As women, we tend to really weigh the pros and cons of every single decision we make - whether it's choosing to spend money on those leather boots on Newbury Street, or deciding whether or not you should eat a salad or a burger for lunch. But when it comes to relationships, we really do tend to over-think every decision we make, no matter how mundane: "Should I have told him that I don't like it when he walks 5 paces ahead of me? Is he annoyed that I asked him to call me more? Can I tell him that I want him to try harder to get along with my mother?" It's as if we worry more about the other person than ourselves and our happiness.
But sometimes in life, you do have to make decisions that are in your best interest - meaning, you can't care what the other person thinks or how they feel - you just have to do what is right for you. And doing that, my friends, is really tough.
Sometimes you have to make the hard decision to break up. And then you have to make the hard decision to let go.
But that's the hardest part, right? Letting go.
I've let go of people a few times, but usually because they've done something that has turned me off completely, or because they broke up with me and/or hurt my feelings so much that I haven't even desired a reconciliation. But it is a bit different when the feelings are still there.
This is what I do when I let go of someone for whom I still care. I hope it helps you as well:
(1) I delete a majority of our email communications so I don't spend time going over all the "good times" and flirty messages we shared. I keep the emails that remind me what I did not like about him so I never get involved in "magical thinking." For example, "I really had it great with this guy. Why did I blow it?"
(2) I delete his number from my phone. I am such a random texter, and honestly, when I party with my friends, I have been known to send some texts that I regret in the morning. But hey, don't we all?
(3) I talk to my friends. I used to have this pride that blocked me from talking about broken relationships because I'm "the breakup expert." The fact is that I have psychologists who come to me for advice on their breakups - and they always say the same thing - it's sometimes easier to hear what you need to do from other people. But friends and family generally can make you feel as if you're not crazy for wanting more than what you have - and for seeking a better situation.
(4) I read your posts. This reason I created BrokenHeartedGirl.com is so that all of us can see that we're not alone. I know that my situation is not unique. Plenty of people have regretted breaking up with someone else for a short while, only to realize in the long run that it's for the best. It's helpful to know that I am not alone and my situation is not necessarily unique - although it can feel that way at times. (So, log on to BrokenHeartedGirl.com right now and start reading! It's free!)
(5) I try to remember that breakups go two ways. Whenever I find myself wondering what he's up to, or who he's with, I stop and think: Maybe he's wondering what I'm doing? Maybe he's missing me too? When you break up with someone, it doesn't mean that the feelings automatically stop - whether you're the dumper or the dumpee. It's helpful to think that I am not alone in my grief.
(6) Finally, I just cling to the knowledge that I'll get over this too. It's not easy to imagine myself 3 weeks from now totally secure and ready to take on the world. But then I remember that I broke up with my long-term ex a year ago and I don't even think twice about him (except when I use him as an example in my posts!).
Acceptance is the final step in your journey toward a healed heart. Acceptance, in my mind, is THE destination I aspire to reach. I have faith that you'll be on your way there soon.