1. You’re defining yourself by who loves you rather than what you love.
You are what you love, not what loves you.
Most of what makes heartbreak so bitter is not really losing a person – if your relationship was worth keeping, you’d be keeping it. It’s what the fact that this person doesn’t love you means about you.
The pain is sometimes not loss, it’s shame. Displaced shame.
You are what you love. You are defined in the eyes of others by the things you enjoy doing and do regularly. Not who loves you. Stop wasting all of your time banking all of your energy on it.
2. You’re seeing through rose-colored nostalgia.
Your relationship was not as good as you think it was.
Everyone is victim of the halo effect at some point or another, but it’s ever as extreme as when you’re seeing it all in the rearview mirror.
If your relationship was that good, you’d have it still. It would be part of your life.
What’s likely happening right now is that you’re afraid of the loss, so you’re disproportionately focused on the positive parts of your former relationship. When you think about it in all honesty, though, you recognize that it wasn’t as good as your sad heart wants to believe.
When you think about it, really, you didn’t always want it in the first place.
3. You’re extrapolating this moment.
To extrapolate the moment means to take a snapshot of whatever is currently happening in your life and to then project it into the foreseeable future.
In other words, you’re assuming that what is happening right now is what’s going to be happening forever. You’re afraid that you’ll be single forever; that you’ll be broken always. It only feels that way right now, because you can’t see into the next days and weeks and months.
But if you look back on the things you lost in the past, and remember how you were so certain that you’d never get over them either, you’ll be able to remind yourself that this is a temporary, blinding feeling.
4. You are aware of what you lost, but not what you’re about to gain.
What holds most people back from taking risks or going through breakups or moving on from mediocre life circumstances is that they are measuring what they are set to lose, without being able to see what they are going to gain.
If you are splitting with someone, there is some mustard seed of faith within you that knows there is something – someone – better out there. That the person you’re leaving is not the person you’re going to be with forever. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it. Otherwise, you’d be happy.
From where you’re standing, you can’t measure what you’re about to find, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means you haven’t believed it in enough to start taking action.
5. You’re using love as a litmus test for your worth.
If you look around at all of the people you know, all of the people you see even passing by you on the street in the morning, you will recognize that all different kinds of people find and keep love. Smart people, ugly people, nice people, unsuccessful people, and everyone in between.
Love is not a litmus test for your worth. It does not determine how attractive you are to the outside world, how worthy you are. It does not determine whether or not you’ve “made it,” whether or not other people see you as worthwhile. There is evidence quite literally everywhere to prove this to you, and you can see it with your own eyes.
6. You’re overestimating how many people are judging you.
Aside from the fact that generally speaking, nobody is thinking about you/your life as frequently or critically as you are (they are thinking about themselves) you are also overestimating how much they are judging you for breaking up with someone (again) or being single.
This is to say: nobody really gives a shit in the way that you are afraid they do. Nobody is even paying attention as much as you fear they are. Take other people’s judgments out of the equation, they don’t exist to even a fraction of the degree that you think they do.
7. You’re using your grief as an excuse not to put yourself out there again.
We get it, you’re sad. Nobody is denying that losing someone you love is a painful, raw experience. But what’s hurting you more than anything is probably everything you think you lost going forward.
But you didn’t lose your future, you lost an idea of your future. You lost one idea of what you thought your future might be.
If you’re using this exaggerated grief for the life you thought you’d have to not put yourself out there, you’re not mourning the way you think you are. You’re scared. You don’t want to get hurt again. At some point, you have to identify whether or not you’re really in pain, or if you’re manufacturing your pain as an avoidance technique.
8. You’re not saying thank you.
Ask anyone: losing a person who is not right for you is the best thing that can ever happen to your life. Right now, you are on the precipice of an entirely new existence. Even in your pain, say thank you. Say thank you a million times over, every day, every morning, every hour.
This is the best thing that could have happened to you. Life is getting someone out of your way. The Universe is trying to protect you. It is saying: get out now. It is saying: there’s someone else, there’s something else, there’s everything else out there for you.
The point of your life is not to be in a relationship, it’s to become the person were meant to be. This was your catalyst. Say thank you.