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5.21.2012

How To Get Over a Breakup.


Don't lie. You know you've looked up those exact words on Google. If not, you've turned to a magazine or a book or something of the sort. Anything that may provide some kind of insight as to how exactly you're suppose to pick up the shattered pieces of what once was known as your heart. Oh, and make like that person who has been a part of your every day routine for so many weeks/months/years never existed. That person who you probably thought was your better half for good, your soul-mate, your best friend, your keeper of all secrets, your number one trusted individual in life. Surely, you've desperately asked the question, "how does life go on after this???" all while the tears come falling onto your lap, like lions, tigers and bears. I know I have.

Having been through six major break ups (yes. six. I get around in the land of committed relationships, so what), I'm here to provide some thoughts and advice I've acquired through my own experiences. This post is one that has been a long time coming, and I hope it has a little bit of something that everyone can relate to.

I'm going to keep it straightforward by saying this to begin with:

Breakups are fucking hard.

It doesn't matter if you're the one that got dumped, or if you did the dumping, or if the break up was completely mutual. It doesn't matter if the break up was a result of cheating or lying or if it was result of two people growing a part and falling out of love. It doesn't even matter if the relationship lasted many years or if it only lasted a few months. Many years=a lot of time invested in that one person, and entire life chapter of memories. A few months=a lot of time thinking about the "what ifs", the "what could have come", and the feelings of rejection and defeat for not even being able to make something last more than a few months. Whatever the case may be, break ups are rough.

And I hate to say this to you, but the hard truth is this:

You can't skip the part where you are sad, depressed or bummed out about things ending. You just can't.

You have to give yourself that time to mourn. The same way, you must mourn when someone passes. Of course, it's not the same thing, but.... in ways it is. Because let's be real here, when you break up with someone, you're basically saying goodbye to that relationship forever. Even if you are able to maintain some sort of friendship with that person (which, really, how often is that the case. And how often is that even healthy or normal or not awkward or fair to anyone else you date in the future), you are saying goodbye to a dynamic you shared with that person. And if that person has deeply wronged you some way, you are probably saying goodbye to that person all together. And it is sad. Of course you should cry and feel depressed. You've lost something that you put a lot of time and energy and heart into. If you didn't feel sad, that would be strange. So do cry. Do feel sad. Do eat ice cream. Do have maybe one night of getting pissed drunk in the company of friends who will take good care of you. Do take a coma of a nap or two. It's ok. Just don't let it go on for forever.

And in the meantime, consider the following:

1. Consider the fact that things didn't work out for a reason. There was something you weren't agreeing on. There was something you did or they did that was not right. There was something that was missing. And if you cared enough, you tried as best you could. You tried to agree, you tried to forgive, you tried to locate that missing puzzle piece behind the couch somewhere, but it didn't present itself. Or maybe it did, but then it didn't fit right. Things didn't work out for a reason. And that reason is waiting for you just around the corner somewhere. Be patient.

Someone once said to me (I wish I could remember who), "Keep in the mind that when you do find that person who is meant for you.. that person who treats you better than anyone else and is everything you imagined and more.. keep in mind that he probably broke several hearts along the way. He probably went through a lot of bullshit, bullshit that was his, and bullshit from others, to be the man he is today... for you. Maybe your current relationship didn't work out so that you both could be better for the right people when they eventually come along."

Golly gee Wills. When I heard that, it was like a big giant lightbulb went on, not just in my head, but in my fucking heart. Of course, is it easy to look at that person you've made history with and say, "Well, I guess I was just another one of your guinea pigs." ? Um. NO. Not at all. In fact, it's nearly impossible to think about being anyone's guinea pig in a positive way, because inevitably it is woven in with feelings of inadequacy and rejection. But, when you start looking at the bigger picture, there's much comfort there. There's much comfort in knowing that every failed relationship is a crucial counterpart to what will eventually be a successful one that lasts.

Think about it.

2. Consider what is going on in your life outside of what was your relationship with this person. Do you have a life outside of this person? If the answer is no, then I'm going to be tough by saying, it's probably a good thing you're not in that relationship anymore. It's time to restore balance in your life and re-evaluate what is important to you. Being freshly detached from another person who was taking up a majority of your time, is the best time to make this move. And you know what? Sometimes in the movement of re-evaluting things, you come to realize that there are things you need to work on. Things you need to fix. Nobody likes to admit to their faults... we're all perfect, and everyone else is wrong, not us. We're right. But here's the thing, we're not always right. Take the time to reflect on not just the relationship and why it didn't work, but also you're own life, you're own faults. Sometimes you come to realize that you weren't even in the relationship for the right reasons. Or that you're not even that sad about the break up itself, so much as you are just sad about how your life is going at the moment.

One of the hardest break ups I ever went through was in college. And it's strange because, I don't think I even loved that person as much as I have loved others in the past. (Have I ever even really "loved" anyone, or been truly "in love"? That's a whole different topic). But it was the hardest because I was in the saddest and loneliest place of my life. And in the moment, that college boyfriend of mine was my closest and almost only friend. Losing him was like the worst thing that could have ever happened. But it took losing him to realize that I had a lot of things I needed to work through on my own.. a lot of things in my life that I needed to fix. And had those things been stronger to begin with, maybe our relationship would have faired better. Because the other most real truth in the world is this: A boyfriend or girlfriend can't make you happy. They can only make you happier. If you're not happy to begin with, there will be trouble in paradise. Rest assured.

3. Consider the fact that's it's over. It.is.over. Don't keep holding on. This one is hard. Don't we all build castles in Spain about "getting back together" or them suddenly having a break-through realization that, "you are the one, after all". I'm not saying these things aren't possible, but they aren't likely. And most of the time they aren't genuine. Can I get real again? Often times "I want to get back together" translates "I'm having a hard time filling this void where you used to be. I know we're not right for each other, but I'd rather be with you than have the courage and strength to be alone." And then you get back together. And then you break up again. Not always the case. But yeah, usually the case.

 If it makes you feel any better, consider this. As a friend once said to me, "Any person who you've shared a great part of your life with and which whom has made a lasting and respectable impact on you, will always have the opportunity to come back into your life romantically in the future. And vice versa." Along with that, "If it's meant to be, it will be." But you have to give these things time, people. TIME! If you really believe it in your heart of hearts that things are not completely over with this person, that's fine. You might be right. But some hard separation is necessary. Distance/space/time... you have to give it to this person. And you have to give it to yourself. Sometimes things don't work out between two people because of timing.

True story: I know a couple who dated for several years in high school. Then they broke up and they each dated other people. Then they got back together after a few years passing. And now they are happily married. The lesson in this story: they took time to experience other things. Other relationships. Time alone. And time a part.

Do YOU for awhile. Stop focusing on how you can win this person back and start focusing on you. You are a person outside of that person, right? YES. YOU ARE.

4. Consider that in order to make this time of heartbreak less brutal, you should practice all of the following:

a. Eliminate all forms of contact with this person. Seriously. All forms. Start with the damn Facebook. That place is an evil fucking place when you are going through a break up. You want my advice? Block that person. Seriously. Just block them. It's nothing personal towards them. But it is. You don't want to see their face popping up everywhere on your newsfeed, or God forbid, see that they post a happy status.. or a photograph that contains some random girl in it. Do you really want to put yourself through that bullshit? I mean yeah, it's probably just his cousin he never mentioned or a friend (as if "friends" that are girls have ever been OK or comforting). Or maybe IT IS his new girlfriend that just moved in with him a week after you and him broke up (that ass-hole.) Seriously, you have some love for yourself, right? Why is that information necessary for you to view/learn? Just block the dude. Trust me, the strange and masochistic curiosity we have to check up on our ex's is much better left untouched. You'll sleep better at night wondering, instead of KNOWING that he still exists and he's off doing "happy things" that don't involve you anymore. Block the man. You are not being dramatic in doing this, you are being practical and WISE.

With that being said, delete his number from your phone as well. Even if you know it by heart, there's something about removing his NAME from your phone that automatically will make you feel better. And if you don't know his number by heart, then perfect. That'll make it hard to text him... especially at those times when you're drunk at a bar where they are playing a song that reminds you of him. Or those times when you're dunk at a bar.

b. Gather every piece of memorabilia you have with this person and BURN IT. 

Just kidding. Don't burn it. Unless, of course, they did something really wretched and it will make you feel supremely better. Then ok, sure, if you want to. But generally speaking, gather every piece of memorabilia you have with this person and put it in a box. Then put your box up high somewhere. And throw away your step ladder.

The bottom line is, you are still going to think about this person. A lot. Only time will heal that dilemna. But until then, why not remove everything you possibly can that reminds you of them? This has always been such a huge help for me. Always.

c. Don't hang out with your mutual friends or show up to social gatherings where this person may be present. Don't! Despite what ANYONE says, you cannot be friends with someone you were in a relationship with immediately after you break up. People don't break up and then the next day show up to a party and have a totally platonic conversation with one another and/or just give each other a "what up" head nod and not feel like complete shit/total sadness. Again, you love yourself, right? So don't trick yourself into thinking that you'll get any satisfaction out of just being "friends" or that seeing them isn't going to be painful. It will be. So just avoid it all costs. Remember. It is over. And if it's not. Hard separation is key.

Finally,

5. Consider spending time with your friends and your family.  Oh yeah. Remember them? They're still there. They've always been there and they always will be. And no matter what happens, it will never be ten kinds of awkward in any case, because you're not sleeping with them.... for one. And for two, they are your friends and your family. Use this broken time to say "yes" when they invite you to do things. And relish in the joy that comes with just having a good time laughing and spending time with awesome people in your life in a completely platonic way. There have been so many times when I have given into hanging out with my sisters or my Mom or a couple of girlfriends post break up, and I've found myself saying, "this is really nice. I've missed doing this so often. These people really make me smile." 

One more note: It is totally normal to think and only remember all the good things. The happy things when you lose someone. I've played this game all too often in my head... "but he was perfect." "we were so compatible!" "but he did this and this and this and it was all so sweet" "he knew me" "no one will ever make me feel as comfortable as he did" 

I've played alllllll of those things in my head time and time again, with each and every break up, which has only made some things very clear to me over the years:

1. Time heals all.
2. Time reveals all. (Not just the happy, but all the not so happy... all the reasons why it wasn't right, it wasn't all good, and it wasn't healthy.)
3. Time delivers new things. New people. New experiences. And in all of that, we let others in, and we find that there are many people out there that are just as great, if not better.

And finally, really this time, finally. Look around you. You are not alone. There are relationships EVERY DAY that don't work out. Somewhere else, someone is hurting too. Someone else is eating an entire thing of Ben and Jerry's wondering why Aphrodite is being a little bitch to them too. Look at US Weekly, at your televisions, at Yahoo News. Even the beautiful airbrushed celebrities with lots of money and perfect bodies are having failed relationships. You are not alone!

I welcome you to share your tales of trial and error in the land of committed relationships. Have you been through some rough break ups? What has helped you get through them? 

Feel free to comment me or even shoot me an e-mail. I am here to offer you all that I have learned and all that I know. At barely 25, it's a hell of a lot more than I could have ever asked for. And you know what? I'm thankful.

Here's to break ups. They happen. And we get through them. That's what we do! So stay fierce. Keep breathing. Let go. And move on.

The real Ryan Gosling is just around the river bend, my friends. You'll see.

33 comments:

  1. amen, sister. thanks for sharing. :) i think about these things a lot. i've been in love twice. like really head over heels in love. the first time was just unhealthy and naive, but it certainly was love. the second time was.... well, everything that i wanted and i didn't know i needed at the same time. just clicked. and now we're married and i still think about my first boyfriend. the one who taught me how to love, how to feel like a woman, how to love someone with everything you've got, and how it's all worth it. and i look at my husband and i think: "thank God you found me. because now i know just HOW special what we have is." if i hadn't broken up, i wouldn't of been pieced back together. much love to you!

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  2. Great post babe! I wish young me could have read this a few times during my first break ups. It would have given me hope during the dark times. For real. Love it and all your advice. It's clear that you haven't let the bastards get you down. ;) I especially agree with the Facebook stuff. There is nothing wrong with blocking an EX. If you value your sanity, you have to block them.

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  3. Awesome post Jen - I read it twice,once to work through and once to reflect on my own divorce and how it could relate. All I can say is, where were you 12 years ago when I needed you? Oh right, you were 12. xo

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  4. I love this post. There's NO easy way to deal with a break up, and everyone gets through them differently. I've learned my own ways of dealing with it but I love what you said about the unavoidable depressed stage. You just have to do it.

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  5. Great advice girl! Breakups are necessary bumps on the road to finding "the one". But of course they still suck ;)

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  6. Wow. This is so well written and so true! I wish I would have had these thoughts all written out like this when I've gone through some rough break-ups! I really like that thought "Keep in the mind that when you do find that person who is meant for you..." I really believe that too!

    Also, thank you for your wise words yesterday on my blog :) I really appreciate the positivity. I am so glad I found your blog and twitter!

    xo Kayla

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  7. This is such great advice to mend a broken heart. Six break-ups (wow!) Keep your head up girl. So happy to have stumbled across your blog from Dearest Lou, look forward to keeping up with your adventures ;)

    xo Shane

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  8. Break up ARE fucking hard! Before I started dating Steve I had three major breakups. Actually if you count the one time Steve and I broke up that would make it four. You see I am good a math. Notbutseriously - each breakup was life shattering. This post would have been helpful. Even though I survived and Steve and I did get back together and I became a little less crazy. Steve claims he made me less crazy. This is probably true - but it wouldn't have happened if I didn't suffer through each of those break ups. Great post. xo

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  9. I'm a new follower and I am so happy I found your blog! This is such a great post!! So much truth here! Thanks for dealing with so many hard times to be able to share some knowledge with us! :)

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  10. I love your posts. All of them. I only went through 2 hard break ups. I have broken up with some friends though, and I pretty much had to go through the entire break up process losing those friends. I mourned and grieved and had to tell myself memories were just that, and they weren't gong to reoccur.

    The one bad boyfriend break up I had was horrible. He was one of those boys, who didn't want a girlfriend, but we'd been seeing each other for about 3 years exclusively. Even longer on and off. He tore my heart out when he finally decided he wanted a girlfriend but it wasn't me. Since we never had a title it was so hard to justify how sad I was. He eventually came back to me like a douche. Needless to say it never worked out. ha!

    I enjoyed reading the post though, one of my best friends is actually in counseling right now for a break up. When she first told me that I thought it was silly, but then I realized that since they had been together every single thing in her life had him in it. She had to start finding new friends, new gym, new classes, and change her whole entire life from a break up, it seems the older you get the harder.

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  11. wow. this is perfect. Thanks baby cakes. Seriously.

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  12. Jen, this is such a valuable post! I love your thoughtfulness and depth! Yes, I remember googling exactly those words. I too have been through many rough break-ups and boy, did they hurt! Each time I thought I'd never be able to fall in love again, until the day when it hit me harder than I ever believed possible. You know how people say, you'll be able to tell, when you've met THE ONE? I used to think "ya, right." As a matter of fact, I didn't believe I would EVER find the one. But you know what? I actually did. And I instantly knew! You will too :)

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  13. youre smart. i really dig this!! im bookmarking it for the future though i really could have used it a few months ago haha nice to meet you punky (weird fun fact that was my dads nickname when he was a kid because his head was shaped like a pumpkin)

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  14. I'm going through this right now. The actual "breaking up" hasn't happened but we're both there and I've been googling shit all morning. I just want to say thanks. This really helps. Like A LOT. :)

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  15. what a kick ass post!!! loved this!

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  16. This is seriously good. Seeeeeriously good. I'm sending the link to a friend right now, it's just what her love doctor ordered. Great blog x

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  17. Thank you for this - I found your post by googling the words "how to get over a break up" so I couldn't help but laugh at the first sentence of your post. My boyfriend broke up with me almost three weeks ago, and I am still completely devastated. It helps to know I'm not alone. And your advice is spot on! Especially the stuff about blocking him on facebook. I have been checking facebook obsessively ever since we broke up and every time I see a new picture of him or read a happy comment he posted I get hit with a fresh wave of sadness. As soon as I read your blog, I went and blocked him, and his two best friends, so I won't have to see their updates on my newsfeed anymore.

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  18. I am going through a very hard separation from a 6 year relationship, 3 years married and a 3 month old baby. He is just recently out of the Marine corp and told me he doesn't love me anymore and that he was lying to me and to himself.It is a long story and It is very hard because I still love him deeply. I email you more details but I would love to hear more from you or anyone else.

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  19. Loved the post. I'm finding it so hard to get over my ex or experience the moving on part. bUT your point is right, i did date others before him and felt bad each time things didn't work out... and new people happened, and new people will always happen.

    aaah.

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  20. This post is fabulous -- I did do a google search and came upon this! i also loved this post:
    http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/thank-your-ex/

    the last line is what touched me.

    anyway -- this post really helped me, and thank you for writing it! (and making it easy to find via google!)

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  21. I just found this post, as I am going through a fresh breakup. I've probably read it every day since it happened 5 days ago. I'm a wreck, but slowly picking myself up, and your words have really helped me to realize that everything I'm feeling is normal and that I can get through it.

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  22. Thank you for this. My fiance and I are on a "break" that no one but his brother and sister-in-law and my best friend know about. We're still engaged on Facebook and it is supposed to be business as usual for me though I'm barely making it through work or the simpliest day to day routines with my kids. I didn't get out of bed for two days and even called in sick to work a few days ago. I'm ashamed to admit I'm hoping we are one of the few who get back together and I feel like I'm stuck in some sort of emotional blackhole not able to move forward. I'm preparing for the worst which is obviously why I googled "how to get over a breakup". I want to be strong like an amazon woman and take the next step and just say let's call it over, make it official, but I'm scared to death of losing the love of my life. *Sigh* All that being said you've given me a little bit of strength and I'm going to bookmark this, print it, read it over and over so that when the time comes, either his chosing or mine, I'll be one step closer to surviving.

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  23. I'm four days into a break up which has hit me like a truck. It's great to read your witty words of wisdom, and everyone's insights as well. It's tough, I thought he was the "one" and have only recently realised he didn't feel the same way after almost 3 years together. Phew. Whilst I'm definitely not thinking about who's next for me (the idea of another relationship right now makes my stomach hurt) its so right that we learn so much about ourselves at this time. Punky you're a star, wish I had your wisdom at your age.

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  24. Thanks for this post, Punky. I'm revisiting it as I'm starting to feel a more intense pain over a recent break-up (a little over two months)even though I felt that I was on my way towards moving on. I think the hurt has intensified a little because we started dating around the holidays last year and because we had made plans for us to spend Thanksgiving together, which obviously didn't end up happening.

    One thing that I recently realized about the whole "being each other's guinea pig" concept is that, as hurtful as it is, there are constantly other people out there who are going through a break up...so, perhaps, the person whom you'll all end up with is going through the same "betterment" process as we speak. It helps to think of it from that perspective...

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  25. Thank you for your post, I came out of a 12yr relationship with two children 3 years ago, i got into a relationship which developed really quickly, i was with this person for nearly 7mths, not a long time i know but we spent a lot of time together got to know each others famililies and my kid got quite attached, in April my grandfather passed away and then this person left me six weeks later i was devasted and fell into a deep depression and felt worthless, i am dreading xmas this year but i am trying to pull myself together for the kids sake, reading your post has really helped, when someone leaves you without a proper explanation or warning you are left wondering what did i do wrong, but ive realised that he told me a lot of lies during the relationship and in time i will be a lot better off without him

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  26. I broke up with my boyfriend of a year in August because I felt like I wanted something new. I dated a few guys and 2 months later it hit me that I made the biggest mistake I could have. My ex treated me like a princess and would have dropped just about anything for me. We work together and so it was especially hard for him to get over things because he had to see me. When i realized I made a mistake I went to him and told him, he said he didn't know how he could trust me again but we could work on it and see where it goes. He also told me he had been seeing this other girl, nothing was official but he didn't want to lie to me. I automatically became obsessed with getting him back and would stop by his place to see if he was home without being invited. I couldn't help but feel that If I didn't break up with him, we would still be together and happy,and that I wouldn't be miserable. He kept talking to her and me and I finally said I couldn't do that. Then after a few days of not talking he texted me saying he missed me and was going to tell her he couldn't see her while he tried to figure things out with me. I saw his phone light up one night and it was just a bunch of texts, i knew they were from her and she said they texted each other that day, about how their day was going, that's it. On friday he said he was going to a friends and i didn't hear from him that night. Yesterday I said i wanted to talk to him because i felt like he was pushing me away again as we were getting closer. He told me he had her spend the night last night because he missed her and had to be around her. He said he wasn't sorry because it made him feel better. He didn't even sit down and tell me this, he was doing his hair in the mirror. I asked him where do we go from here and he said it was up to him. I asked him to stop talking to her and he said he will not do that, that he likes her. I just left. I have been going back and forth with him for over a month now and i felt like i should put up with so much because I caused him a lot of pain when i broke up with him and i would do anything to take that back but I can't. He has hurt me so much during this time and I have to realize that he is now a different person. Its hard for me to let go of the past, especially around the holidays because i would be spending xmas with him and his family and i won't be, instead his new girl probably will be and I just have to see him at work. I know i initially did the breaking up and caused him pain but that is what i felt like i needed at the time and now I don't know how to move on. I got on axiety meds because of it. I just have to keep telling myself that i did everything in my power to try and it just wouldn't work. Your post helped me, thank you!

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  27. Hi,
    we agreed to marry by middle of this year 2013, he supposed to be divorced. after a great love story for 2 years, during the Christmas when he visited his sons he decided to we break, he just say by phone it is over !!! is the best for US.
    so if a man is lie to me, cheating my feelings, he took advantage of me, he took my virginity, and i feel that i was used , i am now broken completely, i trusted him and believed him.
    it was my mistake , he ask me to go with him but i refuse because i dont want to see the mother of his sons, but seems my decision leads me to my situation now.
    i am not able to do nothing since 15 days, just waiting to see him,
    he even cancel the trip to see me and extend his stay with his ex-wife.
    i cannot move on more, i feel like i need to end my life, i cannot belive he just used me. and he was the second person in my life and he know what happen to me before and he know all my conditions,
    i am losing the confidence of the men, and have no power and joy to move on in my life again.i try every thing to make it work but i fail,
    i ask god the forgiveness.

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  28. Hi Jen,

    Yes, I was so desperate to find relief that I actually checked the second page of search results. You know I have looked up those exact words on Google. And it brought me here.

    I completely agree with every point you make. I am a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason", and if there is someone here looking for some kind of explanation, playing everything in their heads for the umpteenth time, please let me tell them: it happened because it had to happen. I am not necessarily being fatalistic- what I am trying to say is no matter how hard you (or you both) have tried, there was at least one aspect of your relationship that was problematic, and it became a deal-breaker for your ex.

    I guess the real reason behind my devastation this time (apart from the obvious broken dreams, etc) is that this break-up shook one of my core beliefs: "love conquers all". No, it does not, unless you are willing to put hard work in it. I cannot stress this enough, real love requires hard work, not miserable hard work but the kind of work that helps you behave respectfully in your relationship.

    And if you cannot figure out why a person broke up with you when there still is mutual love, they probably are driven by fear (of commitment, of growing up, of responsibility.. you name it). And that is mostly their problem, and they need to figure it out on their own and decide if they would rather get over it or sweep it under the rug. As much as I believe in second chances, if they/you both are not willing to work on their/your issues, it probably will not last.

    Heal well, everyone! And keep believing in the good stuff!

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  29. Iv been broken up a year, and having to see the girl at work is still tough......aaaaaaerrrrrrggggggghhhhh

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  30. "Keep in the mind that when you do find that person who is meant for you.. that person who treats you better than anyone else and is everything you imagined and more.. keep in mind that he probably broke several hearts along the way. He probably went through a lot of bullshit, bullshit that was his, and bullshit from others, to be the man he is today... for you. Maybe your current relationship didn't work out so that you both could be better for the right people when they eventually come along."

    Love this. Thank you. Just thank you. :)

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  31. My boyfriend took me on a beach trip to Florida for my birthday over the weekend, then Monday ended things, saying I was "condescending" toward him. He had a temper and could be quite mean, so I decided to postpone our planned cohabitation until I was sure he was working on that to make life with him easier. When he was in a good mood, he is the sweetest nicest guy in the world, but when he's in a bad mood, get out of the way! But I am having such a difficult time without him, we spent hours together daily on the phone (I lost my job a couple months ago) and when he was in town, we were inseperable. I miss him so much, I don't know how we can end all contact, we've been in touch every day since the breakup, but I can see how I need the space to heal. Such great points, thanks for taking the time to share.

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  32. I found this post a about 2 years ago and it really helped me through my harsh break up with a then a boyfriend. To this day, even with the casual dating experiences I've had, I always go back to this post and read it over and over again. I actually have this specific post bookmarked! You have no idea how much it has helped me through some tough times. I just wanted to drop a line and say thank you!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Barbara, so much for this comment! Three plus years later, it is still so nice and fulfilling to know that my words have and continue to leave a positive imprint on those who stumble upon it. Sending you hugs !

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