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Sex + Relationships

A Conversation with my Dad that Changed my View on a Breakup

“I hate him and I don’t like feeling this way,” I began after a brief moment of tears. I had broken up with my ex months ago, and after a brief stint with “it’s complicated,” I received news that solidified that it was the end. The relationship was over and it simply could not be repaired at this point.

 

The idea of leaving the relationship was not the daunting part. This breakup was months in the making and consisted of a lot of going back and forth. I had already come to terms with the fact that my ex could not be in my life any longer about 10 times. However, the news I received brought out feelings I never felt before. The betrayal was enough to push me completely out of his life (and him completely out of mine), but the residual feelings left behind were a little hard to bare. I typically discussed my relationship, and all of its ups and downs, with my close friends or my mother; I’m sure they were exhausted from listening. They knew, as well as I, that I was much smarter than the decisions I was making. I knew what needed to be done and I knew what was best for me, but I was inhibited by my emotions. I also know it’s hard to constantly give advice and listen to someone who just doesn’t seem to get it.

 

I can’t quite pinpoint why I never thought about disclosing the details of my relationship with my dad. It felt more personal to discuss the matters with women due to like-mindedness. However, during this episode, I felt compelled to call my dad and was glad that I did. As far as my newfound “hatred” for my ex, my dad told me that it was okay to feel how I felt. He told me that I should embrace the feelings and their reality instead of trying to suppress them or run away from them. At the end of the day, it was all apart of the process and once I tackled one phase of it, I could move on to the next. He advised me to just take things day by day and to not think too far ahead or too far in the past. What’s done is done, and I needed to handle how I felt healthily.

 

The next thing he said stuck with me. He was once told that “the opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is indifference.” The ugly feelings I felt for not the solution for the detachment I was seeking. The hate simply meant that I cared enough to be upset and showed that the feelings were still there. So again, this goes back to the need to face my feelings for what they truly are. He told me he understood that no one likes to feel betrayed or made a fool out of, but at the end of the day, my anger would not satisfy me as much as I’d like to think. I needed to pivot to a place of indifference. I needed to be ultimately unaffected by the situation and my ex.

 

“I just feel like I want something bad to happen to him. I want him to hurt because I’m hurting. He’s just moving on like it’s nothing.” This is where a conversation about karma comes in. I know it’s not healthy to bask in the demise of others just because they hurt you, but there is comfort in feeling like someone won’t get away with hurting you. He explained that the hardest thing about karma is that we don’t always have a front row seat to other people’s. As much as we would love to see a person “get theirs,” the reality is that people receive those lessons when we cannot see. At the end of the day, it is not totally meant for us to see. My dad is a firm believer of concepts dealing with the universe and comforted me with the idea that the universe would eventually correct itself. He went further to explain that I shouldn’t feel bad about the good things I did for my ex, even though they were not returned or appreciated. “He benefited, so what?” he said. He told me to keep my giving nature, and that this was just a lesson in discerning who deserves that energy from me. He said that if I lost my giving nature, I would just be losing to my circumstances.

 

Of course, it wouldn’t be the full experience without the typical, fatherly “his loss.” All in all, this conversation really served as a solidifier for all the things I knew, but failed to practice. It propelled me into a new direction. Feeling angry is okay and necessary, but it would not solve the underlying problems. I needed to begin the process of letting go, recognizing the lesson, and moving forward knowing what I want. It helped me look at forgiveness from a standpoint of forgiveness for my own well being as opposed to forgiveness for the sake of others. It also forced me to see the love that had been with me the whole time. I was so focused on receiving love and validation from my ex, I failed to see all the love around me. Had I recognized and appreciated this love, my standards would have been raised for what I demanded in my relationship. This conversation humbled and inspired me towards a path of reflection, restoration, and rebuilding myself. I plan to take the entire lesson learned and do better for myself in the future and beyond.

Sophomore student at Saint Louis University writing for HerCampus while studying God-knows-what (undecided). A Fashion Forward Artist, Makeup Maven, Heroine of Hair, Beyonce Lover, Social Activist, and Capri-sun Connoisseur.
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