Break ups suck! losing the love of your life sucks (or who you thought was the love of your life). It is never easy moving on especially when you were the one who got dumped. And sometimes seems when I take one step forward in moving on, I fall back 2.
I am sure I was like a lot of people, things seemed to be going great. We were talking and planning a future, I was spending holidays with his family, we went on vacations together. Sure there were somethings that were not perfect, but whatever is, and we were working on it. So it came as a shock to me, this perfect man, broke up with me, on Valentines day no less. I felt hurt, and betrayed. How could someone of 3 years talk about the future, plan for a future with me and then just leave? No reason why, no explanation he just wasn’t “feeling it” anymore.
The crazy thing is he stayed that night, even took me out, saying he had been an awful boyfriend. I was crying, puffy faced, trying to sit at a dinner with this person who just told me “he wasn’t sure if he could marry me” I mean WTF right!
My first ever deep love, let us call him “T”, meant everything to me. He was funny, supportive, talked about his feelings, he was easy to talk to and be myself with. Everything I thought I wanted in a boyfriend. We started off great, always had great conversations, similar interests, and the sex was pretty good as well. We moved fast, he said I love you first! within 3 months of dating. We spent every weekend together, eventually living with each other for 6 months after dating for a year. I thought this was it. He made me see everything I was missing in previous relationships. We even got a dog together. I supported him through having no job, too helping build his new career and inspiring him to take that step.
It wasn\’t always easy, we had our fights, our moments. But we always loved each other. I did have my moments when I would see all my friends get engaged, move in with each other, or start having families. I always wondered why we hadn’t moved forward yet? But I was also ok with it.
The biggest thing I can say, is that it is OK to feel the way you do. Its ok to scream, kick, shut the world out, hate men etc. Believe me I cried, I took a sick day from work, I went from sad and depressed, to angry, mad, wanting to punch him. I talked to everyone I could just to get it out, to try and figure out why after 3 years T was done. I didn’t get a reason, just that something was “missing”, he didn’t feel the passion. During the 1st month I called my therapist several times, I tried not contacting him. I was mad that he could just go on with his life, and I was a mess. I was hurt by the loss and he wasn’t.
After about a month and a half I started to pull myself out. During that month I went to girls nights, called and talked to friends I hadn’t talked to in a while, I even started taking an antidepressant for a while. Anything to make the pain, the hurt the loss stop. I wanted to keep fighting. To make the relationship work, to build something new. It was very one sided though. I kept going back and forth between believing I wasn’t the issue, the issue lies in him, to thinking if I had tried more maybe…. Those are completely valid thoughts and feelings. My advice, spend those first few weeks, letting it out, cry, eat ice cream, complain to friends, get it all out. Then one morning you will able to wake up, and something feels different, it seems brighter. That is the day when you need to start taking care of yourself. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and instead build yourself into the person you want to be.
During my relationship, I started out strong; I came on to “T”. I was confident. But I slowly lost that. He had all the power the control in the relationship. It soon became everything HE wanted to do, or revolved around him and his job. He didn’t come out to my stuff, he didn’t even read the blog I started because of him! He pushed me away from all my friends, then claimed he couldn’t be my soul support. You don’t need someone who is going to be self-centered like that. You need someone who will meet you half-way. Believe me that is something that is still even hard for me to stay now. I still love this person, I still fantasize that one day he will realize his mistake and we will be back together. All good and reasonable thoughts, but don’t get stuck there. He left for a reason, and RIGHT now he isn\’t coming back. The best thing is to take care of you, be happy and let that shine. You will either attract so many other people, or attract him back.
During the last few months I realized I need to get myself back. I could do what I wanted to do. I didn\’t have to answer to anyone else! It felt good, a little lonely, but its making me stronger. I am working on myself, my hopes and dreams. I am in charge of all of that. I also have my friends I can go to for support. If this means going to therapy, getting a gym membership, changing your hair then do it! Just remember you are doing this for yourself and NO ONE else. You have the power now, and believe me people will see that. I ended up getting a tattoo! It says Wanderlust- which was something special to me and represented my desire to travel and experience new things. But I got the tattoo for me, not for him. Of course now I want more; but hey this is what I changed physically.
I also started to go on dates; Though awkward and hard. I hadn’t dated in 7 years; and just the thought of small talk, or even having to be physical with someone else was terrifying. But it is necessary. The dates don\’t have to go anywhere, you don\’t even have to have a 2nd date. You may not even meet the person you are going to marry, but it’s ok. You start to get to know people, know yourself. You now know what you want and don’t want. You can be picky. If it doesn\’t go well, hey you got a free drink or meal out of it. Plus it gets you out of the house and keeps you busy. My first date, was exactly that, one date. It was awkward at times, I even was oblivious at the end of the night and just gave him a hug! But it was nice to feel wanted, to talk about my life. Since then I have been on a few other dates. Nothing going anywhere fast, I am taking it slow; trying to have fun.
My next advice, GET AWAY!!! Go somewhere you have always wanted to go, or go visit friends. But get out of town. I ended up going on the trip we were supposed to go on together, the trip that brought on the break up. I went alone, and had a good time. I could do what I wanted to do, what I wanted to see all on my own time. I sat at the bar mainly, one night I sat at a table alone, that sucked, but my waiter was awesome and had a good conversation with me. It is easy because you are from out of town, and they are always willing to tell you where to go. On a few excursions I actually met some people and had good conversations, alone without “T” doing all the talking. I ended up going to Portland. I had a great time, reflected, and felt wildly independent. It made me feel like I could do anything, I came back happy and in a different place.
If you can\’t get away maybe you can move into a new place. If I could I would move into a new place. Unfortunately I rent from my friends so I can’t just move. But it would be freeing, and I could get away from the memories that we had and shared in my current home. In a way you could purge all of that just by moving. It forces you to get rid of stuff as well, maybe his stuff, or things that bring back happy memories. I boxed up some of that and stored it at a friends hose until I was ready to look at it again, or get rid of it. Of course we shared a dog and cat, and I became the sole caretaker, so I can’t just get rid of them. But the material items, pictures etc. I slowly boxed up, broke or replaced with a new picture.
Most importantly live one day at a time. Do what makes you happy. My best advice- don’t go back to him unless he is willing to commit or make some changes, changes you have started to make. Believe me that is the hard part, and I failed at that. I failed horribly. I would keep going back, be happy, things seemed to be looking up, then he suddenly would pull away feel guilty tell me this was wrong his mind was made up and I was back to hurting. But if you can somehow manage that, and keep working on you and it makes you happy then do it. There is no guarantee. “T” would always seem so happy, then he would pull away and go right back to his narcissistic self. He would never admit to be a narcissist, he thought what he was doing was better for me. I had a weakness for him though, recently he told me he was done, he needed more space. I’m not going to wait around for him to make up his mind. Why would I “work on this” just to be friends, or basically give him everything in a relationship but I don’t get the commitment. I kept moving forward. Maybe one day he will say he was wrong, and maybe that day I may say too fucking bad! I don’t need you. Not someone who isn’t willing to fight for love. He is trying to save himself basically, to not feel like the bad guy but really he is the bad guy.
Maybe that other person is out there for me, maybe they are not. I don’t know if I will ever find someone who made me feel the way “T” did, but I know I can make myself feel that way. I can rely on myself, and that is what I have right now. Maybe “Mr. Right” is out there, maybe its “T”, maybe it’s someone I haven\’t met yet because I am not ready to. It’s hard to believe, especially when I tend to ruin relationships that could have been good. As one of my friends moms said in college my “pickers” off. I tend to go for the guys who don\’t always want that commitment or the same things out of life as I do. Maybe my pickers off, maybe I never knew what I wanted. That is something you have to figure out. While a part of me will always love “T”, I might find a love that completely overwhelms me and makes me a better and stronger person.
Breakups are never easy, especially after a long term relationship. Mine ended so quickly and unexpectedly I couldn’t brace myself. I had no warning. It has taken me a while to pull myself out, I still haven’t completely. Like I said I keep going back and forth with him. But do what makes you happy, don’t force something that you don’t want, and live one day at a time. I also started writing everything down, which helped immensely. It just gets it all out in a way that talking can’t do.
“You didn’t love her. You just didn’t want to be alone. Or maybe she was just good for your ego. Or, or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life, but you didn’t love her. Because you don’t destroy people you love” -Greys Anatomy