It takes a long time to earn love, respect and trust but merely seconds to lose it all.
So powerful words.
Than you for this. Just made me think a lot!
There are so many out there that choose to hold onto something that isn’t there. I know this for a fact because years ago I did the same thing. I have written many posts about breaking up and getting back together but I wanted to bring something to light a little more detailed in hopes of helping someone that is having a tough time letting go. For the record, I want to describe what MY definition is of letting go. Letting go in my book is completely cutting all physical ties with someone BUT also attempting to cut all CURRENT EMOTIONAL ties.
I know what you’re thinking. You are going to disagree with me because you feel this is something that is impossible to do. Please note the words “CURRENT EMOTIONAL ties”. I want to be sure we are on the same page in hopes if furthering my ways of thinking. For clarity, I am NOT referring to forgetting about someone that you may have shared months or maybe even years with. I am only referring to cutting the emotional ties for now in order to start the healing process. How is this done? It’s not rocket science but it does take a great deal of effort and confidence in order to change your emotional habits.
It's one thing to physically remove yourself from someone’s life but it is completely different in removing yourself emotionally. I can remember so many years ago how I was constantly wondering if my ex was thinking of me. No matter how emotionally upset you may be over a breakup, I want to be honest to let you know that your ex partner DOES think of you but I also want to be a bit brutally honest and let you know that it may NOT be the way you HOPE they think of you. Regardless of how much we think of our exes, this does NOT…I repeat DOES NOT mean they think, feel, or physically ache because you are no longer there. I am not trying to be hurtful. I am merely trying to help you understand that just because you feel something for your ex it DOESN’T mean they feel the same. This is often a misconception in order for you to stay emotionally attached despite the physical bond being broken.
Letting go is NEVER easy. I have had many years of breakup, broken hearts and even getting back together episodes but no two situations are the same. I am merely giving advice based on my experiences as well as lessons learned through the years. I have often wondered why my ex at the time left. What was it about me that they didn’t want anymore? Why was I being rejected like yesterday's trash, or so it may seem? After I was dumped I would sit and think for hours, even days, about my ex and all the good times we had. I would find myself spiraling out of control emotionally because my thoughts were always consumed with her. No matter how much time I wasted thinking of her and wanting answers, it finally came to me that EVEN IF I HAD ANSWERS would that really make breaking up with me ok? Would knowing everything that was in my ex’s heart make it ok to feel rejected? Sometimes it is better to NOT know the answers because it really wouldn’t make a positive difference either way.
Some people feel that if they knew the issues they could fix it. This may be true, but once someone makes a firm decision it is rarely changed in the short term. It takes time for someone to physically notice a change and even longer to see an emotional change. Whether they choose to hang around and wait is up to them. My opinion is to leave completely in order to NOT give them the benefit of what it is they used to have. If you honestly think about it, the more you see or hear from your ex, the more they will find the need to NOT contact you. Why is this? It’s because you can’t miss what is always there. They dumped you, remember? Why give them something they threw away or didn’t care to nurture and love? Why beg for attention that falls not only on deaf ears?
Some may call it closure but in my opinion it merely clouds the fact that no matter what the reason, it will not bring them any closer to you. It will, however, fulfill our need for answers. As difficult as it was, talking NEVER solved anything and typically ended in blaming one another for allowing the relationship to crumble. One thing about blaming is that it SOLVES NOTHING and only pushes the other involved further away. I used to feel ten times worse when this occurred because my heart’s intentions were purely good, yet I only proved to look worse in her eyes for trying to blame her partly for walking away. Once harsh words fly, it’s difficult to take them back. Once they take root in someone else’s heart…it’s nearly impossible to weed out.
Letting go emotionally involves one MAJOR issue that is probably most difficult for us all and that issue is completely cutting all ties with the person you might so desperately want back in your life. No matter how much you love someone, you can do NOTHING to make them love you back the way you NEED to be loved. This is such a hard thing to comprehend. I use to believe that if I felt a certain way about my ex, that she would maybe feel the same because we loved one another at one time. Believe it or not, this was completely wrong. Honestly she ended up thinking of me because she wanted to know I was ok; not that my broken heart would make her change her mind. Many times those that did love us never intend to purposely hurt us. They merely want to make a very difficult decision easier on you as well as themselves. Who wants to feel guilty for purposely breaking your heart? Have you ever had to break up with someone you loved? Was it easier because it was YOUR decision? I have been the one to break it off and honestly it was difficult for me because I never wanted to hurt the other. In all reality, it hurt us both.
Letting go of common habits can be difficult as well - such as phone calls after work or on the ride home. It can be so difficult passing by a place you both used to be patrons knowing that in all probability it won’t happen again. Please don’t get me wrong, I choose to look at the reality of situations rather than give false hope. Yes, there are those that get back together but they MOSTLY have ONE thing in common and that thing is distance. This is NOT the primary reason but it is a major factor knowing that the other knows NOTHING of what you are up to. The old expression says, “Curiosity killed the cat”. What many do NOT understand is that NO CONTACT is only a small factor in getting back together. For example: If you were an a@@hole while in the relationship, they break with you YET DID NOT DO ANYTHING IN THE MEANTIME TO FIX YOUR MISTAKES…you will ALWAYS be an a@@hole. Sorry about my bluntness but you can’t expect someone to change if they do NOT want to change for themselves despite how much we want them to.
How can you start to let go in order to get you back? This is up for speculation, but I believe it mostly has to do with taking back the power you gave them while in the relationship. When referring to "the power," I am referring to giving up what you want in order to make someone else happy or satisfied regardless of your wants and needs. If this is done on a common basis (meaning you give and get back in return from your partner equally) means this is part of a healthy relationship. If you are constantly giving and putting your needs on the back burner in order to feel loved, then you are giving up your needs and wants in order to make them happy.
-Let me give you a harsh example of why this will never work.
Let’s assume you are a pleaser by nature (I am as well) and you constantly go out of your way in order to please your partner. Some say we give what we want in return. If you are feeling as if you have to do this more often than you did when you first started the relationship then you are implying that your needs do not matter as much as theirs. In your heart you may see this as a loving act but to others it is showing your partner that no matter what they do, you will be there. (This is NOT true all the time but this is the harshest of the examples I can come up with). My question is this…if you find yourself in this situation and your partner walks away, what are they doing with YOUR power? They are taking it with them and you are left with NOTHING. Your self-worth goes right out the door as soon as they did. By standing up for yourself while IN the relationship you are showing that you are not a fool and nor will you settle for less than what you deserve. If you were unable to show your ex that you matter and that you are JUST AS IMPORTANT as they are, then you were giving up what mattered MOST to you in order to be loved by them. If they walked out on you…you are left TWICE as empty because you gave them the power to dominate you regardless of what you wanted and needed.
We tend to over romanticize when our partners leave. We choose to look at the good times. We want to see the relationship as “good” rather than the 8 months you were wondering why he had to walk away from you as he answered a text message for example. Why do we choose to hang on after someone leaves? In theory, I think it has to do with the old saying “something is better than nothing” mixed with a little bit of feeling as if all that time and effort is wasted. NO ONE wants to feel thrown away or worthless. We all want to feel accepted and loved for who we are and what we stand for. There are those out there that after a certain amount of time find that the compatibility of the relationship just wasn’t what they need. Does this mean all exes are bad? Absolutely not! Like all things, sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be. The key is to NOT make it into something that it wasn’t. I have talked with so many people that CHOOSE to hold onto someone because it took so long to find them that it seems hopeless in the future to find someone. In short, they are basing their future on their past. Some are just as bad into believing if they DID find romance again that they would probably just leave in the long run anyway. I tend to believe that those with LOWER self-worth tended to give MORE of themselves while in the relationship. When it walked out the door…so did their self-worth. Put yourself in their shoes, if you loved with ALL of what you had to offer and you were STILL rejected, how would you feel? The balance should have been give and give instead of give and take…and take… and take. One must EARN your love, respect and trust.
It takes a long time to earn love, respect and trust but merely seconds to lose it all.
Never sell yourself short. You deserve love just like everyone else. Learning to let go of someone that let you go is difficult but you must learn in time to reorganize your priorities. If someone is out of your life, learn that you are ONE and NOT two. Know that YOU are the primary factor ALWAYS. If someone wants to be in your life, let them earn it. Never give up on you in order to be loved by another. If that love is not returned the same as it is given then you have NO BUSINESS with that person. Love is walking side by side…not ahead nor behind. Breaking up is never easy but you must learn to take the focus off of what WAS and concentrate everything on what IS (You). By letting go, you are NOT giving up on your ex. You are proving to yourself that YOU MATTER FIRST just like you always have. You are not a quitter. Let go of any notion or thought of you are giving up on your ex. The lesson you must learn is putting yourself first. This is not a selfish act. This is the way it should ALWAYS BE. Never back down from loving yourself. If your ex cannot see how special you are, who is to blame? You or your ex?
Remember you cannot control how others think, feel or act. You can only control you. Once you start to accept that no matter what you do…you can’t control what is not controlled by you…then and only then will you gain a better understanding of you. After all… you are all you’ve got.
I wish you peace and love,
Last edited by OhManINeedCoffee; 03-09-2010 at 09:46 PM.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." -Aristotle
Thanks for that, Dave - I've been missing your posts around here.
Eventually there comes a time when you realize that there's nothing you can do/could have done to stop someone from leaving. I still think of my ex often. The only difference is, whereas before I would think of him, get upset, and say to myself, "How could he do this to me?" I now think of him, shrug, and say, "There's nothing else I can do - move on to another thought." I used to think I had nothing left to give after my ex. As it turned out, I just had nothing left to give HIM. And he had nothing left to give me...nothing that I wanted, anyway. Doesn't make him a horrible person, but it made him not right for me. Life is actually easier without him. I feel more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have before. I honestly don't think I would've gotten here withOUT that experience with him, so in that sense, I can't really be angry or resentful toward him. In a way, he did me a favor.
Those habits are probably the most difficult to let go of - walking by those "landmark" places you two used to have - first date, first kiss, etc. Wanting to call him/her when you're bored, to say good morning or good night, see something random during the day and think, "Oh ___ would LOVE this!". Looking at Facebook/MySpace/Whatever. Responding to them whenever they try to contact you (that one was ALWAYS the hardest!). You feel guilty dropping those habits at first, but after awhile it starts to make sense, you know?
C'est la vie...et cetera.
Rambling is officially over.
"Are tangerines really just oranges that didn't want it enough?" - Random Greeting Card
Great post Dave !
Im starting to regret the fact that I broke NC with the x. Im not really sure why I thought it was going to be diffrernt this time around. In truth nothing really has changed. Now im back in "limbo land" not a fun place to be. I hear you Kelley how those things are so hard to let go. Im so happy for you that you have let go and are at peace with it. I remember the night I respoded to her and broke NC , I felt like I let myself down. But if it wasnt for are x's we wouldnt have found this place. I guess thats one thing we can thank them for.
Thanks for this great post Dave!
One of the main reasons why it is so hard to let go of someone is that many people define themselves through others. They need others to feel loved and accepted. Relationships are often (not always) a meeting between two needy, little children. So the first step to take is to grow up = take ownership of your life, your feelings, your needs, your dreams, your wishes, and take care of yourself.
Your posts are always very insightful and helpful, Dave. This one is no different. As you know, it's extremely difficult to let go EMOTIONALLY when you can never get away physically from the person who dumped you. It's been 3 years since I met my ex and 2.5 years since we first got together. It's been 1.5 years since our last break up. I have made very slow progress with not having NC but I think I'm almost there. Almost. To be honest, I'm still not completely over him. I know with a good solid 6 months of NC under my belt I'd be in a different place. Yet I know he's also single but he's online looking for love and he doesn't want it with me. It's OK, worse things happen to people. I can handle it and I know I'm deserving of love and he will never be able to give me what I want. Not to mention, I could never go back - how could I feel secure that the man who dumped me twice would not do it again? I could never do it to myself.
There's someone out there. Or maybe there isn't. Either way, I have myself. I have some challenges to face coming up, some surgery I have to have. Not looking forward to it - it's going to be a big deal that will affect my life for a few months but I'll get through it. I'm crying from the fear of it but it's not something I can't handle - people have endured far worse.
Things have been friendlier between me and the ex. I do still love him but I do accept that he doesn't love me as anything more than a friend. I know he likes me and that is a small comfort. We are just not meant to be together and it's OK. The world keeps turning and everything changes and comes to an end. So on to new beginnings.
Enough is enough my friend. You are a valuable member of this board and it is time for you to hear what you need to hear but choose to ignore for the most part. You have been feeling the way you have because you refuse to let go. You have been emotionally holding on to someone who doesn't deserve it. Have you ever thought maybe you were possibly just a fling? Have you ever wondered how easily it was for him to move on after he broke it off so easily? Have you ever thought that maybe you chose to hold on so long because it took so long to find someone that was interested in you that it's neearly impossible to throw away? Have you ever thought that maybe you REFUSE to let go because secretly you are still hoping that if you are able to see him at band practice and gigs that he will magically fall back in love with you? The truth is you are feeling the way you do because you are CHOOSING NOT TO LET GO. I know it's hard and we are here to help you but you are becoming a broken record. I am here to validate you as a person that has feelings, needs and wants to be loved just as much as anyone here yet you keep updating us on the same thing.
I am happy you are feeling a bit better. I hope you continue to grow and move forward. My words may not be that pleasant to read but I hope you understand that being nice and being honest can be two seperate things if it needs to be. We love you Rapunzel. We all do...but you are going to have to stop this nonsense and start loving you more. You do not have to be validated as a human being by someone that may have loved you once but understand that this person did NOT LOVE YOU ENOUGH. Why keep hoping (searching) for love from someone who left you a year and a half ago? Have you no self-worth? I find it odd that you can inform us what your ex is up to. I guess what I want to ask is why does it matter? Tell us more of what YOU are up to. Tell us about what you look forward to. Tell us what you see down the road. Quit living in the past and move forward. You can do this. I am NOT....I repeat NOT upset but as someone that really care about you ... I am disappointed you can't pull yourself out of this self-inflicted misery you have been in for over a year and a half.
I also what you to understand that I was NOT there in your relationship. I have NO idea what feelings you both had. The truth is he was unable to KEEP those feelings for you despite your greatest effort. You are an INCREDIBLE person Rapunzel! Do you not understand that there are over 300 million people in the United States alone and you keep hurting over someone that may have been perfect for you at one time yet he is gone. Your season together is over. You will love again. I have NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that you will find TRUE love and it will STAY. The key to remember is that you need to quit looking for love and let it find you. I konw what you may be saying...."It did find me". I can't argue with that...but I can ask "Where is that love now?"
We love you Rapunzel and we are here to help you. I am not here to hurt your feelings nor your heart. My tone for this post is of the BEST intensions. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." -Aristotle
Dave, you are right. I am in tears reading your post. I am embarrassed that I am still posting about him. I haven't met anyone else. I don't have a lot of hope of meeting anyone else. Actually, there was a period where there about 3 guys that I thought were prospects but not any longer. One of them I was and still am a bit hopeful about but he's grieving the end of HIS relationship. I am back to square 1.
I guess I was a fling to him but clearly he was not a fling to me. No, you weren't there. It didn't last long enough to mean anything because for whatever reason he does not want to be with me. You are not a 48 year old woman so you don't know how hard it is. What do you mean, being nice and being honest are two separate things? I'm not sure what you are getting at.
I guess I don't feel I have a lot to look forward to. My youth and attractiveness is on the wane. The big events in my life involve HIM so they are fraught with all the crap I have in my head about him. The big events involve the performances that involve HIM as well as ME so it's difficult to disconnect. I know I sound like a broken record and it is embarrassing. I don't want to be this person but I would have to leave the group to fully get over him, which is why I'm secretly hoping the band breaks up over some issues involving other people.
I know the only way I will truly get over him is to completely be away from him. I need to have some surgery in the fall so maybe that will be my way out.
I really am not looking for love lately, Dave. I don't look for it but I do worry I'm going to be alone. It is a scary thought. And to keep seeing him and having to act "cool" - it has taken it's toll. I feel he must know yet he has been much more communicative lately and included me on some personal type emails he sent to another band member recently. It is confusing but I keep telling myself it is OVER and I will never be with him again. It was the most intense experience of my adult life so not being able to be away from him has made it impossible to get over it. I'm sure you can understand that.
Thanks for your caring words. You don't really know me but the fact that you took the time to write that is heartwarming.
Just remember everyday brings a new opportunity to create the grandest version of yourself.
You have to be alone a bit and deal with your loss before you can leap into another situation. You are 48 not 108. You are as young as you feel. Dave was trying to say that the truth is not always pleasent but it needs to be faced. Good luck and stay strong.
Thank you for that ruby09. I had had a couple glasses of wine last night so was feeling extra emotional. I have been alone since the break up. Yes, it was 1.5 years ago but I think I am allowed a bit of a grieving period (acknowledge that over 6 months is too long) and yes, again, broken record here, I have not been able to have NC as we are in a music group together and we perform usually once a month and have rehearsals usually once a week, sometimes less.
I know the truth of this situation, and I am not sure why I am still posting about him. If he was not in my life I would not be posting about him but I have the weekly reminder at our rehearsal. Blah blah blah - broken record.
Some of my goals:
To attain better emotional and physical health than I have right now. I eat well and I exercise regularly but I should cut down on the wine. I am at the weight I was in high school.
To accept life as "what is" and not "what could be".
Accept I am not the young cute thing I used to be and it's OK. It happens to everyone.
To upgrade my living environment by either purchasing real estate (condo as I can't nor want to deal with a single family house alone) or perhaps fixing up my apartment a bit more while I wait for the market to tank. :-)
To get back to practicing gratitude for what I DO have.
Deep breathe/meditate and/or do yoga more regularly
Focus on others and helping others rather than focusing on my problems.
Continue to work on acceptance and letting go of him.
Be the best I can be in the band despite his presence and make the most of it.
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