Break-Ups: Sometimes the hardest thing and right thing are the same
Updated: Feb 14
It's been a few months since my 2.5 year relationship ended. Breakups are never easy and you go through so many emotions. Guess that's why there are millions of songs written about it. I mean whole albums like Adele's and Sam Smith's are all about it.
Being in your mid-30s plus and being single, is so different. If you look at my situation I'm in a high pressured and senior role at work. Plus I'm independent and at that my age messing around, is maximum effort. If I'm honest time isn't on my side.
I love talking to my friend's parents or people at work who are settled, married and have experience. I was at my friend's 40th party about 2 weeks after my break up and her step Dad was shocked as well as giving the cliche lines...ready...
" His lost"
" The right ones out there"
" When it's the right time, you will meet the man of your dreams":
Every comment was meant with sincerity and I know he had my best intentions. But being newly single it fell on death ears.
I'm not going into the why's my relationship ended or the details. But one major thing and I think impacts the situation was he didn't want kids and I did. So 35 years old, and 2.5 years later I'm not with someone that wants the same things as me. Where did it go wrong?
And what's next for me? Are the frequent questions I'm asking and trying to work out.
But at first, I need to get back on an even platform. At the moment I cry at stupid things on the TV. Or one of the million songs about breakups. I envy my family and friends having babies and getting engaged or married. While sometimes I beat myself up for having these feelings and other times I embrace them and let go.
Here are my top tips in getting through a break-up.
YOU CAN LEARN A LOT JUST BY WATCHING
So immerse yourself in a TV shows watching from season 1 episode one all the way thru to the end.
My top shows are:
Parks and Recreation - Amazon Prime
Brooklyn 99 - Netflix
The Good Place- Netflix
You'll notice or may not know, that actually, these shows (apart from Friends) are all created/ written/produced by Michael Schur. Who is a genius.
I listened to a Ted radio (the podcast) about a game show host in the US that suffered from manic depression and his way to get thru it was to watch Parks and Rec. He attributed the feel-good show to making him feel better and focusing on the good in life. Having down to earth characters you could relate to, situations and feelings that resonate as well. Generally, they go thru adversity but they have friends/family or their character to push through this.
Plus it's funny. These shows I can watch over and over again and still laugh. also, it gives me faith that if Monica can find her Chandler, Lesley can be with Ben and if Jake can be with Amy then there might be hope for me.
YOUR NOT ALONE IN FEELING THOSE FEELINGS OR THINKING THOSE THOUGHTS
Like I said in the intro. When a pang of sadness hits, depending on where you are don't deny those feelings. Don't put them away forever, you push those emotions down they will come out when you least expect and/or manifest into worst mental problems. If it's that bad, seek professional help, there's nothing wrong in that. It can help, can allow you to work thru your feelings, have ah-ha moments and not just focus on the ex but you as well. I'm not saying its 100% the ex's fault. As they say, a partnership is a 2-way street. If you have trash on yours, or obstacles that not even Usain Bolt could jump over, then maybe use this time to evaluate you.
If you don't, need or want professional help but need an outlet: write a letter to your ex all the things you want to say, couldn't say or didn't say. get it out there. I did this when I broke up, helped me get out of my head and I sent it. opened up communications to my ex. but ultimately we were on different paths. But if you don't want to send it. burn it afterwards or give it to a friend. As I mention a lot of times, getting thoughts and feelings out of your head sometimes can move mountains and lift the weight off your shoulders.
Journalling is a great way of also externalising and can help with your grieving process. Plus later down the line, you can see how far you've come.
GRIEF: HE MAY NOT BE GONE OUT OF LIFE, BUT HES OUT OF YOURS.
Head over to my blog on the grieving process (https://www.mission-you.co.uk/blog-1/grief-not-spoken-about-often-enough). Maybe adopt some ideas from this. Like it says in the title above, he's gone out of your life. The thing(s) you will miss the most are the everyday things. Having someone to call when your down. To give you an example, if you read the grief blog post you would have read my granddad was in the hospital which meant his dementia and Alzheimers took a spiral and quickly.
I missed someone there to call and tell me it would be ok and someone to snuggle with / have a cuddle from. Might be someone says something and you go to reply, "oh my boy..., ex-used to do that". Could be a timeline review on Facebook (had that today anniversary of our relationship).
Deal with these things one at a time. Don't get overburdened with feeling low and down when these things happen. See them as memories, there in the past and you can't change any of that. just how you react and how you move forward
SOMETIMES IN LIFE YOUR SITUATION WILL KEEP REPEATING ITSELF UNTIL YOU LEARN YOUR LESSON
Einstein's definition of insanity..." Doing the same thing, again and again, but expecting a different outcome"
This could be said the same for your relationship choices. Don't roll your eyes at me and say I sound like your mum/friend. lol.
In the book "Are You The One For Me" it says about plotting your past relationships. These are the steps and I would suggest you write this being truly honest, warts and all. Don't hold back.
Write the name of every significant other you've been with in, a list. Not just someone you've dated a couple of times. Partners you've had an emotional and deep connection with.
Make sure there is space next to each one.
Now write their negative qualities, things that bugged you about them, not full sentences just for example, always late, never making a decision, being childish, mummy boy. No positive qualities just negative.
Now review each one and circle the similarities. That seems to repeat again and again.
Now step back and review that list. Is there a pattern? Are your choices exactly the opposite to what you want? Are your choices getting better with age or worse? Were some partners easier to list negative things than others (newer partners you will have a long list as it's fresh in your mind).
Writing your emotional ad. Now you have your familiar qualities of what you didn't want. You can write your ad as funny as you can, it's ok to make fun of yourself. For instance, using the characteristics I laid out above it might start with.
Babysitter seeks man-child to take care of them. To make every life decision even if it's deciding to have white or brown bread. Being personal timekeeper to make sure he wakes up in the morning for going about his everyday life.
Right now you must be thinking...is she crazy who would want to place a personal ad out for someone like that...well adoh....that's the point. this exercise makes you think. "Yeah who would want to be with someone like that your ah-ha moment? "
This process helps you visualise and be self aware of the choices you are making when you start to date, or consider being in a relationship with someone.
FORGET A RELATIONSHIP - MAKE A PARTNERSHIP
I love my own company and I love being with someone. I was lucky/unfortunate depends on how you look at it that my ex-worked away all week and was only home weekends. so I had the best of both worlds. didn't mean I didn't miss him during the week. when I needed a hug (you can tell I'm a hugger right?), or just someone to chat too with their undivided attention. Some people feel that being in a relationship is everything and makes them who they are. NO! You are you, going into Dr Seuss moment there. But as his quote says... "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."
You are unique, one of a kind, a rarity. You don't need someone to validate your awesomeness. You look around and see all the amazing things you do, say and how you make people feel. So it didn't go according to plan, your single and that's that. Doesn't mean you'll never meet the person of your dreams. As I said in my blog about mazes; sometimes you go further from your goal to actually get you closer. (https://www.mission-you.co.uk/blog-1/lifes-a-maze-the-way-out-is-through)
If you are struggling to realise your awesomeness. Ask your friends/family/co-workers for qualities about you they love. then get some post-it notes and put them around your mirror while you get ready. Go on to Pinterest and find some positive affirmations to boost your spirits.
Get in touch with me for some life coaching support. No matter where you are in the world, the appointment can be done on Skype, phone or if your local to Redhill you might get to meet me in the flesh (with clothes on that sounded like I'd turn up naked lol).
Lastly another quote I used in my blog writing a letter to my younger self (https://www.mission-you.co.uk/blog-1/the-ultimate-revelation-of-a-letter-to-my-younger-self). Everything will be ok in the end, if it's not ok, it's not the end. Your life may feel like it's over but time heals and doing things for you helps. Don't forget that, you are the most important thing. a relationship should enrich your life and be the extension of your already amazing life. Never should drag you down, hurt you, make you feel less than you are. otherwise, it's not the one for you.
If you're going through a break-up, I understand and if you've been through one and come out the other side, virtual high five.