Love can drive anyone crazy enough to show grand romantic gestures or feel like a superhero or worse, allow yourself to be vulnerable with a complete stranger. It honestly is an exhilarating feeling when the feeling is mutual. However, what if the once romantic relationship turns sour and the feelings are no longer mutual? It usually ends in a messy breakup.
My Breakup: How It Broke Me Down
I was in a long line in a café when I met my ex-boyfriend. He made a joke about the long line and we made small talk. We hit it off immediately and we ended up dating for eight months. Everything was going great until one day he stopped contacting me. I gave him as much time as he needed to think it over. However, his final response to my text was that he just sees me more as a friend now.
That sentence tore me apart emotionally. It made me feel like a loser who was undeserving of being loved. The breakup made me depressed and lonelier than I’ve ever felt.
Can Forgive But Can Never Forget
Upon reflection, bouncing back from a breakup differs from person to person, but a lot of the process is the same and that’s exactly what we are going to focus on. No matter how long the relationship was, if you’re anything like me you would know that it’s hard to forget someone.
After waking up every day to his good morning texts and the inside jokes we had shared, forgetting my ex-boyfriend wasn’t easy. The good news is that we don’t have to forget the memories we shared with an ex-lover because these memories, whether good or bad, are lessons for us to be a better partner in the future. They provide guidance as to what we really want in a relationship.
“Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.”GEORGE SANTAYANA, AN INFLUENTIAL AMERICAN THINKER
Make A Breakup List
Create a breakup list of all the things you think the relationship needed improving and all the things you ignored before your breakup. For example, my ex-boyfriend is an optimist. He always knew how to cheer me up even when I myself didn’t think I could meet a deadline at work or fry an egg. This would be a quality I would be looking for in my next partner.
However, he is a workaholic. His main focus was his café and we never spent time without him suddenly running off to work. He felt that work was a justifiable reason to miss our dates or ignore my messages. This would be a red flag that I will avoid with my future partner. Remember to keep this list somewhere you can see frequently for example, your mirror or in your wallet. So, if the next person you date triggers these flags, you can refer back to this list. You can talk to them and discuss why this is an issue. Try to improve your relationship. Communication is key!
Talk To Someone: Breakup And Loneliness
My own breakup made me feel lonely. I felt like a huge part of my life had been ripped apart and I had no one to turn to. For those who are in the same shoes as I was a month ago, perhaps you can consider MINDA. MINDA is a non-profit network that aims to improve and share their knowledge on mental illness. They do not directly provide support but they can refer you to the appropriate parties if you just need someone to talk to.
Fortunately, they are also not the only organisation out there that will help you. MIASA is another well-known organisation focusing on mental health.
These organisations offer a range of support from awareness programmes to counselling. MIASA 2018’s Trauma and Stress Related Awareness Programme reached out to people from unique backgrounds. MIASA targets those who are affected by mental health issues who never had the opportunity to find proper help.
Don’t Repeat The Same Mistake
I can’t emphasise this enough. Don’t repeat your mistakes if you noticed a red flag that you have experienced before in past relationships. This is something that you have to address with your current partner to make sure that this wouldn’t be an issue you both face in the future. For example, as mentioned my ex-boyfriend is a workaholic but I never talked to him about it in depth. I never pointed out why I thought it was an issue for me which might have been a mistake on my part as well.
According to psychology author Peg Streep, it’s because of intermittent reinforcement — a reward conditioning method in which you are given what you want, only sometimes, which makes you want it more. (Consider this read, Necessary Journeys: Letting Ourselves Learn From Life).
Streep explains “When your lover/spouse/boss/friend says what you’ve been waiting to hear or acts the way you’d always wanted some of the time, you’re much more likely to get so very hopeful and give him or her just “one more chance” or to “wait and see what happens.”
If you recognise this, PULL AWAY!
I know it is tempting to run back to a familiar face but is it worth the heartbreak or the 600 words that you just read? The answer is NO.
Not Everything Works Out
It’s true, unfortunate events do happen. Some days are bad, Mondays are the worst even if you’re not working. Sometimes your favourite plant withers but that does not mean that you won’t see better days. You have to believe that!
So, take a deep breath, close your eyes and do something relaxing like yoga. Another great way to channel the rage from my breakup is cooking. I am not really the best cook out there but it has been helping to keep me distracted from my ex-boyfriend and it is definitely a great activity that you should try. Consider reading this article by one of our fellow writers, Zainiffer Zainal on the other benefits of cooking.
Meet New People
The timeline may be hazy but I am sure things are going to get better. You can work through this. While at it, download Bumble (dating app similar to Tinder, where daters create a small profile of themselves to be matched with potential suitors).
What differentiates Bumble from the other apps is the fact that it doesn’t only focus on romance. You could also switch to BFF function and the app has an algorithm that matches you with your potential friends.
This was the best thing to happen to me after my breakup. It helped to put me out there with ease. It was a safe way to meet new people with mutual interests.
Conclusion: Moving On From A Breakup
You will move on from a breakup even though you will take some time to do so. You will have the urge to text your ex-lover on a lonely day to try to get them back. Text a friend every time you feel lonely or refer back to the breakup list we talked about earlier. Go through the red flags. This will remind you why the relationship didn’t work out in the first place. Don’t forget to download Bumble which will definitely match you up with a person whose company you will enjoy and keep your mind off your breakup.
One day, you’ll find someone who appreciates you for the wonderful person that you are. Even if you don’t find that person, that is still okay because you love yourself and that is the most important thing. Look at the bright side, you always have Bumble to fall back on!
This article is part of Espoletta’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives.