Relationships are intriguing little things. On the surface they seem awesome and we spend a lot of time trying to enter one but 99% of them will end, usually involving some form of mutual resentment and if you’re particularly unlucky, a large loss of cash.
Dr Gregory House did once say that all relationships either end in breakup or death.
I’m not that cynical but we all view them in different ways.
I’ve only had one long term relationship (and two smaller ones) and while I’m probably not the most qualified person in giving advice on how to maintain a healthy relationship, I do have experience in getting over them.
See, most people do it all wrong.
What you need to do is…
Accept the situation
The very first thing that needs to happen before life can continue is to accept the situation.
It can be very tempting to cling on to someone, especially if they have been a big part of your life but living in denial will just cause further heartache in the long run.
Your first instincts will be to try and get them back, to change their mind. It doesn’t really matter what the reasons were as you will probably view yourself as the one who is in the right, or at least the other person has misunderstood something.
‘If only she knew how I really felt’
‘If only I can show her how sorry I am’
‘If only I can make her see my point of view’
Unless there has been a calamitous balls-up somewhere, the relationship ended for a good reason. People don’t end things with someone they really want, it’s common sense. There is a good chance that this person has felt some form of discontent for a while and they just needed something to push them over the edge.
Maybe they just needed time to find the courage – I’m speaking from experience here.
If you didn’t do something blatant to cause the break-up (ie cheating, lying etc) then there really is no coming back. Don’t take their excuse at face value as there will be other reasons too. It’s not good social etiquette to tell someone that they have lost interest, so instead they will say something like ‘I just don’t want anything serious right now’ or ‘I feel like we’re in different places’. Yes this may be true but would they be saying this if they truly loved you?
No, of course not.
Don’t look for a loophole in their excuse, or some form of opening that you can exploit – words are just words.
Accept the situation – the relationship has ended and you have to move on.
Don’t take it personally
This is a really hard concept to fathom. Even more so when your emotions are all over the place and it feels like your whole world has gone down the toilet.
You remember that old, pathetic excuse?
‘It’s not you, it’s me’
Well, there is more truth to that than a lot of people realise.
Think about it – you aren’t attracted to everyone so why should everyone be attracted to you?
Tastes change. People change.
So what if someone has decided that they don’t want you in their lives anymore – it’s nothing to do with you.
It’s ok to feel sad, that’s understandable, but don’t start beating yourself up about it. The worst thing you can do is fall into the trap of blaming yourself and thinking that you must be some kind of loser.
‘I’ve been dumped, therefore I must be lame. I need to change’
No, you don’t
People will see the ‘you’ that they see and there’s not too much you can do about it.
This relates to cheating too. Most people don’t cheat because they lose interest in their current partner, it’s because as a person, they crave more. It could be that they need to seek validation from other people or that they find it hard to turn down advances due to how insecure they are.
It doesn’t mean you aren’t giving them what they want; it just means they will always require something else.
Think of it like supplying an alcoholic with orange juice. Yes it tastes great but they will always want the hard stuff.
Our ego will always try to ensure that we are the centre of our universe but its arrogance can misread situations and take the blame for things that have nothing to do with us.
Allow yourself time to get over it, then get over it
The grieving process after a break up can be a horrible and messy time. Everything in your life has seemingly been turned upside down and you may even struggle to function as a normal, rational human being.
Ok you’ve accepted the situation and you have also managed to absolve yourself from any blame, but it still hurts – and it may do for some time yet.
It’s easy to throw your hands in the air and surrender to your emotions but by doing so, you are letting everything get the better of you.
Your performance at work will suffer, your health will take a backseat as you turn to junk food or alcohol for a little comfort and your friends will no doubt see less of you because your energy levels are non-existent right now.
This is standard for any breakup, but it can drag on for weeks, maybe even months and that’s just not acceptable.
The best way to deal with this is to pick a definitive period of time, say 1 week, and fully allow yourself the opportunity to wallow in your own misery.
Go to town, feel it, embrace the pain.
But once those 7 days have passed, you must promise yourself that you will get on with your life as if nothing has happened.
I have done this and it works a charm. For those 7 days I hardly left my bed. I ate junk food, watched movies and focused on just doing as little as possible.
The main benefit of this method is that you will probably feel worse initially as setting a deadline for this grieving process means you will try to get it all out as quickly as possible. This is a good thing.
You need to empty that emotional tank and you need to do it before the week is up.
Try it, you’ll be surprised as to how effective this is. You will wake up on that 8th morning with a spring in your step and a feeling that you have dealt with a lot of your issues. You will still feel a bit down but at least your life will be back on track.
Realise that the ‘one’ doesn’t exist
‘The one’ will mean different things to different people.
Some of you will believe that there is one special person for each of us and that eventually we will find them and live happily ever after.
Those of you with more common sense will believe that there are many ‘ones’ and that life is just a bizarre collection of random events that we have little control over.
Only one of the above is correct.
The idea that there are forces at work, directing us towards our one true love is lazy and lacks logic. Ok this idea will make more sense to you if you’re religious or believe in the supernatural but if you’re a person of science then you will already realise how random life is.
You and your ex only happened to meet by chance.
- Maybe you went to the same school (which was a result of your parents geographical location)
- Maybe you met each other in a nightclub (hundreds of people in one room.. chaos theory)
- Maybe you met each other online (they updated their profile so appeared high in the rankings)
Some might say this is the result of fate – I wouldn’t, it looks an awful lot like coincidence and chance to me.
3 and a half billion people of the opposite sex (or same sex if that’s your thing) and you think that you’ve found the only person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with? Well this could be true if you actually met every one of those 3 and a half billion but you haven’t. You’ve probably only met a few thousand people in your whole lifetime.
True – we don’t actually meet that many people whom we really click with, but you know what? Human beings are pretty compatible creatures. It’s why for the most part we aren’t attacking each other like animals on a daily basis.
Two people meet each other and providing they have similar levels of attractiveness and personality – BOOM – chemistry happens, sparks fly and plans are made.
That’s how your previous relationship started and it will be how your next one will start too.
How this relates to getting over someone is obvious.
Why are you giving so much of yourself to someone who doesn’t feel the same way when there are literally thousands of compatible future ‘ones’ in your city right now? Get out there and meet someone new.