5 Things I Learned From My Last Breakup
I haven’t been on a date in seven months. This is the point in the chick film where my best friend says it’s time to get drunk and go find a dude (pops a cork and champagne splashes everywhere). Believe me when I say the desire is there, but the rush and opportunity has not been presented. It’ll happen in it’s own time, I suppose.
Regardless of how timing works, I came to find that perhaps, just perhaps, examining my past relationships and what I learned from them would be the only way to learn from my mistakes in order to have a healthy relationship in the future, whenever that may be.
I’m not going to lecture you; I’m not going to tell you how to run your relationship, or any future one you may have. I’m just speaking from personal experience, and it is for you to decide what is wise.
Most of all, I hope you can throw your head back in laughter, take a sip of that champagne your BFF, Sheryl, popped open for you, and relate to what I discovered from the mistakes from my last relationship.
1. A relationship is a two-way street; get on another route if you are about to crash.
He texted every day. I would text back. He’d replied. I’d reply back. Reply. Reply. Reply…
Until someone would stop, which was much like the effort of my last boyfriend in our relationship. I was in tears after the breakup wondering why I didn’t just break it off with him the moment my gut told me his heart was in another place. I held on tightly. He said he was trying to put more effort in, but eventually the relationship became unhealthy, and before I had the guts to pull the plug, he pulled it for me. Thanks, dude!
All that to say, switch road paths if you’re the lone car on the road, and a slow-moving ass (come on now, I mean a donkey!) is standing in your path.
2. At the end of the day, remember you have your own life.
I think I kept a better sense of who I was in this past relationship than any other I ever had. I didn’t try to know what he and his friends were talking about when they talked about Jack White’s latest album. I didn’t stay out all night when I needed to get up early. I didn’t feel the need to talk to him or see him every single day, but every day he insisted on seeing me in one way or another during the first half that we dated. Most of the time it was either meeting me at the gym or me visiting him at work.
After a while, I felt overwhelmed and paranoid we were moving too fast and losing who we were as individuals. Sure enough, we were, and that’s how we went up in glorious flames after a few months of dating. Not enough personal space, not enough time to balance ourselves as our own individuals in a relationship.
3. “You like Milky Ways? Me too!”
Okay, I lied. I am going to lecture you, but just for this point.
Please. Please. PLEASE DO NOT ever claim to like one thing or act one way to prolong a relationship. That’s what I did, and that’s what he did, too. It took us months to sort through the lies and masks we had put on before we said our goodbyes. Sure, you do put your best front up, like with any new person, but seriously, why’d you have to say you liked Milky Ways over Reeses Cups? Come on! You and me both know that’s a lie!
4. Being single is a lot better than this relationship!
Sometimes it’s better to be single and know and love yourself first. Don’t get me wrong, I want to get married one day. I want to be with a partner in crime for the rest of my life, but that relationship… that relationship?! Toward the end, it was utter hell! I remember the lovey-dovey feelings we had at the beginning and how much we were connected through chemistry that we could laugh at each other’s jokes, enjoy the same activities, and let red flags slide off our radar all for the sake for making it to another month in the relationship.
When we went Facebook official, I freaked out like a chicken getting its tail feathers plucked! Who, what, where, why? My gut told me something was up. I came to find I didn’t want to establish a relationship with this person as quickly as I thought. Most likely because…
5. I wanted a friendship, not just a person to kiss.
It’s like fireworks in your stomach or as dreamy as a day off of work and being able to sleep in. It’s wonderful when you first share your physical move in a relationship, but ultimately, if there is no love or care from the person you are with, there is a hollow, empty feeling left inside you.
I was lustful, yes. I wanted my boyfriend to be the One because he was so dang cute, but no, no, no. Those blue eyes and smile would never be seen again after we broke up, and after a good cry for the next couple days, I was more than fine. I was fine because I realized I missed the ultimate lasting connection with this guy. I wanted a connection and trust like that in a friendship, not just another person to kiss. Yes, relationships have their physical perks, but I wasn’t connected to him in any other way after we got over the honeymoon phase of our relationship. This included my spirit, my heart, and my mind. And to be perfectly honest, I think I sometimes I was okay with that. I ultimately didn’t want to be with him in the long run.
For almost eight months now, I am for the first time content being single since my first crush in grade school. I’m happy because I think in some way I was spared more months of losing myself to someone who didn’t love me or, for that matter, anyone I could have dated right after. I was also given the chance to go after dreams and goals of mine this year that I think a relationship could have prohibited.
Right here, in my new city, I’m satisfied being surrounded by a handful of friends, two dogs, and a cat I love.
Back when I was 24 years old, the age of my mother when she got married, I felt like I had run out of time finding Mr. Right. Instead, I was given a chance to understand myself better through all the failed relationships I had experienced. I’ve grown to be a better individual because of them, and just maybe a better person for whomever I date next.
[Photo by Juliette Kibodeaux.]