I was happy when I knew she was the one, the one I’m gonna marry. Everything was set, everything came together, I thought nothing would stop me from spending the rest of my life with the girl I loved. But one day she dropped it “I don’t wanna marry you right now, I’m sorry,” as tears rolled down her cheek. Failure hit me hard, again.
Things seemed fine for a few days after the breakup, so I assumed I was mature enough to handle it. But what followed was some of the most painful experiences I’ve ever gone through in my life, every day was so hard that I thought I will never be able to recover.
That was a summary of what I went through for the past 12 months. But today here I am — happy like never before, being single.
I’m gonna share the incredible transformation I went through which made me a happy and a better person.
Memories hurt, not the person
While in a relationship, most of us tend to associate a lot of things we do with our partner, even while spending time alone. For instance, thinking about how it would be like, to binge-watch a TV series together; imagining of shopping together; buying clothes our partners like; and many more.
What we’ve been doing is associating a lot of our memories, routines, and experiences with our partners; and as a result, everything reminds us of them. This is good while in a relationship but is a perfect recipe for disaster post-breakup.
Post-breakup hurts like hell, not because the person who you loved isn’t with you, but because their memories are with you. Lot of things you do, every day, reminds you of your ex and you blame them for the way you feel, but they aren’t the ones responsible for how you feel, rather it’s because of you.
Blaming your ex for what you’re going through is not gonna help in any way, instead, it’s only gonna hurt, since you’re holding on to them in your memory. The more you blame or think about them, the longer they are gonna stay in your memory and the harder will be your recovery.
Next time when you are reminded of your ex while hearing to a song or watching a movie or whatever you do, consciously distract your attention towards something else. Doing this deliberately for a prolonged period will help lessen the frequency and intensity of the memories. I know it’s easy said than done, it requires a lot of mental effort, but it’s the only way to get rid of those memories and finally living in peace with yourself.
You will never get the answers
Why did she do that to me? Why did she leave me? What went wrong? Was it because of me?
These are some questions a person who broke up recently will be desperate to know the answers for, and they keep nagging at least 10 to 20 times a day, possibly more. We think finding answers to these questions can finally give us inner peace; this has a familiar name too — closure.
Let me be honest about closure — you’ll not get one, because our exes do not have an answer to those questions; and even if they do those answers will not be convincing enough for us to move on. In the name of finding answers you waste your mental energy, time, and effort, which otherwise could have spent to make yourself a better person; so stop searching for answers you’ll never get — closure is overrated.
Going forward, every time these questions pops up in your mind, remind yourself that you are never gonna get the answers. If you keep doing this consciously, at some point you’ll completely stop asking those questions, and that’s when you’ll have found inner peace.
Your identity is yours, and only yours
The feeling of having a person who hugs us every day and saying I love you is one of the best feelings ever, and those moments would be some of the most beautiful memories in a relationship. Though blissful while in a relationship, nothing can hurt as those memories do after breaking up.
While in love we tend to associate ourselves with our partners so much that a part of our identity becomes dedicated to them, this may seem fine, but is the primary reason why being single after a breakup hurts — we lose a part of our identity along with our partner. The ‘emptiness’ you feel after a breakup is because of this.
Identity is something fundamental to us, it defines who we are and gives a sense of meaning in life, and when a part of it is empty it becomes extremely difficult to be happy, even a little bit.
Our identity wrapped with another person is not good, irrespective of us being single or in a relationship, we become dependent on someone else for us being happy, and when the person leaves we run around hopelessly trying to find happiness. If your identity is empty or has another person in it, it’s about time you bring it back to yourself.
Acknowledge the fact that you are alone whenever you long for someone to kiss you goodnight, rather than dwelling on the memories when your ex did those. Start loving yourself than expecting ‘I love you’ from someone else, because self-love is what you need right now, and that’s the only way to find fulfilment.
Connect to people, don’t get attached
Most people after breaking up tend to isolate themselves from people and prefer being alone, but it does more damage than good. Connecting with people is important and it’s one of the important things to do while going through a breakup, it gives a sense of warmth and comfort. But there is a clear distinction between getting connected and getting attached — getting connected is to have a meaningful relationship with people, whereas getting attached is depending on someone for something, especially happiness.
Almost everyone who is struggling hard to come out of a breakup was because they were attached to their partners, and probably still are.
With attachment come expectations, which to me is the root cause of unhappiness. We expect a lot from our partners, like saying ‘I love you’ every day, surprising with a gift, constantly communicating, and many more. And the biggest expectation we have from our partners is they love and stay with us forever, and when they failed to do it, i.e. breakup, it feels like everything in life is falling apart.
It’s natural for us to get attached to people whom we love because as kids we were attached to our parents for love, care, safety, etc. and as adults, we tend to do the same — expecting people to take care of us. Yes, adulting sucks, but there is no other way — we have to take care of ourselves because others are busy taking care of themselves. So it’s unfair to expect someone to take care of you — you are on your own, brutal, but that’s the reality.
Taking care of yourself is the best way to express self-love. Take care of yourself as if you are the person who you love the most; because there’s no loved one to accompany you in bed every night, you sleep alone.
Love and let go
My arguments above do not mean you shouldn’t love anyone, to me love is one of the most beautiful feelings we as humans experience; because love for our fellow beings is what humanity is all about. But loving others is truly beautiful only when you love yourself — self-love always comes first. Most of us do not realise this and directly jump into loving others — wrapping our identity and getting attached — so when they leave it feels like we’ve lost meaning in life.
There is no better time to learn to love yourself than while being single after a breakup. So take this time to do what you wanted to do the most, immerse yourself in different experiences, travel, read, write, and whatever you feel like doing. Love yourself like no one has ever loved you before, because you are the only person who’s gonna be with you forever. When you’ve mastered this, loving others becomes even better and also you learn to let go of them if they wish, without any hard feelings.
This piece of writing is not a rule book for people to get over a breakup, I’m only helping you to clearly define your problem because it’s you who has to find the solution. Though I’ve given a few tips, it may or may not work for you, you’ll have to find the solution through a self-journey — seeking answers. The journey is not gonna be pleasant, but I can promise you that the destination is beautiful, because I’m standing there and I’m in love with the view.
Originally published at http://arunsuresh3141.wordpress.com on June 21, 2020.