After a Breakup: Why the Misperception with Bettering Yourself

I read something the other day that said “Do what will get you what you want, not what will encourage more of what you fear. You will never teach someone by explaining. You show through actions, not words.”

An immediate light bulb went off in my mind that had been dull and dreary for so long. I had been going about life the wrong way, and in turn, actively driving people out of my life unintentionally.

After a breakup, have you ever been told “You will never find anyone else like me”? Most will laugh it off and say “Well yeah, that’s kind of the point.” But think about that statement. Truly think about it from a positive standpoint. You shared your life with this person. The good, the bad, the goofy, the misunderstood moments, the weaknesses, the trials, the losses, the gains. Second to God, they know you better than anyone. They know what the look on your face means when your forehead wrinkles, they know what it means if you get really quiet in the midst of a conversation, they know exactly what to do when you say “today was just a bad day”. The next person doesn’t know those things. So what do you do?

There is always a reason or reasons behind a breakup, no matter who agrees or disagrees with the reasons. Both parties are valid in their feelings and should be treated as such. But why is it that exes get upset when they see you doing well without them? I can ask this question because I am 110% guilty of it. I don’t want to see you smiling and happy and I am not the reason for it. I don’t want to see you doing things with other people that you never did with me. But then, I had to take a step back. I am doing those exact same things. I am happy and smiling and doing things that I never did with her, in an attempt to allow my actions to speak, when she is not open to hearing my words.

For instance, my friends are doing their best to keep me busy, and it’s been great for me. I am trying new things, going to new places, things that I never did in my relationship. It is not because I didn’t want to do those things, it’s simply because we just didn’t. We had our relationship routine. And we had a lot going on: from work and school to moving to settling into living together, it was a lot. So at that time there was not room for much else. And we collectively allowed that to be okay.

When I came across the earlier mentioned quote, it resonated with me so heavily. I can’t stay the same ole boring Sham. That in itself is the definition of insanity; doing the same things and expecting different results. I am capable of getting out of my box and not being the cliché, predictable me. Granted, it is sometimes okay to just be chill, but a girl wants you to go outside of your comfort zone for her. I started working out, spending more time with my friends, playing sports on the weekends to stay active, getting outdoors more, doing my devotional again, and rekindled my love for writing. All in an attempt to show that I have the want and capability to be better than I was. I am doing the things to get what I want. But the response I received was not what I expected. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

I am going to make a few blanketed statements for anyone who has ever had a hard time watching your ex do better:

  • Sometimes they have to be taken out of a situation to see how much damage they were causing inside that situation.
  • The things that they are doing now to better themselves are good things. And yes it is hard to not take it personally that these things were never done with you, but they are taking the initiative.
  • They are bettering themselves for them, but they are grateful to you for pushing them to see that they are capable of these things.
  • They are taking actions to go after what they want, because even if you don’t reconcile, they will be better because of you and maybe even for you.
  • You were always worth all the betterment that they are choosing to fulfill now. It was something that they had to see for themselves and nothing you could have done or said would have brought that to light. It was an internal battle.

It can be habitual to live life in fear. I am the poster child for that. I have had some pretty rough go-arounds in relationships and fear is a natural go to for me, along with comparison. I spent my last relationship encouraging what I feared most: rejection, heartache, and loneliness. That was never my partner’s fault; it was my own insecurities that I now have the strength to deal with. Because like the date-ability quiz said, I am a total catch! I am choosing to believe that now, humbly of course. But I am also stepping outside of my box to first be better for me. Because if I am not okay with who I am, I can’t expect anyone else to be.

“Happiness is not a trait, but a habit. And anyone can form the habit of being happy.” –STW

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