Did I do the right thing in breaking up? Should I have…? What if I was wrong? Maybe I should go back? Stop!
Do these questions sound familiar? If they don’t, hat’s off to you for never having questioned your actions towards ending a relationship that had run its course (although that might be something worth examining). But, for the rest of us out there we have on probably hundreds of occasions wondered. Questioned. Worried. Moaned groaned, and dare I say it, groveled back to the one that we so courageously walked away from recently.
Today while teaching a client, she mentioned that she was worried about her son. The past few days he has been wondering if he made the right decision by breaking up with his long-term girlfriend. The girlfriend wanted to get married and start a family and the son isn’t interested in starting a family, at least not right now.
Having been there myself, I know he did the right thing. Why drag out the inevitable? Why waste either person’s time if you’re not right for each other, or simply want different, large life goals. You can absolutely love someone and leave him or her. I’m not saying it’s easy! Lord knows, that is a tough situation especially if you still love the person, despite wanting completely different things out of life. Nevertheless, if your goals don’t line up with those of a partner, it’s best to go your separate ways.
So back to “it’s not easy”…any break up is difficult on some level. Even when you know it’s the right decision, it’s very rarely a pleasant experience. Even if it is better than a trip to the spa, you still have to recover after the break up—telling friends, readjusting plans, getting your stuff back, sometimes even finding a new place to live. In the first few days and weeks of my most recent breakup, I had made plans with so many friends, I didn’t have a free moment in my calendar. Because I kept busy in my newly made free time, I couldn’t believe I ever had time for a relationship. Sadly, this new singledom bliss doesn’t stick. After a few weeks go by and you fall into your “new life” the slide starts to happen. You will find yourself having all this “free” time. You may even start the duty dating. Time to think, relax, analyze, and at some point feel lonely.
In a relationship, good or bad you know the gist of your weekend. On Thursday afternoon you’re not likely looking at a empty weekend on your calendar. Even if there are no set plans you know you’re spending time with someone. When you’re single its not as solid– as I write this on a Thursday afternoon I can tell you I’m looking at a very open Friday night. Saturday night I booked a ladies craft night (probably wine and girl talk, but thank goodness I got invited to something). My Sunday I managed early on in my singleness to find a way to work from brunch to lunch so I wouldn’t be alone all day.
It’s those Sundays that’ll get you! Those days set aside for relaxing—but you don’t relax when your mind spirals back to the past. When you’re single, if you don’t have a ton of single friends, you’ll quickly realize Sunday is the couple/family day. It’s these “lonely” days that turn that monkey mind on. Those questions. Did I do the right thing? Maybe I should call/text them? Ask for forgiveness? Give it another go…
As a survivor of this stage in the singleness game I will say this: You will survive, you will get through. You will make a new Sunday routine. You’ll start to see the happiness in this alone time. You broke up with or were broken up with for multiple reasons, most of which were logical and good. The truth is no one, not me, Clare, your friends or family can answer those questions in your head. Only you can. You already know the answers.
This is where I will get honest and blunt with you. Feeling lonely is not the reason to contact an ex to try to fix things. This too shall pass. Here are a few of my tricks to get you through:
- Plan out your weekend before Friday
- Buy tickets to events and schedule classes: fill up your schedule!
- Go to the farmers market and buy food to make yourself a great meal
- Read that book you keep putting off reading at a cozy cafe
- Catch up on your DVR and love hanging out in your underwear!
Those questions will plague you only if you let them. However, I’ll say it again loneliness is not the reason to question, doubt or run backwards. You are where you are. It’s not easy but nothing worthwhile is and without change there’s no growth. I’m free Sunday night! What do you want for dinner?