How do you know when to keep trying and when it's time to move on?
So you've tried everything you can think of to get him back. Followed all the advice, listened to "gurus." You've apologized, begged, apologized for begging. You've tried so many different ideas, you might feel dizzy, wondering which way is up. And after all this, your friends and family who love you are telling you to move on, that your ex is your ex for a reason. And that if it's meant to be, he'll "wake up and realize how great you are."
Even though you can't explain it, you know those things aren't true. You can't "just move on." Of course your ex is your ex for a reason. Probably several reasons. Those reasons are called fights. But you were together for a reason too. And that's the reason you keep remembering. You might not know how to get him back, but you know it isn't going to happen because the breakup fairy visited him in his sleep.
The feeling of helplessness is almost paralyzing. How do we know if we still have a shot? We don't want to move on too soon, because we wonder if there's something we could do that would make it work. But we don't want to waste our lives waiting for someone who will never wake up and see how you are his personal love angel. And as you'll see, you aren't helpless. The fact is most people breakup only for 1 of 3 reasons: They are ignorant of, afraid of or unwilling to face the problems in their relationship.
Spoiler Alert: Every relationship has problems. And the best relationships, the closest relationships, the most intimate and loving relationships, are the ones that have worked through the most problems. Together.
For example, let's say you and your ex broke up because he said you were too needy. He didn't think that when you first started dating. Or you wouldn't have had such an awesome relationship at first.
Here's what might have happened: somewhere along the way, you got scared of losing him. Maybe your experiences have taught you this is normal. Maybe your mom, your friends, your sister, your Aunt Sue all taught you to be afraid that love won't last. So you didn't even know there was anything wrong with that. And because you love him, you started to cling to him for dear life. He starts wondering "Why are you acting like that?" and pulls away. That makes you even more afraid, and starts a painful downward spiral.
Or, maybe you know the fear of losing him is no good, but you're afraid to face it. It seems stronger than you. That if you face the fear of losing him, you'll stop caring so deeply or you'll lose your passion, or change who you are. These are all evidences of fear. Ironically, it's the fear of facing our fears.
Maybe you're not afraid of your fear. Instead, you think, "Why should I be the one to change?" He does such and such. Let him be the one to change. I'm not going to change who I am for anyone. So be it. No one will make you. But your relationships will forever be brittle because you're too rigid.
This reluctance to "change who we are" comes from a misunderstanding of what relationships are all about. Relationships are a cooperation. They aren't a stand off. If your lover is turned off by some of your habits, it's likely they aren't the only one. The reason he brings them up is because he's closer to you than anyone else. This is what we mean when we say that relationships make us better people. By letting our guard down, being vulnerable, we let our weaknesses be exposed. Those weaknesses will be annoying, making you less than who you want to be. If you're in a loving relationship, your lover will tell you. He might not tell you outright. He might tell you by pulling away.
This is just one example, obviously. And maybe you weren't needy. Maybe he felt like you were too independent, too controlling, too jealous, whatever. Something that gradually ripped you and your lover apart and left you now alone and scratching your head. Now that you've identified it, are you willing to face the fear of it and get rid of it so you can have the man and the relationship you deserve?
It can be a lot of work. It can be frustrating. It can be painful. Would you rather go through that work, frustration and pain or live the rest of your life without the love of your life? And, if you don't address the problems that killed this relationship, what's to stop those same problems from carrying over into your next relationship and doing the same thing?
Let this painful breakup be a wake up call. Find out what happened. And then follow the simple steps to get him back. And then, with the man you love by your side, holding your hand, you'll honestly say, "That breakup was one of the best things that ever happened to me." And you'll mean it.
To learn more about the steps to get him back, click here.
More on How To Move On from YourTango:
- 8 Ways To Move On From A Past Relationship
- How To Move On From A Failed Relationship
- The Surprising Way To Get Your Ex Back