I know that you haven’t had a ton of experience dating but alas, I worry. I worry for the hurt you might experience at the hands of a master manipulator, a predatory user, or simply a narcissistic psychopath. A wolf in sheep’s clothing as it were.
Some folks are kind and sweet upon first meeting, or just mysterious enough that their true nature is withheld. You may not see it until much much later, or maybe after a significant challenge to your relationship that reveals it. I can describe all the ways a person could turn out to be the worst possible excuse for a human being but this post is about the aftermath, the recovery in the event you sever the bond.
For your health and heart, when you discover you are in such a relationship and the hurt is beyond what any reasonable person should bear. You must break it off. Don’t look ahead and try to preserve it just because you fear being alone or you think it is mendable.
Once a person hurts you, it is what you do in that moment that defines the relationship. If you stay with them after being hurt repeatedly; you are effectively giving them the power to do it over and over again. The strength of knowing when to leave is the challenge.
You’re going to second guess your choice, because the hurt may cut so deep it feels never-ending. Reconciling with that person may seem like the panacea for this pain, but then you are saying to them “What you did to me that caused our breakup is allowable from this point forward.”
I recommend you walk away and do not look back. It is tempting to look back – to see if they are hurting as much as you are. That’s a torture you should never inflict upon yourself. It will spark outrage, more pain and hurt, immense sadness for your own situation and incite an obsession over them and why they are faring well and you are not.
No matter how they play it, if they reach out you do not respond. If you open a door a crack they’re going to push on through to deliver more of a hurt than before. They may have others reach out to you to taunt and bait you – picking at an open wound that is not theirs to pick. Seriously there are some sick people out there.
If you show weakness or sadness and it gets back to them, they use it. You keep your healing private. I know you’re not a social media user but you may have mutual friends and it will matter with whom you confide. Yes, confide in close friends of your feelings but only the ones you truly trust and will not allow your status to get back to your ex.
Some things I need you to do on a breakup, which helps the healing process:
- Block them from contacting you – block their number, their ability to email you.
- Remove all reminders of them (pictures, notes, gifts) for the time being. This may mean a donation to a charity shop or just putting things in storage but get it out and away from reminding you.
- Do not listen to the music that reminds you of a moment with them (either positive or negative)
- Do not watch programmes or films which may immediately remind you of moments with them. (this is not forever, just until the association is distant enough)
- If there are still belongings of theirs in your possession place them in a box and drop it with a mutual friend or if the break is exceptionally bad, leave it out on the street and tell the mutual friend to inform the ex to get it before others do.
- Do not – I repeat – Do Not ever expect closure. Do not try to maneuver for an apology. Just be okay with never getting closure or an acknowledgement of their transgression and any sort of remorse on their part. It will not happen.
- Get involved in new activities & change your routines to get you away from common haunts which could allow you to run into them.
- Find ways toward understanding what you need and what makes you happy. Invest in yourself. Go on a trip, take a class to learn a new skill, pamper yourself. Be with supportive and loving people.
- Give your time to a charitable cause to make life better for others. See my prior post to you on healing your heart.
And lastly, build your confidence up to find your inner peace before embarking on a new relationship. Rebound relationships do not really help. Give yourself at least a year to really recover from a bad break before getting back out there.