What’s the only thing worse than dating someone who doesn’t treat you well?
Being all alone……Right?
When you’re dating someone who doesn’t treat you right, or that hurts you, you know deep down that you should leave them. You get that uncomfortable feeling in your gut. That little voice that says you need to get out.
I used to spend a lot of time ignoring that voice and burying that uneasy feeling with a mighty dose of “everything is fine!” I wanted to believe Dave when he said that he could change and that everything would go back to being great again. I wanted to believe him when he said he would never hurt me again. After all, aren’t we supposed to give people second chances? Aren’t we supposed to sacrifice a little and compromise a little and aren’t we supposed to forgive??
When I think about it, even when things got better and Dave seemed like he was back to being the loving version of my boyfriend, I would tell myself that I was so happy and so lucky and that everything was perfect again…..but I always felt the tension in my gut. I couldn’t get rid of that discomfort no matter what I tried. And I couldn’t get that little voice to shut up that kept telling me something was not right.
Trust Your Gut And Listen To Your Voice! When I tried, finally, to listen to myself and to be honest with myself, the thought of breaking up with Dave seemed like the most impossible, most terrifying thing I could imagine. Because if I wasn’t dating Dave, then I was going to be–don don don–alone. I realized that putting myself first was more important than staying in a bad situation. As scary as it was to think about, I could handle being on my own. I did it before meeting Dave, and I survived things that were a lot worse while dating him, so I had to trust myself to get through the sadness of breaking up in order to get my life back and hold strong to what I knew I deserved.
Breaking up with someone is hard. There’s no shortcut you can take. Even after you realize that it is not healthy for you to stay or that it’s not working for you and you deserve better, it is still hard to leave.
Relationships become comfortable. You form habits around phone calls and dates and hanging out. You have invested a lot of energy in trying to open yourself up to let someone in. The thought of breaking up leads to all sorts of questions. Who am I going to talk to now? Who am I going to hang out with on the weekends? Who will call me to say goodnight before going to bed? Who’s going to write me notes and walk with me in between classes and sit with me at lunch? What if I am making a mistake? What if I regret it and he doesn’t take me back? What if he’s my soul mate and I am throwing it away and what if no one ever loves me again??
Here’s some things that helped me when I was going through a breakup, that are important to remember:
Hold Out For The Guy That Loves You In A Healthy Way. The guy that loves you just the way you are. That thinks you are pretty without makeup or your hair straightened or fancy clothes. That is proud of your accomplishments instead of threatened by them. That listens to you if you are scared or unsure and doesn’t make you feel stupid for having an opinion. That loves the fact that you have other friends. that is honest and open and communicates. That makes you feel safe. He’s out there, and you can’t find him if you are stuck with Mr. Wrong.
Happiness Comes From Within. Being in love, and having someone love you, can make you feel happy. So happy at times that it is tempting to give credit to the other person for making you feel happy instead of realizing that you are responsible for your own happiness. When we think that our happiness depends on someone else, it keeps us dependent on someone else for fear that we will never be happy without them. How great would it be if you could feel happy all on your own? You can! You won’t feel happy right away–breakups can be devastating–but trust yourself and know that you have the power to make yourself happy. Your current boyfriend is not the only one that can make you feel happy.
There Are Other Fish In The Sea. I hate this saying. It used to make me feel nauseous every time someone said it to me. I thought it was the stupidest analogy ever. So, here’s a different one for you. Your boyfriend is not the last chocolate croissant on the shelf. Yes, that’s right. Think about it. Think about the feeling you get when are standing in line at a bakery or deli and there are five people in front of you and only one chocolate croissant left behind the glass of the display. You know that anxious, frantic feeling that runs through your whole body because you are afraid someone else might buy it before you do? You think that that chocolate croissant is the only thing that can make you happy or that will taste good. That’s what’s it’s like to break up with someone. If there were a hundred other chocolate croissants lining the shelves, we wouldn’t think twice about one in particular. Maybe another tray is in the oven about to be served. Or maybe if we tried the banana bread, we would find that we liked it even more than the croissant. So screw the fish and remember, there are other pastries in the bakery.
Continuing with this ridiculous (but helpful) bakery analogy…. remember that If You Are Allergic To Gluten, The Cupcakes Will Always Make You Sick, Just Like If You Continue To Date Someone That Abuses You, You Will Continue To Get Hurt. Think about how delicious cupcakes look when they first come out of the oven. The smell making your mouth water. The icing melting down the sides. It looks like a little piece of heaven, all wrapped up in a colorful paper-thin cup, moist and warm and chocolaty. As in an abusive relationships, the cupcake we want so badly looks perfect and oh so tempting. But what we can’t see, is that if we are allergic to one of the main ingredients in the cupcake, it is going to make us sick. It is filled with poison. It will hurt us. Usually, we don’t know we are allergic to something until we try it, just as we usually don’t know someone is abusive until after we’ve been dating them for a while. Even though we know it’s bad for us, a cupcake might still look so tempting that we it will try to make us believe it will be different this time; we want to believe that things can change, but we know that as good as it might taste at first, it will make us sick. Abusers have the poisonous ingredient inside of them. No matter how innocent or beautiful or harmless or tempting they look, the only way to make sure we aren’t poisoned again is to leave. Find a gluten-free cupcake. Have some ice cream. Or give up sweets for a while.
Nothing Lasts Forever. (Enough of the food analogies, I’m making myself hungry.) No matter how bad things are, they can get better. No matter how helpless or hopeless a situation looks, there is a way out. No matter how painful or devastating it is to lose someone you love, you will survive. You will love again. No matter how many millions of billions of pieces your heart shatters into, it will put itself back together even stronger than it was before. You will be happy again. You will love again. There are endless adventures and opportunities waiting for you! Think of life as a giant wheel. When you are at the very bottom of the wheel, do you stay there? No. You start moving upwards. Keep remembering that what you are going through is temporary, not permanent, and better things are on their way.
There Are Over 6,898,948,616 People In The World. Next time you feel alone or worry that you have no friends, remember these numbers. Statistically, at least one of these people would want to be your friend, but chances are, there are millions and millions and millions of people who would think you are pretty freaking cool if they got to know you. Heck, I think you are cool just for reading all of my ramblings, so there’s one friend automatically added to your list. Abusers will make you feel isolated from the rest of the world. I have been there too, and I spent night after night thinking that no one would ever understand. I pictured myself inside a bubble. No one else was in my bubble, it was just me, and it was a sad and a lonely place. I felt like there was no way out and no way for other people to break in. The hardest part about breaking the bubble was the battle in my own head. As long as I saw it as being impossible to break out of: it was. But when I realized that it wasn’t as thick as I imagined it to be, the actual action of reaching out to others, or letting others help me, was much less scary than the thought of it. No matter how lonely you might be. You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone.