All Articles Tagged "breakup"
My best friend called me with a dilemma this afternoon. Yesterday, her 14-year-old mentee sent her a video message crying, saying that she’d broken up with her boyfriend. She wasn’t able to talk on the phone, but after sending my friend texts of the relationship-ending conversation she had with her boyfriend, she wanted only one question answered: How do you get over heartbreak?
That question proved as equally perplexing for my friend to answer as it was to be the person seeking said knowledge. My friend began to beat herself up as she realized at more than twice her mentee’s age, she wasn’t sure she’d found the key to mending a broken heart herself. I, too, drew a blank. Though my bestie and I certainly had enough experience to be authorities on the subject, for the most part, the only thing we’ve become experts at is coping — and not always in the healthiest ways — but actually getting over heartbreak? How does one do that? And is the answer that much different for a girl of 14 versus a woman of 30-something?
“I’m not sure you ever get over heartbreak,” I posited after swallowing the hard pill that wine was neither the answer for my friend’s mentee or for us, though we’d tried our hardest over the years to make it so. “I think a breakup is like the death of a loved one,” I added. “It always stays with you, but you find ways to move forward in spite of it.” Though I had no doubt the words I spoke would be of little comfort to a teenage girl experiencing her first heartbreak, I believed what I said. Our heartbreaks always stay with us. When you’ve faced the pain head on and moved forward, they’re called memories; when you’ve buried the hurt and continued to relive the experience over and over again, it’s called baggage.
But that was a discussion for another day. We weren’t talking about a grown woman who’d lived long enough to know there were better days ahead, we were talking about a young girl who wanted answers — and relief — right away. On the spot, all I could come up with was what I meant to be a comforting fact: there are many more experiences for this girl to have and one day she’ll look back on this one relationship and see why things didn’t work out, and that that was for the best. It wasn’t exactly the kind of thought that would immediately dry up tears on a soaked pillow, but I can personally attest to the peace that comes over one’s soul when they see the path the object of their unrequited affection has taken in life and how detrimental that journey would be to their own. But again, that little tidbit would likely do nothing to to assure a budding woman that one day she wouldn’t always feel like she does now.
And so, I want to pose this question to you. Women, who’ve experienced at least one heartbreak in their life and lived to talk about it. What would you tell a 14-year-old girl about heartbreak?
Some of us believe that following a breakup, unfollowing your ex on social media sends the message that you’re clearly hurt over the split, and in some ways, displays a level of weakness or immaturity. But others believe that once it’s over, there’s no need to keep up with the goings on of your former flame whatsoever, so why follow them? Of course, it all depends on the person and where they are in terms of dealing with pain (or lack thereof) from the dissolution of the relationship. If it’s been a while and the romantic feelings are gone, following your ex probably feels the same as following an old classmate. It’s whatever. But if you haven’t fully moved forward, you’re setting yourself up for failure–and some hurt feelings.
At least, that’s what a new study featured in the journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking states. About 464 individuals whom all have Facebook accounts and have experienced a split from an individual who also has a Facebook page were asked to take a survey about their social media habits and relationships. What researchers found was that 57 percent of participants were still “friends” on Facebook with their exes. Forty-six percent of these people said they still had exchanges with their exes through the social media site, but didn’t really talk outside of Facebook. They concluded that continuing to follow you ex, even if you don’t talk on the phone or anywhere else outside of social media, could have a major impact on your personal growth. In fact, the study points out that maintaining communication with them via social media could be a lot worse than actually having conversations on the phone and meeting up. Why? Because social media exposes you to facets of a person’s life that you wouldn’t know about otherwise. This kind of information, according to the study, can intensify heartbreak. That information includes seeing images of your ex with a new romantic interest, or viewing pictures of them super happy while you’re still feeling down in the dumps.
And yet, it was also found that Facebook exposure sometimes helped the individuals studied move on. As the results pointed out, those exes we don’t follow can “remain shrouded in an alluring mystique,” while those we see and know the whereabouts of can lose some of their luster in the post-breakup recovery process. Basically, you realize they’re not all that after all.
However, those behind the study said that overall, personal growth was mostly stunted for the large group of people who remained friends with their exes on social media.
As Tara Marshall, Ph.D., lead of the study and of the department of psychology at Brunel University in the U.K. told Mic, “The more you can minimize exposure, the more space you have to move on.”
Got it, doc. But I think we all knew that following our exes and delving into the lives they’re leading without us is far from healthy. They do call them an “ex” for a reason…
If there’s one city perfect for a Museum of Broken Relationships, it’s Los Angeles. And not just any ol’ place in the city of Angels, but Hollywood, smack dab in the middle of the city’s touristic capital where broken dreams are abound. That’s rather harsh sounding but, hey, there’s truth to it.
The newly opened museum – it opened its doors on June 4 to be exact – was initially conceptualized as a pop-up museum in Croatia by a former couple, both artists. Now the Hollywood location, which accepts (close to) all donations, is continuing what the one-time couple started. And while the term “broken relationships” calls to mind a divorce, separation or breakup of a romantic couple, the museum has several themed rooms that speak to all kinds of relationships – those with family members, friends, co-workers, the list goes on. The museum’s goal is to represent a “collective emotional history.” If you donate an item to the museum’s growing collection, your story accompanies it. What would your item and story be? Take a look at some of the current items in the Museum of Broken Relationships and tell us what you think.
Can you ever go back to the way things used to be in a relationship?
And no, I’m not solely talking about a particular period that brought you and your mate a great deal of happiness, but also, a certain title. If your partner popped the question and asked you to marry him, and you said yes, when things aren’t going as smoothly as you both would have hoped, is it petty to ask to revert to boyfriend and girlfriend status?
That’s what one woman asked on a thread from a few years back that caught my attention:
“I love him with all my heart but I feel like this is going to change us,” the woman wrote. “And if he does ask me again in the future, I’m afraid of saying yes because, what if times get worse again? Is he just going to take the ring back again? I’m hurt, confused and I don’t trust him with my heart after this. People tell me I’m dumb for not ending it, but I love him and we have been together for a while.”
Ah yes, the whole, “I’ve put in years” crutch.
Sometimes being with an individual for an extended period makes many of us believe that we have to stand by and ride for whatever they put us through. When one feels they’ve invested so much, the concept of walking away from said investment and starting all over from scratch sounds like a nightmare. And I totally get it. But when you decide to stand by and ride, then you find yourself in situations like this one, where you’re seriously considering not postponing the wedding, but canceling an engagement and just acting like it never happened until folks figure themselves out.
I gained some very interesting insight on this matter from individuals who responded to the thread. Especially from one woman who had been through such matters of the heart and was back to planning her wedding after taking a step back. A step back that lasted two whole years:
“I have been engaged and broken up, went back to being just gf/bf and I am now engaged to the same person and have set a date for the wedding. It could be that he pulled back because he felt that your finances were not right or that he was just not in the right mind-frame. Only you know his heart. If he is not a terrible person who has hurt you in the past, then he may be waiting for himself to mature and if you love him then you will stand by him. If he is a game player and somewhat jerk then he could be playing with your heart. Go with your heart and what it is telling you about him. But make sure you use your head for reasoning as well. Don’t let a man treat you like dirt but also don’t give up on a good man because he is not moving at the pace you are. Sometimes you will be out of sync and it’s worth it to wait to get on the right track to progress. Me and my fiance are now back to going on the right road to marriage and that took two years of fixing the relationship. You are stronger than you want to believe, you can wait if he is right. If not, then you are strong enough to leave. Love does not mean giving up your self control and going against what you know is the right thing.”
I respect all that. However, there is a significant difference between both parties agreeing to postpone a wedding for, say, financial reasons, a desire to seek counseling, health issues and the like, and just saying you don’t know when or IF you want to get married anymore, but you know you would like to stay in the relationship.
That’s a hell no. And a waiting game.
And also a sign, in my opinion, of someone who is a commitmentphobe. We all get nervous about this marriage thing, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to take such large steps back in relationships. Just be done! The time to be unsure and take things slow was before the proposal. Because, in most cases, people are looking to move forward. If you don’t want to marry me all of a sudden, you think it’s a cute idea to say that being boyfriend and girlfriend works best and we can start from scratch? Sounds like some time getting ready to be wasted.
But then again, it’s always better for an individual to figure out what’s really going on within before saying “I do.” And if you choose to hold that person down in the meantime, more power to you.
However, I would recommend that one handle this as a girlfriend of mine did and say, “You can go back to being whatever you want and need to be, but I’m not going to sit around and wait for you to figure out what you want…”
But as always, that’s just my opinion. What do you think? Is there anything wrong with asking your fiancé/fiancée to revert to boyfriend and girlfriend status until you’re really ready to say “I do”? Whenever that is…
Did you know that more people break up on December 11 than any other day of the year? If you’re trying to move on this season, take a few words of advice from these celebrities who went through the same pain and heartbreak.
From getting dumped by text message to finding out about their split on TMZ, these celebrities dumped in the worst ways possible have cringe-worthy breakup stories to share.
Yesterday we were sad to hear Jim Carrey’s ex-girlfriend had chosen to take her own life. It was even more heartbreaking to read details that Cathriona White, 28, had reportedly left a suicide note citing her breakup with the comedian as the impetus for her suicide.
It’s a familiar tale. Even a somewhat personally familiar tale in my case as I thought back to January and February of 2014 when my ex began constantly sending me messages on Facebook, asking me to “just say something” to him. When I refused, one Saturday he sent a message that said “If u don’t call me in five mins I’m going to kill myself.” For a brief minute my world stopped. While I didn’t take the threat seriously at all, part of me was paralyzed by the thought of him actually doing it and the guilt I would feel as a result. Towards the end of our breakup in late 2010, I was convinced my ex had some mental health issues. In a way he knew it too, but was crushed by his attempt at getting help when he told a counselor he felt he was going crazy and was laughed at. I hurt for him, too, in that moment, but four years later the threat of suicide felt like another attempt at manipulation and I refused to be sucked back in. So, I still said nothing. Ironically, there was a sense of thankfulness when 26 minutes after the threat more messages began pouring in. And though this situation worked out, for lack of a better phrase, I’ve always questioned whether I did the right thing in that moment.
While there’s no evidence White threatened Carrey with suicide when they broke up September 24, many lovers do. According to BPDCenteral.com, which covers borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder, the most important thing you can do in this situation is take threats seriously. Specifically, tell the person making the threat that you are going to call for help and actually do it. If the threat is immediate, 911 is your best bet.
Another recommendation is to express concern, but don’t give in to the threat. Let the person know they are still loved and you want them to be happy, but being in a relationship with each other won’t fix the underlying problem. Be firm in your decision to leave the relationship while letting your ex-partner know their behavior isn’t healthy and they need to work on themselves without you in order to get to a healthy place and that you support that.
Third, don’t start a fight. While some people are terrified of a suicide threat, others may become angry that their old lover has put them in this position. Now is not the time to accuse your ex of attempting to manipulate you or question their sincerity or even dare them in hopes of stopping the attempt. It’s possible the person may actually go through with the act just to prove you wrong.
Regardless of the scenario that plays out, the one thing you must do for yourself is not assume responsibility for the actions of the other party. Quoting Thomas Ellis and Cory Newman’s 1996 book, Choosing To Live, BPD writes, “Remind yourself that you are not threatening the other person with homicide-the other person is threatening suicide.” At the end of the day, their choice is their’s and you are dealing with a mentally unstable person who needs professional help that’s above and outside of you. All you can do is try to convince them to seek it out, but should they not, again, that is their choice.
Closure is like a unicorn: at some point, every girl wants it, but it’s impossible to get. There are going to be men who leave you feeling so messed up, so betrayed, and so confused that you’re going to want answers. You’re going to demand a coffee date so you can get some “closure.” And yet, you’re going to leave that meeting feeling not better, but possibly worse. Here is why looking for closure is pointless.
Most would agree that breakups are hard, especially if it’s a long-term relationship that has come to an end. Even in the most amicable of breakups, having to pick up the pieces and start all over again can take some serious adjustment. But imagine if it’s not just the man you have to get over. If you have gotten cozy with your ex’s family, now you may have to mourn the end of your relationship with them as well.
I remember that awkward moment when I received a friend request on Facebook from my ex’s mother. We talked on the phone here and there when her son and I dated but it wasn’t the type of relationship where we’d have lunch or go shopping. So when I broke up with him I didn’t really give my relationship with her a second thought. I didn’t give his siblings a second thought either. It was a clean break. Or so I thought.
I had moved on and started dating someone else when I began getting calls and emails from her. She wanted to continue our “friendship” and it made me feel weird. My new boyfriend didn’t dig it either. I ended up accepting her friend request and made sure to set my privacy settings for her accordingly so she wouldn’t be privy to photos that showed my new budding romance unfold. She eventually unfriended me. Now, the breakup was finally complete.
That budding romance has since led to marriage, and I not only adore my mother-in-law but his entire family. When I say entire family, I mean stepchildren, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews–I love them all. And they love me. I can go visit them and stay for holidays without my husband being present and it’s all love. They truly feel like an extension of my own family and I proudly claim them as such. It’s hard to imagine them not being in my life and since my husband and I share a son, they will always be attached to me whether I’d want them to be or not.
But what if you have no children bonding you to your ex’s family? Are you entitled to continuing your relationship with them after you and your ex break up? Even if you do share children, how much access should you expect to his family after a split or divorce? I am my husband’s second wife, and I know his ex-wife calls his mother from time to time to chat. That doesn’t bother me since she was once her son’s wife and is the mother of his other children. I understand. But if a random ex still wanted to be cool with the family, I think I’d feel some type of way about it.
Marriage can make things tricky in this area, and it depends on the maturity level and the reason for the breakup to determine how friendly in-laws should remain. I know that if my husband did something to hurt me my family would rally behind me and they’d never deal with him again–I’m sure his family feels the same way. In breakups, unless your ex does something especially heinous, his family will be loyal to him and not you, so you should expect to lose them in the breakup as well. And in some cases, even if your ex cheated on you with your best friend, his family still might have no choice but to stand in his corner, even if they secretly cry a river over him losing the best thing to ever happened to him.
If you’re more upset over the prospect of losing his family than losing him, you might simply have to get over it or simply give it time. It’s his family, not yours, and you’d want your family to be there for you the same way his family is going to be there for him. Besides, even if his family has no problem with remaining friends, you also have to consider the position you’d put them in if he started dating someone else. I know that caring about any of your ex’s future girlfriends may not seem like your problem–you may secretly want his family to hate her–but it’s not the mature way to handle the situation. He is no longer your concern and beyond Facebook or any other social media sites, I’d say the same holds true for his family.
If you must remain in contact with his family outside of children, be sure it’s really his family that you miss and not an attempt to keep your ex in your life. Also, make sure enough time and space has happened before you go hanging out with his little sister or inviting his mother for brunch. If he and his family are okay with you all remaining in each others lives then have at it. However, if you start dating again, make sure your new man is okay that you’re staying in touch with your ex’s family as well. If it’s supposed to be over, then let it be over–that goes for his granny too!
Breakup depression often feels like the end of the world. Your sweetie tells you goodbye, and you head for the tissues and your copy of Love Jones. But can you imagine going through your worst breakup depression when you’re already struggling with clinical depression? Adding the emotional turmoil of a breakup to an already fragile state of depression causes some deep pits of unhappiness. And while clinical depression and breakup depression manifest in similar ways, you want to be able to distinguish between typical post-breakup sadness and something more. Something serious.
Sad Thoughts Versus a Negative State of Being
Three years ago, the love of my life broke up with me; apparently he was seeing someone else while we were together. I was heartbroken, even though I’d suspected him of cheating but never asked. I was also going through a depressive episode before the breakup, so my existing state of depression increased exponentially. I took to my bed, the one we’d shared so many times, in tears. I watched Seinfeld, our favorite TV show, in tears. I walked around the apartment feeling emotionally devastated and empty, like a worthless dishrag. In truth, I’d been struggling with all of those feelings during my depression; the breakup only intensified my current state.
When you go through a breakup, you can question yourself, how attractive you are, and your behavior. Those aspects of your being are also challenged within a depressive episode. Instead of thinking, “Why didn’t he love me?” my depressed brain upped the ante to, “Nobody will ever love me again!” “I must have done something wrong to make him leave me” became “I always do the wrong thing!” During my breakup depression, my clinical depression made the typical thoughts more negative and, thus, more damaging.
Apathy Versus Lethargy
When my relationship ended, I spent a fair amount of time in front of the TV with a carton of ice cream. I know, I was enacting the stereotypical behavior of a woman who has just been dumped. But ice cream is soothing, and it doesn’t require much energy to eat, so that is the reason that was my go-to comfort food during my depression and after my breakup. But eating isn’t the only depressive symptom I felt. My energy and motivation became abysmal. I didn’t change out of my night clothes. I slept all of the time and didn’t want to leave the house. I’d experienced those symptoms when my clinical depression was most severe, and the breakup restarted my lethargic behaviors.
Physical pain is another symptom I experienced after my breakup. Not just the tightness in my chest accompanying my heartbreak, but also muscle aches, pains, and headaches. Sometimes these pains were caused by staying in bed, but other times they appeared without reason. Body pains are a well-known symptom of clinical depression and, like the emotional symptoms, they were brought about by my breakup.
Choosing My Mood
After the requisite few weeks of crying at love songs and eating ice cream out of the container, I came out of the physical manifestations of my breakup. However, the negative thoughts about the breakup remained, along with the others I grappled with in my long-term depression. To reprogram the negative thoughts into positive ones and lift my mood, I worked to put more rational thoughts in their place. If I worried about never finding love again, I started thinking, “I am loveable. I have people in my life who love me.” Or better yet, “My ex is only one person; there are so many men I’ve never met who could love me.” Putting a more rational spin on my negative thoughts helped reduce their frequency and their impact on my mood.
Shaking off my breakup depression also helped me do other things to abate my clinical depression. Once my mood improved through positive thinking, I started taking better care of myself. Instead of depression junk food I ate fruits and vegetables. I felt good enough to put on clothes instead of wearing my pajamas and bathrobe all day. My tears didn’t disappear, but they lessened since I no longer spent my days laying in bed, caught up in a negative train of thought about my ex-boyfriend. Simply put, I had to choose to think differently about my romantic future in order to start taking steps toward manifesting it.
Tracey Lloyd lives in Harlem, where she fights her cat for access to the keyboard. You can find more of her experiences living with bipolar disorder on her personal blog, My Polar Opposite.