Going with your gut
He knew he made the right decision. He thought she was hot and they had their good times in those three years together but after he found out she was cheating, he got a bad taste in his mouth and a sharp pain in his chest.
He ended it and felt pretty good about it. He was going about his life, has met some girls, has been busy at work and hadn’t thought much about her or turning back on his decision. That’s when he heard…their song.
Instantly he felt that single tear roll down his cheek as he immediately started playing the memory reel of all their cute moments together. He started to try piecing back together the picture in his mind of them years down the road still together and happier than ever. He started regretting letting her go.
This all happened recently to my friend Nico, but he isn’t the only one who has had this experience. I bet my left ovary that this has happened to everyone who has ever been in a relationship before…and I mean a legit relationship where both parties are aware they are calling each other boyfriend/girlfriend…Facebook official status.
It doesn’t take much to start wondering if breaking up was the right move, even if there were so many reasons to do it. No matter what, if you make a list of pros and cons with the person you’re dating and the cons clearly out weigh the pros, adjustments will be made to keep the relationship together. One will start rethinking the cons; they’ll replay the situations that made them angry to see the other side. They’ll ignore the gut feeling…the desire to throw away the relationship.
Why? When Nico asked me for advice when he was considering mingling back with the ex that cheated on him I said don’t. He argued that it would be better than being alone and I said no. I explained at times it’s better to be solo than to feel so low in a bad relationship. Going back to an ex that did you dirty just to feel comfort is a waste of time and will only hurt you more.
That’s when I remembered it’s always a lot easier said than done. When it comes to reasons to break up, I used to wish that I would catch my boyfriend cheating on me, because that would be a breakup with absolutely no chance of redemption. And no chance of the hurt and drama that goes along with second chances that go wrong. But when breaking up because of conflicting interests, or because there’s no spark, or because there’s no meshing, it’s harder.
I haven’t had a breakup with a guy just because I didn’t like him anymore since I was in high school. When you still have strong feelings for someone when breaking up, of course you’re going to consider getting back together. You get hopeful, that they’ll send you an endearing text message or email and then when getting back together things will be different. Things will be better.
But anyone who has ever done the breakup/makeup move knows it doesn’t get better, at least 99 percent of the time. If anything the second breakup is usually worse than the first one. It makes you realize that breaking up was the right decision and also makes you wonder how the hell you two were able to date in the first place. The worst thing about it is that it can make you end up hating each other or make you regret dating at all. I can honestly say I don’t regret any of the relationships I’ve been in. (And I honeslty believe that perhaps, if the relationship with one of my exes failed because of bad timing, maybe one day we’ll be in that lucky 1 percent that can makeup and make it better. <3 )
So why do we try rekindling after breaking up? Love? In Nico’s case it was more about resisting loneliness. He was stuck with the misconception that being with a cheating ex was better than being alone. Again, I said no but it’s not as if I never considered the same thing with an ex. It’s hard when you get so used to being around someone, and talking to them all the time to going cold turkey.
This isn’t high school. There’s a lot of possible long term potential in 20-something year old relationships, making the breakup and letting go part even harder. And not being in high school makes moving on trickier too. The next boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t that friend you always flirted with in your boring ass history class. Now you have to resort to trying to find love in the real world.
But, when your gut says breaking up is the right thing to do it has to be done. And 99 percent of the time, it’s the right move. Besides, as impossible as it might seem at first there’s always the chance of becoming friends and realizing that being friends works better between you than being in a relationship.
My friend Elizabeth goes back to some of her exes with the notion that they changed, that they will be better people and will commit. I always think it’s best to leave those “never were” relationships in the past because there’s no use in holding on to something that wasn’t anything. I know I’ve done it too. Because I start wondering if it was timing or if it was me but in the end you have to let it go. It’s a waste of time and tears. And if it’s really meant to be, maybe it will be.
My friend John was hesitant about his last breakup when he started feeling as if the timing wasn’t right and perhaps the sparks weren’t there anymore because he was holding on to the good memories. He kept thinking about the sparks that were once there and tried to nullify his gut instinct that it’s just not working. I’ve done this too.
I start thinking if there was a spark at one time, how could it just disappear? Where the hell did it go?! But, it’s not fair to hold on because in the end, you’re just holding the other person and yourself hostage from something better.
I like being in a relationship, a good relationship. I don’t mind being single either. You can’t deny chemistry when you feel it with another person. I’ve been sucked into relationships like they were tractor beams. I’ve fallen in love, I’ve fallen in lust. I’ve been hurt, and I’ve hurt others. I’ve been dumped by guys I still really liked. I’ve dumped guys that I still really liked. I’ve had trouble moving on. We all have had trouble moving on. But we move on.