best day of your life.
You're surrounded by people you love, you're at your favorite place, you're eating your favorite food, and you're favorite band is playing a playlist they put together just for you.
Your ex shows up and admits all their faults and ask your forgiveness without asking to be apart of your life. Your current crush pushes them aside and says they've always had a thing for you and gives you a puppy of your favorite breed saying it is a symbol of your new love....
What ever you're feeling in that moment... what I was experiencing was 100% on the f*cking opposite side of the spectrum.
I eventually desensitized myself to scarecrows by watching movies like Wizard of Oz and Batman Begins on repeat. I'd still slap the teeth out of anyone if they try to get me in a corn maze though.
Things didn't work out with that girl.
I'd rather Burger King
On the day my mother died, I got home after looking after my family, dealing with undertakers etc and the first thing my boyfriend said was he needed me to drive to KFC to get him something to eat. He is now my ex. I wish I could say that was the worst thing he did but it wasn't. That crazy thing is, I don't think he ever acted out of malice, which was a bit of a headscrew because half of me was thinking "he doesn't mean it" so I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and the other half of me knew that if this was just the way he was, nothing was ever gonna change.
It's not Tinder TimeFuneral GIF by memecandy Giphy
When my husband died, someone reassured me that I was young and would find someone else.
At the wake. He was literally not in the ground yet.
During my dad's funeral, when I was a teen, some women told me while I was crying « stop crying, your tears will only multiply and drown your father on the other side ». How about you shut the hell up.
When I miscarried my son my husband's mother told me "Don't worry, you can always have another baby" I know b**ch, but I wanted THAT one.
It's About Me!excuse me omg GIF by CBC Giphy
Been dealing with diagnosed depression for a few months now and lots of people including a therapist said "it's been a rough year for everyone."
Those worse off...
Absolutely hate when someone says "there are people who have it worse." Like I know that, of course I know that, but I'm not talking about other people I'm talking about me and how I feel matters just as much as anyone else.
Just cause you can name someone who has it worse than you doesn't invalidate or make your pain any less important.
I once said to a colleague, who had struggled to conceive, that the positive was she'd gotten pregnant, so it could happen again. And I have never forgiven myself for being such an insensitive cow. I was desperately scrambling for something positive, and I should have stopped at "I'm really sorry dude, that's freaking crap."
Honestly I can see where you were coming from, you were trying to give a silver lining in the bleak situation. I had a similar situation where I worked in a large company, and I had a weekend off only to come back with a baby shower gift and nappies and wipes to surprise a pregnant coworker.
I started talking to her about baby shower themes while her eyes welled up with tears. I stopped and asked what was wrong, she promptly left the room sobbing and I sat there like a knob until another coworker discreetly told me that she had an ectopic pregnancy and ended up having to get one of her fallopian tubes removed. I sought her out after giving her some time and I apologized profusely. I still think about it a lot.
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They told me there was plenty more fish in the sea. At her funeral. And it was her uncle.
Foot in Mouth
Imagine saying to someone who lost a foot. "Well, there are people who've lost both their legs." I'm sure there are, but how does that help me when I'm suffering? It's the ultimate selfish behaviour. It screams, "I'm uncomfortable and uninterested in your suffering, so I'm going to belittle it and imply that you should be grateful for it."
"Your feelings are weird, stop feeling them."
I've had "why are you crying that's so pathetic" so now i don't cry in front of people and when i do i have panic attacks.
"Cheer up, other people have it worse than you."
That's the rudest and most malicious way to tell somebody to get over something.
Yeah, like dude, just because some person is homeless somewhere does not mean my feelings are basically an insult to others.
Telling me to "calm down" when I'm angry.
Dude my dad does that! He's all like "relax, calm down" but doesn't give me space to do so. I tend to self soothe so I need five minutes to myself but he expects me to just turn off my feelings then and there.
I just posted elsewhere this, but that is just crazy. My parents are very religious and when she had her first child she was stillborn. And the people from the church told her God had to kill her because she was going to grow up a criminal. Churches are insane places. She went on to have three healthy children... but how do you move on and continue to go to a church with people who talked to you/believe that.
I hope everything has turned out well for you and you're healthy and happy!
B Negativebritney spears wink GIF Giphy
Toxic positivity. I just learned about this and was thrilled there was a name for why I distrust and don't like people that are aggressively positive.
Age 8: I was getting super bullied, on account of being obnoxious, smart, and having zero social outlets aside from school.
One morning I told my dad, in tears, that it felt awful to not have any friends. My dad was 35-ish at the time. His response was to tell me that he doesn't have any friends either. I argued that he went to work all day and everyone there was at least nice to him. He said that only made them acquaintances, and we just have to deal with it.
Edit: oh crap I'm 35 now. And you know what? The last response I'd have to any beleaguered kid is that hey my life sucks too.
It's just the flu...
Pretty much everyone telling me after losing my grandma to COVID that everyone has lost someone, and everyone is suffering. Basically saying w/o saying that no one gives a crap about me and that I need to shut up and deal with it.
Change the Station
I was crying about not being invited to a party in high school and felt like a loser in the moment. My brother just put on the song Creep by Radiohead.
I was crying in elementary school, I guess the other kids were mean or something, and my teacher, who, in my eyes, had all the personality and joy of a steamed cauliflower, told me "hey, kids made fun of me when I was your age and I turned out fine!" I wouldn't be surprised if I started crying harder as a result.
New PlanLuise Kinseher Yes GIF by Bayerischer Rundfunk Giphy
I'm a Christian, so a lot of people hit me with the: "It's all part of God's plan."
I believe it to be true, but that doesn't make it helpful in the midst of really difficult circumstances.
Let me Be...
I honestly hate when people try to ignore or dismiss my feelings, when they pretend like what I'm upset about isn't there or doesn't matter. Like, I get that to them, they may be trying to send the message that it's no big deal, and that life can go on and maybe they're trying to distract me or something, but it's honestly patronizing and insulting. I'd rather face my mess honestly and process it, then move on. I don't need to be treated with kiddie gloves, and I tend to distance myself from people who can't seem to stop using them, even when asked not to.
I started to get teary and that's when my early 20's male cousin said to my sister (14) and I (15f) in a rather creepy-tone, "You girls have grown up nicely" while we were getting ready for our grandmother's funeral.
Well, you can always try again.
This was about 30 seconds after we found out we had lost our twins, after years of infertility treatments, and the heartache of not conceiving each month.
Why Bother?Excuse Me What GIF by One Chicago Giphy
My old boss tried to prevent somebody from going to their mother's funeral because, and I quote, "going to their funeral wouldn't bring them back to life, so you might as well be at work."
We covered for that person and let them go.
First one that comes to mind is that maybe it's good I can't have children because I'm disabled anyways and maybe it's better if I don't.
"sorry about that"
After my mom died from a 2 year battle with melanoma and lymphoma, someone I know said "sorry about that" and then proceeded to tell me all about their problems with their car and parents and friends for 25 minutes. I couldn't even get another word in. I felt totally like they were competing with me and didn't seem to care about my stuff at all. Really made me sad.
Such Sincerity... :(
Once in college, a girl I was dating and really liked ended things out of nowhere. I shared this with my mom and her response was "Aww she probably just likes somebody else." Still not sure why she ever thought that would make me feel better.
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I was having an asthma attack and couldn't breathe at all, my friend had left to find my puffer from my bag, my teacher came up to me and said "try to breathe, it's not hard just breathe slower."
You're Still Breathing
To set the scene: a job opportunity that has sounded too good to be true was. Our cat had died unexpectedly and my father in law was being moved to hospice. I was on the phone with my mother weeping bc everything was going wrong and her response was "at least you've got your health."
"Don't be sad," was told to me at my father's funeral.
Or my favorite, "You're ugly when you cry."
Haha, I should have mentioned that these quotes are from separate events.
"You're ugly when you cry," was just my mom's way of trying to get me to stop crying when I was 5 years old or something. Honestly, it just made me hysterical. Pretty funny to me now though.
Let's test that theory...
Telling me it was God's will when a loved one died.
God wanted that person dead. Great, thanks 👍.
"Here, let me give you a motherly hug!" From some dumb dirty drunk middle aged dirt bag a month or so after my mom died when I was 20.
Flipped out callin' me a goof, and I was an ignorant little crap, oh yeah it was wild lol.
Jig it Upjamming adriel favela GIF by Cornelio Vega Y Su Dinastia Giphy
After our first family cat died, my Irish grandfather tried to "cheer me up" by playing jigs on the accordion.
It had just the opposite effect, even though I appreciated his good intentions.
You can go now mother...
I was in the hospital for weeks after brain surgery and then a staph-meningitis infection. I wasn't allowed to shower, i threw up almost everything i ate and i couldn't walk unassisted/unaccompanied so i wasn't free to roam. I was very depressed, tired and in pain. My mother's friend came by to "visit me" (she was really there for my mom) and the one time she did talk to me, it was to tell me about how her son got into a car wreck of his own doing.
He was hospitalized with very serious injuries including several broken bones and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Her point being "others have it worse." Very crappy thing to hear when you're stuck in the Nuero ICU for weeks.
I told a friend I liked him as more than that and he told me he didn't feel the same way. When I told my girlfriends, they tried to comfort me by saying he has to be gay. I'm like "no he's not, he just doesn't want to be with me like that and that's okay." But they kept insisting that he's gay because of it. They were trying to make me feel better and not bad about myself, but it just made me mad that my friends were making stuff up about my guy friend.
Cancer is Evil
My mother in law always responds to stories of my relatives' health struggles with cheery affirmations of how healthy she is and how glad she's never had to deal with these things.
When my grandma died.
While my father was dying of cancer.
When my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Her response to hearing other people's troubles is always 'well that's not my experience!'
I have sometimes have panic attacks that leave me in a mindset where I can't fully function as a normal person for an hour or two afterwards, and they're 90% of the time caused my by mother. One time, I got triggered because she was saying specific things about my family and as soon as I calmed down (my mind hadn't recovered yet, but I wasn't crying anymore) she started saying them again, but in a comforting tone and alongside things like "I'm only doing this so you can know the truth."
Needless to say I got insanely pissed off at her and locked myself in my room for the rest of the night.
Time PassesMr Bean Waiting GIF by MOODMAN Giphy
"So it's been awhile, then." It had been six weeks since I lost my grandmother when someone said this to me. Her loss didn't seem real yet, let alone 'been awhile.'
but you still have some coin...
I remember telling my dad I was sad and he told me one of the worst things you can say to someone who is and he said something along the lines of "at least you're not in debt" as if that negates my sadness. It's equivalent to saying "someone has it worse than you so don't feel bad." That night, he bought me a sandwich and he thought that would take care of it. He's emotionally immature and not in touch with this side of things at all. He's a real "focus in the positive" guy, but that, at least to me, is another way of saying "just don't focus on it."
My dad had died in my arms and was traumatized by it. I was telling my story and someone yelled "SUCK IT UP YOU'RE A MAN!"
My dad may of died in my arms but I'll strangle the life out of a little jackoff with my bare hands.
But since murdering isn't an option I yelled "OK TELL US YOUR TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE A** WIPE!"
"Well my dog died my mom took it to the vet and put it down. But I didn't cry about it!"
Sure. Totes same...Meme Wtf GIF Giphy
When my mom died.
Coworker told me "I know exactly how you feel because one of my cats died recently."
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There are some questions that illustrate such vulnerability, such open tragedy on the part of the asker that we fend off tears while we come up with an appropriate answer.
Sometimes the question comes from someone who's been so steeped in struggle that they need help understanding that another possible reality exists.
Sometimes it's a question that cuts right to our own core with startling efficiency.
Whatever form it takes, it stops us in our tracks and we're likely to remember it for quite awhile after.
Curious to hear the saddest examples, Redditor julylovestory asked:
"What question has someone asked you that secretly broke your heart?"
Many Redditors responded by sharing the sad questions uttered by young children.
Kids just have the knack for cutting straight through to the essence of it all.
A Tragic Conscientiousness
"As we passed the toy aisle at the store, 'I know you don't have much money right now, but maybe when you get some we could come back and get a toy?' "
"I was not doing well financially back then and my daughter brought me to tears in the middle of the store."
Puzzled and Sad
"First day of preschool for my three year old son. The first time he would ever be away from Mom & Dad at the same time."
"I brought him to the room and expected a meltdown, but instead he confidently strutted, and I do mean strutted into the classroom."
"Three hours later, I picked him up. He was ok until we got to the car when he said, in quiet sad voice 'l thought you were coming with,' followed by an even sadder quieter 'Why did you leave me?' "
" 'Can I wish for my sister?' - A 10-year-old student of mine whose big sister died 4 years ago. We were working on an activity about dreams and aspirations for their futures."
How Bad Must It Be?
"I was like 22 and it was probably 10pm or so at a Walmart. I was on my way to a party and stopped for beer. The store was fairly empty and as I was in the beer aisle, I see this kid completely by himself."
"He was about 5 and at first I thought it was kind of funny because he was trying to pick up a case of beer. I waited like 30-60 seconds, looking around for this kid's mom/dad to come get him. A couple people walked right by him like it was normal, so then I started getting worried. I picked up my two cases of beer and walked over and kindly asked him if he lost his mom or needed help."
"The kid completely ignored the question and instead was thoroughly impressed that I was strong enough to carry two cases of beer. Eventually an employee noticed and came over as well. I told her everything I knew and she took over and told him that she was going to bring him to find his mom."
"As he was walking away he kept looking back at me and I smiled and said goodbye. The kid stopped and said 'can I just come home with you? I don't like my mom.' "
"I was caught off guard so I just laughed and told him the lady was going to help him. Now I'll never know the full story, or what happened to him but the more I think about it - that kid more than likely had a pretty shi**y childhood."
"I mean, the store wasn't busy and it was late at night on a weekday. It really makes you wonder why he was there in the first place, how he got separated from his mom and why would he ask to go with a complete stranger instead of worrying about where his mom was?"
"It still makes me sad. Hope everything worked out for the little dude."
Others talked about the times when they or somebody else realized just how tragic their own circumstances were.
"My ex asked me what I liked to do with my family growing up."
"Made me realize my family never did anything together and I literally had no answer to such a basic question."
Seeing Another Version
"During college, parents took a friend and I out to dinner. Very normal dinner, chit chatted about whatever. After we left and were walking back to my car, he turns to me and says 'Is that what a normal relationship is like?' "
"We talked more after that, I had met his parents a few times and they seemed strict but never seemed to have a terrible relationship. Turned out apparently his dad had cheated on his mom multiple times, dad had zero respect for any of my friends sisters and essentially expected them to do all the housework while the men did 'guy stuff.' "
"Hunting, training for sports, school, etc. Turned out his childhood was pretty fu**ed, dad was never around and he had to essentially be the father figure in the house. As the oldest child, never really saw a normal loving relationship that he could look up to."
"My friend is a really nice guy, still has some messed up views of relationships though. I never realized how 'abnormal' my very normal family/childhood was."
A Better Place
" 'You've never beaten me or told me I couldn't do something. Is that normal?'
"My first girlfriend told me that. I have never felt such a wave of anger, sadness, and heartbreak wash over me like I did when I heard that"
And some people discussed the time a question destroyed their social confidence.
Worst Teacher Ever
"I have a stutter, when I was a kid I had to read a page of a book to the class. I stuttered, and the teacher said 'can you even read' and that fu**ing broke my 13 year old heart."
"No one takes stuttering seriously."
There's the Answer
"When I was 19, I hung out with a cute girl from my high school that I never got to hang with when we were in school. Had a great day together, and that night she asked, 'can we be like secret friends or something? I don't really hang out with people like you.' "
"Never hung out again."
Comparing and Contrasting
" 'Oh, are you the girl with the hot sister ?' " -- JustehOK
"I worked in a department with two Melissas. One day, I was sitting next to one Melissa when we overheard another coworker say to someone, 'have you seen little Melissa?' "
"The other Melissa got kind of a defeated look in her eye and said, 'oh, I'm big Melissa.' " -- EarhornJones
It's a list that's sad enough to leave one wondering about the questions they've received that struck them as particularly hopeless.
Sometimes, though, that vulnerability can be the start of accepting new realities and new possibilities.
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If you live on this earth and you're fortunate enough to form long-lasting relationships with different people, chances are you'll know the pain of heartbreak. It's an unavoidable fact of life.
We are not guaranteed to stay with one person forever, as we were reminded once Redditor disturbance of mirrors asked the online community,
"People whose long-term relationship faded, what was the final straw that made you realize it was time to call it a day?"
"The last time..."
"When she 'broke up' with me for the 12th time.
We had a long-distance relationship and whenever we had an issue or a disagreement, instead of engaging in a conversation with me about it, she would say we were done and shut me out for two or three days before coming back and manipulating me into groveling for her forgiveness. The last time, I just said no to going back and stuck to it. She freaked out and tried to drive 6 hours to my place at 2:00 a.m... I got a call from her mom saying she had left in the middle of the night as a head's up and, upon finally getting ahold of her when she was just a couple of hours away, I was able to convince her to turn back.
That relationship f***** me up for a while but, once I began dating my now fiancee, it was unbelievable to me how wonderful a real, loving relationship with healthy communication can be."
"Her brother was living with us..."
"Mine was not a slow burn like most seem to be, but a very definitive moment.
Her brother was living with us and this was right when WiFi was becoming available to the general public. We couldn't afford it cuz we were broke kids, so her brother would take my GF's MacBook (it was a gift) and sit on a nearby bus bench and leech off someone's unsecured WiFi.
Well, one day we get a call from her sister and she says we need to get home immediately. Turns out some guys came up and asked him for change for a $20 and when he told them he didn't have it they tried to snatch the Mac and jump in their car.
He knew it wasn't his so he held onto it and tried to get it back but they were too much. He had gotten dragged by the car, kicked in the head, and then had his leg run over. He was in pretty bad shape.
As we turn the corner (didn't know what had happened yet) GF sees cop cars and an ambulance and says "This better not have anything to do with my Mac. We walk in and he's visibly in bad shape and she is just immediately "Did you lose my Mac?" I'll never forget his face. He was so ashamed and felt terrible and just started crying. She however started screaming my computer! My computer! And hitting him. To the point where the cops considered arresting her. It was an instant eye-opener."
"I'd sit in my car..."
"I'd sit in my car after work playing on my phone for like an hour because I just needed a break before going inside and dealing with him."
That would do it.
"I would find any excuse..."
"I would find any excuse to work late or sometimes go sit at a bar by myself just to avoid the misery at home. We divorced."
"He was a workaholic..."
"He was a workaholic to the point that I saw him about 6 days per month."
"Somewhere between giving up on small talk and not looking forward to the weekends anymore."
That's no way to live.
"It really forced us..."
"Honestly it was the pandemic. It really forced us to actually spend time together and I realized we kind of just didn't do much together at all. I had spent years thinking it was cool that we kept our own friends and space but once those distractions were taken away it was just really clear to me that we were more roommates than a couple."
"When I realized..."
"When I realized I was needed and not wanted. Constantly trying to make someone happy who didn't want to be happy."
This one hurts. I've been there myself. (And I have also been that person––I thankfully got help.)
"We lived together..."
"We lived together but lived completely separate lives. Basically a housemate I shared a bed with. Happened twice to me so far."
"I would have moved mountains for him..."
"I knew it was over when I cared more about his wellbeing than he cared about his own wellbeing. I would have moved mountains for him if it made his life easier and he just continuously put himself in shi!ty situations. I eventually just gave up. I can't be with someone who doesn't care about themselves. Thank God that's over."
If you think you might be stuck in a pointless or unhealthy relationship, it's worth evaluating your options. And it's never worth sticking around and risking your emotional and mental health.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.
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There is always that "one." There is always going to be that person.
That person who you will always remember. And when they are the one who you regret losing most... they are the ghost that will haunt you forever.
I have a few escapees. I'll never know how it would've turned out. But that is part of why I'm haunted. I need to discuss....
Redditor u/AssistantNo1733 wanted to discuss all the times we've lost in love by asking:
Who's the one who got away?
Do we even have a clue that they're the "one" that got away? How long until it sinks in? And how do we not know there isn't another "one" coming behind them? I have no answers. Just asking...
The DraftEpisode 1 Omg GIF by RuPaul's Drag RaceGiphy
"The girl who summoned up the nerve to ask me out towards the beginning of high school. I was so humiliated by the life my family was living that I stalled until she gave up."
"Betsy, if by some stroke of dumb luck you're reading this... I'm so sorry. It was 25-27 years ago, but I still hate myself for that. You were beautiful, intelligent, a good person, and if I had anything resembling a stable, presentable home I would've said yes in a heartbeat... I had a crush on you since 7th-grade 'intro to drafting.'
I Love Her
"Weird, I was just confiding in my mom about this last night. I'm late but for catharsis's sake I'm going to post. My first girlfriend is a classic case of you don't know what you have until it's gone. She's the complete package. Beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and so kind. We started dating when I was 17 and broke up when I was 21."
"For reference I'm 30 now. I was an idiot. I wanted to play the field. I wanted to party and hook up with college girls. It was fun at first but after a while I felt this gnawing hole in my heart. The feeling of doubt crept up slowly and still, a decade later my chest feels tight thinking about it."
"I didn't realize until my later serious relationships that getting along with your SO's family is so important. Her mom and step dad genuinely treated me like a part of their family. It's not a stretch to say I literally grew up with these people. I spent some of my most formative years with them. Birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases, you name it. They celebrated me and my accomplishments. They genuinely cared about me. Just amazing, salt of the earth, lovely people."
"Her birthday was in March and I sent her a text and we ended up talking for a bit. She's happily married and stable with a daughter and a second on the way. I'm genuinely so happy for her. She deserves happiness. I just wish I was a part of that. Sitting at work 10 years later I'm tearing up. I numbed myself out to it for years, it's so strange to me that I've been so stuck on her lately. Is this normal?"
15 Years Later
"My very first real love. I was a teenager and I didn't really know how to be comfortable in myself or with myself. I played silly teen girl games and lost him even as a friend. Now 15 years later I still think about R from time to time. I genuinely hope he's happy in his life."
"Edit: Wow this blew up while I was sleeping. Thanks for all the sweet words and to everyone with their "one" congratulations! I suppose I hadn't looked him up on social media because I'm scared, scared he won't respond, scared he will respond, scared he'll think I'm a stalker. I'm in a happy relationship now, but what if... Etc etc etc. But I'll give it a Google."
Missed You Muchrhythm nation dance GIF by Janet JacksonGiphy
A girl I dated in high school. Went on a date one time she took me out parking and I was too stupid to realize it.
"She always talked about moving away as soon as she got finished with high school. I always thought I would stay in a little town the rest of my life. Turns out I was the one who left and move to another state. Later I heard that she had told someone that I knew that she thought that we would be married at some point. Missed it by that much."
Ok... I've been a bit blind to the light. People can be cruel, but also highly creative. Why not just lead with the truth? It'll always hurt more after lies.
Chuck E.Chuck E Cheese Wink GIFGiphy
"Ah the rare AskReddit question I can answer."
"I met a wonderful woman circa 2013-2015. We worked at what I can best describe as an upscaled Chuck E Cheese. Or ghetto Six Flags. Your choice."
"We hit it off instantly, though at the time I was rather romantically inept. Eventually, she says she's leaving to join the Air Force. I tell her I'll miss her, and wished her well. The thought of asking for her number so we could stay in contact didn't even cross my mind."
"Cue the next day, I stop for lunch on my way to work, and as I'm walking to my car I hear my name being called. I turn around, and it's her, running toward me. Universe giving me a second chance, right? Wrong. My dumb butt still didn't ask for her number. She looked a little upset, and I still think about her often. Desiree, I hope you're doing well."
"He was my first and last love. I was 16 and he was 18 when we met. We bounced around like idiots, on again off again, finally got together mid 20s. We both fell into bad habits - drugs and alcohol, more booze for me, more drugs for him. We had some bad things happen that were pretty detrimental to staying sober. We would split, reconcile, get sober, fall off the wagon, split, etc... repeat as necessary. We realized we were very bad for each other unless we could BOTH just get sober for ourselves, and split."
"Ten years later, I was sober for 7 years (still am, going on 18 years end of this month, actually! Woo, go me!) and he was beginning to come back, sober about a year. He contacted me, we met, talked about trying again. He said that once he had been totally clean for a year, we'd do it. That whole "Don't make any changes for a year" thing. I would visit him, tho, things were good."
"He woke up one morning feeling bad, thought he had the flu. (This was pre-now) I stayed around because he was sick, but neither of us thought he was drastically bad, just the flu, right? He got worse and worse, finally we called an ambulance because he got up from a nap and couldn't breathe. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Aortic dissection."
"He got away, but someday I'll see him again. I never stopped loving him, and him me. We just weren't good for each other."
Ce la vie...
"My most serious Ex."
"Don't think I truly understood love until I met her. Loved her more than I ever thought I could love anything. It eventually ended when she told me that, through no fault of my own, she had fallen out of love with me. That was 2 years ago, still hurts to think/talk about."
"Ce la vie..."
"I'm in the middle of trying to avoid that right now actually."
"It's not worth the heartache trust me. I fought to stay in a relationship for an entire year. If I would've just let her go the first time she wanted there would've been a lot less pain. We would've left on good terms. I would've lost a lot less sleep. Rip the band-aid off because once the band-aid starts peeling it's inevitable it'll fall off with time."
Sweet...Kim Tate Eye Roll GIF by EmmerdaleGiphy
Damn man why bring this up.
"My ex and I broke up over 3 years ago. Mutual breakup through a lack of communication on both ends I feel."
"Thought I was over that hill until this week she messaged just to say hey and ask an innocent question. We text for the best part of the day and it's brought up a lot of old feeling. Feeling pretty bitter sweet right now."
Love is a mess. Why even bother trying if you can't be true? It's not hard to just spell out the situation. And if you're the one needing to put together the words... look closer. The dialogue shouldn't be difficult.
What are the odds you'd click on this link today?
What was the biggest coincidence that made you question the fabric of reality?
There's small coincidences, occurrences so minute that you wouldn't even notice them if you weren't paying attention. However, once someone makes a big deal out of them then there's no other choice but to acknowledge that what just happened was spectacular.
Each Having A Buddy Coming To Town
"My friend and I were on a road trip a few years ago and needed a place to stay. We both told each other we had a friend in the city we were going through, so we figured we'd be able to crash with one of them. Turns out our two friends were roommates and had both been telling each other that they had a friend coming to town soon."
What's That Got To Be? A 1 in 1000 Chance?
"Several years ago I was at a coffee shop with some friends and one of them had an ipad, another friend went to unlock it and asked him what his 4 digit unlock code was, so I just blurted out 4 random digits pretending like I knew it, and it actually worked. I had never unlocked it before or knew of the same numbers being used for anything else, or his phone number, etc."
Both Probably Assumed What The Best Time Was
"I passed out after receiving a flu shot when I was 28. The nurse who helped me up kept asking if I wanted my mom. It seemed like a really weird thing to offer an adult woman - the option to have her mother phoned and brought in - so I was really confused and getting progressively more annoyed at her repeatedly asking...
...until my mom walked up to me. She had the appointment after mine to get vaccinated. The nurses assumed we had come together, but neither of us knew about the other's appointment, and we lived an hour away from each other in different cities."
Living in such a big world can lead you to the conclusion that math is silly and odds are never in your favor. With over seven billion people roaming around, chances of meeting someone of significance?
Less than you think.
A Simultaneous Love Of Traveling
"This guy I went to grade school and high school with, an acquaintance at best. I've seen him in 5 different locations in different countries throughout the last 15 years.
Disney World when I was a kid.
Some beach bar in Thailand.
The Bean in Chicago.
A pub in Budapest.
A library in San Jose, Costa Rica.
We've become friends due our love of traveling, but neither of us post on social media and neither of us communicated with each other our plans to travel. We never talked outside of the random meetings. Now if I see him, its like the world wants us to have a beer together. haha"
"I Mean, The Crash, Yeah, But How Have You Been?"
"My dad lives in a national park here in Australia. It's farmland that's grandfathered in. It's the remnants of a volcano that blew itself up very violently, so it's very hilly terrain.
One day we were sitting out on the deck, when we see a hang-glider come down halfway down the valley, and it didn't look like a nice landing. "Sh-t, we better see if he's alright, they don't land anywhere near here"
So we get in the car, drive for about 10 minutes to reach the spot. We head over to the guy who is standing by a very damaged glider. The pilot is staring at us incredulously, he stammers "F-ck, Jack, is that you?".
My dad, who hasn't seen his childhood friend for 35 years shouts "F-ck, Tim, is that you?".
They both grew up in Greymouth, NZ. Found each other randomly after a glider crash in NSW, Australia."
Takes A Wedding To Bring People Together
"My wife and I were looking to hire a caterer for our wedding and when we met, my wife and her started talking about their lives a bit.
Turns out they had both literally grown up on the same street, in a city of 10 million people, on the other side of the world. Both had left the city around a decade before immigrating to our current country.
They knew the same people, had hung out at the same coffee place, attended the same church. They even used to grab mangoes off the same large tree that hung over the wall of one of the large houses in the neighbourhood.
But they had never met one another until meeting on almost the exact opposite side of the planet, in a small town of about 50,000 people."kor_hookmaster
What we can gain from these experiences is a coincidence will occur more than you think, you just have to have the eyes sharp enough to spot them.
But how would you explain these?
Position Is Key
"I dialed my mum on my mobile when I was on public transport and accidentally swapped two numbers around.
The person I called was on the same carriage."
"Go on, tell us what happened then!"
"So I was listening to my phone and at the exact moment it started the ringing sound I heard a phone start ringing and I thought it was a coincidence but then the phone answered and it wasn't mum.
All I said was "Oh, are you on the Upfield train?" and they said "Yes, who's this?" but I got shy and I hung up.
Poor guy must have been so confused."
Universal Echoes Bringing You Closer Together
"One time, me and my dad were discussing his friend while out driving at night without many other cars on the road. As we were talking, we pulled up to a red light, and the car waiting in front was my dad's friend. He didn't even live close to there."
Extremely Unlucky Odds. Go Buy A Lottery Ticket.
"A couple of years ago I was visiting my hometown and decided to sit on a bench at my favorite park. As I was sitting, I felt something land on my head. Bird poop. After heading home and washing my hair, I went back into town. While I walked around, I watched as a guy got hit with a drop of sky sh-t. As I was laughing about the apparent irritable bowel syndrome of the birds in my town, a bird flying right over me drops a fat sh-t on my head."
There's no magic at play. All of these happenstances can be explained away with simple math and rudimentary probability.
Still, it's fun to live when you're in the moment.