Change is the only constant and nowhere is that more accurate than in matters of the heart. They say breaking up is hard to do but how difficult and dramatic is up to you. The ability to own both your yes’s and no’s in love is the difference between being a naive princess versus a queen who rules her emotional kingdom with fairness and honesty.
Yes, with a little wherewithall, it is possible to walk through those farewells owning your decision with grace and peace. It begins by simply allowing time to be your friend rather than your enemy. Pushing against time only evokes panicky states of urgency that cause mistakes that give a portal for guilt and sorrow to creep in. From a mental health perspective, it is not mentally sound to continue an insincere relationship. ‘Fake it til you make it’ practices are risky at best.
Seriously, how many lies does it take to make someone sick? Why do we even feel compelled to react this way? It’s because we have been taught as women to believe that it is our duty and responsibility to place another’s wellbeing above our own. From a woman who has been there all too often, “Stop buying into that bullshit theory right this instant.”
As a modern woman, which is you my lady, you no longer need permission to break up with someone. You are free to be with or without anyone you desire. Own your power with humble dignity. Besides, it is dishonest to continue to deceive someone about your intentions. This is a self-sabotaging habit that allows character defects to flourish. Not good!
Impulsivity quite often leads to most regrets. Instead, think of this time as being a totally together woman functioning with both head and heart. Do this by becoming more of an observer of your interactions with this person and the feelings they evoke. Create a list, if it helps, describing why they are not a great fit for you. Keep it by your phone and look at it often. It’s not written in stone, and once again, these are only reminders to keep your conscious mind from being swallowed up by feelings of all sorts of negative self talk. Remember, this is supposed to be a period of transition evaluating the positives and negatives of this relationship, not a death sentence.
When you are ready, let your instincts guide you to lessen conversations with this ‘future’ ex. Plan your days so you are busy when you would normally be chatting. In psychology, they call that this process ‘sublimating.’ For example, a sex addict I worked with decided to play soccer instead of picking up prostitutes. I’m not sure if he ever truly kicked the desire, but he got in super shape. Research reports that it will take at least two months to break a habit and longer to create a new one. Relax, no pressure.
This is the key to detachment. Each morning before you jump out of bed, visualize yourself breaking off contact with this person telling yourself that you are fine. The more details in your visualization the more beneficial it is. Of course, you won’t feel that way at first. But Mom was right, ‘practice makes perfect’. Do it day after day. One morning, trust me on this, you’ll rise up and look at yourself in the mirror seeing a strong, independent woman that is ready to fully let go without much remorse at all. Voila!
At that point, when you’re damn ready, explain to your new ‘past’ in a firm but gracious manner that you appreciate the time you’ve shared, but you have decided it was no longer working out. Wish them well. Say goodbye. Delete their digits. Go shopping for some quick retail therapy, within your budget, and follow meeting up for drinks with friends.
In summary, time is your friend when allowed to help heal your heart and give you courage to move forwards without looking back. A few month’s from now you’ll look back and say, “That was a mike drop moment.’ It didn’t hurt a bit.”
Impulsive acts give myself time to actually decide if I’m ready to let go.
About April Kirkwood
April Kirkwood is a therapist, author, and speaker. Her primary goal is to assist others discover early childhood trauma and the effects it has on their adult romantic relationships. Her methodology unites the trinity of mind, soul, and body unification techniques. Her book, Working my Way Back to Me is a graphic memoir of a multi-generational dysfunctional family filled with intensely strong and crazy women that battle addiction, abuse, and adultery. The story demonstrates women’s universal internal pain and their futile attempts to find peace in a society that condemns their passions.
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