By Robin Brown
"Did that seriously just happen?"
We can have that thought about anything in life, small or big, but I'm talking about HUGE things today. You just got dumped!
There I said it. You read it and it still hurts.
The funny thing is, it doesn't matter if it was something you wanted to happen or not. When someone dumps us, they reject you. How could they reject the wonderful human being we are? It's as if someone handed you the biggest challenge of your life. "See, you aren't worth my time". It automatically leads us to want to justify ourselves to them – I am good enough for you!
But that's not what you should do.
The process takes time, whether we like it or not, but it does happen. You can however help it along. Before we get into the three steps that you should take, there is one thing that will help you more than anything. If you don't finish this article, at least read the next statement.
Speak POSITIVE.You are worth it. The best of my life is still coming.
Your future will be better because this horrible thing happened. The whole process will go much faster and smoother if you constantly remind yourself to speak positively to yourself. Remember, you did not break up with yourself. You aren’t the one who quit on you, so don't start now!
Step 1: Take a step back
Taking a step back gives you the time and distance you will need to heal. This person hurt you. They do not deserve to have you as a friend to comfort them. I realize it is not always possible to completely cut contact, but minimizing it as much as possible helps.
There is nothing you need to say, nothing that is going to change their mind. You are worth it. When we talk to those that just hurt us, while we may not consciously do it, we are still wanting validation that they feel they made the mistake. But honestly, if you need their validation, you are not ready to move on.
Also remember that it's not just seeing and talking to them that keeps you from being able to take a step back. It's talking about the relationship to yourself and anyone else. So while, yes you probably are going to have to talk about it to a few friends, keep it short and don't dwell on it. Dwelling on the situation keeps you in the situation. Keep yourself busy with other passions and interests. When you find Mr. Right, you don't want to be dwelling on Mr. Wrong.
Step 2: Reflect
Once you have given yourself some time and distance, you are ready to reflect.
True reflection can only happen when you are in a calm emotional state. Right after the breakup you are generally too upset to think rationally. Once you are ready some things to consider are:
1. What are things that you did not like about him that you want to consider during your next relationship?
Absolutely no one is perfect. If you cannot answer this question, then you are still in step 1. Once you are able to answer this question, then you have gained valuable insight into yourself and what you want in a future mate.
2. What are things you did not like about yourself in the relationship that you want to avoid in future ones?
Again absolutely no one is perfect. If you cannot answer this question, then you are still in step 1.
Answering this question is leading to an even deeper level of insight into your future happiness because it is addressing things you can control. Being in control of the things you can be is a big step to future happiness.
Were there red flags that you missed because you didn't want to see them at the time? It is never just one thing that ruins a relationship. There may be one big thing, but even that can usually be worked out if it is truly the only thing.
An important note here: don't just think about what they told you. People can easily say one thing and mean another. Relying solely on their words will not allow you the growth you want.
Reflection is an amazing process when you can do it well. It not only helps healing by realizing the relationship wasn't the best anyway. You learn from it and it helps you know what to do differently to avoid those mistakes in the future.
Step 3: Keep moving forward
There have been so many times in my life that once I was able to reflect I was glad I didn't get what I wanted. I didn't know my life would be better without it. Life is too short to let setbacks ruin you.
So what do you do in the meantime?
Even knowing that it will turn out ok, doesn't change the feeling of disappointment. This is where I think most people are lost. This breakup is an opportunity. This amazing thing happened. It's an opportunity to a better life than you imagined. Keep moving forward and look to life to show you lessons.
1. Life is helping you out by closing a door. It's an opportunity to look elsewhere. Find a different relationship. The one you were in was toxic in some way and wasn't going to be able to survive your lifetime. Start looking for new opportunities and adventures.
2. Life is helping you out by leading you to other people or thoughts. Being in circumstances that require you to look to what others can teach you can give you insight that you wouldn't have known about otherwise.
3. Life is helping you out by showing you that you are enough. You don't need others to be in control of your happiness. Learning and accepting this is truly a gift. It's learning that no matter what mistakes you make, or what you do, you are enough. You are capable.
4. Life is helping you by showing you that you aren't the center of anyone else's world. As much as we sometimes like to think, we are not the center of anyone else's world. We are the center of our world, and if we don't take care of ourselves, others can't do it for us. We can't expect other people to take on the responsibility of taking care of ourselves and themselves - and hopefully we wouldn't want to.
Life is amazing. But more importantly, life is what you make it. I hope you are able to take advantage of the situation you are in. You've got this!