Break-ups are one of life’s toughest challenges. Disconnecting yourself from someone you’ve loved, the plans you’ve made, and the life you’ve created doesn’t get any easier, even when you get older. But something that I’m noticing is that there’s a trend occurring. The more I’ve been able to talk one on one with women who are dealing in heartache and confusion. Many of them are holding on to something very similar—an image of their now ex.
Now, what do I mean by an image?
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When you walk away from a relationship, I’m sure you agree that no one can take that deep memory of your former love away from you, right? You have this image in your mind of him that you can’t seem to get out of your mind, no matter how much you try. But the question that I pose to you is,
“What image of him are you holding on to?”
Let’s talk about those images and the pressures of each.
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The Past Image. The very first image that comes to mind is the image of who he used to be. This is the man that we met. The one we fell in love with. He was everything to you and he did everything that he could to get your attention. Remember that one? The pressure with holding on to “who he used to be” is that he is no longer that man. You are breaking up with someone different. He is not who he used to be and who he is now isn’t making you happy anymore. You have to remind yourself that this is okay and to move on. You can hold on to who he used to be for as long as you want, but that’s not going to bring that same man back. What you may find that you are doing is really using up a lot of the free time that could be better spent on finding someone who suits you right now.
The Future Image. We are holding on to an image of who he promised he’d be in the future. How many times have you heard him say, “just be patient, just strap up those boots, just…whatever.” He promised you that the future was clear for the two of you if you could make it through the test. If you could be loyal (while he does whatever he wants to do) then you wouldn’t regret it. This is probably one of the harder images to let go of. We have fallen in love with who he could potentially be, and we’ve invested so much into this potential that we must hold out until the end—no matter how much this relationship is killing us. Never stay with someone merely for their potential because they may never live up to it. And in the end, you will be left feeling betrayed and bitter because you’ve invested so much into him and he’s never materialized. It’s not worth it. Do yourself a favor and let go of him and the image.