Ah love…if was just a more logical and rational emotion, it would make life so much easier! However, emotions are not rational or logical in any way. That is why they are called emotions, and love is the least logical of them all!
This is why I meet several students who know what they want to do, but just can’t quite make themselves follow through. The mind is the first to know when it is time to leave a relationship, but the heart will fight very hard in it’s refusal to accept the inevitable. What’s that saying about hope being a double-edged sword? Yep, it keeps you hanging on…just in case it may work out. However, it can keep you in a miserable situation for a much longer time than necessary. Fear is the other emotion that gets in the way. Most people think to themselves, “Am I doing the right thing? What if I don’t find someone else? What if I lose the best thing that ever happened to me? What if I ruin this person’s life? I don’t want to hurt them.”
Remember that no relationship is completely horrible. It may even be good, yet you feel there is “something” missing. The good part is what keeps people hanging on, even though they know in their head that it isn’t good enough. You may feel at war with yourself sometimes. Some days you tell yourself you’re settling and deserve more out of a relationship. Other days you tell yourself that you’re being too picky and no relationship will ever be perfect. Stay or go? Go or stay?
Your head confirms that you know it is time to leave the relationship. Your heart continues to argue that being alone sucks far worse than being in a crappy relationship. When it comes right down to it, your heart is going to tell you that a little is better than nothing. This is usually what keeps people from wanting to make the final break. No one wants to make a mistake and live with regret. So you wonder why break-ups are usually messy? This is why!
When people break-up before it gets messy it usually means they are less emotionally attached so the logical brain is able to take over or they are interested in someone else and don’t have the fear of being alone holding them back. If you are emotionally attached and don’t have someone else ready and waiting, then my guess is that you won’t be able to go through with the break-up until it is harder to be with the person than without them. Getting to that point is often very messy. It means you have to first develop a lot of anger and frustration which will finally propel you out the door.
Only anger does diminish with a few hours, days or sometimes weeks. So, then the game of get back together, break up again, starts. What a pain!! Why can’t this just be a simple process? Your brain knows this isn’t a good idea, but yet you keep doing it anyway. Trust me, it is frustrating beyond belief. However, give your heart a break. It just wants to make sure you don’t have ANY regrets. It just can’t let go until it is ABSOLUTELY sure this person isn’t the one. If there is even still a 1% chance, it usually means you will stick in there even though it is extremely painful just to make sure you don’t make a mistake. If you’ve seen “Dumb and Dumber”, I know you can relate. When she says he has a one in a million chance of being with her, he doesn’t see that as a bad thing, he gets excited because he believes there is still a chance, even if her point was that he doesn’t have one!
I wish I could make it easier somehow. Breaking up with someone is a process. It will take time. How much time? That is another thing that is totally random and undetermined ahead of time. Just don’t get too down on yourself because you can’t seem to do what you know you should do. If the relationship isn’t going to work itself out, it will be obvious even to your heart at some point. You may feel like you’ve wasted a bunch of time, but I will tell you that is better than trying to move on while constantly wondering in your head “What if?” If you go through the whole process, I can almost promise at some point you won’t second guess your decision. You won’t look back, and you will adjust to either being alone or being in a new relationship with someone else.
In a world where everything seems to come faster and easier because of technology, it can be hard to go through a long process like a break-up. I wish technology could figure out a way to make the heart agree with logic a lot faster. The person who can figure it out will definitely be a billionaire, because I don’t know who wouldn’t pay to make a break-up a faster and easier process. In the meantime, remember to take care of yourself. Depend on your friends and family. If they end up becoming frustrated with you in the process, I encourage you to seek out a counselor who will let you take the time to talk through your feelings. No one will be able to tell you what to do, but support can go a long way to helping you get through it. Be confident that you will get through it, and eventually it will be behind you. We all have those times in our lives that we don’t want to repeat. If you are in the middle of that time now, don’t give up. It will pass, and someday you won’t feel so conflicted and upset all the time. I promise!