Breaking Up Does Not Have To Be Hard
Deciding to end things with someone seems to be a lot easier than being dumped. However, it’s often only after being really unhappy that a person decides to end a serious investment with someone. It takes a lot of thought and courage to go through with it. Even in cases where the person has lost romantic feelings, there’s painful feelings of guilt that often accompany breaking up with someone.
But, does it have to be so hard? I think when we avoid our emotions, we strengthen the “threat” of them. The reality, though, is many of us who don’t want to feel anything are actually quite good at processing and feeling out emotions, but just don’t believe we can because we haven’t really tried. It should hurt in the sense that it should feel like a loss of what you had hoped would have been a good thing. But, all break ups happen for a reason and so it’s not necessary to create a complex about it…
1) Maybe you’re not making the “right” choice, but you’re making the best choice you can given the circumstances.
One thing that can go through your mind after you end things is the need to convince yourself you were right to do what you did. It’s almost impossible to know whether it was the right thing to do (unless actual abuse was happening) and if you are right, it probably won’t feel that way for a while. Instead of pushing yourself to make only “right” choices accept your humanity and limitations. You made the choice that was best for your happiness at the time and that’s all you could do.
2) You can’t think your way better
When you get good at intellectualizing, you’ll find it creates a similar effect to alcohol. It numbs you while you’re intellectualizing, but very soon after you find that the anxiety / pain/ doubt is still there. Thinking is only productive when you can follow it with some sort of action, but you can’t feel better by thinking deeply about something with so actual problem that can be addressed. You’ve done the thinking work which led you to break up. Now, it’s time to let go of your need to think about the relationship—where it went wrong, what you could have done better. If anything, you should be focusing on what to do next, what you’ve learned about yourself and about what you want, and about how you want to live your life post-break up.
3) Question your impulses
Your impulses will probably make this break up feel like every other break up and there’s no growth or happiness in that. If you know that you tend to reach out to people for support or for affection after a break up and end up feeling even more incomplete then maybe consider not doing that anymore. Think about what will make you happy, not about avoiding your pain.
4) Live the good life
The narrative after a break up is that you should be miserable and if you aren’t that means you never really cared about the person. This is completely untrue. If you break up, generally that means you’ve been miserable for a while and that you’re finally free of it whether it’s being with someone you don’t feel the same way about or being with someone who no longer feels the same about you. As for not caring about the person, I don’t believe the two have anything to do with one another. Your happiness is not dependent on the actions of another person, it’s all you. If your happiness and their happiness collide and you can share it together that’s one thing, but if you NEED them to be a certain way to you in order to feel it that’s dependence and not love. You living the good life is not showing them up either. It’s really just about you. You’ve taken a step to be single again and that means you get to be selfish and go back to thinking just about yourself and dream that maybe the right relationship is out there for you…