We’ve all been there – that limbo place after a relationship has ended but before a new one has yet to be found.
Sometimes our resolve wavers. We wonder: Did I break it off too quickly or without a good enough reason? Perhaps the question is: Why did he break it off and can we go back to being a “we”?
This is not an easy topic. I recommend indulging in comfort food as we ponder the issue.
Let’s focus on scenario #1 in which you broke off the relationship. Perhaps you had a good four-fifths of a partnership but the other poor quality fifth was too damn important to ignore. That fifth could be a major difference in outlook on life, sexual compatibility, the role of family, or for a certain age group, whether to have children. Whatever the reason, the fact that this aspect of your coupled life was seriously inadequate ate away at you until you finally realized it was time to move on.
So, you broke it off. And it was damn hard because that other four-fifths was good. And nothing is perfect, right? So should you swallow and go back to Mr. Almost Right?
Here’s a suggested game plan for your wavering, quivering heart.
*Recognize that it’s going to take time to heal.
*Remember what it felt like to not have that important one fifth. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to live with that situation?”
*Rely on your trusted friends for companionship, moral support, and a bigger picture outlook
*Revive your independence and explore fulfilling activities that bring you joy.
*Reach out to expand your social network through Meetups, social clubs and activities, online dating sites and apps.
*Reflect on your ideal romantic partnership. Realize that although you can’t have everything, you should strive for having the most important things.
*Restrict any desires to reconnect for at least 6 months. Distance and time will help you to see more clearly.
*Relish a new relationship if you are lucky enough to find one.
*Rev up your support system if the new relationship is short lived.
*Realize that if you are not in a new relationship – and you want to be in one — you are vulnerable to returning to Mr. Almost Right.
You should follow a similar game plan if Mr. Almost Right called it quits. Although you didn’t choose to end the relationship, it’s important to think about what worked and didn’t work from both of your perspectives.
If Mr. Almost Right gave you a reason for the breakup, ask yourself whether the relationship met your needs. As hard as it is, try to critically evaluate your time together. Talk to people, including therapists as needed. Read about relationships. Ask yourself: Are there things you would have done differently?
You can’t make someone love you–or vice versa, but you can learn from a breakup.
Until next week, happy dating or not dating.