After dating a man for six months and only days after professing his undying love for me, he suddenly stopped calling. For five days I called and text him with no response whatsoever. At first, I was worried, but then it became increasingly clear that he was avoiding me. So, I became angry.
How dare he just pop out of my life without warning? How could a 40 year old man be so immature that he wouldn’t call, text, or pigeon carry a message to me that the relationship was over? Why would you make plans of what our wedding would be like and how our children would be? Was this a cruel game he played? I didn’t know, but I would have preferred to know from him that he didn’t want to be with me any longer.
No, “It’s not you, it’s me” or “She’s the one I want, not you”. So for the next few weeks, I spent my time crying and feeling sorry for myself. I cried when I woke up, I cried in the shower, and I cried myself to sleep at night. I tried to keep my game face on when people asked me had I heard from him. I even tried to brush off the looks on the faces of family and friends when they realized I had been dumped and wondered if I was naive to this fact.
Then I did the worst thing ever — I reached out to him. Not surprisingly, he apologized for leaving me and for hurting me. Of course, I acted like it didn’t bother me any, but it burned deep inside my heart. It hit me like a ton of bricks, because even though I knew he had dumped me, actually hearing that he did forced me to go through the mourning process all over again. I cried for the next two weeks.
Then one day I woke up and realized I needed to get my shit together and start acting like my old self again. So what he dumped me? It wasn’t like it was the end of the world. I can’t be “it” for everyone and not every person is going to be honest with me. I had to stop hoping that every call or text I received was from him.
Every break-up is different and everyone heals differently from it as well. Below I listed the steps I took to start putting my life back together. My hope is that someone going through a similar situation will look at my actions and use them to help to get themselves back on track to a normal life. I don’t know if most relationship experts would agree with my methods, but I know that these helped me to heal my heart.
1. I broke off all communication with him. When I finally realized he only called me to ask for booty or money, I knew it was over. Also, he never initiated contact with me and looked at me as an afterthought. I wouldn’t even take him back anyway. I respected myself too much to go back to a man who evidently did not care enough about me to be with me.
2. I took off my blinders and realized I had settled for less than I deserved. I think the ticking of my biological clock and my strong desire to be married before the age of 40 forced me into temporary insanity. The relationship wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. When I really looked at it, this man was not someone I would have welcomed into my life 5 years ago or even 1 year ago.
3. I realized that he lied to me throughout our relationship. Even at the end he said he didn’t leave me for another woman, but it became clear (even without concrete proof) that he was lying. Once I figured that out, I knew I would never be able to trust him and that I deserved much better.
4. I began to understand that the pressure I put on myself to get married allowed me to hide my true self. I’m an outspoken person and I kept quiet on a lot of issues that bothered me. I feared that if I approached him about them that it would start an argument or he would shut down on me. Lesson learned – if you can’t be your true self, then you’re with the wrong person.
5. I stopped hanging with mutual friends. I began changing the subject when people asked what happened between us. I didn’t bad mouth him, nor did I indulge information about our relationship. It was no one’s business that I was dumped and if I wanted to discuss it, I would do so on my own terms.
6. I stopped blaming myself for the demise of our relationship. At first I kept replaying situations in my head and trying to come up with different conclusions. If only I had said this instead or if I had only tried that sexual position, he would still be with me. But no matter what I said or did, he would’ve done the same thing, maybe sooner, maybe later, who knows? It’s clear he was always looking for an exit. I gave too much and received too little. A relationship takes two to work and I was a solo player.
7. I started doing the things I had once enjoyed. I went out to the movies. I went out to eat with friends. I started taking my dog out more for walks and I continued working on my business. I was determined to be successful without him.
8. I looked at our break-up as a blessing. I realized I no longer had to hide my accomplishments so as not to bruise his ego. I no longer had to stay in the house when he was broke and couldn’t afford to take me out (and wouldn’t let me pay). I no longer had to make excuses for him when he stood me up. Without it, I would have probably stayed even though I knew I deserved better. He let me go so I could be available to a man who was my soul mate.
9. I changed my look. Nothing drastic, but I changed my hairstyle which helped me to improve my confidence and get back to the sexy mama I was. I knew that if he or anyone we knew saw me, they would see how good I looked and know I was better without him. Crazy, but true. On the other hand, I wanted to look good for the next man who came my way, because he deserved a better me.
10. I started dating again. There was no need for me to sit at home and feel sorry for myself. One monkey doesn’t stop a show. Just because this man doesn’t want me does this mean no man will ever want me. I’ll meet the man of my dreams one day, but if it’s not today, that’s okay too.
Want to know why he left? Click here for the answers.
What are some ways you got over a break up?