Subtitle: Sweet, sweet solitude.
The only details you need to know: My boyfriend broke up with me, it wasn’t a surprise because we’d been fighting for a couple months, and he did it in a very ungraceful, hurtful way.
Don’t want to put the wagon before the horse, but I think the worst is over–and the worst really wasn’t all that bad. Maybe that’s what happens when two people should break up–the aftermath is downright pleasant compared to the tumultuous shit storm before the separation.
Now it’s one week later, and we’re chillin’ platonically. I’m feeling quite pleased at how “maturely” I’m handling everything. Not ready to hear about his sex life, but I’m prepared for that day.
So here are some tips, more applicable to relationships that have ended with a mutual understanding, with both parties still wanting to be friends:
Problem: You’re mad at him, dog tired, not eating, sleeping, or working out.
Most of the pain is coming from the last three issues. Everyone says physical health precedes mental, for a good reason. It’s literally impossible for me to feel that bad when I’m getting good sleep, food and running/downward doggin’ all day. Yeah it takes a few days to get back in the swing of it, but then swing you shall. Not having a boyfriend frees up to do these things, thus helping you feel and look like a bag of money. Win-win.
Problem: You’re trying no contact, sad that things remind you of him, but also sad when you’re not reminded of him.
A favorite band might remind you of him (for us, it was Alt-J) but hey oh yeah, they are a fucking popular group, not you and your ex’s personal minstrels. Get excited about them with anyone else in the world. Alternately, take the time to bust out the breakup songs you never usually care for. Lykke Li and the XX were waiting in my computer for YEARS before I got to enjoy them again (aka I haven’t been through a breakup since 2011) and I count that as a win, too. Finally, I know everyone disagrees, but when I want contact, I contact. Sure, it might hinder the process, but it goes with the theory of learning from your own mistakes instead of listening to others. You’ll never believe the stove burns until you touch it yourself.
Problem: All advice says there’s absolutely no closure in meeting up to talk.
…unless the stove doesn’t burn you. I was angry and requested contact after one whole day of radio silence. Guess I just can’t stay quiet. We set up a time to meet up a week later, me hoping to get that mythological closure they speak of. By the time we actually met, I wasn’t upset anymore. Just wanted to tell him what he did was not cool, as a boyfriend or friend. The best case scenario I hoped for was an apology/acknowledgement. He understood and knows he has to build up some trust and make it up to me if he wants my friendship.
Problem: You want to forgive someone but it’s fun to be mad.
This is the revelation that helped me feel better within two days of the breakup–not forgiving sucks for everyone. He made a snafu and I want to afford him the understanding I would to any other friend. We talked, he got it, and I’m letting it go. The relationship wasn’t working and it wasn’t for lack of trying or love (possibly not the case for other breakups, in which case none of this applies). It’s not about the other person–forgiving is self-love. And it’s addictive. See http://www.raptitude.com/2011/11/two-methods-for-dealing-with-negative-people/
Problem: Yay, you are “friends” now! But sometimes you still want to suck on his lips.
Some people can handle the FWB zone, and others can’t. I know I draw the line at an arm around the shoulders and a platonic massage (because FREE MASSAGE). Anything more, and I’m setting myself back a few steps in the healing process. In short, the healing process means ogling and going out with every guy I find attractive, and giving in to physical comforts with an ex makes it harder to do said ogling with gusto. Also, keeping this boundary lets me be a way more pleasant, relaxed friend to everyone involved.
Problem: You don’t know when you’ll see him next, and don’t want to be alone.
I simply fought this feeling with a dose of reality. When I see him, I’m a little anxious, wanting our time to last forever. But not only is that impossible, I remember that being alone has its own joy (one huge advantage to being an introvert!) I exist for no one else and feel fully, 100% myself. This means facing myself–the good and bad. I’m scared of what I might discover as a free agent. But when I force myself to take the first step, the rest comes naturally. It feels right. See http://space2live.net/2013/03/08/my-introverted-love-creed-if-we-cant-be-magnificent-and-independent-together-im-ok-alone/
All this was right