Four years into my dating relationship with my husband Hemal, we were getting ready to spend the holidays together. I was expecting to get a proposal on this trip. Instead, I got dumped. Hemal told me he wasn’t going on the trip with me, and he didn’t want to be together anymore. It was devastating, to say the least.
I went over and over it in my head, wondering, "What did I do wrong? Did he ever even love me? What can I do to get him back and make him realize he actually does love me and wants to commit to me?"
I also felt used. I wondered, "If someone could fall in love with me, then fall out of love with me so easily, what did I really mean to him?" These kinds of thoughts draw more and more of our attention to places that make us feel lost and confused about how to proceed with love.
Today, as a Love Coach, I see women blaming themselves for the breakup and settling for a lot less in love. That isn’t OK with me. I've been there, done that, and there's a better way for you resolve these feelings and open back up to love.
Here are three self-conversations that are needed for you to open up to love again after a bad breakup:
1. It’s hard to be friends.
I see women who want to hold on to what they had, so they settle on being friends, because being friends is better than no relationship at all. We think it will give us a chance to potentially get the man back into our life by reminding him how great we are. We also start second-guessing all of our decisions about men because it felt like our feelings and experiences were so different than what the man was felt in our last breakup.
Jumping from a romantic relationship to “friends” simply doesn’t work. Trying to be friends is a way to hold on to something that you don’t want to let go of, but also tears you up inside because the relationship has completely changed, while your feelings haven’t.
So it's important not to be friends with your ex, and to give yourself space away so you can freely mourn and heal.
2. It’s even harder because you can’t have him.
You're going to have constant thoughts like, What is he doing? Should I call him? Should I text him? Why isn’t he texting me? Let me check Facebook. Why doesn’t he care? Does he not love me? These are normal.
When a breakup occurs, we're flooded with feelings of pain, and once we're hit with this pain, we revert back to seeing the relationship for all its goodness. We put on the rose-colored glasses. And I'm not saying it wasn’t good; I'm merely saying there were probably lots of moments that weren’t the greatest.
So, allow yourself to see the full picture of the relationship rather than focusing on what was good. Acknowledge how you didn’t always feel so great in the relationship. If you want to check his Facebook, let yourself do it, and feel the pain. Don't resist the urge, just keep the full picture in mind.
3. Choose to believe you loved each other, but now it's time to move forward.
Know that he's hurting too. Loving someone isn’t a switch you can turn on and off. Trust me. It’s as hard for him as it is for you, but everyone handles their hurt and pain differently.
Choose to know and believe he loved you and you loved him back. When you start to doubt what you had together, you can start to feel rejected and unloved. To minimize this, simply choose to believe you weren’t crazy. You shared real feelings and love, yet something wasn’t right, so you chose to let it go. Nothing in life is permanent, and now is your chance to move forward.
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