My heart has been broken many times. The toughest ones to get over were my first love and the ones who I've vested a lot of time and energy in. You know, the ones where your heart ached when it was over and it felt like something was loss or missing in your life because they were part of your every day life and now you no longer see or hear from them anymore.
It's hard to adjust to the new found space or emptiness (depending on how you want to look at it). I used to see it as the latter, and would feel sorry for myself for messing things up. I'd think life is so unfair, what a bastard for ruining my life!
But then as I started my self-love journey, I started to appreciate my past relationships and the lessons that came with it.
Here are the lessons I've come to appreciate about break ups.
1. When a relationship ends, it is complete.
Instead of seeing the relationship as a breakup, see it as a ‘purpose', that you were supposed to serve in each other's life.
Much like a job that has run its course, you and your partner are no longer a good fit. You both have tried everything to make it work, but for some reason, life is taking you both down different paths. You can no longer fulfill each other's needs completely. It's not a reflection on either person. Sometimes it is what it is, and for the growth and well-being of you and your partner it is time to, consciously uncouple' (to borrow Gwyneth Paltrow's famous saying) because you both deserve better.
There's a famous poem (see below) that many people refer to that talks about how ‘people come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime.' It explains why people come and go in our lives, and it really helped me put this concept of seeing a relationship as complete into perspective.
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty; to provide you with guidance and support; to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. — Author Unknown
2. “It's not you, it's me” is a cliche but true.
As much as I don't want to use this line because it's so cliché and I hate it when people use it on me, it's true more often than not.
For me, I usually use it at the start of relationships when I'm just getting to know someone. As soon as I know I have no romantic interest in the person I use it if the other side is not getting my subtle cues. I'd much rather deal with the ‘break up' early on when there is hardly (if any) attachment than to be in a relationship.
Whenever I use the line, I mean it in the most sincere way. It is me who doesn't see us as good fit. It is me who respects you for who you are and not wanting to change your values so that you can be a better fit for me. More importantly, I respect myself to not want to change who I am.
I want someone who naturally loves my perfectly imperfect self, where my imperfectness is something my partner is willing to accept, and vice versa.
Now sometimes, there are instances where you or your partner may have fallen out of love. You can't really explain it, or pinpoint when or how it happened. But somewhere along the journey, the connection you used to have is gone. So you use this line when you break up. And it's true. It's not you; it's me. I have lost the intensity of love I had for you. I still love you, but I don't ‘LOVE' You. Love can come in different forms and what I'm talking about here is losing the unconditional, romantic type of love.
This is the toughest of all because it's a hard truth to swallow. I remember when an ex whom I was in a serious relationship with used this line on me, I didn't get it! What did I do wrong? How can I fix this? Can we not talk about it? Can you not just give our relationships a few more months to work this out.? I promise I'll change.
For a long time, I was stuck blaming myself and was gutted to have my heart broken, and hated him for sticking to his decision. However, looking back now I appreciate and respect him for breaking up with me when he no longer could give me the love I deserved.
Because I would rather be in a relationship with someone who is happy to show up and give me the love I deserve than be in a relationship with someone who is checked out in every sense.
You are worthy and deserve being loved to the Fullest.
“The way you treat yourself sets the standards for others” — Sonya Friedman
Our time is precious, so honour your feelings. Let go of those who you are unable to love you to the fullest. Spend it with those who are eager to give you love and with those who you are eager to do the same.
3. “Relationships are about two individuals who maintain their own lives and create another one together.” — Unknown Author
It took me a few relationships to figure this one out. When I first started dating and entering ‘relationships', I did it to feel complete. I felt like the people whom I've dated helped fill a void in my life. I ended up living their way of life and embodying everything they did, and tried to replicate myself to be more like my other half so that I will be more loved. Along the way, I lost my own interest and lost touch with some friends, as I relied on my exes at the time to be my everything. Yikes right?
Needless to say, this was not healthy for either of us. I certainly wouldn't want to take on such a responsibility where someone's happiness is dependent on me 24/7. I have learned that to keep the relationship fresh and to continue to bring the best out of each other, it's important to have a healthy balance where we have our own space and time to explore our own interests and create our own lives, knowing we have each other as well.
4. Remember the good times.
With every relationship, there are good and bad times. It may be counterintuitive to think about the good times when you first break up, as it is much easier to think about the bad times.
However, if you are the type of person who is motivated by pleasure, think about the good times you've had, and think about how you can experience that again in a new relationship and make it even better. The probability of you being able to create a better relationship is as good as any, perhaps even better when you've learned your lesson.
If you are someone who is motivated by pain to get over things, then think about the bad times and how it is so much better now that you no longer have he/she in your life.
These are the lessons and perspectives I've come to appreciate after a break up that has helped me to get over the relationship changes in my life. I hope will help you overcome the breakup blues:
What lessons have you learned that has helped you get over a relationship?