This typically happens when there is a standard line that is used to end the relationship. “It’s not you, it’s me”, “I love you but I’m not in love with you”, “We need space”, “I’m scared I’ll end up hurting you”, “We are in different places in our lives”, “It’s just not workout out”, “We’ve grown apart”, or any of the other lines you can typically imagine that fits in this category. This is because there is a big question left unanswered – “WHY”.
Why, Oh Why? …Sometimes there are no answers.
Clearly, the person who is doing the breaking up is ready to move on. However, the other party could be in shock and not ready to let go. Then as a result there is the big question which most want an answer for and generally do not get. The WHY is the big question that many people need answers to because they are often left sad, confused, frustrated, angry and completely lost regarding what happened when they are left holding the bag. Aside from being in shock, the question why is typically used to try to process the shock and gain understanding. Even though the person breaking up may have given a line, an excuse or a reason, there is typically much more that the other person needs or wants to know. However, to spare the other person pain, humiliation, drama, or just to move on, this question is usually left floating and unanswered. Most people do not get glory or kicks from breaking someone else’s heart.
Yet, the person receiving this line or on the receiving end of the breakup wants a deeper answer. They want to know if they can fix it. They want to know if the relationship can be saved. They want to know if maybe they can be friends. They want to know what, if anything, they can do to get things back to the way they once were. They want to know if there is someone else. They want to know if they can go back in time and undo something they may have done. There are a zillion questions that could be asked for any number of reasons. However, many people give the breakup excuses as an easy way out, or a way to sever ties with the other person without causing too much emotional damage. Unfortunately, the typical breakup lines are much easier than blatant and brutal honesty and are a whole lot easier than chopping another person’s heart into a zillion pieces. They realize it will be rough, but answering a bunch of questions asked by your ex is a whole lot of mess that most people do not want to get involved in.
In my professional experience, many people are not ready to let go despite having already gone through the breakup. They continue to look for answers that may not exist or that the other person may not be willing to give. Even in my own past breakups, I also got hung up on trying to figure out why. Later I realized the why didn’t matter and all that mattered was how to start healing and how to move on with my life. Additionally, for those answering the why, this may seem overly dramatic and like it is dragging on the inevitable. Plus, many feel vulnerable that they could be manipulated back into the relationship if they give reasons that the other person could justify, rebuke, apologize for. Since answering the why questions could possibly allow for this said window of opportunity, it is easier to ignore the why request and avoid the drama which could include confrontation, accusations, or manipulation of any kind. So, it’s easier to give a line, an excuse, break it off and move on. It avoids the crying, the deep conversations, and the drama.
However, for the person enduring the break-up without answers this can feel like a whole lot of pain without any closure. This is because the relationship was severed yet they have been unable to process the whole ordeal. It gets particularly difficult if you want to have a conversation about the how or the why and the other person is unreachable or unwilling to engage in it. The process of letting go is important in order to experience the closure, let go of the relationship and move on for one’s own personal growth and sanity.
So, how do you let go, gain closure and move on after a break-up when the “why” was left unanswered?
Step 1. Do yourself a favor and delete all of their information from your phone and from your email. Save yourself extra grief and DO NOT reread love letters, emails, texts or any other type of lovey communication from your ex.
Deleting their information will save you a ton of heartache and will help better prepare you to move on. This also saves you from being tempted to see what this person is doing online. It prevents you from randomly emailing, calling or drunk dialing (or drunk texting) when you are sad and lonely. This also saves you a ton of humiliation and your dignity. Trust me, it’s for your own good. Plus, if your ex wants to call you he/she will call or text you. But, if the relationship is over and you are serious about moving on, this is step one to getting your life back on track and to letting go.
Step 2. Write a letter or a journal entry as though you are sending it to the person, but don’t send it. (This is step 2 because you should have deleted their info in Step 1!).
If this person does not want to hear from you again, a letter or any other communication is not going to be helpful to you or welcomed. So why hurt yourself further? The purpose of writing a letter like this is for your own healing, your own closure and catharsis. So writing it is for you, not for them.
Plus, if you want to tell them a bunch of nasty stuff, you can write it out for the purpose of getting it out and expressing it and never having to send it. This also saves your karma points for another day. So inside the letter may you ask “why” or “how” or any other number of questions that you want to ask. This is the place to ask it. It’s true that you will not get answers in writing a letter that you won’t send, but the point is to get it out of your system, out of your mind, out of your heart and onto the paper. You can burn the letter, put it in your closet, or send it out into the universe. But whatever you do, don’t send it to your ex.
Step 3. Save the drama for your mama! Express your grief to YOUR friends and loved ones and stay away from your ex and friends of your ex.
Phone a friend, call your sister/brother or mother. You will need someone to talk to. This is normal and natural. The process of grieving is unique for every person and for every relationship. Also, talking it out with friends helps to process what is going on in your mind, even when you do not have the answers you seek. You can wonder and ponder and share your feelings, your hurt, and this helps you to grow past it. This helps you to move beyond the hurt and to slowly let go of the anger, confusion and sadness. However, you may want to steer clear of mutual friends of your ex in order to process in private. This also allows you to have your dignity and privacy. Don’t seek answers from friends of your ex. This will just create drama and a whole other set of issues because it will eventually get back to that person that you are asking questions, need answers or inquiring about them. This makes you look desperate, sad, and fixated on them and the past relationship. Grieve to your own circle and let go of your ex and all of his/her friends. You may think you will get somewhere, but for your own sanity and well-being, do not contact the friends of your ex.
Step 4. Evaluate what you learned from the relationship and the experience.
Some relationships teach you about love, about life, about compassion while others teach you “what not to do”. It is important to extract your “lessons learned” from each relationship so that you can grow from it. What worked for you in this past relationship that you would take into future relationships? What did not work from this relationship and what mental notes can you make about this so these behaviors are not repeated in future relationships? What did you learn about this partner that may help you improve your choice of a partner?
Step 5. Start a personal development plan.
Find a workout buddy. Enroll in a cooking class or start learning a new language. Take up hiking, jogging, or skiing. Join a Meetup (meetup.com). Find a hobby. Do something to better yourself. You will have extra time on your hands so it is best to do something constructive that will help you advance yourself and will help take your mind off any sadness or pain you may be feeling.
Step 6. Get a “new you” theme song.
“Eye of the Tiger” is from the seventies and may not fit your rhythm. That’s fine. Set up a theme song that keeps you upbeat and focused on the NEW you. Check out the latest top 20 or find a song that speaks to you. You are single now and you are actively letting go of the past. How better to claim your new found power than to give yourself a theme song that makes you feel strong, powerful and centered? Find something upbeat, joyful and does NOT remind you of your ex. Find a song that rings true for you and reclaim your personal power.
Step 7. Meditate and cut the emotional cords.
We all know that when emotions are strong and others are connected to you. Therefore, it is important to do a cord cutting meditation/visualization when releasing someone from your life. Plus, this is another way that you can emotionally and mentally let go of this person who has left your life. This is known to increase your energy after and can help you maintain your own sense of balance after letting go of energies that no longer serve you.
Letting go is a process and you should be gentle and kind to yourself as you go through it. Don’t expect that it will take a few days, a month, or even a few months. The time is different depending on the type of relationship, how long you were together, etc. Additionally, everyone copes differently and at different rates. For whatever reason the relationship ended, it is important to utilize self-care techniques to get through the grieving process. Also, it is always good to connect with supportive individuals who care about you and can help through the grief and difficult moments.
Keep your chin up and keep moving forward!
In love and light,
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