How to get through a Breakup for Guys

“One is easily fooled by that which one loves” – Molière

“If you said goodbye to me tonight
There would still be music left to write”
– Billy Joel in For the Longest Time.

“Why would you ever choose to be with
someone who is not excited to be with you?” – Mark Manson

“All farewells should be sudden, when forever.” – Byron

Thought there should be equal time for guys who have just gone through a breakup. First, it does hurt. and second, know that you will heal with time. Breakups happen a lot. Everyone goes through a couple of relational train wrecks. It’s part of learning what you want.

Sometimes, it’s a surprise. You get along well, enjoy being together, there are a lot of really amazing  fits and commonalities, no major fights, it gets better day by day, you both have smiles in your eyes, you really like being together, you increasingly think this is long term, and then she announces she’s out.

Other times, there’s plenty of evidence – disagreements, one or the other (or both) doesn’t feel good when you’re together, and finally one has had enough and ends it.

Sometimes it’s just rejection. It’s harder if betrayal is involved.

Women make mistakes too.

We all make mistakes. We all have different perspectives, different priorities, different interpretations.  Sometimes decisions are made for the wrong reasons. Sometimes we may reflect back and think “her decision was really stupid”. But, so be it. It’ s what it is. Let it be and move on.

“Humans hardly know what they want, how they want it, or when they want it.” – Miguel Ruiz

The Teacher Appears.

It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.  Perhaps, the lady was there for us to learn something about life, about what we really do want.

Intent versus Outcome

Sometimes, what we want is very different from what we get. In retrospect, it can be funny.

Vettriani and Lucy and Charlie Brown snatch the football, Peanuts
Relationships – Intent versus Outcome – Vettriani vs. Peanuts

The Rolling Stones had a song about that:

“You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need.”

It’s Not Personal

Don Miguel Ruiz, in his The Four Agreements, states that we all are products of our experience. We often project world views, or our own interpretations of what someone does or who they are. If someone doesn’t fill in the intention, reason, purpose of something, we’ll do it for them (probably incorrectly). At the end of a friend’s relationship, he said the woman made some comments to him that were strange. With time to reflect on it, he knew her conclusions weren’t right, and that for her to say those things meant that she had projected some of her own assumptions that weren’t correct (and which she didn’t verify with him).  She had run a mental video of her own assumptions about him that didn’t reflect his realities at that time, and made her decision based on her own life views.  This is the same mechanism when you see a person meet a total stranger and behave badly to them even though the new person doesn’t know them and has never done a thing to them.

Search If There’s a Pattern.

Take the opportunity to see if there if there is any pattern recurring in your relationships – e.g. the type of people you have been going out with, or a similar category of complaints about you. Learn from it. If you don’t put some energy in changing it, you will continue to get the same outcome.

That’s Her Loss

Know that in a relatively short period of time, you’ll get yourself back together. As with a physical injury, you will heal. You will find a wonderful person that will be happy that your old relation didn’t work, and she will say out loud about your old friend – “Her loss”.

Some of God’s Greatest Gifts are Unanswered Prayers.

Sometimes we think that a breakup is not right/ unfair/ unjustified/ a misunderstanding… and we wish and even pray that a relationship happen or gets “saved”.

Garth  Brooks wrote a song  that speaks to that:

“Just the other night at a hometown football game
My wife and I ran into my old high school flame
And as I introduced them the past came back to me
And I couldn’t help but think of the way things used to be

She was the one that I’d wanted for all times
And each night I’d spend prayin’ that God would make her mine
And if he’d only grant me this wish I wished back then
I’d never ask for anything again

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

She wasn’t quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me
In her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days
There wasn’t much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what he’s doin’ after all

And as she walked away and I looked at my wife
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered

Some of God’s greatest gifts are all too often unanswered…
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”

“Unanswered Prayers” – by Garth Brooks

Clear the space for what you want.

It’s important to get through the pain. But stop moping around. You have a choice of either replaying what was good and how wonderful it was AND how miserable you feel lacking that (over and over again), OR you can turn your focus, like a flash light, away from that negativity and non-productive thought and feeling, and use your time and energy to build something you do want.  You can keep digging around in the hole you are in, or use your precious time and energy doing things that will help you build the type of life you want. You have to make the effort to make a clearing for what you do want, make the space for it to happen.

I Just Haven’t Met You Yet.

The Census says over half of the US population is single – 128 million people.  In a  lifetime, there are probably 12 to 20 people you could meet with whom you could live with happily. In just this country there are probably 8 million people of the opposite sex that are withing 5 years of your age. Even if you are really finicky and like only one in every thousand females, there are 8,000 women that you could be happy spending the rest of your life with (just in this country. There are 196+ countries [depending on the day]).  You just have to get out there – JUST SHOW UP! The great philosopher Pooh said ” You can’t stay in your corner of the forest and wait for people to come to  you. You have to go to them, sometimes.” Henry Cloud says – if you only wait for the right person to show up at your doorstep, you’re going to end up with a Jehovah’s Witness or a delivery person.

Life’s Rule of Irony #1.

The more you go out, the more people you get to know – the more you will find things that you do want in your ultimate partner,  the more confident you will feel about yourself and the more natural you will act, the more you will be able to not give a f– about personal rejection, which will allow you to use “Life’s Rules of Irony Number 1”, the less you give a f– about an outcome, the more attractive you will become, and the more likely you will get it. The reverse corollary is equally true. Those people who care desperately about the outcome of something  will transmit that vibe and others will move back away from such a strong negative feeling.

Don’t Spend Your Present in the Past.

I know a divorced woman who was looking for a new life partner. She was a successful insurance sales person who learned well not to take rejection personally.  She was very particular and patient. If one person didn’t pan out, she took the attitude “Next! (and, implicitly, don’t let the door hit you on the backside)”.  She didn’t spend a lot of time in the past.

Keep your eyes and thoughts on the present where you are truly living. Walk towards your goals but stay focused on the now of the journey. That’s the attitude that will keep you moving towards your goals. The past cannot be changed.         Move On

Here are two general rules for breakups – and for life in general:

  1. Do not spend your time on people who do not spend their time on you.
  2. Do not spend your time with people who don’t make you feel good, uplifted and alive.

When you feel stronger, follow Rumi’s advice:

“Set your life on fire and seek out only those who will fan the flames.”

Music for Guys to Get Past a Breakup