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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    When the Honeymoon Period Ends: Learning to Cope with Unfulfilled Expectations

    The bittersweet sensation of having a past that was once magical slowly fade away into a distant memory is all too common for many individuals. Disappointment can settle in when two people come together to create something beautiful, only for their love to be met with unfulfilled expectations. This situation is especially difficult to process when one has begged someone back into a relationship after a breakup, only to realize that it will not last. Let’s look at a recent example from a post on enotalone.com from an individual questioning how to cope with disappointment after being abandoned again.

    It is a natural impulse to want another chance when completing a person otherwise felt incomplete. It is understandable for one to believe that if both parties are willing to give the relationship a try, all will be solved. However, this often is nothing but a small spark of hope that eventually dies out. When someone begs another back into a relationship, they are typically desperate and may misconstrue their feelings as love instead of an insecurity of being alone. This is why, even though the person may mean well, often the other person does not feel the same way, leading to a breakup.

    From the individual’s testimony: “My problem is that I don't understand how he dropped me so quickly after begging me back.” This seemingly sudden abandonment can be immensely confusing and painful, especially since it was initiated by them. It is as if the person willingly formed a symbiotic relationship which offered a sense of security only to have it ripped away, reinforcing the notion of being alone.

    This devastation often equates to feelings of sorrow - a sorrow that washes away any sense of self-righteousness or confidence. One may ask themselves, “If my feelings are so real, then why did the other person not feel the same?” This internal questioning can spiral into long term issues such as low self-esteem. The cycle begins with a lack of understanding towards the other person, leading to a distrust pertaining to having similar experiences, which eventually secludes a person away from meaningful relationships.

    Getting away from toxic cycles is key to retaining sanity. Even though grief and sadness are necessary emotions, one need not dwell on them forever. There is no doubt that a broken relationship can forever shape a person's life, but it does not need to be a negative experience - there are silver linings in every scenario. In times of despair, it is important to look at the positives to keep a steady mindset.

    Positive support from family and friends helps to readjust perspective to cope with hard times. Although they may never be able to directly relate to one's predicament, they can act as a comforting shoulder. In addition, recognizing that no one is perfect will help in understanding why things have gone awry - with acceptance comes peace. Self-acceptance is paramount to coping with failed expectations, and surrounding oneself with positive influences can act as great reinforcements.

    In relation to feeling worthless after unsuccessful attempts at reconciliation, one needs to remind one’s self why they mattered in the first place. Acknowledging strengths and acknowledging faults takes a considerable amount of courage, however, it leads to an understanding of why relationships fail. This understanding affords the opportunity to learn from mistakes and eventually reset relationships with others in the future.

    Although it may be difficult to do so in dire situations, looking ahead towards brighter days is an empowering thought that enables progress. After all, life is about learning how to pivot, how to adjust oneself even in the toughest of times. In the grand scheme of things, learning to accept pain is paramount to growing as a person. By learning to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, one can peacefully move forward from failed expectations and start the process anew.

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