Narcissism and Relationships/Breakups: Part 1
Narcissistic … a word bandied about very loosely these days … aptly applies to someone who creates ‘crash landing’ breakups.
The painful relationship reality some of us must deal with is that we are involved with partners who live their lives within the framework of Narcissistic Personality Disorder … NPD. Studies reveal that this operative disorder affects approximately 1%  of the entire population and affects more males than females.
 Wikipedia; Narcissistic Personality Disorder
NPD is the base of many problematic relationships.
Its patterns are the answers to many of our questions about difficult relationships and their ensuing breakups. ‘Narcissistic’ is more than a descriptive adjective. The word also is the handle for a very real medically classified psychological disorder too deep and complex for the majority of us to successfully manage in a relationship. It is wise to be vigilante of what we may be dealing with when confronting disturbing behaviours.
When we find ourselves moving toward the conclusion of a repeatedly pain-filled relationship with such a partner we likely don’t know how it came about. What happened to the exceptional love we thought we had shared with another? In addition, we are shocked at how a connection we felt so deeply could be so abruptly severed. Such puzzlement’s are characteristic of a Narcissist-involved breakup.
In our particular version of a roller coaster ride with a Narcissist (our Narc)
We held on tightly for dear life, not knowing whether or not we would be hurled out of our seats at any moment … our emotional and physical structures dashed to the ground. Our vulnerable cores smashed into nearly unrecognizable pieces as our Narc kept us on the edge of our seats while s/he was at the controls of the scenes, the thrills and the chills.
Initially our emotions were ecstatically driven upward, driven up to the peaks of orgasmic rushes. In anticipation of reaching mutual joy and commitment, we reveled in being pursued. And very much looked forward to consummation in the relationship we had always dreamed of. However, those exhilarating occasions became less frequent as our Narc entered into the customary devaluation stage of the relationship… pretend to idealize, then devalue and then discard. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The Narcissist pattern.
Up to that point, thrilled and mesmerized by the seemingly endless and, oh, so thrilling steep inclines we never looked too far beyond our seats … maybe secretly fearing that what we might experience ahead would cause us to plummet to the ground. What we endured because we could not anticipate! Were we right to make excuses for the narcissistic bad behaviours which made us (and others) targets for lash out and deception; for manipulation during and after the frightening, sudden, and disturbing steep declines? We labored more to please and to earn approval which was, in tandem, increasingly withheld. Our Narc had us totally entangled in the classic exhilarating web of rising to the heights followed by cycles of release and fall, followed by still other rises. Each time our hopes soaringly renewed and painfully dashed.
Ultimately, we did plunge to the ground …
The inevitable outcome of the narcissistic game Narcs inflict upon their victims. Anyone who has lived a relationship with a Narc knows well this roller coaster ride. It is a pattern repeated with a series of victims. The joys, confusion and suffering of the latter are a Narcissist’s fuel-source.
The time comes when we must pull away for our very survival.
Escape from our roller coaster ride in some semblance of one piece, emotional and physical selves at a tipping point. Because Narcissists definitively emotionally abuse their victims and can be physically abusive as well, most often we are left with our self-esteem in shreds. We are totally confused as to what happened, what we must have done wrong, and why our hearts and guts felt so mutilated. Much, much time would be needed to recover, to put our pieces back together again, before we attempt another relationship.
The new danger here is that we might seek a relationship too soon in the aftermath of our devastation. With hope for personal re-affirmation, let us not seek or fall victim to the appeal of dramatic enchantment, of ascension to dizzying heights and the multiple successive thrills of another roller coaster ride with a yet another Narcissist. Better to look for a partner who will ride with us in stable and mutual commitment.
“If music be the food of love, play on.”
Now we all have those songs that remind us of good time and amazing memories. Any Spice Girl song brings me back to the school disco in the gym hall. Take That songs remind me of the heartbreak I went through when the bands split. Nirvana reminds me of my grungy college years and my first boyfriend and drunken house party. But when working your way through the steps of break up, recovery music is a make or break tool in these hard times.
Adele and Sam Smith both have written wonderful songs post break ups as they pour their hearts into their lyrics. But when I was broken hearted I remember my best friend deleting any Adele or Sam Smith song from my phone, out of fear I would jump off London Bridge after a vino or two.
I have only in recent weeks downloaded Adele’s newest album. That bad, yep I know!
So how do these great artists channel their pain into practical work? Does this busy life keep them from taking a trip to the tallest London tourist attractions or were their friends also deleting certain songs from their playlists?
Over the past few months my work and life has been manic. Living out of a suitcase, flying here there and everywhere. Having no time to write a That Single Girl update, apologies for that, let alone think about That Single Girl, me. And, those few and far between times I have thought about my love life any butterfly feelings I had for my past love have vanished.
My playlist in back in full swing and I can finally understand what all the hype was about from new album releases. With these songs capturing the pain of a heartache it’s interesting to listen to the words pouring out and knowing you survived yet another partner. You survived. I survived. You can smile again awaiting your next victim.
Time is the healer. Not Sam Smith.
Am I that single girl who survived the Adele breakup soundtrack to my life?
Dealing with a breakup of a marriage or long term relationship will always be a very hurtful time but it doesn’t mean you are a failure or your life is over. There are thousands of people in the same situation but the good news is; there is someone special out there for you when you are ready to receive them. The most important thing to remember is we all deserve real love in our lives but we have to allow it into our lives! Life is definitely complicated and we are all here on this continual learning curve about who we are and what really makes us happy.
What makes so many of us choose the wrong person?
Sometimes this happens when we are young and naive; or we settle for someone we don’t really love. We may talk ourselves into a relationship due our ticking biological clocks and having children, the pressure from our family and friends or we just get caught up in the romantic or sexual nature of it all without making sure the relationship is a really good fit. A “forever” partnership is not an easy thing to maintain for the average couple as we are all evolving at different stages in our lives. Unless we grow in similar directions, this will be a big problem for many people.
5 tell tale indicators that your marriage/relationship is over:
- You’ve lost that loving feeling ~ you no longer look forward to coming home and find reasons not to.
- You feel constant anxiety in their presence ~ whether it be from fear/abusive situations, extreme boredom or loss of respect for them.
- There is no sexual attraction at all & in some cases you may even feel repulsed by the thought of it.
- You both have absolutely nothing in common ~ you have grown in completely different directions.
- You’ve tried counselling and even they give you a business card for a divorce lawyer!
So now what do you do? What will everyone say and how do you deal with the aftermath?
People talk and love a good story so don’t give them one. It is sad but true how others get enjoyment out of someone else’s misery! Be careful not to allow those people to get too close to you at this vulnerable time. You are fragile enough without having to deal with all the gossip and judgmental comments from them as well. This is your life and no one should be talking about your business but you & your Ex; especially if there are children involved. It is easy to vent to anyone who will listen but it really is in your best interest to only divulge things to a trusted friend or family member. You don’t need the added drama.
Isn’t it easier just to stay in this relationship rather to have to fight to get out of it?
Nothing is easier when it is unhealthy. Everyone deserves to be happy and have a loving partnership. Many people stay in relationships due to the kids but don’t fool yourself into thinking this is always the best scenario. Children are sponges and pick up on a lot more than you may realize. If they see a loveless marriage for most of their lives it can cause problems in their own relationships down the road. Money is another big reason for many couples to stay together but you have to ask yourself if it is really worth it in the long run to be tied to someone for only that reason. You are holding on to one aspect and giving up so many other qualities of life. It’s not all about the big house or fancy car; reciprocated love and great sex is worth way more than any material item.
10 steps that can help you to get over a divorce or long term relationship breakup:
- Take some time away from communicating with your Ex to really understand what went wrong, what you learned & how to improve upon yourself. There are ALWAYS two sides to a breakup. Knowing that you also played a part in it will bring you “closure” faster. Talking to them or constantly seeing them in person just makes it that much harder to get over them.
- Do not jump into another relationship right away! You have to heal your heart before you can give it to someone else. (It is also very hurtful for the rebound partner because you still have too much emotional baggage to involve someone else into the mix!)
- Concentrate on doing things you wanted to do but couldn’t do when you were in your relationship.
- Join clubs, take courses and go on a vacation or weekend trek somewhere. Get your thoughts in a positive space and not in front of the TV watching chick/dick flicks & binging on junk food. (Or even worse; watching your wedding video over & over!)
- Don’t drown or eat your sorrows away: Put the haegandaz back in the fridge ladies & get active. Guys; watch the beer/liquor consumption or bar visits! (Women tend to cry at home while men get out right away with their buddies.)
- Relieve your sexual tension ~ alone! (Unless you have a “friends with benefits partner” that you have a mutual non-committal agreement with.) Sex with someone too soon can mess you up even more! The phrase “To get over one, get under another!” is not always a great idea as it can make you miss your ex even more!
- Put your energy into “you” (& the kids if you are a parent) not into finding another partner immediately. Being healthy and looking & feeling good is the best way to move forward. You will be surprised at how much better your mindset is when venturing out for a walk in the sunshine, hitting a yoga class or hiking in the wilderness. Nature is a beautiful way too to help erase the sadness in your heart.
- Get rid of romantic pictures of the once happy couple and memories that cause pain and any social media connections you have with your ex. Do not start “creeping them out” on Facebook or Instagram to see what they are up to and how much fun they are having without you. It will only make it harder to get over them & some of those photos are just an act anyway!
- Remember that they loved you once so don’t think the breakup is easy for them either ~ they just might be better at faking it than you are.
- Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t do new things to alter this new phase in your life. The more diverse you are, the less time you will have to be angry, sad or resentful.
Tips to help you to get back out socializing after a divorce/breakup:
- Wait at least 6 months to 1 year before you take dating in a more serious mode & do not make any major living arrangements with a new person for at least a year.
- Get off your couch! Prospective dates aren’t going to knock on your front door! Buy a dog or borrow one if you need a push to get out in public. (Walking a Great Dane or a puppy of any variety would certainly get you noticed!)
- If your friends have left you with the divorce you will need to find some new people to enjoy outings with. Join groups that interest you and I can’t stress it enough to put yourself out into mingle situations constantly! It cuts the breakup blues in half!
- I do suggest you try online dating when you are ready to get out there again but ask someone to help you with your profile & the “initial weeding out” of unsuitable prospects so you have a better understanding of what to look for. Many things change when you have been out of the singles market for 5+ years!
- Try not to continually cry to your friends about your breakup but be receptive to their advice and help. Don’t be fearful of altering some things about yourself. Diversity and change is the key to leading an exciting life!
- Loosen up! Especially, if you are a control freak or a stickler for a repetitive routine. (It is much nicer to be around people who are flexible.)
- Have a makeover ~ you may be stuck in an outdated or boring style. Does your hair or mustache scream 1980 porn star or does your wardrobe consist of sweatpants from Costco? Change it up!
- Take time away from your career or your kids for just “you” by doing something that you love. Burying yourself in tedious tasks to pretend that you’re not in pain is prolonging the breakup aftermath.
- Hire a dating coach if you feel lost on what to do. Even just a few sessions will help you regain your confidence in being newly single.
- Remember you are not alone. Breakups happen every day and there are plenty of online resources to help you deal with the ache in your heart. Help is always available; don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Take the good things from your past marriage/relationship breakup & bring them into your future partnership down the road. Remember; sometimes you have to kiss a lot of toads before you meet that wonderful person you want to share your life with. Each lesson we learn is a stepping stone that teaches us many things about ourselves & every one of them has its purpose. Acknowledging them and how they helped us grow as a person will lead us closer to a long lasting love and knowing who we truly are.
Relationship breakups don’t define who you are and can be a really good thing because it forces you to look deeper into what you may not have been aware of about yourself.
Love is the most valuable gift that we all are blessed to have at our fingertips and is available whenever we are ready. Once you understand that you are the one in charge of bringing the love you desire into your world; the sooner you will realize that every step you took on that road to get there, was worth the bumpy ride.
Believe you deserve love because you do! <3
I know you look at happy couples right now and want to strangle them. You’re not really that girl though. You’re just pissed at the moment. Someone broke your heart and you want to crawl in bed with Netflix, vodka and carryout for the next 90 days, and cry about it.
But you’re better than that. You are going to get your shit together like a big girl and come back stronger than ever.
1. Stop listening to your girlfriends.
They will only tell you how great you are and how “he” was an asshole—all men are assholes. You need the truth. You need someone to help you accept some fault here. Regardless of what happened, you need to own up to something. I guarantee it.
2. Think before you go on a sex spree.
Booty calls and revenge sex is not the answer. Rediscover a passion or find a new hobby instead. Vent that frustration into something productive and that doesn’t have the potential to lead to unwanted pregnancy or STDs. Okay, just one random, hot stranger, with a condom. Then get back to working on you.
3. Stop telling people how you got screwed over.
Pity parties are not fun to watch and wasting even more time on an ex is like trying to reuse a tampon. It’s messy and it is never gonna work out.
4. Don’t play the insult game with him.
You don’t call, text, Facebook a single word of negativity, or respond to him. A woman with her shit together doesn’t air her business in public or have the need to sling insults. Self-respect and shutting your mouth will save your sanity. In fact, delete him altogether from your social media accounts, and for now, block him on your phone.
5. Get some perspective
Take an outside look at the relationship and the breakup itself. Accept some fault, but stop rehashing what went wrong or what you could’ve done to be better. It’s over. It didn’t work. Now you need to date yourself for a couple of months and invest in that relationship. Figure out who you are without a damn man.
6. Get off social media.
And for the love of all that’s holy, stop complaining about men and/or that you are now single—to 400 of your closest and not so closest friends. It makes you look unstable. And so do all of the love quotes, by the way.
7. Do something just for you.
Get out in the world in the fresh air and light of day. Learn to appreciate life’s little miracles at a park or in the woods. Take a short trip alone. Have a spa day. Buy some new bedding. Whatever will make you feel pampered, renewed and fulfilled.
8. Stay away from bitter or man-hating women.
They will just fuel the fire on your broken heart and you don’t need that kind of negativity right now. Find positive, up-beat people that will encourage you to get past this with dignity.
9. Realize that you might have to change a little.
If you find yourself saying, “I am not going change who I am just to get or keep a man”, you just might have to soften up a bit and work on yourself. There’s always room for improvement and you’re not entitled to be “gotten” by a man just as you are. It’s okay to take the bitch wall down and be open to your feminine nature.
10. Trust that the perfect person for you is out there.
Trust that you will love again and this will be but a blip. He did not break you. This is not a bad life; it’s just an unfortunate turn of events.
11. Now write yourself and your ex each a letter.
Release all of the hurt and acknowledge all of the great stuff about the relationship, too. Forgive him and forgive you, and then burn them to pieces. Let yourself off the hook and move on as a stronger woman.
Dating and relationship questions can be sent to Lisa directly Ask Lisa Here
Nothing hurts quite like a break-up. Similar to allergies, your condition may include a pain in your chest and watery eyes. Maybe it hurts like a sprained ankle, making it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. But like both maladies, the sting of a break-up will subside over time. You may doubt you’ll heal, but trust me… you will.
A Break-Up Band-Aid is exactly what the doctor ordered to promote break-up healing. Here’s a list of ten things to consider doing to create the band-aid that will get you back to YOU!
1. Make a meal that you rarely cooked because your Ex hated it.
My Ex always looked down on Skyline Chili, a Cincinnati tradition of chili over spaghetti topped with cheddar and oyster crackers. Post break-up, I made it once a week for a month, and it tasted even better each serving.
2. Burn off those calories by amping up your fitness program.
Break-ups sometimes leave us feeling like we have no control over situations. Control over our own fitness regimen is something simple to exercise, and it leaves us sporting a perfect body and confidence as we re-enter the dating scene. Elle Woods was right about endorphins; you’ll feel happier by the minute at the gym, and that happy feeling will translate into your daily life.
3. Reconnect with neglected friends.
There’s always at least one friend that was back burnered during your past relationship. Reach out to those friends and plan an evening out. You’ll be happy you did.
4. Don’t call that boyfriend/girlfriend from several years back.
It’s easy to seek solace from an old flame, but it’s the quickest way to get burned. Remember that an old partner may be comfortable like a bowl of macaroni and cheese, but that old partner is your Ex for a reason.
5. Get in touch with your spiritual side.
Be it church, shul or a walk in the park, work on your relationship with your God. It will leave you happy, relaxed and inspired.
6. Make no rash decisions on Social Media.
Don’t be so quick to delete any evidence of your last relationship on Social Media. It’s easy to make a quick decision based on anger, but in a month or two you may regret the choice. For a while, look at is a gallery of your history and make decisions at a later date.
7. Consider shaking up your look.
Maybe a new hairstyle or sporting the latest fashion trend, shaking up your physical presentation will give you a fresh perspective both externally and internally (besides, a little shopping will always lift your spirits!).
8. Plan a vacation.
Nothing beats the post relationship blues like the excitement of an adventure. Planning a vacation will give you something exciting to anticipate in your future.
9. Write a killer online dating profile.
Remember one thing when writing that online dating profile… the mission is to sell YOU as the perfect date. Don’t write about what you seek in a potential date. Write about what your potential date is getting by choosing you!
10. Remind yourself everyday that you’re a catch.
Your new chapter begins with you. Like the movie, Field of Dreams, if you build it they will come. The confidence that comes with accepting the fact that you’re a catch will make you walk a little taller and smile a little bigger. Knowing you’re a catch will create an inner magnet that will draw people to you.
I’m sure there are more band-aids in the box, but using these ten will get you going in the right direction toward break-up recovery. When a break-up has left you sidelined, use the band-aids of your choice and allow ample time for healing to occur. Once you feel that you’ve successfully healed the wounds of a failed relationship, just swiftly remove the band-aid and get back into the game!
“It’s all going to be okay.”, “You’ll feel better soon.”, “I know it hurts.”
Those are some of the cliched breakup advice tips I have received from friends and family over the past five months. I know they are trying to make me feel better, and I am so lucky I have people in my life like them. But, those pieces of advice also drive me crazy and make me so upset. I can’t even describe how annoyed I get when someone tells me they know how hurt I feel, but it is going to be okay with time. When they say those things I always ask myself “how do they possibly know that? What if it isn’t okay with time and I am alone forever?” Those tips always make me have crazy thoughts and I always feel like I am being over dramatic or overly emotional. I know that isn’t true, and I know all my friends and family members are trying so hard to help. But when you are going through a breakup you have crazy thoughts and a lot of anxiety ridden emotions that you can’t control. I believe this was why every piece of advice I got caused me to get very anxious.
A few months into my breakup, when I was at my worst, I remember going into a therapy appointment (yes, I sought help after my breakup) and telling my therapist, let’s call her Lucy, that I was getting so angry from all of the cliched advice. I didn’t know how to handle it without getting upset. I just wanted someone to really understand how I felt, not just say they did. Everything was stressing me out and putting me on edge. Every time someone made a comment I wanted to cry. I couldn’t focus on anything besides my breakup. I couldn’t do school work, and when I tried I would get so anxious that my breakup would cause me to do badly. This was when Lucy gave me the best advice I have ever received.
She said, will this matter in five years? At first I wasn’t quite sure what she meant. Did she mean will my breakup matter in five years, will the stress I was feeling affect me in five years, or will the anxiety I was feeling matter in five years? I asked her to explain what she meant. She meant that, will the stress I was feeling now still be the same stress I felt in five years? And the answer to that was no. In five years I will probably be stressed about student loans, car payments, and rent. Not the breakup I had back in college. This is a type of stress that will only get better in time. I have applied this advice to almost every situation I have faced since receiving it. When I was stressed about an exam I’d ask myself, will this grade affect me in five years? When I was stuck in traffic and stressed about being late to work I asked, will this moment be worth all the stress in five years? To both of those types of things the answer was always no. This advice helped me put things into perspective.
When I got this advice, the pain and stress I felt about my breakup was debilitating. Everything was difficult and I felt like I would never be happy again. But, once I got this advice, I was able to look at things in a different way. Of course the pain was hard at the time, but it helped me realize that in a few years it will be nowhere as bad. For example, I used this advice when I was freaking out about an exam I did badly on. That was three months ago and now I don’t even think about that exam at all. I was obsessing on it and was convinced my college career would end in flames. When I stopped and asked myself will it matter in five years I was able to calm down. And in fact it didn’t even matter three months later. I have started applying this to my breakup all the time. Will the sadness I feel from seeing a picture of Max and his new girlfriend matter in five years? No. Will the sadness I feel from looking at his twitter matter in five years? No.
This advice is hands down the best I have ever received. It allowed me to stop and reflect on how this pain will go away one day. Not today, not tomorrow, but eventually it will be better and not matter nearly as much. I hope you all can use this advice during your breakup, and know you are not alone.
Until next time!
If only “The One” was literally painted on their forehead (or in a big neon flashing sign) when we eventually met them, surely it would all save us a lot of time and heartache! Alas we are instead forced to make our own decisions on which relationship is right or wrong for us and this is usually where we get hurt. It’s not easy being able to separate our head from our heart at times, however there can be clear indications if someone is in fact toxic for you.
1. There is no certain trust
It’s one thing for your partner to break a promise occasionally, but it’s altogether another thing when their actions don’t line up with their words consistently. Trust is incredibly important between a couple, it’s one of the key pillars in the foundation of an open, loving and healthy relationship. Living in fear of being disappointed, let down or even cheated on gives you no peace of mind, nor does it cultivate a joyful existence.
2. You feel like you are constantly walking on egg shells
Whether it’s because they are highly stressed, moody or downright high maintenance, you shouldn’t be made to feel like you can’t be yourself or have to tread on eggs shells to avoid their outbursts. When someone else’s reaction for your behaviour/opinion or feelings makes you feel scared, incredibly highly strung or vulnerable then it’s time to reassess the situation. You should be able to be free to discuss anything with your partner and live your life in a normal and carefree way.
3. There is no peace
Feeling anxious, restless or perhaps always wondering “what if?” or “is this it? ” are good indications that you are lacking peace in your relationship. Guaranteed there will be times of trial and growth for you both, but if two people are on the same page and putting in equal effort then peace will still be present to some degree even in the hard times.
4. There is no progress
Either you have hit a stalemate or you keep going round and round in the same destructive cycle. If you keep coming up against the same arguments and situations without any resolution or progress then this is usually a sign that you are either outgrowing one another or want different things.
5. There is constant conflict
Conflict in normal and healthy in any relationship because let’s face it we are all humans and joining two lives together won’t always be a walk in the park! However if there is more fighting than peace and happiness then something is wrong. If you can’t agree on basic fundamental things together, or can’t discuss a problem without one person blowing up then this is more than just “a difference of opinions”.
6. Your future together is blurry
A toxic relationship means that it’s hard to be certain where you are both heading, there are no mutual goals or plans set in stone that you are working together and that’s either because you are so focused on trying to fix the present or you really are genuinely unsure what will happen. A healthy couple should be able to talk openly with each other about what they want to achieve together, be able to set goals and have a deep sense of peace sureness that they are heading towards something fulfilling and bright in the future.
7. You are constantly justifying their bad treatment
Do you ever catch yourself making excuses for their bad behaviour? Or perhaps you feel guilty for still staying with them and so justify to friends, family and even yourself why you should stay and why they need you. At the end of the day the only person we kid is ourselves, and by living behind the wall of ” it’s complicated, you wouldn’t understand” we are only highlighting our true deep unhappiness. You know what is right and what is wrong, even if you don’t know your true worth yet, so stop letting someone who does so little for you control so much of your life, time and emotions.
When you are going through a breakup it often feels like your pain will never go away. I know that when I was going through both my first and second breakup at first I had NO idea what to do to get through the hard times. I looked to my friends and family for advice, but never really felt like I was getting all the help I needed. I, like many girls, ended up turning to music for that help I felt I was lacking. I felt that listening to music could give me a way to escape my head, and listen to someone else’s experience, while simultaneously healing my broken heart. I have come up with a list of ten songs that I frequently listened to during my first and most recent breakup. These songs are my favorite because they each bring a different message and emotion to the table. I hope you find them as helpful and inspiring as I did. Trust me when I say music can help mend any broken heart.
Time Travel Ticket to Singleville
Many movies and several songs make time travel so appealing. Michael J. Fox made time travel look like a blast behind the wheel of a Delorean. Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour’s time travel experiences render it to be the most romantic concept ever. Cher’s lyrics make turning back time look easier than re-loading your Starbucks card- if you could just find a way.
Some of us find ourselves in a story of time travel that’s not so great- being single again. And it happened without dipping one toe into the Hot Tub Time Machine.
When our stories take an unexpected 90-degree turn, how do we handle the re-write?
Being cast in the leading role in our own personal version of Hot Tub Time Machine is downright frightening. The thought of being single again and the struggles that accompany this new/old role never entered my mind. I was 100% convinced that my last relationship was my “forever home”, but things happened. Things changed. He changed, and although I still loved him very much, his likability quotient dropped to non-existent. What I thought was a blissful partnership shattered like a dropped champagne flute, and I was left with the challenge of cleaning up the shards of glass without causing further hemorrhaging.
Reality handed me the keys to that magic Delorean, but it’s not always so easy to sit in the driver’s seat. Fear and sadness prevented me from starting the car. I was paralyzed to the point I couldn’t even get in the car. In spite of fearing the unknown, I knew I had to get on the road. I knew I had to get over that defeated feeling. Most importantly, I knew I had to get on the road to escape the depressing place I found myself.
Madonna also performed a song about time, and I found her words quite helpful. She sings that “Time goes by so slowly, and I’m hung up on you”. But as the Material Girl continued her story, she comes full circle and sings, “Waiting for your call Baby night and day, I’m fed up- I’m tired of waiting for you”. This was a progression I could embrace. I was also tired of waiting. Waiting for him to change his ways. Waiting for him to realize that our relationship was worth the fight. I came to the most difficult realization of all… I realized that I was waiting alone. Like Madonna, I was fed up. If my unexpected dip in the Hot Tub Time Machine was taking me back to being single, I wasn’t going to waste one more moment of being single with him in my head.
Before I put the pedal to the medal in the Delorean, I knew that I had to make like Madonna and reinvent myself. I did things I liked doing, made dinners I liked eating, and I went to the gym. I went to the gym a lot, which gave me a great excuse to buy some new clothes. I wore those clothes when I would meet new friends for coffee or dates for a drink after work. Before I knew it, I was living the final lyric of Madonna’s song- “Ring, ring, ring goes the telephone, the lights are on, but there’s no one home… I’m done. I’m hanging up on you”.
It took some work on my end, but those keys to the Delorean started to feel pretty darned good in my pocket. With confidence, I can tell you that those keys will feel great in yours too.
Finding yourself unexpectedly single is a tragedy from which it seems impossible to rebound. It doesn’t seem like it when it’s fresh, but the fact is that all tragedies are followed by recovery. You WILL recover from a breakup. Everyone experiences breakup recovery at their own pace, just like their former relationship developed at it’s own pace. When it’s your time to get in the driver’s seat and begin your journey forward, I hope you’re prepared for one hell of a memorable road trip!
Be sure to bring along some music- I suggest a little Madonna.
Most of us have experienced the heart-wrenching dilemma of being in a relationship with a man that we’re so sure is the one (and may have already had wedding fantasies about) only to be continually put off to the side by him. In some cases he might even be straight forward about not being sure you’re his one, not ready for commitment, or just wanting to keep things “cool.”
I’m not going to sugar coat it here – this sucks. Here is a guy you’ve invested your body, mind, heart, and soul into and he’s got one foot out the door. Yeah, you love him but it’s also very painful and you can no longer deny it. This isn’t what you want anymore.
But now that you’re clear on that, what should you do?
There are really only two options:
1) Stay with him and wait it out on the possibility that he will come around and decide that he wants to commit to you in the way you want him to.
Before we move on to option number two, let’s check in: how does this option feel to you?
It may feel safe. After all, there’s a certain predictability with keeping the status quo that does feel comfortable. I mean, you do love the guy. The downside is it’s also extremely powerless and places you in the role of the victim. Not to mention that it’s still very painful for you.
“Why doesn’t he feel the same way about me?”
“When is he going to commit to me?”
“Why doesn’t he tell me he loves me?”
Here’s the deal – you cannot have any power over what another person does; you can only control what you do. Choosing an option that continually puts you in the role of the victim, waiting for someone else to change, only perpetuates that cycle of discomfort and pain and, more importantly, blocks real love from coming to you.
Or you can:
2) Let him go – and let yourself go – and be available and open to the man that really loves you and is ready to commit you.
How does this feel? Yes, it may feel scary and uncertain in many ways.
“What if I can’t find my soul mate?”
“What if no one will love me?”
“What if I find someone and it doesn’t work out?”
But what if you DO find your soulmate? What if there IS someone that’s ready to love you like you want to be loved? What if you find someone and you DO work it out?
Option number one is a dead end unless he changes his mind. Option number two is full of possibility. And more importantly is free of the pain and discomfort you feel by having your body, mind, heart and soul deeply connected to someone that isn’t connecting back in the same way.
By freeing yourself of this attachment you are saying YES to something even better. You’re sending a powerful message to the Universe that you are worth more. You are worth being loved in the way your heart desires. You are ready to love yourself deeply. And you are ready to wake up every morning and feel happy with the life you’re living and the partnership you’re in.
So if you find yourself in this situation where you’re sure about him but he isn’t sure you, then stop and ask yourself:
Am I finally ready to receive the love that I truly want?
The answer to that will either block or bring in the love you are ready for. The choice is always yours.