Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt of my upcoming book on dating. After thinking about how much grief this would have saved me when I was dating, I thought I’d share it now, before my book is published.
Sometimes things aren’t working out because we aren’t really letting go of someone we were dating and we haven’t really gotten over a break up. On some level, ourselves and possibly also our friends are so sure that this one guy is IT for us. And that it MUST work out or else (you will die alone, you need him to be it or you will loose your window to start a new relationship and have kids, he’s the only guy to give you orgasms during sex, the list of crap we tell ourselves goes on and on). All those self help books call this attachment. Being attached to something can make it harder for something else to appear in our lives.
Not only is attachment making whatever we are experiencing in today wrong. It is also very expertly pulling our focus away from what we truly want, and pouring all our time, energy and emotion into something that isn’t working.
I am by no means judging. I kept coming back to a door that I had closed many many times when I was single. I was so very sure that THIS guy was it. If he would only stop being afraid of commitment.
What I didn’t know – and couldn’t see was that the Universe kept breaking us apart because he wasn’t it. He was actually a lying, cheating, rat. He cheating on me and with me for nearly 5 years. For over three and a half years, I was trying so hard to reopen that door every time another relationship didn’t work out. Feeling that the new relationship’s failure was “proof” that I really belonged with this guy. When what I should have done – was close the new relationship door AND close the door to my past, and walk through a completely new hallway and set of doors.
Eventually, in spite of all that I found a great guy. And what I realized then was that the Universe did know best. God did have my back. And by me insisting that it had to be this ONE way, I was making now (this present time) wrong. And also not allowing myself to be fully happy regardless of who I was with.
By that I mean – when we insist that life MUST be a certain way. That we must be with this one person. That he or she is IT. We are actually focusing a lot of time, attention and emotion on what is not working. We are magnifying what’s not working.
So every time that happens, take a breath, focus on what the outcome you truly want is. I can’t speak for you, but I’m guessing the outcome is a great life with a great partner. Sometimes we think it’s this particular partner, but maybe we are wrong. What we really want is a great partner – so focus on that. Don’t focus on the face of the partner. And then, if you can, close your eyes, see yourself in the future and be grateful and thankful for that perfect partner.
Will you still end up with the partner that’s best for you even if you don’t completely let go and get over the break up? Yes. But you can make yourself happier, quickly be doing this exercise as often as you feel necessary.
Now something confusing can happens, when we start to not focus on “this one person who must be our ONE” and just instead focus our energy and think about what we want our life to be, and more importantly how we want to feel. Something that I misread completely when I was single. Often times that person we have been refusing to let go of after a break up will come back into our world. This may or may not be a sign that they truly are the one. It can simply be that on a subconscious level they feel you slipping away and so they aren’t really willing to allow that to happen. Think of it as the equivalent to when you start to really click with a new guy, that’s when your ex calls. Same result, just different way of getting there. In both instances you have let go of and detached from needing to be with your ex. And they can sense that.
What to do when your ex calls is up to you. My thought is, any guy worth his salt knows what he wants when he sees it, and won’t let go. So if he’s let go – let go of him. He’s not it. A true partner will hang on tooth and nail to stay with you. I know – because I found that guy.
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