1. Breakups hurt
Take it as a given that you are going to experience some pain. Depending on the length of the relationship, it will at the least be short-term, if not medium-term pain and whilst we all have our different timelines, you’ll know that you’re not dealing with the breakup and the hurt if it becomes a long-term thing. Breakups are not supposed to be pleasant or easy, yet we often behave like we expect them to be. Most women that I come across through this blog that are struggling with breaking up and letting go, can’t cope with the initial painful feelings, which trigger knee-jerk responses where they think it’s a sign that you need to get back together. Which brings me nicely to…
2. Breakups hurt because they represent loss and change; hurt isn’t necessarily a sign that you should get back together.
When you’re in a relationship, even if it has serious issues, depending on your mindset, that person or being in your fragile relationship represents hope, companionship, and plans, even if they are mostly your own projections. When you break up, suddenly white space seems to appear where you had plans or angst and all of a sudden, you’re solo instead of being part of a duo. Some of us don’t like change either which means that when you break up, you may be ill-equipped to cope with the difference in your life, and may not be able to see the positives, or remember why you left, or why it wasn’t working. This is when we start thinking ‘This is so painful; it must mean we are destined to be together’. The problem is that making a direct correlation between the pain you experience and your feelings for someone is misleading. Often women in the shittiest of relationships do this but pain..is not love. It’s pain.
3. Don’t break up to make up. Break up to break up.
Some people break up with their partner because they think it will galvanise them into action. Don’t fall into this trap. Not only is it manipulation and game playing but it is likely to backfire, and do it often enough or threaten it, and your input into the relationship will carry very little weight. On the flipside, others break up, but put themselves on hold in the hope that their absence from their ‘loved ones’ loves will suddenly make them see that they are ‘the one’. The trouble is that one of you is getting on with your lives and the other one has come to a standstill living in limbo. Can you guess which one you would be? The reality is that when you break up, you best be serious and with the right intentions, and you need to live your life as if your relationship is O.V.E.R. If anything is going to happen, trust me, your future relationship will benefit from the fact that you didn’t sit around pining, throwing your life away whilst he lived his life to the fullest. As many women discover when they stake themselves on a man, you could be in for an eternal wait.
4. That getting back in the saddle stuff is crap – Have a break from dating
Whilst some people have hides of rhinos, in truth, most people struggle to date immediately after their relationship has ended. For a start, you need to have healed and let go of your previous relationship – instead, dating straight after a breakup is like turning up on your dates with 30kg plus of luggage. Not attractive and it’s actually unfair on the other party, especially if they are looking to forge relationships. And whilst you may think you’re being clever by dating or shagging around with men who aren’t looking for a relationship, you are likely to pick up some bad relationship habits, become emotionally unavailable, and end up in a poor relationship.
5. You can’t be friends…at least not for now
You probably want to be friends because you’re secretly holding out hope. If it’s him that’s proposing friendship and there was anything remotely dubious about your relationship, he is offering the friend card because:
1) Men don’t like to look like assclowns…even when they are…
2) So he can poke around in your life and stop you from moving on…even though he can’t give you what you want and he’s moving on.
3) So he can hit you up for a shag/money/ego stroke as and when he needs it.
Probably something you’ll struggle to admit, but if you dig a bit deep, you’re likely to discover that you have no reason to believe that you have the makings of a great friendship. I am yet to find even one ex in my past who is friendship material. If you were friends first (and I don’t mean friends for a week or for a few months whilst he tried to hit you up for sex whilst pretending to be your friend), but real friends, then yeah, you probably can be friends…in 6 months or a year. You can’t go from being in a relationship to friendship without complication. Pushing for friendship after breaking up will at times to certain types of men (read: assclowns) reek of desperation and neediness. My advice – get a real friend – one you haven’t exchanged bodily fluids and a complicated relationship with. If you really, really, REALLY have to be friends, hold off for a while, get on with your life, and revisit your idea about this in 3, 6, or 12 months time, but immediate friendship – don’t bother.
Part 2 follows tomorrow!
Your thoughts? Have you learned anything about breakups? Have you experienced any of these struggles?