There is nothing more painful than when someone you love decides to end the relationship. Whether it was a slow demise or a blindside, everything you’ve ever believed about them; everything you ever believed about YOURSELF is now called into question. Dreams of a lifetime partnership that is just on the brink of realization are dashed and you’re left wondering how to survive this devastating loss.
I know how you feel. I’ve been there as most of us have once or twice. It’s not easy letting someone go. It sure as hell isn’t an overnight process, but there is a process just the same. Much like the 5 stages of the grieving process (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance), the process of accepting a love lost is much the same.
Denial. Especially evident when a relationship is slowing dying, we tend to deny what is happening. We chalk their disinterest up to work-related stress, relationship ebs and flows, or we just plain ol’ ignore the red flags.
Anger. When the breakup happens, a rush of emotions well up inside, most of all anger. Anger at them, anger at what we think may have caused the break up, or anger at ourselves for missing the signs or starting the relationship in the first place. Someone has to be at fault, right?
Bargaining. When the pain and anger get too much to bear, we find ways to alleviate it. We start asking, what can I do to get them back? What can I change about myself to make it better? What do I need to do to get rid of the pain I’m in?
Depression. When bargaining does not work, we fall into a state of sadness and despair. Nothing is the same without them. We’ve lost a sense of who we are without them. Friends and family cannot console us. We just stop caring.
Acceptance. After some time, the rain clouds disappear and we come to terms with what is. The relationship is over.
Learning to accept that a relationship has ended is a far cry from being okay with it, though. Being okay with your partner walking away takes understanding that their walking away has less to do with you and more to do with them.
Let me repeat: Their walking away has less to do with you and more to do with them.
Their walking away is an admittance that the relationship, not you, was not ideal. Instead of blaming yourself or believing that you were not enough, realize that they did you a favor. You should be with someone who is all in, just like you. If they aren’t, it needed to end. A half-ass relationship does no one any service.
Do not assume the responsibility of making someone else love you or stay in a relationship with you. The right person for will not only want to stay, they will work like hell to do so. That is not to say that your ex-partner is a bad person or lacking in some way. They just aren’t the right person for you. A relationship is a very intricate dance between two people. It takes trust, commitment, dedication, and passion for it to be just right. Not everyone who can strap on a pair of shoes and do the two-step is meant to be your dance partner. Just because you can’t get it right together doesn’t mean there isn’t someone who is better suited for you. Be grateful for the experience and thankful that they’ve stepped aside for the partner who is going is sweep you off your feet.