Wow, thank you everyone for your great responses on Break Ups I and Break Ups II! I’ve enjoyed writing about this topic, and many of you can relate, so we will keep the train going into Break Ups III. Here we go…
Growth Isn’t Felt
One common theme of the responses of others suffering break ups, and from my experience, is that you lose the ability to feel growth or improvement for a little while. This is, in my opinion, one of the worst things about the break up.
For example, the past month and two have been the best months in business EVER! I should feel excited about how much income I brought in. I also got flown out by a client and had some epic fun. I now also have the most amount of cash on hand I’ve ever had before, too.
I’ve also received examples from readers like you, who have described making new friends, learning new skills, making more money, traveling to new places, and learning about yourself yet not feeling like you actually gained anything.
This is what fucking sucks about break ups- you can make SO MUCH progress in life, yet not feel like you’ve gone anywhere! Until you heal, you will struggle to realize just how awesome you are as a human being.
Everywhere You Go, There You Are
This is a (famous?) quote which is intended for those thinking “I’ll be happy then.” I went through a phase of this in June of 2018 when I had to leave Bulgaria unexpectedly. Always I was waiting for a future moment to become happy, which never came.
The same happened after the break up- I naively assumed that I was ready for an adventure in Asia (Thailand), but everywhere you go, there you are. The pain followed. My bad habits learned followed.
I’m in Montreal writing this right now, and I can see how it’s followed me here too. A couple of nights ago I couldn’t help the fantasizing of me & my ex coming back together.
Dreams with her don’t stop also! Every few days I have a new dream with her, where we are having fun, talking, meeting again, etc. Sometimes they’re very lucid and realistic, and other times they make no sense at all.
Now I’m feeling more and more ready to re-try traveling to Asia, however I will do so with the wisdom that the pain which I experience now will be the pain I experience there, too.
While some circumstances, places, situations, etc. can improve or reduce your happiness, ultimately the catalyst for improvement and change has to be YOU.
The Fantasy Is Not Reality
I am in the “idealist” personality group, categorized by NF (ie. ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ) and so seeing the best in people comes naturally to me.
My mental image of my ex is likely much different than who she really is. I try to stay as grounded as possible, but it’s not always possible.
All I would want from her is to listen & understand me, but I had tried that, a few times, and it never worked out.
Letting go of the fantasy of it working out is the hardest thing. In fact, I think the pain over a break up is more-so the pain of “what could’ve been” rather than what WAS.
For example I sometimes feel sad when leaving friends from a city, but it passes fast. I miss them occasionally, but it doesn’t eat away at me, like it has with my ex. With my ex I’ve suffered for almost 6 months and in some weeks hardly functioned as an adult (who am I kidding, I stayed inside and played video games all day I didn’t “adult” at all).
Generally with friends you’re just enjoying the present moment together. You don’t have a huge plan together. You may think that you and your ex didn’t have a huge plan together, but biology did indeed- kids, spreading genes, etc. is the #1 imperative of being alive; it’s only natural it hurts.
The hardest part of a break up is accepting that IT IS OVER, and there is NO GOING BACK.
You can try focus on some of your ex’s faults, but that can just make you negative and bitter.
Break ups are a weird paradox of enjoying the good memories, but not indulging in them, not getting stuck in the past, and also moving forward, and also acknowledging the bad times, agh it goes on and on…
The whole “will I ever love again” or “meet someone like her again” thoughts/feelings are the worst of it all, also.
Logically I could sit down, write down my ex’s personality type & attributes, and calculate the exact number of girls in the world that are like her (in the sense of compatibility, not exactly like her) but that doesn’t help the feelings so much.
Anyone who has truly loved knows that losing that person makes you feel like you could never truly love again! It sucks!
We all know logically we’ll come out of this, one day, but in the meantime, you just have to keep pushing forward one step at a time…
Also, I am not certain at which point you begin dating again. Some sources recommend hooking up with others. Others recommend waiting some time, and then dating when you’re perfectly healthy. Others say just go with the flow.
The fact that there’s no clear cut guide on how to overcome a break up is annoying. We have landed men on the moon and no one can tell me how to feel a bit better!
Obviously you have to “ride the wave,” but surely there must be some better advice than just being miserable all the time??
As I write this out, I’ve wrote this down: “Business idea, how to get past a break up digital course.” I might actually investigate this because almost EVERYONE gets into a break up and then struggles finding the light again.
Sad Forever People
I remember I met a man in my favorite Bulgarian bar and I was talking about my “soulmate,” my ex. I was so excited. He put the idea down, and was trying to bring me down a bit, “in case it didn’t work out.”
It probably came from good intentions, but these people aren’t good because the relationship very well could work out so you shouldn’t shoot down anything until it’s actually over!
There are people who’s lives quite literally get ruined by a break up, and that’s the especially scary thing about the break up. I’d like to hear things from people like “one day you won’t miss her, you’ll get over it, etc.” but some people talk about being heartbroken for years or always having a little feeling dragging around…
That fucking scares me! I don’t want to be like this forever! If I’m going to be sad forever, then what? Do I go back to her, fix the relationship for her at the cost of me, and continue like that, or do I continue with the pain?
I think people that remain sad forever or sad for too long about their ex aren’t actually putting in the effort to recover in their lives, and they should be avoided. It’s a bit of a cruel advice but I want someone to tell me it’ll be better, not that I’ll be sad “forever and ever.”
I guess this is where the conscious effort of a recovery comes in- you’ve gotta make new friends, work out hard, travel, make money, and date new people while also still allowing yourself to cry and ride that wave.
I don’t want to be sad forever; it’s scary just how much one person- my ex- can have this much power over my emotional state. I feel that all I wanted (to be heard & cared for in the way I gave to her) was not much to ask, yet it didn’t work out. It’s confusing, painful, etc. but I refuse to be sad forever… so should you, if you’re struggling.
New Goals, New Friends, New Clothes
One of my ideas for recoveries has been to make new friends, get new clothes, and just refresh my life completely.
I’ve basically been wearing the same clothes for the past 3-5 years with the exception of a few shirts & pants. All clothes have remained in good quality, so I’ve never felt the need to replace them.
I wonder though, would getting new clothes help? I’ve had this intuition before, but didn’t end up following it.
Making new friends & connecting with people seems to be VERY helpful. Moments alone are very difficult.
I also feel excited for Thailand, but you have to be RUTHLESS in attacking your goals if you are to try recover through goal-setting. You have to dedicate all day long to focusing on it, and then hopefully one day you’ll wake up and be okay…
All I can say for me that’s helped is socializing, A LOT, and video games.
Falling In Love… With You?
One hard thing I’ve learned to do is “fall in love with myself.” I guess this is what some people say you need to do to get over a break up…
I wouldn’t say love in the romantic sense, or selfish sense, but rather in the self-care context, or in doing what makes you genuinely fulfilled.
Me going to Montreal was an example of me trying to take care of myself. Yoga would be an even better example.
Once you are recovering, you need to take massages, spa retreats, do yoga, work out hard, socialize, etc. but also learn to be independent again. When you’re with someone, a part of you fuses with them, so when you lose them you lose a part of yourself.
Even here in Montreal, 6 months later, I’ve caught myself walking through the metro imagining what I would say to my ex, or the things that I would show her. I just got so used to having her around that doing these things alone still feels so… foreign.
My guess is that if she were to be here now and was willing to amend & improve with me, then we could fit right back into each other, STILL. Or is that really the case? I’m not sure. Anyways, another hard part of break ups is learning to be yourself again.
Being alone is kind of difficult! On one hand you need to hangout with other humans, but on the other you can’t become dependent on anyone else… you need to stay as your own person, and become independent again… that’s hard.
This was break ups III. I have ideas for break ups IV that I’ll likely write even now, and who knows if we’ll make it to V. I’m surprised by the response on the break ups series and really glad that people are connecting with it. I have a lot to write, so I’ll publish the writings if you enjoy!