Could YOU stay Facebook friends with an ex?
My breakup did not go smoothly, and being connected with her on Facebook didn't help. Yes, I still loved her. Yes, I still wanted her in my life. Yes, I missed holding, laughing, cooking, exercising, talking to and making love with her, but she needed something else that I could not offer. That sucked, but it was undeniably true.
But geez, letting go was like having my limbs pulled out in all four directions and strangling my heart all at once. Seeing her on Facebook made it worse. I could not look at pictures of us without going into the pain of withdrawals. So I took them down. Yes, all of them. I had that "tipping point" moment where I was holding on way too tight and had to go the opposite extreme—erasure.
I was getting all kinds of advice, such as "no communication of any kind for at least a year" (wow, that seemed severe!), "no showing up at the same parties" (how do I do that when we are in the same community with so many of the same friends?), or "un-friend her on Facebook" (big ouch—I stilled love her and at the very least wanted her friendship. Besides, I promised her I would always remain her friend!). I had to figure out how to move on...without un-friending her.
That was some time ago and miraculously I survived to talk about it, or so I thought until I got an announcement that my ex was going to have a baby. In that moment, I cannot begin to tell you all the thoughts that hit me. When I came out of it, I was surprised to discover how much time had passed. What the heck was going on and what could I do about it?
I call this "The Let's Have Another Baby Syndrome." Any woman that has had a child knows this one. You see a newborn and instantly you find yourself wanting another child. You have completely forgotten about carrying the last one for nine months and the impact that it had on your body. You forget about all the scares and concerns of childbirth. You forget about nursing and the nights and weeks without rest because your baby wouldn't sleep through the night. You conveniently forget all the reasons why you proclaimed to the world, "never again!"
The truth is, you were drugged—kind of. No, you didn't consume some hypnotic potion that made you forget why you broke up with your man or why you don't want another child. Just like chemistry, your biology made a shift. Testosterone, estrogen and oxytocin levels change and suddenly you're having feelings you had long forgotten.
Science has not been able to pinpoint a specific action that causes these shifts towards an overwhelming desire for children to happen. This means we have to look to at what's going on with us sociologically and psychologically. Author Lara Carroll sums it up well in her article "The Biological Urge: What's the Truth?" There is a conditioned "longing" that happens. The solution is to step back and take a look at our own lives, what beliefs we may be holding on to, and what might be truly missing.
The same is true with romance. Although there are studies that show chemistry has an influence on our ability to let go of a past love, it's like the desire for children: there are other very telling influences.
When you discover on Facebook that your ex is engaged, is going to have a baby or is happily dating someone new and suddenly you are overwhelmed with sadness instead of joy, this is the perfect time to do two critical things.
Step One: Go to your list. Re-read that list, the one which details all the reasons why you made that final split. If you don't have a list, make one right NOW! If you can't remember why you split, ask your friends for help. They will remind you that you always argued, that he never listened, that she couldn't relax, that you totally disagreed about how to handle money, that neither of you were happy about your sex life...Oh yeah, you forgot about that one, didn't you?
This memory jog will shake you out of the feeling of instant remorse, but it will not keep you out unless you take one more critical action.
Step Two: Remove all blame and shame. You must look at your own life now and examine what is going on for you right now. What are you longing for? What sociological conditioning are you reacting to? If your ex is engaged, did you subconsciously just tell yourself, "I should be engaged too"? If you did, it's likely your sorrow wasn't due to the feeling of permanently losing him. (Remember your list). It's because you are making yourself bad for not being good enough to also be engaged. You have managed to equate your ex's announcement with you being broken, incapable, less-than, lonely...the list of self deprecating conditions goes on and on.
Where lists are great reminders, they can also be troubling reminders if you have not freed yourself from shame or blame, or if you don't know why you argued or why your sex-life fell apart. Or, if you are blaming your ex or shaming yourself for this, you are now forever stuck in the past, running stories that keep you from your own happiness.
I have my clients look at three things to get clarity and "freedom":
- Where did you disagree about what you wanted in a relationship?
- How open and honest were you in expressing your hopes, wants and desires and also your challenges and fears?
- How were you energetically different and challenged? If you did not have the same style of communication it makes sense why you had difficulty conversing and why it was challenging to have intimate conversations. If you did not have the same energetics sexually, it makes sense that your sex life changed from hot to cold. And so on.
Looking honestly at how our needs were met and knowing our energetic profiles frees us from shame and blame.
Not only do we get our life back without feelings of sadness and unresolved longings, we are able to celebrate the joy of others.
Time to congratulate your ex, rather than beat yourself up. You can even thank Facebook for making you go through all of this. It's definitely worth it.
Epilogue: My ex just had her baby. When I first found out she was pregnant it did stir up a boatload of emotions. And, I went to her baby shower with a basket of very cool gifts. When I saw her holding her beautiful baby boy I was briefly overcome again. Without taking the steps I suggested in this article I would never have been able to feel the joy for her and her man, nor be a part of the celebration of their life.
Are you experiencing feelings of sadness and remorse about a past relationship? Is there some degree of shame or blame you are holding on to? A relationship counselor or coach can help you get free of these feelings and replace them with supporting beliefs that bring you joy, happiness and the partner of your dreams. Please contact me at LarryM@MatchMatrix.com. I understand the problem well, I've used the steps and I'm here to help. Need instant help to gain emotional freedom and attract your perfect mate? Start with this free personal energetic profile.