I have spent the better part of my forty years on this planet single. I didn’t date until I was a senior in high school. I got pregnant and decided after a few years that dating and single parenting didn’t really work for me. I had a child and no financial help. Meeting the emotional and financial needs of my child left me pretty drained in every way imaginable. I worked and spent time with my child and did little else. For thirteen years I didn’t date and I didn’t have sex.
So for more than thirty years of my life I have been single. I’ve only dated three men for longer than a year. Two of them, in their respective spots on my timeline, I would have gladly let stay for much longer than they had. I would have been more than content to let either of them stay indefinitely. Sadly I didn’t have much say in the matter. I really cared about one and truly loved the other in spite of the tiny indications that something wasn’t fitting together the way it should.
Those relationships, the ones we really want to work out, the ones we can feel slipping away before they actually fall apart have a way of making us want to fight for something that isn’t what it should be. We choose to go on feeling the way we do about someone who is fading away. We choose to battle against the inevitable.
When you fight so hard for something we often have harder time when it those relationships end. Expending so much energy leaves you weak and often ill prepared for the additional emotional anguish you experience from a partners absence. Instead of accepting what has happened you tend to try to hold on a little longer. You try to maintain a friendship or some sort of physical relationship in the hopes that you can retain some sense of a relationship with someone who doesn’t feel the two of you are meant to be together.
By clinging to an unhappy situation you are closing yourself off to the potential of something new and good but that is often what we do. We hold on to our misery. It is the new emotion we associate with someone who, at some point, made us happy. It destroys everything about that person that brought us joy. We condition ourselves to fight for what we want and can’t seem to stop fighting for it even when it is no longer good for us.
When a relationship ends it is important to let that happen in its own time and not struggle with the pieces as they crumble. We need to learn to stop fighting for things that won’t fulfill us. When we do this we are really just holding on to our pain. We need to let go and move forward. We need to allow ourselves distance from the pain.
Breakups can be devastating. You just want to hide and wallow and overanalyze everything. We want someone to blame and typically blame ourselves but the truth is it just didn’t work out the way we wanted it to and we probably saw it coming. It’s okay to fight for a relationship you are in but once it’s ended you have to stop fighting. You have to love yourself enough to know that once it’s over you just have an opportunity to find something better.