I’ve experienced some excruciating break-ups.
A few were painful because I wanted to be with the person so badly. During one relationship, I saw myself married to him. We dated for less than a year, but from the beginning I admired him and learned from him. He loved to be active and play games and he was smart. I found myself becoming increasingly attached, and then I found myself in increasing fear. I needed more time with him, more assurance, more affirmation. But as our relationship matured, he needed less of all that. My fear made me cling to him…I didn’t know how to stop and I was pushing him away. My fears finally manifested and he broke up with me 2 days before Christmas while he was out of the country.
When he came home, we met to exchange the gifts we already bought for each other. We kissed, and he left.
I remember how much my heart ached. I still cared about him so much, and seeing him frequently in social settings made things particularly difficult. And having a friend with benefits relationship with after breaking up didn’t help. At all.
Most of my teen relationships looked a bit like that: fall in love, hopelessly cling to someone emotionally unavailable, push them away, make-out, get mad and distance myself.
When I started doing serious work on myself, my relationships started changing. I learned lessons faster. I lost my pain tolerance, and I couldn’t stand to be in those situations anymore.
One year, I dated three Aries in a row. Aries are great, don’t get me wrong. My current boss is an Aries and we get along great; but Aries and Scorpio (!) don’t have very assuring relationship patterns with each other. They have an exciting/passionate start, with a dramatically negative ending. In each of these relationships, I had a gut feeling from the start that it wasn’t a good idea. While lovely people in many ways, one was a recovering addict who was pretty unstable in his recovery-ness, one was very manipulative and argumentative about my boundaries, and the other person was emotionally unavailable (and illegally using performance enhancing substances…) I ignored my gut, and it was a great decision. Seriously! Because I learned SO much.
After finding out that the third boyfriend in a row was an Aries, I realized God/the Universe was teaching me something. The relationships got shorter and shorter – 4, 2, and then 1 month long. I was able to initiate the break-up each time – a new thing for me, as usually I let things go until they fizzle and die; and I dealt with it in increasingly healthy ways. It was a very efficient year of lessons! At the end of which, I started dating Chris who has been my partner in crime ever since.
Here are the lessons I learned about break-ups.
Forgive, even if the other person didn’t do anything wrong.
One lesson I leaned was to allow the other person to be themselves. I forgave them for not being what I needed, and I honored who they were as best as I could at the time.
2. Take responsibility.
Take responsibility for my feelings. Even if the person harms me, I have a choice in how I react. I can walk away, set healthy boundaries and take care of myself. Even if distancing myself from him makes him sad, that’s okay. He is responsible for his feelings just like I am for mine.
I take care of myself like I am a hurting child. I let people hold me while I cry, and I cry whenever I feel like it. If I’m at work, I’ll literally schedule time to go to the bathroom and cry. Sometimes I cry alone, and sometimes I want a girlfriend to brush my hair or hug me while I feel sorry for myself.
I also let myself get angry, and I let the anger motivate me to change.
I usually get really creative when I am in pain. I paint, I play my guitar more, I am more open to new hobbies.
I write lists including what I liked about the relationship, and what didn’t work. For me, this is a helpful step to manifest a better fit next time.
There are two things to remember. One: remember that it gets better. I PROMISE. The pain may feel excruciating, but it won’t last. Even if it doesn’t go away for a long time, it will dull. Things will get different before they get better, but they will get better.
Second thing to remember: no matter how hopeless you feel, remember that this situation was not a waste of time. It didn’t delay the time you could have been spending with your soul mate…because you learned and are learning lessons that are crucial for the success of the next thing, whatever that is. If you think back on past experiences with some perspective, I hope you’ll agree that they were useful.
Ok, so those are my tips for getting through a break-up.
What are yours? Are you going through a break-up now? How are you dealing with it?