It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but your break-up genuinely isn’t the biggest problem in the world.
Yes, it may be the biggest problem in your world. And it might well be the most heart-wrenching, gutting experience you’ve had in months, or even years, but it’s important to put the issue into context.
The only way to get over a break-up is by removing the emotion, and starting to approach things clinically.
That will of course take time.
When you fancy someone, you’re excited. They monopolise your thoughts. When you’re in love, it’s even worse. And when someone has been a part of your world for years – perhaps even living with you, sharing a surname, or sharing children … well that is a big part of your world which has shifted.
No one can switch emotions off overnight.
And so you will still have those excited, loving feelings towards your ex, they’re just now tinged in a rather painful reality. It’s like your heart is playing catch-up to your head. Something will trigger a memory. Your mind will wander to that significant person, and then all of a sudden, reality steps in, like a smack in the face. Reminding you that person’s not around any more. That those future situations you’d imagined are no longer possible.
In a lot of ways, it’s similar to grief.
You’re grieving the loss an important person from your immediate sphere.
However, the thing to remember is that no one has died.
This is not a disaster.
No matter how bad it feels right now, you will be able to look back on it all at some point, and not feel this pain.
When I was at university, I had a friend who drove me mad. She had everything going for her, and yet she would trivialize the smallest thing. She would literally act as if her world was ending, because her boyfriend hadn’t called her back when he had promised to. Or because he hung up directly at the end of her calls, rather than prolonging hanging up.
Meanwhile, I was dealing with crazily adult problems. I’d just been orphaned, and was busy planning a funeral, selling a house, making sure my younger sister had a home, working out where the axis of my world now sat.
Every time my friend came to me with a problem, I found it hard not to get frustrated, because she couldn’t simply couldn’t see the bigger picture.
And yet, in reality, that was her picture. Everything in her life was so good, that genuinely the only problems were the trivial ones. And so they felt big.
By the same token, in your world, your break-up is the biggest problem. It’s all you can think about. It’s all you’ve thought about for weeks.
The only way you’ll be able to get proper context, is to step away from your world.
Read a paper. See the real, huge problems going on in the world, and be grateful nothing that bad has affected you.
Have proper conversations with your friends. Not just ones where you tell them about your problems. Actually listen to your friends’ problems.
When something goes wrong, it’s too easy to assume you’re the only person in the world feeling crappy. The only person things aren’t going right for. And I promise, that really isn’t the case.
I’m not trying to trivialize your break-up. And I’m not saying you’ll get over it over night.
But take a moment to remember the huge tapestry of people who have affected your life so far. The people who have guest-starred in your personal Truman Show.
Maybe you thought this person would have a starring role. Maybe they still will. Maybe they needed to break up with you right now, so you are open to meeting the person you end up spending the rest of your life with. Who knows?
Only hindsight will tell.
However, you can still make the most of hindsight right now. If you think hard, I’m sure you can remember feeling this way before, for another guy, or another girl. And when you apply that hindsight now, to that other guy or that other girl, doesn’t it feel WAY more trivial than it did at the time? Yes, it might still hurt. But nowhere near as bad. And sometimes the hindsight might even make you feel silly for how bad you felt at the time …
Give yourself some time. Don’t rush yourself. Cry when you need to. Shout if it helps. Be patient.
But remember, there are other problems in the world. Problems which will hurt far more. Problems which are far more permanent and far-reaching.
And whilst you might feel anything but thankful right now, take a second to be thankful for the fact the biggest problem in your life is that you just broke up with someone.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
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