Getting Over Him by Getting Under Someone Else
“Anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state. It’s the kind of place we usually want to avoid. The challenge is to stay in the middle rather than buy into struggle and complaint. The challenge is to let it soften us rather than make us more rigid and afraid. Becoming intimate with the queasy feeling of being in the middle of nowhere only makes our hearts more tender. By not knowing, not hoping to know, and not acting like we know what’s happening, we begin to access our inner strength.”
— Pema Chodron, ‘The In-between State’
As one half of the Addictive Daughter duo has recently joined Singleton Society, we began musing on how best to deal with those bloomin’ break-up blues.
No matter who does the dumping, when a relationship finishes, we are often left with a sense of emptiness and restlessness and (if you’re anything like us) it may feel rather tempting to quell this dis-ease by way of another male specimen.
Countless times we’ve heard Granny or the hairdresser exclaim, “Plenty more fish in the sea, Pet” or “the best way to get over him is to get under someone else” (the latter is hopefully not Granny’s advice…)
But can we really depend on someone new to heal us, to rebuild our confidence, to piece back together our shattered hearts?
As tempting as it is to go out and get outrageously drunk and wake up with that not-quite-as-cute-as-previously-imagined stranger, to instantaneously sign back up to match.com or booty call that old ‘friend avec benefits’… maybe there’s another way?
When we are in ‘the in-between state’ we feel uncomfortable, possibly alone and probably a little frightened.
That cannot be denied.
And in our culture of instant gratification, where we often suffer with a lack of patience and an expectation to feel just f*ucking GREAT all of the time, it’s easy to forget that sitting in the pain of the break-up is a viable option too. Admittedly, it might not feel like the highlight of your life, but in the long term, you may well thank yourself for it.
Whilst it may sound like a pity party for one, allowing yourself to feel the feelings and slowly accept the situation can be a healthy part of the healing process.
When we lose someone from our lives, it can feel as if we’ve lost a chunk of ourselves, or even a part of our identity. Rebounds are easy to dive headlong into when we feel vulnerable – but, what if we focused on re-building our fabulous fully-rounded former self before wandering into pastures new?
Why not try allowing time and stillness to heal the disappointment / resentment / confusion / relief / [insert appropriate emotion here] until you’re really ready to share yourself again?
We’ve all been on a date or even suffered through a half-arsed relationship with someone who isn’t quite over their ex. And it’s shit. There is much truth in the phrase ‘hurt people hurt people’ and that, ladies, is the perfect reason not to reel a poor and undeserving fella into your bruised and broken bosom.
So, how do we know when we’re finally ready to let someone new into our domain? Well, before lunging towards a potential new bed-fellow, ask yourself:
Am I coming from a place of fear?
(not feeling loved and needing someone else to make me feel whole & happy.)
Am I coming from a place of love?
(of willingness to be kind, open and giving to this new suitor.)
Vis a vis: am I over the last one and do I feel whole-heartedly ready to move forwards, or am I trying to get over the last one by getting under someone new?
If we imagine our hearts to be like the crops in a field that have been ripped out (of our chests/ from the earth), the soil now needs time to fallow before new seeds are planted.
(By seeds, we’re not making a sexual inneudo but, well… you were thinking it anyway!)
Trust us, this too shall pass. Just hold on.
Persia & Joey xxx
Blog post image by Dana Hoff