The Break Up Cycle

I’ve been heartbroken so many times. I have to say that it doesn’t get easier each time, but the way in which I handle it does get a little better. There’s less crazy and more acceptance that it’s over.

First Stage

Leading up to the break up, I’m usually already stressed out about the relationship not going well. This is when I’m in denial, but the actual breakup is like a flood of emotions and realization of how the feelings are not reciprocated. I allow myself to just be on my own and wallow in my own self pity. I believe that I just have to face the problem and indulge myself in thinking through the relationship and analyzing it in detail. I find that writing helps a lot with the self reflection. See, I think that self reflection is important. I may confide in a really close friend about the breakup, and at this point it’s usually a shit show of crying, anger and everything. I feel doubt sometimes about whether the breakup was a mistake on my part and my close friends are really good at being objective and making sure that I don’t do anything irrational, like calling him and asking or begging for another chance. I reserve some self respect, I mean he just rejected me.

Second Stage

After being a closed off hermit and pretending that I’m perfectly okay at work I start feeling like I need to get better. I recently found that a lot of stress is just physical. A professional massage and exercise helps. Distractions are good and I’ll try to surround myself with friends. And when I feel less emotional I’ll share my breakup story with friends. I honestly feel like with each telling of the story at this point helps me separate myself from it.  It starts to sound like any other break up, I realize this isn’t any different than the other times.

Third Stage

I start to think about the person that I was immediately before meeting him and/or the person that I could be now that we’re no longer together.  I start picking up activities that interest me personally and I start feeling myself again. I find that cleaning and just doing things to signify a fresh start, such as getting a haircut just helps me feel better about myself. It still hurts though and sometimes a song, a place or something would trigger a memory and it’s hurtful.  I’ll still miss him and still want to be with him, but I know it’s irrational to reach out to him. His silence and lack of effort is a strong message in its own way.

Fourth Stage

I play with the idea of getting myself out to meet other guys. I might send a message to the usual suspects that I flirt with, but would never actually hook up with. This is when flirting with the emergency fuck is important, that’s what an emergency fuck is for. If you haven’t read my article on emergency fucks, it’s important for me to point out that you should never actually fuck your emergency fuck. He’s there for these moments when you need a confidence boost.

I may be talking to other guys, but I’m still thinking about him. Sometimes I feel guilty about it, but I know that I shouldn’t. The key here is not actually doing anything stupid and getting involved with someone new too soon.

Fifth Stage

This stage is liberating. I’m finally over him, except for a few things that remind me of the great times that we had and still make me feel confused about why we shouldn’t be together. I feel good to not actually be attached to anyone, but it’s lonely.  I become more proactive and open to meeting someone new. I give new guys more of a chance.

Stage Six

I meet someone else that I have a romantic interest in. I can only be emotionally vested in one person at a time so I become more and more distant from the breakup of the previous relationship. I don’t compare the new guy to my past, I know that is wrong.

The most important part of this stage is that those memories that we had together become more distant. I can remove myself from them and a host memory of us together in the past is not as painful anymore. I can actually have fond memories of him. I am able to think that it was too bad that it didn’t work out, but I’m accepting of us not being together. I know that it was for the better. There’s no use being with someone that doesn’t reciprocate your feelings.

I usually go through these stages in about two months and in retrospect the last stage of meeting someone new seems a little quick. I try to make sure things are going slow, and I do dedicate myself to the next person if it does become more serious. I’m not the type to think about my exes in a romantic or sexual way, however I do wonder if I carry some of my hopes to the next guy. For example, if I wanted to do something with my significant other and never got to do it, I do try to fulfill that wish with my new man. Is that wrong? I’m thinking yes, because each relationship should write it’s own story.

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