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Thread: Dealing with a breakup and the strange phenomenon I'm experiencing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Dealing with a breakup and the strange phenomenon I'm experiencing

    So I asked for some advice a couple of days ago about how to heal properly from a long term breakup, and while I wanted to get over her and it, going NC, trying to build healthy habits, work on myself, do things I enjoy, all of it, there was a thought in the back of my head, man I really hope she reaches out and takes it all back. That was until today and last night.

    Some background we had dated for 2 years in our very early 20s and I was thinking she was the one and was really preparing for a future with her when the breakup bomb dropped.

    I've begun to process the breakup and relationship more and more and have begun to understand the faults both of the relationship and my connection to it. Maybe more clearly than I ever have. I loved all the little day to day stuff, getting lunch together, spending a lazy weekend together just watching movies, waking up together and going to get coffee, just talking and joking around. But it was the intimate, romantic, "couple" things that frequently caused anxiety for me in the relationship. Things like sexual intimacy, dates, passion, all of that had long caused problems as it would come and go and fluctuate throughout the relationship which caused a lot of problems with her. She always felt that it either wasn't enough or wasn't exactly what she needed and this caused problems. We constantly had lengthy discussions about her feeling like she hasn't fully explored her sexuality given that she is bisexual but has never been able to explore the non hetero side of that, about how at times she didn't feel she was ready to let go of that young spark that you sometimes lose a bit of when a relationship shifts more in to a long term thing. When we had those conversations she would always up up saying she chooses me and is willing to work to sacrifice or compromise on some of that stuff. She also had anxiety about the future, about wanting a future with me but wondering if she was sacrificing something else within her to make that happen. Those conversations always had some residual effects though, until it eventually led to our breakup.

    When we broke up she said things like "I need a break", " It's not fair of me to ask you to wait for me" and finally ending with her saying "I love you" and then leaving, I knew what that meant, she had a bunch of unresolved internal dilemmas she had always battled with that she felt she needed to sort out and I knew she would not be able to do that as long as we were together. We both had internal development and progress to make that wasn't possibly with the comfort blanket of our relationship.

    This leads me to where I am now, which is if she were to ask me right now to get back together I don't think I would say yes. I love her and I want nothing but happiness for her and for her to finally defeat some of the demons I know have been causing her problems in life in general, and the idea of her eventually finding that within herself makes me incredibly happy. I would like to have her in my life to a degree in the future, but I know I can't handle that right now and if I were to ever return to her as a friend I would want to do it the right way. I'm not planning on getting back together with her or even becoming a part of her life again, I would like to possibly be friends in the future but I know I need to heal first and find growth within myself before that happens. If something happens with us in the future then so be it, but i'm not holding my breath or waiting around. Life is too short to throw out good people, but I also need to create the future I want. I've become more comfortable with the idea of never seeing or speaking to her ever again and if that's the way it goes so be it, I'm happy for the times we had and the memories she gave me.

    This is where the internal conflict in my head lies. I can understand the logic of it and it gives me peace but something within me is still wrestling with it. Loving someone and wanting the best for someone but also understanding that it can't be you right now and being ok with that. But also not shutting the door on that person or closing your heart off entirely to them in the future. Being excited for the future and all the doors that have just opened but not locking the door behind me even knowing that person may never walk back through it in any capacity.

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    You are concentrating too much on what "might" happen. You present outlook is very healthy. You want the best for her and want peace for her, but you also know that this break is a good thing for both of you. This is where you need to leave it.

    Don't think of it as closing a door, but rather as a swinging door...it is not locked, and might be closed, but that doesn't mean that it can't open when and if need be! You need to take care of yourself in the now...let the future happen in the future!

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Well, what you're doing right now is healing. And being heartbroken. That's what you're describing, and it's all very healthy.

    Wanting contact, wanting her to reach out, wanting to get back together—that isn't conflict, but totally normal. Whatever the circumstances, from toxic to loving, the end of a long relationships is the opening up of a void—a rift between past, present, and future. Scary stuff, voids. Our base human instinct is to stuff them, so it makes sense that the thing we look to first and most is the person who once existed where now there is a void. Perfect fit—in theory.

    But as any scientist knows, theory and reality do not often align. As you know, right now.

    Personally, whenever I've ended a big relationship I stay open to the idea of getting back together. It's simply impossible not to, for me, for a time. The door is cracked—or swinging, as the other poster put it—at varying levels depending on the situation. That's just an emotional fact, even if it's not logical. But I accept that fact by simply acknowledging it and not judging it: a fact that will be there...until it isn't, or until it takes on a different form.

    What I don't do is indulge that fact, react to it, force it, or let it define me. What's that look like in application? Well, many years ago I was deeply heartbroken after a three year relationship ended, and I very much wanted to get back together. Oh, I saw all the things that went wrong, all the ways they could go right, and of course I wanted to make those internal visions a reality now—that's the void-stuffing urge. Treating the pain with the source of it.

    But I didn't freeze myself in a chamber of wallowing. I traveled to another city, ended up decamping there. I pursued hobbies that I'd long been interested in pursuing—surfing, motorcycling. Drifted down some hard but needed paths of self-exploration and reflection. Also—when I was ready—I dated, had sex, had fun. An extraordinary time, all that. At some point that door closed—the hopes and feelings keeping it ajar lost their potency, dissipated through processing, through time, so when the door was closed it wasn't a sad moment or even momentous. Just another fact, or the same fact taking on a different shape.

    There is a real art to learning to sit alongside voids, and inside uncertainty, just as there is a real art to accepting that we are capable of entertaining contradictory feelings at once—that "I miss her" and "We are wrong for each other" can coexist, and even, in ways, mean the same thing. Observe both, react to neither. Make your reactions about yourself, finding joy and nourishment and excitement as that void softens on its own, as those contradictory thoughts fuse into something that feels more stable. Give yourself time to reflect on these things in a thread like this, but also make sure to treat yourself to something else—be it a good beer or a nice stead or a class in Zen Buddhism. Whatever comes through that door—be it her or someone else—you'll need all that.

    Not sure any of this resonates. From what you've written it sounds like this is your first major lick of adult heartache and heartbreak. It's real stuff. There might be more, and it's the exact same and totally different every time. Exhausting to think about, I know, but there's as much beauty in this as there is anything else. It's part of life, and informs us.

    My general motto in these moments is to heal from heartache by going out and dating really, really hard right away—not new people or Tinder randoms, but yourself.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    British Columbia, Canada
    I'd suggest more pragmatism and see it for what it is: a relationship has ended. It's time to move forwards and find someone more compatible and someone more well put together. This person wasn't it as much as you wanted her to be.

    I don't suggest friendships with exes as it ultimately holds a person back. It's also a lot of loose change and baggage rolling around in your back seat. Leave it alone and move forwards towards something more fulfilling.


  6. #5
    Platinum Member SGH's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    I too have been with someone who always seemed to hold a certain level of doubt about me the entire relationship. It's really soul crushing to try to convince someone that a commitment is worth it and absolutely not how a healthy relationship functions. I think you are realizing that the dynamic you two shared was inherently unhealthy and dissatisfying for you both.

    However, feelings of love and attachment take much longer to fade. Don't rush processing the breakup. As others have said, try to take the focus off what might happen and focus on what is happening right now. You're definitely on the right track to heal if you keep moving forward.

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