Last week I told you to break up with your boyfriend so of course I’m not gonna abandon you there, told you we are in this together. I’m not a relationship coach or anything I’m a stranger on the internet pouring my heart out, and honestly sometimes I’m a mess. But sometimes, I can just take a step back and make sense of my feelings which helps me be more centered and intentional during a time like this.
I allow myself to feel everything to the fullest and cry my eyes out if needed, but also I just know that I won’t feel this way forever. You won’t either. One day this will all be memories of a difficult time period following the end of a relationship, and I wanna be able to look back at this mess and say that came out a better version of myself. I want these feelings to be my teacher and eventually make me more me. That’s why I wanted share the angle I see things from hoping it will help you too, I don’t know, I’ll try and we’ll see.
When a long term relationship ends
When we end a long term relationship, we not only lose the person but we also lose our projected future. And that’s a huge shock. The future you were dreaming together, won’t happen. Everything you imagined about your future suddenly disappears. Those kids will never be born, or the dogs and the cats won’t be adopted, you won’t go on that trip together. It’s heartbreaking when you realize that those dreams and fantasies won’t be lived. And at this point I’m questioning whether I should give up on dreaming all together because they don’t come true. Jk – I’ll never stop dreaming.
It’s not easy to digest that this person was in your past, present, and future; and now they are only in your past. We need to come up with a new projected future, who knows how that will crumble. We need to learn how to feel complete by ourselves in the moment and also not get lost in the past and the lovely memories and all the good stuff that we lost.
A breakup will kill you if you only see what you’ve lost, because we lose awesome things when we end a relationship. We lose the comfort of knowing that someone loves us and the easy communication with someone that knows all about us, we lose a deep connection that’s really not easy to find even though there are 7 million people in the world. But it’s not all about what’s lost, you have to see what you gained.
Try to see what kind of a transformation this person made you go through, because those are the stuff you’ll never lose. It will live forever in the person you’ve become. This includes new hobbies, interests, habits, values. I mean I even picked up a little bit of my ex’s sense of humor. So yes there is a projected future that won’t ever be lived, but this relationship made me me, so it will live in me. And you gave each other time, you grew up together, that’s so precious. Love is a beautiful thing, seriously.
At first it feels like they were perfect and you lost your only chance of being happy forever with the person you love, but I’m sure there were some stuff about them that were not that great but you didn’t care because you loved them so much. The heartbreak is so big that you just forget what you didn’t like about them. But in time, you remember the stuff that wasn’t working anyway. Just give it some time.
So what about staying friends? I don’t think I believe in that. At least not immediately. To be honest, I reached out to my ex after we broke up and I cried and said I missed him a lot, this wasn’t a getting back together moment and we both knew, it was more like; I’m in so much pain, and this is so awful, and you were my best friend, and you know exactly what I’m going through right now because we lost the same thing. And we comforted each other, and felt better. But it takes me back to point zero, then I feel like I didn’t lose this person, that it’s all still there, but it’s not.
So I advice you the opposite, don’t reach out. That’s part of the deal. That’s part of breaking up. Besides, one of you will move on faster than the other, and you wouldn’t want to pick up the phone one day hoping to hear this familiar voice and find the love you’ve been missing only to realize that you have lost it, or the other way around. I think it’s best to deal with this by ourselves, and cut communication.
I advice journaling instead of writing him. You can write him a letter and not send it. You can pour your heart out into the pages and know that the journal will get you, accept you, and be there for you. I’m afraid I’m weirdly attached to my journals.
When this burning is not an eternal flame
The end of a long term relationship feels way different than breaking up with someone you were super into but weren’t really in a committed relationship, so I wanted to talk about how that feels like separately.
Sometimes you meet someone, and you’re hooked. The way they talk, walk, look, they seem perfect and they are also into you! You talk about anything and everything and it feels wonderful. And all of a sudden you lose them. For whatever reason, maybe you don’t even know what happened, but in any case you end up super confused because, like did you make it up? Did you misunderstand everything? Were you the only one that thought this connection was unique and special and incredible? What?
This is a tricky one because you like the idea of you two so much, you tend to be detached from reality. You fill in the blanks for them, you put them to a position that they can’t fill. You think they fit perfectly to you and your life, but are you sure? You don’t even know them that well given that the two of you were never actually in a committed relationship. You don’t know how they act in certain situations, or how they react to stuff, you haven’t gone through anything with them.
So again, you need to erase all your dreams and fantasies that involved this person and come up with a new projected future, but this time chances are, this person isn’t actually the one in those dreams anyway. You thought they were perfect for the role, but that’s it. You just got excited. It happens. It’s okay!
And it sounds like it should be easier to move on from someone who you haven’t spent that much time with when compared to a long term partner, but I’ve seen people get crushed even more in situations like this. Because this type of break up is more likely to make you be like; I’m not lovable, I’m not interesting, I’m not valuable. That’s not true. I mean it’s true that you’re not for everyone, just like not anyone is for you, but this particular moment is not the best time to lose yourself in self-doubt. This is when we are intentional about learning and getting better, remember?
You can’t rely your wellbeing on another person’s perception of you. Just because they didn’t love you back doesn’t mean you are not worthy of love or anything. It doesn’t mean you are not desirable. It just means that you aren’t for them. That’s fair isn’t it? Because you can’t control how someone is going to feel about you. It is what it is.
Here is a little bit of this essay called Let Go Of The People Who Aren’t Ready To Love You, and you can read the rest if it resonates with you:
It is the hardest thing you will ever have to do, and it will also be the most important: stop giving your love to those who aren’t ready to love you. Stop having hard conversations with people who don’t want to change. Stop showing up for people who are indifferent about your presence. Stop prioritizing people who make you an option. Stop loving people who aren’t ready to love you.
Where am I gonna put all this love?
So who are you gonna love instead? I think you know the answer.
Whatever you give your energy to will grow bigger. Whatever you focus on becomes bigger. Don’t focus on the heartbreak. Focus on the fact that you have all the time and love and energy for yourself now.
If you give your love and energy to someone who is not willing to take it you’ll just drain it. But if you give it to yourself, your work, your hobbies, or whatever you wanna do or become, then you know that in just a few months you’ll see significant growth in those aspects of your life. Also, keeping yourself distracted and busy helps a lot.
And you can’t rush moving on from someone, you can just shift your focus elsewhere and while you’re working on perfecting knitting or whatever, you’ll go to bed one day and realize that you didn’t cry today. You didn’t even think about them today. Plus, you have a cool scarf now. How about that?
I think I made peace with the fact that nobody will be 100% the perfect person for me. I think it’s just gonna have to be me. I have to be the perfect person for myself to spend my life with. So think about all the things that made you fall in love with this person. What was so special about them? Think of what you are attracted to in another person, and make sure you embody whatever you think makes them awesome. You should be the person of your dreams. You got a whole life with yourself.
And I love being in love, I love opening my heart and giving all my love and energy to a person. And it’s the best thing in the world when they take it and reciprocate it, but now that that’s currently not the case, I’m equally excited to practice giving all this love to myself and see what happens.
Metamorphosis: Meet the new you
This is a new chapter, it’s a new you. That’s probably why we are so ready to cut our hair and dye it after a breakup. I’m seriously considering bangs btw. But changing the way you look can only complement the real change inside you.
This is a real opportunity to see that you can get over very difficult things in life and these chaotic times are the real teachers. How will you get out of this? I know you suffer now but time heals all. Emotions change. You know this will pass, you won’t miss them forever. One day you’ll wake up and be indifferent. No pain, no resentment, this will all be a memory. And what will the new you be like then? How did this love change you? What did this heartbreak teach you?
I’ll tell you once more to journal this process, not only to look back later but talking to friends isn’t always helpful because they project their experiences and their own traumas, naturally, and they don’t even really know what you had with this person or how you really felt. This is a dark zone where you’re mostly alone, (text: you and your journal) but alone is good. Then there is nobody else you can channel this energy to, you have to give it to yourself.
I mean, this is heartbreak. Everyone in the world has been through this. The good news is that if you are intentional during this crisis, this is a perfect opportunity to reinvent yourself. It’s not easy to see a silver lining while going through a painful breakup but I still think it’s incredibly special to have these intense emotions, because it means that this person really touched your soul. And I haven’t met that many people who touched my soul or changed who I am. It’s always sad when a love is over, but it’s awesome that it happened.