Lately, it seems that a few friends of mine are going through some rough breakups or having a hard time dealing with a past relationship. My motto has always been to weed your garden before jumping into a new bed of flowers -I even wrote that in my book, however as I go through life and see what other people are going through, as well as what I’ve gone through myself, I’m learning that the other side of the spectrum isn’t so shabby. While it’s true that most people need distractions while they are mourning over a broken relationship, they also need their hearts distracted too, in my opinion. I think casual dating is a great way to distract the mind and heart from getting too torn up over one person who is no longer in their life. There are possibilities of rebound dating, however overall, I don’t see ‘casual dating’ so bad, if taken slowly. The negative side effects of casual dating after broken relationships are: comparing the new person to your former love, bringing old baggage into the new one - possibly accusing them of things your ex has done in the past, or even picking someone that reminds you of the ex. That one is a killer. In this case, it almost seems impossible to heal completely. But, do we ever heal completely?
While it’s healthy to ‘talk it all out’, and confide in a friend about your feelings, it also can be unhealthy too, perhaps even borderline obsessing over the ex, and I’ll even go as far to say that it may be leaving your friend in an ‘awkward therapist’ type of feeling. God bless my close friends when I was going through my own breakups in the past. They put up with a lot, however, hindsight 20/20, I now see how much I overdid it, over-obsessed and had beaten the dead horse with a stick a million times. I also think that the person can’t help themselves due to the overwhelming feelings going on inside them. There is no other feeling like a broken heart. It hurts like nothing else. Again, as I’ve said so many times before, it’s comparable to a death of a loved one, with the only difference that your loved one who you had broken up with “chooses” not to be with you. (And of course depending on the situation.) The constant feeling of getting no closure, or receiving any forgiveness can be detrimental to the recovery, however not impossible if looked at in a different perspective. But, that’s hard to do when you’re in it. You can’t see outside the box sometimes.
I’m a big believer in writing out all the pros and cons about the relationship, whether salvable or not. Sometimes it can reveal much more than you once realized. Most of the times, in my own personal experiences, I wondered why I settled so much in my past. You’ll have days where all your thoughts about your ex are all positive. Take the list out. Read it again. Put your entire relationship into perspective. Why did it end? However, I do have one exception to the rule: if you were best friends with your ex, and the intimate relationship had come to an end, but you still wanted to maintain a “genuine” friendship, then that’s another thing. One or two things may happen: the ex will think you want more and ignore your request, the ex may still not be over you, which sometimes leads into a period of indifference, leaving you feeling ignored at every attempt to make amends, and perhaps under whatever circumstances, forgiveness is just not there yet, or will ever be.
Acceptance. This is the final and last step toward recovery, and also the hardest if you’re trying to get to this point too fast on your own. Sometimes, the two people involved (or not involved I should say) may have come to different plateaus in life, whether feeling different about one another, or just simply at a different place in life. I’m sure you’ve either experienced or have seen this scenario before: one person is the pursuer, while the other person seems a bit aloof and casual about the relationship, and then when it comes to the end of their relationship and/or breakup, the roles reverse completely. The pursuer is now the one who is aloof and hard to get. The person who was a bit casual about things seems more persistent on pursuing the relationship, even making attempts to bring it to a whole different level just to get them back: marriage proposals. It’s funny how things change and sad when it changes for the worst, but I always remembered what one friend told me in the past. She said, “People come into our lives for a reason, maybe to teach us something, but for the most part, it’s all about our life experiences. Let them go. Let them experience what they need to, and if they come back then it was meant to be.” Sometimes people need to go through a buncha bullshit in order to get their heads straight, or perhaps they just need to leave and we just need to accept that.
With every relationship that I have been in, I have learned a great deal about many things in life, which I am grateful for. I’ve created awesome memories, I remember funny moments that still make me laugh, and have kept all the lessons learned if it was a negative experience so I know how to handle them better in the present time. The one thing that I have always left behind was any bitterness. I have always forgiven anyone who had hurt me in the past, which always enables me to be friends with them. That’s when I have to say to myself: it’s their choice now, the ball is in their court, but I won’t hold my breath if they choose not to.