After a break-up, what?

When we begin a new relationship everything can be wonderful, exciting and we forget to think about the possibility that one day that may end. What happens then? It is possible that our heart will be broken, and we may realize that what we felt was much stronger than we thought.  I’ve never had a relationship that didn’t end yet I never really imagine it will end. Maybe if I would have the break ups wouldn’t have hurt so badly.

The reality is that very few, VERY FEW relationships are forever, just a few will last a lifetime and it is a bit absurd to think otherwise. Now I know that happy endings only exist in movies and in our heads. Perfection doesn’t exist even in 50-year-old relationships.

So what do we do when the break up happens? When we are so surprised and it feels like a low blow to the stomach. We feel as if our world is coming down and so lost. We become like a puzzle broken into a thousand pieces and we struggle to put ourselves back together.

Some women, myself included, try to find someone who will fill that void very quickly. Men do it too but for some it is about finding physical fulfillment. Some begin a new relationship quickly after before taking time to process what happened with the last one. At times we try so hard to do everything in our power to make the new person happy and to give them everything we can in hopes they will stay. I did this with one of my partners. My goal when I started the relationship was to get him to love me the way I wanted to be loved. He was very honest from the start and said he wasn’t ready for a serious relationship. I made the decision not to care. I tried so hard to change him and lost myself in the process.

He loved me very much but not the way I wanted to be loved. There are times in our relationships we try to change the person. We want them to love us the way we love and fail to acknowledge that their way of loving still special. It is still love but may not be the kind of love we were looking for. We should never fault them for this because that’s the only way they know how to love. We set expectations that set us back and prevent us from seeing what is real.

For a long time I was very angry and resentful but realize that the anger was not only towards him but also with myself. I was angry with myself for not seeing what was in front of me and not giving myself more worth. At some point I stopped loving myself.

In some situations we refuse to give up and let go.  We may try to get that person back only to be faced with rejection. Every time we try we may get hurt in the process. Oh and being friends after a break up is not a good idea either. One person may want to stay friends with the hope one day things will change. The history, disappointment and pain make it nearly impossible for that relationship to ever work out again.

No one ever prepares you for a break up. We talk about the things we should and shouldn’t do at the beginning but neglect to consider the end. My advice, coming from personal experience, is to find yourself again or re-define the person you’ve become. The fascinating part about relationships is how much they teach us about ourselves, what we like, what we want and don’t want. Relationships also highlight our flaws and how we can change them. The end of a relationship should be a moment of personal evaluation, learning and growth.

When my relationship ended I felt broken, hurt and completely lost. It was then I realized I needed to work on me. I began to see my own mistakes and took my share of responsibility but I also stopped feeling guilty for what happened. I started to get to know Frida, kept what I liked about her and threw away what I didn’t. It was a process that started with anger and pain then moved to forgiveness and ended with acceptance. I began to love myself again!

Don’t let the end of a relationship break you or take away all your defenses. Never depend on anyone’s presence to be okay. Allow it to hurt but never let it destroy you and above all learn how to love yourself.

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4 thoughts on “After a break-up, what?

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  1. Self disclosure is a great tool in assisting someone to heal. Good work Frida! That special someone will find you and consider you a blessing.

  2. Insightful words. Ideally, relationships shouldn’t have defenses. They can be a barrier to intimacy. In reality, defenses help limit the emotional damage from toxic people. According to recent studies, our society is staying single longer which prolongs our stay in the topsy turvy world of the dating scene. Having the appropriate defenses in an increasingly non-committal society is necessary for our emotional health and self esteem.

  3. “never let it destroy you and above all learn to love yourself”

    Unfortunately, I realized that for me personally, I had to let my toxic relationship destroy me. It was hard to come to terms with the fact that my decision making ability was flawed and I lacked the decisiveness to change course abruptly. I didn’t love myself plain and simple. The person I was at the time had to be destroyed so that I could be re-born to who I used to be. No one can just start over, but rising from my own rubble allowed me to build a new ending.

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