We've all had great relationships, and poor relationships. We know what happens when we quit, what happens when we stay, and how we feel after it. After all, we're adults – we're experts at it!
If that's the case, how come it is still so hard for us to let go of our feelings for our ex? We all know the course of emotions, regret and why did I do that? feelings after the breakup, but every time it's the same thing over and over again. We always wish for the days before, wonder why we acted or behaved a certain way, wonder when it was when we started changing and growing apart. We know it's never going to go back, but we keep on dreaming about it. And for some reason, a couple of years later, we are always in a new position in life and wouldn't even think about dreaming about going back. What an interesting situation!
How can you explain this repetition of life that we endure every time we break up with someone? It never seems to end once it's happened but eventually it all ends, like falling asleep and waking up again.
1. Remember that there will be new people entering your life at the right time.
It feels like it takes forever, but you know for sure that at some point someone new is going to enter your life. It happened before and it will happen again. This period feels like it takes forever. You were just with someone, used to their company for so long, and now you feel alone. But isn't that what happened last time too? And you managed pretty well? And now you are here, in the future, meeting someone new, and maybe even more attractive. Imagine that!
2. There are a million more out there.
When I was younger I "survived" a particularly rough break up, and an older friend of mine was happy to remind me that there were in fact millions more girls out there. It didn't take me long to realize that, because it's basic fact! You might be in a small town now, or feel like you know everyone in your city, but it's not true. The whole world is just teeming at the edges full of new people for you to meet, and call your own one day. You'll just have to wait to meet them! It's kind of exciting, isn't it?
3. Remember how great freedom is?
Now is your chance! You are unhinged. Any little thing that your ex nagged you about, you can do actively to your heart's content. Maybe your ex kept you in check, and balanced you out when you really needed it. That's great, in short bursts – and now you have every day to be as weird and colourful and unique as you want to be. Dance in your house, listen to your worst CD's and get that silly tattoo he always thought would look stupid. You are you and live for you. Don't forget that!
4. Was it going to last forever?
It might be a summertime fling, a year of dating, or a five year engagement. All of which is just a blink of time in the span of our whole lives. When our grandparents were young they stayed together for a multitude of economic reasons, but in modern times we are unfortunately seeing the end of lifetime vows as people become more sustainably independent and open minded. We will statistically see less anniversary parties when we are elderly – and maybe it's not a bad thing! By the time you will have turned 50 , 60, or 80 you will have met so many influential people who are coming in and out of your life, inspiring and changing you and guiding your life. Was that guy you w ere dating for two years really the be-all-end-all of relationships? If he was, I'm sorry – if not, well, looks like we still have a few more decades to find him!
5. Don't be afraid of dating – or not dating.
Now that you're single you will put a lot of pressure on yourself as to whether you should be seeing new people or not. Just stop worrying about it. Enjoy your own time, and wait for all your feelings to subside before you make any big choices that you will regret later.
If you chase after a butterfly in a field, it will fly away from you. But if you sit and wait in the grass, it might just land on your shoulder.