Monday, November 28, 2011

"How Do I Let Him Go?"

How Do You Move On...

Breakups are rough, but the weeks after can be worse.
When Your Heart Is Broken?

This one's for the ladies.  I could never write about this from a male perspective. I have to get a guest writer for that.  (Any takers?) I can only share what I know from a female perspective in order to maintain my authority. That being said, I won't be offended if the guys want to pass
on reading this post ; )

A friend of mine was in the midst of a break up.  It had been three weeks since she had decided to part ways with a man she had been seeing for a little over a year.  After a long discussion she was finally able to see how great it was that she had seen the signs and ended the relationship after only a year (in the past she would have drug it out for five years).  Unfortunately, she was still struggling with her old habit of wanting to call and "just hang out", which always leads to getting back together and forgetting the unfixable problems.  She didn't feel she had enough glaring issues to maintain self control.  I reminded her that she had only been with him a year and that she would have to make due with the information she had, because it was enough.  "You just have to let him go," I told her.  "But how do I do that?  How do I let him go?"

I felt for her.  Doing the healthy thing was new to her.  Usually she waited until things were so bad (sometimes abusive), that she had all sorts of bad memories to keep her from going back.  This time, she simply had a few incidences that were most certainly the predecessors to an unhealthy relationship.  Then it occurred to me that I had been in a similar situation once.  I knew that the relationship was unhealthy, I knew that I needed to stay away and I was doing everything I could to overcome the weakness to try and get it back.

It's no secret that this is why we stay in unhealthy situations longer than we need to.  Change is difficult.  It is scary.  The familiar is easier even if it's not good for us.  It's been researched and proven over again.  When I found myself in this situation and was truly ready to move on, I did several things and at the core of my process was putting myself first so that I could learn to trust myself again
  • Step outside your box.  Do something you've never done before that you've always wanted to do.  Have a Bucket List?  Now's the time to see if there's something you can cross off of it.  Take an art or dance class.  Go to a museum.  Whatever it is,  it has to be different and foreign to you.
  • Socialize.  Spend time with friends and family you may have been neglecting.  Yes, spending time with yourself is important, but you don't want to turn into a hermit.  Spending time with those that lift you up is a great way to boost endorphins and relieve the stress of grieving the loss of the dreams and plans the two of you shared.
  • Pamper yourself as much as you can.  Buy some new outfits so you can pitch some of the clothes you wore when you were together.  Redecorate a little.  Change your hair or buy some new makeup.  If you change what you see around you, your mind begins to accept change a little easier.  If nothing else, treat yourself better by treating yourself to more hot baths and spa showers.  Or simply buy a houseplant to change and lift your personal space.
  • Emotionally commit to yourself.  This was one of the most important things that I did.  It came to me intuitively and it was the answer to the question, "How do I let him go?"  I created a little exercise to keep myself from slipping back into that emotional space and memories of my defunct partner.  Whenever I missed him, or felt a love pang, I would replace him with me.  I would consciously stop myself in the moment and put all that emotion on myself.  And when I felt myself "crushing" on a new guy a little too soon for my comfort, I replaced him with me as well. It really drove home the concept of "loving yourself first", for me.  But it also is a great way to let go and get to know the new you are growing into.

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