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First let me say, I just realized this about myself today, and I'm not entirely sure how well it applies to other people. But maybe some people can relate to my situation. Also, I tend to write ridiculously long essays, so...well, no one is being forced to read it anyways! So. I've been in dozens of different types of relationships, and it seems like I always end up getting the short end of the stick when they end; I'm never the one to give up, I always want to make it work; then it takes me absolutely forever to let go and I'm miserable for ages, much longer than I should be. I always tell myself that I don't need a boyfriend, but I miss having a significant other in my life so much that I just go crazy. I can't be alone for more than a few seconds before I'm thinking about what I don't have. I can't truly enjoy anything, and I'm constantly anxious and uncomfortable. I never understood how everyone could move on so quickly and I was left feeling awful. I mean, it's one thing to miss someone, to be upset about a loss of closeness, of a person who meant something to you; but where I usually go is much deeper than that; break ups throw me into this complete and total depression (not in the clinical sense, of course). I think I've finally figured out the reason, though. Maybe it's incredibly obvious, but it certainly wasn't to me. When I get in relationships, I make them the source and the reason for all of my happiness. Anything that causes me joy in any way automatically gets tied to my relationship; and if I can't attach it to the relationship, I stop enjoying it. For example, I love animals, particularly golden retriever puppies. While I was in my last relationship, I was walking with a friend (I want to emphasize that I wasn't even spending time with my boyfriend at the time) and I saw another one of my friends with a brand new golden retriever puppy; of course I was really excited about that, so I went up to say hi and meet the new addition to her family. Now, I did enjoy that, but the first thing I did directly after that was talk to my boyfriend about what happened, and how much I love puppies. (Yes, I realize this sounds like a situation from elementary school, just bear with me, there's a point). Anyways, it was almost as if I couldn't be truly happy with seeing a friend and her puppy without telling him about it. Another example; shortly after that same guy broke up with me, I took a trip to NYC with some of my best friends. Not only was I unable to get excited about the trip until I had talked to my ex about it, the whole trip I couldn't stop thinking about what he would think of everything, of what it would be like if he was there; all I wanted to do was tell him about what a good time I was having, and when I couldn't, I no longer enjoyed whatever I was doing. I went into a beautiful Irish cathedral, but had no interest because he wasn't there, and if he wasn't obtaining joy from it, neither was I. It didn't matter that I was with incredible people, people who I couldn't even go five minutes without laughing about something with. I know it doesn't make sense to say I was laughing so much and still not happy, but maybe some of you people understand that feeling.


I've always asked why I had to go through such hell whenever any of my relationships ended. It never seemed like the other person suffered as much as I did and I didn't understand why. My friends would tell me it was because I'd put my whole heart into relationships, that I cared about people and saw the best in everyone and that's why it hurt so much. But then why couldn't I enjoy anything anymore? I realized that when I'm in a relationship, I forget about how to be happy on my own. I never thought that was my problem, because I'm not a particularly clingy girlfriend; I don't have to be in constant contact with a guy, I don't have to see him every second of every day, I stay close to my friends, and I have no problem ditching my guy if something better comes up. However, I always share every aspect of my life with my significant other, else that piece of my life stops mattering. If I have a nice thought even, if at some point I don't share it, I stop caring about it. And if I do something fun and I don't tell him about it, it means I don't care about it. That subconscious process carries over even after one of my relationships has ended and it prevents me with just being happy because I, myself, am happy about something.


So, I'm resolving to not let that much ride on my relationships anymore; life is a beautiful thing and it should never be that I can only be content through someone else. It's not that I can't believe in people and share my experiences with them, but sharing my experiences can't be what makes them real.

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I think you've just described exactly what this part of enotalone is all about. So often you'll see advice on ENA about NC, staying single to "find yourself" not rebounding straight into another relationship. This is why. Never tie all your happiness to anyone/anything material. I feel people (like my previous self) who don't feel happy out of a relationship really struggle with their own company and need the validation that someone else loves them in order for them to BE a person. I'm struggling in a break up...I honestly am, I put on a brave face every single day and say I'm ok. But I'm not. I miss my ex like crazy. BUT I've accepted the fact that it doesn't matter how much I want to be in a relationship with him, he doesn't want to be in one with me. Now instead of jumping straight into another one, which I know wouldn't ever live up to my previous relationship because I'm still emotionally involved in it in a sense. I am, not happy to be, but know i HAVE to be single right now. Not just to find myself. but because when/if the next special person comes along. I will be ready for them. And I'll be a whole person. Not a half a person hoping to find my so called other half.


Sorry to rant and rave but you're spot on. Now I hope you truly learn from the past like we all should.

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I really completely agree with what you're saying there. It's actually super comforting to hear other people's stories too. It really is important to take time to rediscover yourself after a break up. I've always been a big believer in not getting in a relationship unless you only have one interest; in addition, for me at least, I have to be content with my life before I share it with another person. I know it sounds contradictory to what I was explaining in my original post, as I was basically saying I can't be happy without someone. It's actually more like, I learn to be happy alone, then I get in a new relationship and I start tying them to my happiness. When the relationship ends, I can't remember how to be good with my life as it is anymore. And the whole process starts over. But I think in realizing this, I've kinda cancelled the phenomenon. I went out tonight and had a genuinely good time without thinking of him at all. I still miss him when I'm alone, I'm hardly over it though I'm trying to be; now when I get upset though, it's not about me being frustrated because I'm so miserable about life in general, it's over the fact that I can no longer be with this amazing guy. But life is still good, and I can take solace in that.


I genuinely hope things keep getting better for you, I have a lot of respect for the fact that it sounds like you've really embraced all aspects of what you're feeling and you're learning to deal with it or get over it. I feel like I'm still trying to do that.

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Thanks so much for this post! It really gives me a lot of insight as well. I am still suffering from the breakup, even though it has been 3 months and despite knowing rationally that the relationship was really going downhill for a long while. I think in my case it was a bad combination of not being happy in the job, not being content with who i am, and comparing myself to others too much. Slowly, in baby steps i am working on my issues, going to CBT classes for self-esteem, searching for a new job, spending time with people i care about. I still miss him a lot, and some part of me wishes i could show him how much progress i made, but then again, i know i need much more time to fully be happy with myself. I am glad others are out there who have the same struggles We will reach our goals and we gonna be a better version

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