Miss Smidge posted the other day about the legacies various exes had left her with. I realised I couldn't really think of anything . . . but that I've learned a lot from the breaking-up process myself. Lessons that I have applied to later relationships, others I haven't adhered to, but am still aware of.
Sometimes you can do everything right, and the relationship still ends.
There's no point beating yourself up over this. It's happened to me on many occasions. I don't think of myself s being a demanding girlfriend. I'm not someone who is particularly high maintenance in relationships, I'm easy-going, and as long as a guy can willingly spare some time for me, then I accept that. But then I find myself STILL getting dumped because I "seem to want too much out of a relationship".
Asking for answers is generally pointless.
It's hard to accept when a relationship is over. I hate to not know the proper reasons for why certain things happen, and I do have a tendency to over-analyse and ask for specific reasons why a guy switched off on me. Most of the time, when I HAVE asked, I didn't like the answers. Mainly because they couldn't really explain it. I just ended up feeling worse. What's the point in that?
Staying friends is hard.
It's not IMPOSSIBLE. But it's pretty difficult, especially at first. I guess it depends how it ends, whether it's amicable or not, and also whether or not you were friends in the first place. One of my exes was someone who had been a very good friend of mine before we got involved. After it ended, it was virtually impossible to maintain that friendship. As he is still someone I see regularly, this was pretty difficult for me. It has taken two and a half years for us to be able to actually have a semi-normal relationship again, but I have had to accept that we will NEVER be friends again. Merely acquaintances. Unfortunately, sex DOES change things, whether we like it or not.
Don't assume you will get back together.
Because I have had a couple of relationships which have resulted in us breaking up and getting back together not long after, it is easy to assume that this is just another of those temporary breaks. But sometimes it IS just over. It's best to assume the split is permanent and then you can start the healing process as soon as possible.
Conducting yourself with dignity is vital to your own sanity.
This is one I am starting to realise is paramount to my own self-esteem. And one which I have blatantly flaunted in the past. I'm horrendous for wanting to keep in touch, asking for answers, texting all the time, asking if we can meet up "just as friends, I still want to hang out", then crying when I see them and generally acting unstable. Which is fair enough, I've just been dumped, but I should be acting unstable in front of my FRIENDS, not in front of my ex. With F, and with the Cute Guy From the Party aka Swine Guy, I feel like I learned my lesson. When I FINALLY got the text from F, I simply replied saying it was fine, I was sorry he felt that way, but I understood. With Swine Guy, I didn't even respond to his "I can't see you anymore despite the fact we were meant to be going on a second date this very eve, because I've decided to get back with my ex who I'VE NEVER EVEN MENTIONED". I just left it and went off and ranted about what a prick he was to my friends.
(That being said, F and I ARE still in touch, albeit a few text messages every month or so. Oops.)
Give yourself some time to get over it, but don't wallow for too long.
About two months after my break-up in 2008, I was still obsessing over it. I ended up sending my ex a long email telling him exactly what I thought of his actions. (Long story, which I never talk about on here, but I'm still a little gutted about what I found out after we'd broken up.) I then got an email back where he took the high road, denied everything and made me feel worse about myself. It was around this point when one of my friends basically said to me I needed to get over it. She said she understood I was sad and upset but when she had first met me the year before, I'd been so much fun and happy, and she hated to see me this way because it was like he was all I could think about and I was so miserable. Do you know something? It was the most sensible thing everyone has ever said to me. I think it was around about that point when I snapped out of it.
WRITE the angry email detailing everything you want to say to him if you must. But don't SEND it.
Reasons as above. Although I remember writing an email I would never send to my previous ex and putting it on my old blog. Of course, when I was outed by my colleagues, they showed the ex the post in question so he DID end up reading it after all. Apparently though, he waved it off and said it was all true. So perhaps sometimes it DOES work. But I wouldn't advise it.
If you delete his number, yet keep the sweet messages he sent you once upon a time, it slightly negates the number deletion thing.
I don't have F's number stored in my phone, but I DO have text messages saved in there. Hence the occasional texting that still occurs. That being said, if you have to actually find a text message from your ex in order to send him a text, it slightly dulls the impulsive feeling to do so, and gives you time to think.
A crush always helps.
I know some people firmly maintain that the best way to get over a person is to get under another. I don't really subscribe to that belief myself, but I DO believe developing a crush on someone else, whether it's a attainable one or not, is always nice. It gets your mind off the previous relationship while you obsess over whether your crush wants you too. It's like a little hobby and it's fun!
You WILL find someone else.
So many times after a break-up, I've thought that was it. I'd never meet another guy, or not one I "clicked" with as well as I did my ex. They always DO come along when you least expect it though. I'm still waiting for my next one BUT I'm holding out for a GREAT one. Losers need not apply.
Obviously, these rules are not tailored to everyone, they are just things I have learned based on my own experience.
What are YOUR rules?