Al* and I had been dating for about five months when I began to seriously question our relationship. Not for lack of love—actually, I was head-over-heels, blind-as-a-bat, hopelessly in love with him in the most soul-consuming, unsustainable way.
There were several reasons why I knew deep down that there was no future for us: We differed irrevocably in our personal visions for our lives, our respective religions were completely at odds with each other, and he told me he wasn't at all interested in having kids. When we inevitably parted ways, I thought the fact that I knew I was making a mature, mindful decision would be enough to carry me gracefully through the pain of detaching myself from someone I still deeply loved.
And yet as the days, weeks, and months went by and the initial shriek of heartbreak dampened, I still found myself caught up in it, obsessing over the connection we’d shared, angry at him for not reaching out to me in remorse and regret over losing me, and furious with myself for leaving so much unsaid and for not just being over it already.
As a yogi and overall self-aware person, I pride myself on doing most things with some degree of mindfulness. But what I quickly learned is that truly detangling ourselves from someone is a complex process that requires real work—and there are key steps I didn’t take right away. Five months later, I can see with some perspective the ways I didn’t quite succeed at executing a mindful breakup. Here's exactly what I did wrong.