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.
You can’t turn on a radio without hearing Adele. “Hello… it’s me….” rings through my head and on my car radio every 15 minutes. I fully admit to liking the song (it’s Adele- how can you not?) and the lyrics are well written. You feel for her because her Ex is never there when she calls. You feel sad that she feels bad because she made mistakes in her last relationship and now wants to own them. And then you can’t help but wonder about her Ex. Maybe the break-up doesn’t tear him up anymore. Maybe he’s never home because he’s living a fantastic post break-up life. Maybe he just doesn’t want to engage.
But what if the Ex was YOU, and you received a call from the other side? If you have, then congratulations! You’ve just been Adeled!
I was Adeled last week by a man I dated for three months at the beginning of summer. The email started very similar to her lyrics… “Hello. How are you?”. And then the pontifications of regret poured faster than an alcoholic beverage on the set of the fourth hour of Today. After the last drop of “I miss you… you were so good to me… what was I thinking?” poured, the request for a coffee date followed.
What was I to do with this? What’s the proper response to being Adeled?
There are a few ways to handle being Adeled- here are some options that you may find helpful in responding to your call from the outside:
If you feel you need some closure, continue the conversation.
Sometimes when relationships end, the final sentence may not include an ending punctuation. Do you have unanswered questions? Do you have a few things remaining to say? If closure is something you desire and getting it is safe for you, then by all means get the resolution you need. Time and space may provide the necessary perspective to enter the conversation in a proactive manner, resulting in the closure you truly need.
If you want to reinvestigate a relationship with this person, continue the conversation.
Couples break-up for a myriad of reasons, and to make a blanket assumption that all Exs are evil and never to be dealt with again isn’t a fair assumption to make. Every relationship scenario is different, including wrong place, wrong time, and miscommunication. If you feel that the atmospheric conditions favor investigating a potential reconciliation, then by all means try because your Ex just did.
If you’ve worked through the breakup and need nothing from this person to further you on your path, then decline the conversation.
If you’ve successfully moved on from this relationship and have done so with the necessary closure, then there’s no need to open the Pandora’s box placed before you. You already have hope; no need to find it remaining when you unleash the past by opening the box. Simply don’t respond and continue on your path. There’s no need to berate them for reaching out, as they were brave in doing so. In your situation, perhaps the bravery exhibited by your Ex is materializing too late.
Obviously you’re in the driver’s seat if you find yourself being Adeled. How you respond to that call from the outside is a choice you’ll make based on where you are emotionally when the Adeleing happens. And if you’re thinking of Adeleing your Ex, really think about it before you send that email or pick up that phone. You may get the desired response, or you might find yourself singing the blues.
Boy meets girl…their eyes locked and held for 2 seconds; the connection had been made way beyond when their hands touched in a hand shake. They both had to consciously end the handshake as her boss, who had introduced them, was beginning to look askance at the vibe of instant connection between them.
The boy was Desmond and the girl was Erica. They had met at a meeting involving their respective work organizations. Desmond represented his organization, while she represented hers. Before the meeting ended, they had exchanged business cards, but business was far from Desmond’s mind. That very evening, Desmond had called her and put to good use his baritone voice. Soon, they were in a relationship that grew so rapidly, it surprised even the people around them. They seemed to have no control over it. According to them, love had found them!
It didn’t take long before they were together all of the time. Outside of work hours, if you saw one, you were bound to see the other. They were soon deeply intertwined in each others lives.
But there was a dark part to their love story. Desmond was a control freak. He was a typical man’s man, who liked to be in charge. Considering the fact that Erica was equally headstrong, ambitious, and sometimes stubborn, it was a wonder how they had been able to make it work.
Except that it wasn’t. Inevitably, the honeymoon phase of their relationship passed, and the glaring reality of their similar domineering personalities came to the fore. In the end, something had to give, and Erica learnt how to be the submissive one, even as it didn’t come naturally for her. She learnt how to let go, and allowed him to be right…even when he was wrong.
She did this because she loved him…and this worked for a short time. But sometimes they still had some personality clashes. This was compounded when Erica’s job was threatened, and she found herself eager to start a business, which she would be able to run in her free time. The business idea was one she had been incubating for a while.
Upon discussing it with Desmond, he vehemently opposed it, giving the excuse that it would take too much of her time, and wouldn’t help their family life. The irony was that they were not yet married…he had not even proposed to her. Erica was devastated. She had expected stoic support from him, and not the dismissive way with which he talked down her dream.
He suggested an alternative business idea, one which she did not connect with. To make him happy, she proceeded with the idea, and invested her money in the project. After three months, it was obvious the business had failed.
Instead of being sympathetic, Desmond blamed her for the failure, saying it had happened because she did not follow all his instructions concerning the business. Erica was crushed!
She recalled the days when they had been deliriously happy…and how theirs had morphed from a relationship to a ‘situationship’…a situation with her being happy only when he was happy with her. She thought about how Desmond suddenly had nothing but complaints about her…the way she dressed, her makeup, her cooking…nothing satisfied him anymore.
It continued with her friends, the same friends she had when she met him, and whom he had even hung out with in the early days, were now supposedly a bad influence. He had succeeded in alienating her from them, such that she hardly ever saw them.
The more she thought about it, the more she knew she would no longer be in a relationship that was based on her behaving only according to his taste, for her to be loved. Desmond’s love had become conditioned on her pleasing him, and she realized that was not going to work for her any more. Things had to change.
The next day, she called him to her place, to talk about their relationship, and how things had changed. Rather than show remorse, her had emphasized the fact that she was, indeed, his ‘property’, and how she had to behave in a certain way for them to last as a couple.. Her worst fear had been confirmed.
Erica broke up with a surprised Desmond, who did not see it coming at all. She knew it was time to take back the reins of control of her life.
In conditional relationships, love becomes like a switch that can be turned off and on, as it pleases the party with the upper hand. In these cases, there really is no love…just all shades of control, usually by a partner trying to hide a deep-rooted neediness.
Whatever you do, never forget that love is not conditional.
“Honey, I did it. I finally did it! I got a real acting job!! It’s totally legit and it’s for Starks Productions and I’ll be working with John Toms. Can you believe it?!?! JOHN TOMS! And the pay… the pay will change our lives!”
“Are you kidding me, Diana? I am literally over-the-moon-happy for you!! All those years of auditions, potential leads, and rejection have paid off. Let’s celebrate!”
“Roger, I can’t thank you enough for your support over all the years. I wouldn’t have continued without
you. There were times when I was ready to quit. Your words of inspiration, you’re hand on my shoulder. Roger… I… I love you”, a lone teardrop swelled from her eye, rolled off her cheek and splashed on her engagement ring.”
“I love you to, Diana. Are you okay? Those don’t look like tears of joy?”
“I… I’m not. Roger, I want you to know that even though this is the greatest opportunity of my life, if it will hurt you, I won’t do it.”
There’s an… an intimi – ugh, I’ll just say it: Dear, I have to be in a borderline pornographic sex scene. You won’t like it. They want me to –
“Shhhhhh….”, Roger hushed as he raised his finger to his beloved’s lips.
“This is what you’ve wanted your entire life, my dear. I’ve been there to support you the whole time for a
reason. I want to see your dreams come true. I’m not going to stop now over something I know that comes with the territory. Art imitates life. And as we’ve learned, the highest authority we have to answer to is art. If I were to put myself in your shoes, I would do it. I get it.”
“But I thought you would be upset. I thought you’d be jealous, angry… that you would want to leave me.”
“No, no, no my dear. I understand. I’ve always known this was a possibility. And, truthfully, you could be right. I’m human. Despite my relentless support and commitment, I can’t say with 100% certainty that it won’t hurt me. That it won’t cause a problem…. that we… well… you know.”
Tears began to spew from Diana’s eyes like water from a high pressure firehose.
Roger pulled her close and looked her in the eye. “I think back to my childhood often. The days I spent with my grandfather at the family vacation home in Beaumont. He taught me so much about life. He told me stories of what it was like falling in love with my grandmother. He was there for me in my own dating struggles. When I was dumped, rejected, cheated on. He taught me the meaning of love. I didn’t understand what he meant by this, but he said I would someday.”
I’ll never forget it. He said, “You know what kid, true love… and I mean TRUE love to its core, means supporting the one you’re with… the one you care about, even if your support means parting ways.”
“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!
She dumped you or you dumped her (usually it’s the former, not the latter) and now you want her back.
You scour the internet looking for products and there is always someone willing to relieve you of $50 or $100 or even more than that. Heck, I’ll set up a payment processor if you’re looking to give money away – I’ll take it!
Because, that’s what you’re doing – by pursuing an ex you’re GIVING MONEY AWAY. Since most of the time it’s guys getting dropped (they never see it coming), let’s focus on the folly of being a dude pursuing your one true love that got away – no matter what the modern internet snake oil salesmen ‘promise’ they can do for you to “get her back.”
You’ve just gotten the “let’s be friends” or “I need space” speech and you’re reeling. In fact, that happened to one of my students. She cried and wailed as she told him how much she loved him but that she thought they needed “space away from each other”, (yeah, “real love” there).
He was fooled by this as this incident is what brought him to my teachings because he actually fell for her line and thought that after some time away she’d realize that they were meant to be together.
About 6 days after it looked like she was heading for a lifetime in a dark room stroking her cats, surprise, surprise – his friends spotted her out laughing and wrapped around another guy like he was the only thing between her and a fall of 150 feet! Go figure!
You see guys, our ego doesn’t want to believe that she could actually flush us down the toilet – so it protects itself by shelling out $125 to internet guru du jour that is going to tell us how to get her back.
When a woman decides to leave – as in the case of my student – it’s a long process the guy doesn’t pick up on until it’s too late and the Hollywood drama is playing out in front of him.
She will slowly lose feelings and then build resentment until she’s sure of her decision. By the time you get to the crying/I’ll always love you/maybe someday we can be together scene it’s WAY TOO LATE because she’s sure of her decision at that point. There was a time you could have recovered as I teach in my dating relationship education course entitled THE SYSTEM but not when she’s leaving.
At this point of the article I have to stop to address some hecklers – there’s always present when I write an article like this. They tell me that “wait a minute – I know this happened exactly to so and so and then she came back 6 months later and now they’re married – don’t tell me you can’t get an ex back – I’ve seen it happen!”
What the “heckler” said is technically true. Your girl can build up all the resentment and consciously decide to end your relationship – with NO regard for your feelings by the way – she just wants out and puts on the crying act so you don’t jump from a bridge in front of her.
She then comes back because you hung in there staying in contact (like a moron) and she got her proverbial butt whipped in the dating scene by all the Alpha Males who were better at playing the dating game than her – so what does your “true love” do? She comes back to “old reliable” – YOU – to make your life miserable.
The girl you get back in this scenario (you remember the one that broke your heart and didn’t bother to care about it as she wrapped around another guy) doesn’t feel any different about you – she just knows you’re the best of all her bad choices.
Expect to say “what’s the matter honey” a million times over the course of your 40 years together as she wistfully looks out the window wishing for the stud guy she really wanted while you two were apart – but couldn’t land.
Remember guys, one chance, per woman, per lifetime. If she leaves you then you shouldn’t want her back.
We were in class. My primary school crush had just passed me a little folded piece of paper quickly, before the teacher saw us. He had big brown eyes, wavy black hair and red lips. I was ten years old and I was feeling butterflies in my stomach whenever I saw him.
1. Teenage love, who can forget it?
We spoke only briefly before and rumour had it, there was another girl from our class that claimed his attention. It must have trickled down the grapevine that I fancied him, because his note said, “It’s not her I love, you.” As nervous as I was, I read “It’s her I love not, you.” Or maybe that’s what he wrote in a haste, I can’t recall, it was a very long time ago. I remember getting all fuzzy inside. He knows and he loves me back. Then doubt crept in. Does he like the other girl and I was just too quick to assume he fancies me? I quickly scribbled on the note and passed it back.”Do you love her?”, “No, I love you.” came the answer. Love was a very serious thing when I was ten. However it wasn’t meant to be. Still, I’ll never forget the butterflies, the joy and the scare his message gave me. And the fact that I dared ask. How many times in life we think we understand something, or we’re not sure and we don’t ask, thus giving way to further misunderstandings that can drive a wedge between us and our partner.
2. The older, the wiser
We’re guilty of this especially in our twenties. It’s the age of discovery, of insecurities, of shying away from seeking the truth, of emerging jealousies and storm in a teacup type of dramas. Yes, I remember my twenties all too well. I left behind a broken relationship and never really knew why it went the way it did. Years later, I asked. The answer was, “I never really understood you.” I was shocked and could say, enlightened. More often than not we just say things that come to mind. They’re the result of some intricate thinking the other side can’t see, hear or understand. The why is obvious to us, but not to them.
3. We live for drama, but is it worth it?
Misunderstandings are at the heart of every drama, soap opera or romantic novel. And they can destroy relationships. A few words said in a haste, a rumour that started from nothing, a hunch that is founded on misconception can hurt more than we think. Shakespeare’s Othello killed Desdemona over a misunderstanding. Gone With the Wind’s Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler understood each other and were suited for each other, yet she mistakenly thought that she loved another, till it was too late. Sometimes just talking isn’t enough for effective communicating. A famous reply I got from another ex as I fumed because he didn’t get the message was, “You told me but you didn’t communicate it to me.” What does that mean? Some things are more important than others. Sometimes men zoom out when we talk and all they hear is white noise. They themselves rely much more on body language when communicating. We should all learn to speak the other one’s language.
4. High expectations
Parents expect their children to read their minds. Children expect parent to read their mind. Partners often take each other for granted and expect that ultimate understanding. It doesn’t happen. The only way is effective communication. That’s why we are in awe when we meet someone who gets us. Finally we don’t have to explain most things over and again. The world becomes a better place. The sky becomes more blue. There is nothing quite like being understood. Are you?
Share with us, how do misunderstandings affect your life and relationships?
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.