Over the past week I’ve had conversations with three fabulous women, all deliberately stuck on single because of their reportedly thiefing exes. Fab gal #1 claims her ex-love stole her independence and until she gets it back, which she plans to do by joining a women’s networking group, connecting with her friends and re-focusing on the career, she refuses to date. Fab gal #2 claims her ex-love nabbed her security and until she loses 10 pounds, grows out her hair and can afford a whole new wardrobe, she won’t even think about dating again. And finally, fab gal #3 claims her ex-love deprived her of her interest in culture and learning and is determined to re-immerse herself through regularly attending plays, festivals and classes – once she feels fascinating enough again to be date worthy, she will jump back in the game.
Here’s the thing. Fab gals 1, 2, and 3 weren’t robbed of anything. They gave those things that they once cherished away during the course of their relationships. Sure their respective men may have influenced them to do so – in fab gal 1’s case perhaps her now ex liked being with her so much that he always wanted to hang out (can you blame him? After all, she is fabulous!), but it was her choice to cease doing the things that made her feel independent. She gave up her friends for example and then unfairly resented him for it. In fab gal 2’s case, her ex showed love not by complimenting her and making her feel pretty but by giving her gifts. Different people show and need to be shown love in different ways. In relationships it is up to you to monitor your personal health - keep what you need and to communicate to your partner those things and how they play a part in supporting you (be it remarks of beauty, spending time to yourself, going out and being adventurous); if they can’t, really think about if this guy is the one for you. Chances are, he’s not. Then you need to take that thing, that thing that you hold so dear and find someone who will be supportive of maintaining it in your life.
And here’s the other thing. By staying stuck on single because of him, by deciding they are ineligible for like and love until they get back what, isn’t really gone but rather is just lightly buried under an excuse not to date again, in essence the fab threesome are still with their exes. They haven’t moved on. They've given their exes the power of their thoughts – how they perceive themselves (dependent, insecure, boring)! When moving onward, it is key to accept that your ex couldn’t provide what you needed and that you allowed it to get to an unbearable point where you felt robbed. Be thankful that you had the wisdom to acknowledge this monumental learning - one that you will take into all future relationships- and the strength to let this one go. You might need to deal with getting your books, favorite hoodie, pricey shampoo and spare slippers back from him, but rest assure, your inner core is intact. That should be just the healing prescription required to help you become unstuck and free to date again, as the fab gal you were, are and always will be.
Live and love largely,