“I believe much of the pain of a breakup comes from having a life plan that you have fallen in love with. When it does not work out, you become angry that you now have to pursue a new life plan.” ~ Karen Salmansohn
Break-ups Don’t Need to Be “Bad”
“He is an asshole.”
“What a scumbag.”
When I broke up with my boyfriend of almost (and a whole lot of it’s complicated beforehand) two years, people around me started using negative language. Neither of us had cheated, (that I knew of at the time) he wasn’t abusive, it wasn’t anything bad, except we just did not work anymore. We were going in separate directions, stretching that rubber band until the inevitable break-up.
Yet, immediately, it became this negative diatribe with major ego getting in the way.
I admit their have been a couple guys I have wanted to go ape shit on. Post their pictures on social media with cheater on their forehead and say how much they sucked in bed.
But I refrained. Not because I have some moral high ground, but because in reality they don’t matter. I am wasting energy, -energy that could be put to actually finding someone that is compatible, – focusing on who did me wrong, when in reality they did me a huge favor.
Incompatible Puzzle Pieces
Growing up, my mom use to tell me that not everyone is going to like me. For whatever reasons, some people are oil and water.
She was right
No matter how nice I was, some people just did not like me and that same lessons apply to dating.
We are like puzzle pieces and we have to find our fit. We aren’t always going to get it right on the first try. Sometimes we are, but are to blinded or filled with self doubt to realize it. Sometimes it takes a lot of fish in that metaphorical sea. Sometimes we find winners that lack that spark and sometimes it is the bottom of the sea crustacean, creatures who really do deserve to be eaten (okay I am human, sometimes the bitterness DOES slip out).
What goes wrong, is when we let our egos dictate how we respond. I get it, when you are dating someone emotions WILL be in the mix. That gets messy. Even when your practical, rational side is telling you this ain’t working, it feels like one cluster fuck of failure, instead of realizing it is actually for the best.
Learning With Each Relationship
I have done a lot of dating, a lot of soul searching, and yes, a lot of swiping left and right. I have had four serious relationships, and more that were just holding space. I am grateful for all of them, -even the ones that ended less then well- because I learned something.
THAT is what relationships are about. Life is one big college course where we are constantly learning and growing, that includes Love 101. Sometimes we discover we are growing with people and other times we discover we are growing apart. But we still grow and learn and we need to take that with us into the next relationship.
Each relationship teaches us what we want and don’t want out of a partner. THAT is a good thing. It isn’t failure, it is maturity and growth, that if we are smart, we use to help us steer to finding someone who we actually click with, instead of making the same mistakes and settling.
It is okay to NOT Settle
We live in a society where people, especially women, can’t be single. Despite the Victorian Era having finished a hundred years ago, we cannot seem to escape archaic view points of being less then, if we don’t have a man and a family. Go to college to get a Mrs. Degree and then start the baby making machine.
Our self-worth comes from being in a relationship instead of realizing we can’t be in a relationship until our self-worth stands on its own. We settle.
We settle, because of society, we settle because we are less then if we don’t have a man behind us, we settle because we don’t want to be alone. We settle because we kinda, sorta, found someone. They check all the boxes, so yeah this kinda works, so let’s settle.
Ladies, fuck what society says and FUCK settling.
Prince Charming IS Out There
Being a romance writer, this might be the epitome of cliche, but our prince charming is out there. By settling, we miss that. Being with someone because he kinda, sorta, checks the boxes, is not fair to you nor is it fair to him.
We all have that person, the one who makes our heart pitter-patter and whom we willingly compromise, and grow with, rather then apart. The one you want to put effort in, and not do it half-assedly. We won’t find them by settling. Their is fear in being alone, but their is also fear when you don’t live life to the fullest, that includes being with a partner who in the opposite of what Jerry McGuire said, does NOT complete you.
It is easy to look at a break-up as failure. Ending a relationship regardless of the whys is still painful. I have had my share of drunken sob fests with friends (thanks guys!) it is a process after all. One I know I will not only be stronger, but better off in the long run. So will he. Sometimes love is knowing enough to let go, let go of the ego, to not settle, and learn from the past so you don’t drown in bitterness and resentment.
We all deserve love. We ALL deserve the right kind of love. Don’t be afraid nor apologetic by seeking it, because you will find it, we all will.
How do you handle a break-up? What is the biggest lesson you have learned from relationships?