We’ve all been there. We got with someone we really liked but mishap after mishap has culminated in the inevitable end of the romance.
It’s natural that one would feel pain when the relationship ends but there are some things that occur (or don’t occur) in a particularly brutal breakup that can leave us scared for many years.
1. You don’t grieve
We can always acknowledge what a horrible person the ex was or their mistakes but we don’t actually give ourselves the space or grace to actually feel bad about the end of something that we wanted to last.
We often lambast the person or vilify their faulty judgment and actions but it takes a while before we sit with out emotions and realise that we feel really bad that the relationship is over. We never think to grieve or even cry about it.
The specific gripe that one felt about the relationship can turn into a wound that when someone new comes around, if they innocently brush against it, it will cause you to roll around on the floor in agony and lash out. And then that new relationship is on the ropes.
2. We get down on ourselves
As I said, it’s easy to blame someone else but it is also very likely that we will blame ourselves and shame ourselves for the stupid choice that we made in choosing such a reprobate. We call ourselves all sorts of names and we don’t realise that we’re doing damage to ourselves.
One would think that the goal is to heal after the end of the relationship, but based on how we treat ourselves, it’s like a parent scolding a child for touching a hot stove. The kid needs compassion after their investigation of the world, not chastisement. And that’s really what it was — a learning experiment. But even if we acknowledge it as such, we still give ourselves dunce caps.
3. You completely change how you view the sex(es) you like and your approach
For example, one may think of men/women as doting, caring beings who want to love and be loved. But after a relationship, one then switches to seeing them as self-serving and one-dimensional.
One justifies this new position because when they take a look at their relationship that just ended, it ended because of the other person’s narcissism or low self-worth or whatever the trait may be. One loses the ability to see the nuance and that human nature isn’t black and white.
As a result, one’s approach to whomever they like changes. Instead of being kind and friendly, one turns aloof, distant and cold. Or instead of taking one’s time and feeling someone out, one sets out one’s intentions regardless of the timing or context.
Watch out for phrases like, “This is how men are” or “Women are like this”. It’s usually a half-truth which needs to be explained in a particular context. One would be wise to adopt a view of a particular person as an individual and not simply as a member of a group.
Men vary wildly. Women vary wildly. While there are some consistencies, it’s not that much that stereotyping them all in terms of sex and romance would be a wise decision. At all.
4. Even if you got all three previous points, there’s still a blind spot
As the title says, even if you grieved, forgave yourself & understood that you had to learn through certain events, and you didn’t wildly oscillate from one side to another but instead added new information to your knowledge-base, there will probably be something that you missed.
For me, it was about two weeks ago that I realised that I still had a lingering wound from a relationship that ended over half a decade ago. The wound was a fear that after such a great relationship, if someone could walk away from me because of a clash of an admittedly big value, then how could I ever find anyone ever again? Someone else could come along, things are great, there’s a clash that comes up one day and then things are over again.
I had no idea I was carrying this around. I don’t even remember how or why it was revealed, but it was. These things have a way of showing up if you’re interested in what’s going on inside of you.
Breakups can be hard but if we adopt an attitude of mindfulness with regards to what is happening inside of us and the changes we’re undertaking, we can make it out alive and find a relationship that suits us and our significant other well.