My Relationship Fiasco and the Lessons Learned

Break-ups—simply, the termination of an intimate relationship—is often associated with all that is pure, whatever those sentiments may be: bitterness, spite, animosity, hostility, anger, sadness, loneliness, depression. And, yes, sometimes breakups are, indeed, all those things—they entail some or perhaps all the listed sentiments—but they may also be illuminating and educative experiences. Albeit challenging, terminating a relationship, once painted with love and compassion and joy, may be grueling. Sometimes, however, we must lay down our weapons and shields and accept what is seemingly inevitable, for the battle is already lost and done. 

As a conscientious and mindful individual, I’d like to, in hindsight, discuss the lessons I’ve learned thus far—the lessons that seeped through all the pain and heartache, rising to the obvious and discernable surface. Of course, all experiences impress invaluable lessons upon us—some of which, may be paramount and even, transformative. As such, my breakup was no different.

1. Your Gut is Typically Always Right—Trust Yourself 

One of the most prominent lessons I’ve learned thus far is, simply, trusting your intuition, trusting yourself without the excessive mind-games. Albeit potentially cliché, ignoring your ‘intuitive hunch’ is both wrong and counterproductive. Simply put, trust that your gut will not lead you astray. 

If it’s right, it’ll feel right. If not, you’ll feel that too. Within the context of my most current relationship, I ignored my instinctual hunch—I felt that something was out of place or missing, yet, I cognitively ignored these visceral hints, adding cognitions such as: ‘maybe I’m just scared,’ and ‘maybe I’m not giving him a fair shot’. 

My best friend's text captures the concept perfectly. A couple weeks ago, she wrote: “you're only 21, you have a lot of people you have yet to meet, and you’ll love him, and he’ll challenge you, and take you on crazy adventures, and you’ll know what feels right, what true love actually looks like”

2. Love is Simply Not Enough

Of course, a successful, happy relationship that benefits both parties at hand is largely dependent upon love and affection, but happiness within a relationship is contingent upon a whole plethora of factors outside of love itself, namely effective communication, self-disclosure, stability, availability, vulnerability, our actions, and efforts. 

Howard Markman, an American psychologist, suggests that “we kill love by how we treat our partners, by not handling negative feelings well.” 

Movies and fairytales present a distorted and falsified version of love, but love is no immovable, sturdy mountain—it is pliable and subject to revisions and change. To believe that it is not so, is naïve and childish.

3. I don’t believe in the fight

Post-breakup blues may perhaps be psychologically taxing. Before the definitive breakup, I had to fight to keep my head above water, balancing the emotional flood waters with my lofty aspirations and seemingly endless list of responsibilities and chores. Weeks later, I am exhausted and beat—I no longer believe in the fight. 

Of course, life will always be embellished with certain difficulties. Likewise, relationships will always require a substantial amount of effort and devotion, but in no way, shape, or form should these efforts resemble arduous tasks and duties. 

I will not sacrifice the entirety of my happiness and sanity for another’s idle comfort. 

The heart is a resilient entity—there is no need for excessive combat and warfare.

4. Actions speak louder than words. 

My ex’s passivity spoke for itself. Through passivity and mere acceptance of problematic issues, he inadvertently communicated his irreverence and indifference. 

He loved me, in a sense, but not in the way I want to be loved, we didn't connect in the way I want to connect with others.

5. Sometimes it is OK to be selfish. Self-blame and self-loathing are NOT the answer. 

Throughout the relationship, I felt guilty for an extended period of time—I was unable to communicate nor reciprocate his deep-seated emotions. Although inadvertently, I was made to feel guilty and responsible for my  inability to reciprocate comparable feelings or, in other words, simply said, feel in the way he did. In the end, this became detrimental, aggravating our contentious problems.  

Love not out of obligation, but of genuine honesty and affection.

6. Above all, appreciation is key. 

Yes, I once loved you dearly, and, of course, you will always hold a special place in my heart. 

I still carry the scars—both physical and symbolic of our charged play fights and our passionate moments of intimacy and bond—but we are no longer. Albeit temporarily, you made my summer colorful and lively, and for that, I will be forever endowed in gratitude and appreciation. 

I’m thankful for the countless hours we spent together. I’m thankful for the profound conversations, the intimate moments, the short-lived adventures, and most prominently, the love we shared. 

Thank You.

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Obviously, this isn’t what I want, it is not the ideal, but I’ll take the high road and lead by way of forgiveness and gratitude. I love you, you will always hold a special place in my heart, but this can no longer continue. As much as I miss you and long for you in times of heartache, sorrow, and confusion, I have made MY definitive decision.  

I wish you the best. I hope to see you succeed and find the happiness you seek.

Maybe it’s because I look at everything as a lesson, or because I don’t want to walk around angry, or maybe’s it because I finally understand. There are things we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go”--Criminal Minds, Agent Jennifer Jareau  

I wish you the very best, but I deserve better. I am happier without you. Our relationship, in the end, became detrimental to my happiness and progress (and, mockingly, may I add sanity). 

                                                                                                                                (Pinterest)