Dealing With a Break Up
Break Ups Suck – And Other Unhelpful Advice When Dealng With a Break Up
“I’m really fine! I’m feeling great, positive and optimistic; I have so much else to look forward to,” she says as she sobs her heart out after telling me that she’s completely together, while dealing with her break up. Seemingly, alone.
This month, if my life could have one theme, it would be dealing with a break up. Other people’s break ups, not mine. And for some strange reason, as I listen to each of my current friends discuss their woes, automatically – in my head – a needle suddenly drops onto a record and the Celine Titanic tune starts to play in my head. Except the quality is much better than any record, in fact, this is High Quality Audio better than anything a Bang and Olufsen could pump out.
Falling in Love
The problem with us humans is that we spend too much time alone, with our own thoughts. We build our careers up, we spend countless years nurturing strong friendships, re-shaping the type of relationships we have with family members as we grow, learning things – yes, things – while we continually look for a significant other.
One day, we find that person – the one who sometimes mirrors our inner thoughts, feelings, perceptions, values, insights, beliefs. We can’t help it, this person shows us that we don’t have to do any of this alone. So without abandon, we fall in love. This might last a day, a month, a year and even sometimes, what feels like a lifetime. We build memories, they meet our friends, we might even have a cat or a dog or a pet Pirrhana together.
That moment, that realisation when, someone comes into our lives and we begin to share our most deepest thoughts and feelings and they nod…and agree and suddenly, we realise we are no longer alone. We have found that one person that makes us feel complete. We are happy like we have never been before. We learn to fall asleep spooning them, or being spooned. We learn that nothing in the world, ever, will compare to waking up on a Sunday together and having breakfast while we look into each other’s eyes and see a mirror of our own love.
We truly understand what it means to be in love.
But what happens if that union comes to a crashing end?
Nothing Else Matters
Anyone who knows the feeling of losing that significant other, knows true inner pain. The anguish, the uncertainty, the never-ending second-guessing of where they are right now. What are they thinking? Do they miss me as much as I miss them? The bit that sucks is…why. Why did it end? What could I have done differently?
And even worse…have they met someone else. That thought in itself, is enough to feel like a sharp lance has been thrown from a great distance, to arc across the earth, find us and zero in and stab us through the heart. We stand rooted, once again alone, wondering wtf happened. Maybe if I’d done this, or said that, things might have gone differently. Nothing makes us think more about our lost love, than waking up to an empty bed. Nothing in the world, could hurt as much as going out with couples; watching them look into each other’s eyes and you remember that feeling, when someone looked at you that way. Nothing, in this world, could probably replace the compusion – at that moment – to stab them both with a blunt object. In the eye.
Dealing with a break up sucks. It truly does. When you’re going through a break up, nothing else matters. World War 3 could start and you’d care more if you could have an opportunity to go back in time and do things differently and have your love back again. The very thought of going back to our simple existence after we’ve had a significant other to experience life with, no matter how short that time was, destroys us.
Dealing With a Break Up
There are some things that I’ve learned, through my own past experiences and more recently, as I support my friends who are going through something similar that I’d like to share. All of these have at some time, either helped me or my friends, deal with the end of a love.
Talk about it – a lot. We have friends, family, acquaintances and work-colleagues that we can talk to.
There are three types of people when it comes to dealing with a break up. Those that remember their own break ups and offer helpful advice. Those that remember their own break up, but distance themselves from us because deep down, they haven’t quite dealt with it and helping us, will force them to relive their own break up again. And the third, those that haven’t ever really experienced it. The first and the third, can help us tremendously.
Write about it, a lot. But don’t send it to your ex. Those thoughts are ours to keep, not to share. It’s probably best not to show anyone whatever you write either; it’s really important that we write what we feel, but we keep it to ourselves. Nobody will understand our own anguish, like we can so nobody should read about our inner-most thoughts, but us.
Write down how much you hate, how angry you are, abuse them if you need to, tell them how much you miss them, describe what you’re feeling…all the while knowing that you can never, ever, ever, send them to your ex. Writing is therapy. It will make you feel a lot better to get those thoughts and feelings out so that once aired, we can see them much more clearly.
Eat, drink and be merry. This is the best time to look after ourselves. Feeling emotionally destroyed is bad enough, adding a body that is deprived of nutrition is adding to the problem. Eat and eat healthily. Go to the gym, endorphins make you feel so much better. Run, skip, do cartwheels – whatever it takes to get our bodies moving and feeling great. As the Greeks once said, healthy body, healthy mind.
When I went through my last break up, I went from having the body of a Greek God, to just looking Greek. That made me feel worse. And worse than worse, I looked like shit which made me feel like something that you might have stepped in.
Be Happy. At this time, nothing matters more than our mental health. Whatever it takes to get us to a state where we are experiencing a moment of happiness at least once every day, should be at the top of our priorities.
Don’t have lots of sex with random people that we can regret later. Or get an STI, because they’re all the rage. Take drugs, drink copious amounts of alcohol and get completely fucked up. Befriend people that we would never have dreamed we’d associate with – when we weren’t dealing with a break up. All of these things will make us feel great for a few seconds, but the repercussions will be felt for a long time after.
Like Attracts Like
You don’t see successful couples who comprise of one negative, unhappy person who is coupled with a ray of sunshine who wills success into existence. We do see Angelina Jolie having lots of African babies with Brad Pitt and other successful couples who complement each other.
So if we want to attract a healthy, wealthy, successful, intelligent, beautiful significant other into our lives, then we need to align ourselves with that because, like does attract like.
Get off that break up horse as soon as possible and begin to build meaning into your life. The reason our relationships fail could be because of any number of infinite reasons but often boils down to incompatibility. We may, no matter how much we hate to think about this, not have been as great a match as we would like to think. Sometimes, the universe has done you a favour and put you in the right place, at the right time, to prepare yourself for the one.
Because if you’re reading this, you’re dealing with a break up and came here looking for something to help you feel better. I’m trying, but I can only do so much. What you need is to surround yourself with happy, positive people, do fun things that make you smile and learn to trust and love again. Keep an open heart and an open mind, because a closed heart will not attract the right person.
The Past is a Place of Reference, Not a Place of Residence
In my book Toby, one of the last thoughts that Jakob passes onto Toby is: The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.
This is one of my favourite lines and one that I truly live by. You can’t change the past but you can change the future. That’s why you should reflect on the past, but only long enough to be able to learn from it. If your relationship ended, dwelling on the why isn’t going to help you move forward. Understanding why it ended can be helpful, but the balance can be tricky on how much time we should spend focusing on things we cannot change.
If we can take something from the end of a love and turn it into a positive. Be an inspiration to others who feel that way. Just remember, you are not alone. Millions around the world know exactly how you feel. I certainly do.
Love to hear your thoughts.