Women are the most nourishing, forgiving, loving people on the planet. We were built to love and continuously give until we have nothing left. Not realizing we sometimes fall for the wrong men, we settle for less than we deserve. Sometimes there comes a heartbreaking time when we realize love is not enough to keep our relationship strong. I know what it feels like to break up with someone I still loved and I want to help you get through it.
When I think about my first serious boyfriend, Nick, I think about the absurd amount of time we wasted trying to force our relationship to flourish. I think about the dates I turned down with nice guys and the progress I could have been making in my career. I believed that fighting to the point of emotional exhaustion was a good thing; until I walked away feeling a bit crippled. We were passionate and we loved each other deeply. But, the thing about Nick and I is that we weren’t our best selves when we were together.
If You See These Red Flags, It’s Time To Go.
The moment I knew it was time to leave my first love was after a fight. He hadn’t said or done anything that particularly stung. Besides, we were at the point where I had become immune to his verbal abuse. The thing that crushed me was that I allowed our feuds to change me. I turned into a mean, petty woman that I didn’t recognize.
I still loved Nick to death, but I knew that getting my old self back was far more important than being with him. I learned many lessons from that relationship. The message I will continue to carry with me is: If a guy causes more stress than he relieves, pack your love up and give it to yourself because that is the first sign your situation isn’t salvageable.
We hear so many things about the accuracy and power of a woman’s intuition; but how often do you actually listen to the voice in your head, understand what she’s telling you, and take action? On a subconscious level, you will always know when something isn’t quite right.
I remember daydreaming about the new hobbies single me would take up, how I’d do her hair, and what types of men she’d date. Those thoughts don’t cross the minds of happily committed women. It’s the world’s oldest piece of advice because it works, follow your instincts.
Once you begin listening to your gut, other things will start making sense. The end will feel more obvious. You will notice a growing distance between yourself and your partner. You’ll feel happier when you’re apart, speak to one another less, overlook special events and anniversaries, and connecting will stop feeling like a priority.
Do you remember the beginning of your relationship when you couldn’t bear to be without his touch? Things are at their best when a couple is still affectionately holding hands, cuddling, fondling, kissing, and having good sex regularly. While the playfulness of a new romance will fade a bit as the relationship grows– the biggest, brightest waving red flag you’ll notice just before it’s time to leave is the level of intimacy coming to a screeching, very irritating halt.
When things were ending with Nick and I, simply kissing him goodbye gave me a headache, we still had sex but it became dull, and holding his hand didn’t make me feel safe and warm like it used to. There weren’t enough toys and lingerie in the state of Maryland to bring our spark back. The chemistry died. Our fights took its place and our incompatibility was at the forefront of everything.
At this point, your partner is probably feeling the same way you are. We don’t give guys enough credit, but they can usually sense when you have checked out, even if they don’t want to admit it. This is where you give yourself permission to be happy by setting both of you free.
Letting Go Is Hard To Do, But It’s Necessary.
The bond that is created when you fully love someone is incomparable. The feeling of knowing a guy stuck around after you’ve let your guard down, shared your most intimate secrets, showed your messy, insecure side, and the hot mess you are when you wake up in the morning is amazing. While he may still be a great guy, you’ve put an honest effort into the relationship, and you don’t owe him. Accepting that your love has run its course and it’s time to breakup, even though you still love him– is the best thing you can do.
Even after all of those warning signs and red flags presented themselves, I still waited a few more months to leave Nick. I was sad and I didn’t want to lose my friend, but I couldn’t live in denial anymore. We had several “do overs” and even more “one last tries”, but none of those things worked. I felt like I was losing my mind because I had been so consumed with being stuck. When the good outweighs the bad, there’s nothing left to fight for.
There will be complications. You might have to make decisions regarding shared property, pets, children, and living arrangements. Your concerns are valid, especially if you have children. I can understand the idea of staying together for the sake of the kids, but this agreement never benefits them.
Studies show that children raised by parents who aren’t happily in love with one another suffer from more anxiety, social dysfunction, and mood problems than children raised by happily married or single parents. As they grow older, the unhealthy cycles kids see in your relationships are likely to be repeated in their own. You can learn how the have the conversation with your child about your breakup or divorce with from help from How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family written by Dr. Samantha Rodman.
How To Take Care Of Yourself After Your Breakup.
So, how do you cope when your heart is broken? I cried, listened to sad songs, wrote in my journal, and then did more crying. I basically shed enough tears to flood the city. Mourning is normal and it will not last forever. Take your time and give yourself space. These things will make you stronger.
Don’t try to be friends with your ex right away. I suggest ending all communication (if possible) and moving on with your life. Fight the urge to call or show up at places where you know he’ll be. Seeing him or hearing his voice will undo any progress you’ve had. Friendships with newly broken up couples typically result in them getting back together just to repeat the same acts to break up all over again. Trust me, you don’t want to go through this kind of gut-wrenching breakup twice.
It’s crucial to give yourself time and space to grow. Reevaluate the relationship. Think about the things you liked and the things you won’t tolerate going forward. This will guide you with finding another partner because yes, you will date again, you will fall in love, and you will find your Prince Charming.
When you know your value, you won’t waste time on people who aren’t worthy of your all the amazing things you’re bringing to the table. You’ll also have an easier time separating the good catches from the completely lame ones when dating.
Dating after a serious relationship ends will be an interesting mix of terror and excitement. You should date often and be open minded about trying new things. Step out of your comfort zone; don’t date a replica of your ex. Starting with fun, light activities like miniature golf instead of stuffy dinners will take the pressure off if you’re nervous.
After leaving Nick, I stayed single for two years, but I dated during the majority of that time. I had a couple of dry spells and periods where I simply didn’t care to be bothered. It’s okay to be selfish while you’re learning to be independent. There will be guys who don’t make it past the first date, don’t allow it to discourage you and don’t you dare rush into anything you’re not ready for. Understand your value, remember what you want, and never settle again.
Really, You Will Find Love Again.
Having a steady boyfriend after two years of being a mingling single took a little bit of adjusting, but it was great. I was comfortable with myself and didn’t feel like I needed someone. Instead, the bliss was a nice reminder that I didn’t always have to be so tough.
The relationship after Nick lasted for a year and I am a happily mingling single again, kissing frogs until I find my prince.
If you are in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy, you won’t ever find one that will give you what you need. You deserve someone who cares about what you say, shares your values, supports your dreams, and thinks you are the most beautiful thing on earth. Find him and let him love you.