Friday, July 25, 2014

Letting go: A Joint Post with The Happy Type

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Recently Crystal, at The Happy Type, my best friend and soul-mate, decided we should do a joint post on letting go of your ex. We've both had our own embarrassments and heartache and know how difficult letting go can be.

In Crystal's words, even though we like to act super cool there are definitely times when we've been less than graceful falling in and out of love (ed's note: and by love sometimes we just mean lust).

But we've also both gotten through it and can look back and laugh and offer some advice. 

CRYSTAL'S TAKE: 

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It's normal to have a hard time letting go of someone when you still feel something for them so consider today a reminder or primer for when you really should just work past your feelings and cut the strings.
You Feel Worse After You See Them

Maybe you feel like your heart is breaking and that you can't seem to breath or focus on anything since you and your main squeeze split, and all you seem to think about is when you can conveniently "bump" into them again. While plotting how to run into your ex is definitely a sign that you should take a massive step back, the real proof is evident when interacting with your ex leaves you feeling worse than before you saw them. I used to have an ex that I ran into regularly because we had a class together and a few mutual friends. The sick-to-my-stomach feeling was overbearing and just left me feeling hollow when I was pretty much ignored or when a new girl had caught his eye. I swear that semester could not have ended any faster and it was a sort of weird love-hate thing. I loved to show that I was living well, but I hated how small and insignificant he could make me feel especially when he actually gave me the attention I craved.

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Going on an emotional and mental roller coaster is just insane and you have to take stock of how you feel after you interact with your ex. Look past your emotions and really examine how you are being affected by your ex's actions. Chances are they won't be positive. I mean you did stop seeing each other for a reason, right?

You Talk Incessantly About Your Ex

Do you word vomit about your past relationship and your ex to anyone who will listen? If you find yourself talking about them every single day to your friends and family then you NEED TO QUIT. Talking about a relationship can be incredibly cathartic and aid in the healing process when your heart is bleeding, but there comes a time when you have to stop. There's a difference between talking through your feelings after a break-up and sounding like a broken record several months later. Your friends and family want to support you, but they aren't saints. Don't push away your support system because you can't let go of your past with someone who isn't even around anymore.

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You Do Crazy Things

Look, we've all been to the crazy house in the name of love. Anyone who says they haven't done something completely out of character or cringe-worthy is an absolute liar. When you fall for someone your emotions can rule your world and doing extreme things like driving by their house at all hours to see if they are home or if they have company, casing their workplace or anywhere that they are regularly is, well, crazy. Trying to make your ex jealous falls well within the bounds of doing crazy things, specifically if you are involving someone else in your actions. I once went on a wild spree of dates with boys that I cared nothing about just to prove a point and I still can't believe that I did something like that. Guys that actually liked me had no idea what was going on and I was creating my own crazy world just trying to make someone that I had minimal contact with jealous. The crazy thing is that they did get jealous and contacted me which just started the whole ludicrous cycle again.

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You Try To Reinsert Yourself Into Your Ex's Life

Let's say that you had a messy break-up and all ties were cut between yourself and your ex, but you find yourself trying to re-friend your ex on your Facebook or maybe you just up and joined their study group or gym, hmmm, what does this mean? It means that you are trying to get back into their daily life and that is not a good thing. If you had a dramatic parting then why would you try to get back into their lives?

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I know you might be hurting or perhaps you think that the only way to move forward is to make amends and show that there aren't any hard feelings, but that isn't so. If your ending was a knock-down-drag-out brawl of a thing then why would you ever try to be involved with your ex in a completely unnecessary way? Think about it from their perspective as well. Would you like it if your ex was popping up randomly and all you wanted to do was put the whole thing and them behind you? I've tried to wiggle my way back into my ex's life, had it done to me, and even been the significant other of someone who just couldn't shake their ex, so I've experienced this from all angles and let me say that nothing good can come of it. Respect boundaries, respect yourself and stay out of their life. It's seriously the best thing for the both of you.

Relationships and break-ups can make you lose yourself a little bit but that doesn't mean that you you can't find your way back to sanity. I'm not saying that there aren't instances when you can actually become revive a friendship after ending a relationship because that is totally a thing that can happen in special circumstances. However, most likely, when you and your significant other decide to call it quits it's best to make a clean break and just walk away before you or they do something a little crazy. Plus, the faster you let your ex go the faster you can re-focus on yourself and honestly that's where your attention should be after a break-up. If things don't go smoothly and you do one or...ALL of these you're completely normal, or at least you're as normal as me because I've seen and done it all.

MY TAKE: 

Right here, ladies. I got it. (via)
Crystal wants me to talk about letting go. So let's talk about letting go. Or maybe we can just talk about how much I suck at letting go and how cutting the cord isn't one of my strengths either.

My idea of letting go is to ride out the feelings until I just don't care anymore. It's never a conscious decision. It just happens and it's so gradual until one day the feelings are just gone. And then I'm left wondering why I ever felt anything, except I still have the remembrance of how consuming and important all those feelings seemed at the time.

I don't have the experience of a really messy break-up but I know what it's like to be hung up on someone who isn't good for you. 

I was caught up on one guy for a good two years and it was one of those situations that should never have even started, but it did. And I dragged that shit out until I'm pretty sure Crystal was ready to renounce our friendship. This guy and I were never anything official, at least not in the way I wanted to be, but I started to base whether I'd have a good time out with friends if he was there or not.

At parties and social outings, I'd sulk until he showed up but then spend the rest of the night acting coy and pretending "oh I didn't desperately want you to be here--I'm cool." And if he never showed, I'd resign myself to having a less good time. Our moments alone seemed to make everything worth it.

I don't think I ever showed him my crazy like I've done with other guys (shut up bartender, okay), but I let my hang-ups with him go on way too long--to a stupid, annoying degree that stopped me from actually meeting other people and moving on.

You know that Katy Perry song where she's all, "when I'm with him, I'm thinking of you?" Yeah, that was me for months. (Months? A year? I don't even want to remember.)

Oh shut up, Katy. (via)
But the thing is, even if you're not emotionally ready to let someone go, you can physically let them go. And you should physically let them go. Feel what you want to feel in your head, but respect yourself enough to not pursue something that isn't good for you. Did I fully do that? No. But I wish I did because I wasted way too much time on him.

Which is why my new motto is: Cut the ties and let your emotions catch up later. Your pride will thank you and so will your friends who won't have to watch you make the same shitty mistake over and over. I know it's easier said than done, but let's be real:

a) If you're caught up on someone it means you have feelings for them, so wise up and stop pretending it's just a dumb, fun fling and you're just so cool about all of it. You're not and continuing to see them won't suddenly make you cooler with it.

b) They don't care about you the way you care about them. In fact, they probably spend an 1/8th of the amount of time thinking about you that you spend thinking about them.

c) They are never going to be the person you want them to be. Ever.

So stop texting them, stop putting yourself in situations they'll be in and stop closing yourself off from experiences with other people because you're too busy thinking about someone who isn't thinking about you.


7 comments:

  1. "Let your emotions catch up later." That is GREAT advice. I'm going to spread it around to some of my friends that really need to hear it!

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  2. Oh, god. I totally was that crazy ex a few times that just would NOT LET GO. And when I say crazy I mean crazy. You know, way, WAY too many texts and such.

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  3. Totally agree with cutting the ties and letting emotions catch up later. I had an ex that I tried to stay friends with and it just didn't work at all; I ended up being emotionally responsible for him for a while afterward. Also had one of those relationships that should never have started but kind of persisted for over a year because he seemed nice enough at the time and I was lazy. Sigh.

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  4. I just wish I had followed it then! But seriously--no one needs to know you're sitting at home facebook stalking with a bottle of wine after you've broken it off.

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  5. Okay, so I think I want to write another blog post on this topic but I've been REALLY bad at letting go in the past too. Like the bartender I mentioned. It's like I just want closure and I wouldn't let go til I had it.

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  6. Haha, oh yes. I get the lazy part. That sounds like it would be a tough situation with the ex you stayed friends with. I couldn't do that either unless my feelings for them had never been very strong.

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