You’re sitting around after a huge breakup, waiting for your ex to come back. You fantasize about running into him at the grocery store, about his number appearing on your caller ID, about an e-mail telling you he’s made a mistake and wants you back.
Top relationship coach Clayton Olson tells you the harsh truth you haven’t faced yet — you broke up with yourself LONG before your ex ever dumped you. Yes, seriously. Why? Because most people who get dumped lost themselves first in the relationship.
So, if you want your relationship back (or you want a new relationship that lasts next time), you need to come back to yourself first! This breakup is a true test of your character. When your world falls apart, who are you in the midst of this failed fairytale?
The bad news is — there isn’t a Google maps “best route” for easily navigating your way out of a breakup. The good news is — since you’re reading this, you’ve actually already taken the first step. It’s reality check time! Here are the 3 sad ways you broke up with yourself before your ex even had a chance to dump you (and how to reclaim the healthy, happy version of you before).
1. You stopped taking care of yourself
Maybe you stopped going to the gym. Or maybe that punch card to dance class started collecting dust in your dresser drawer. Rather than running on Sunday mornings, perhaps you decided to stay in bed to text your then boyfriend (or stalk him on Facebook). The point is, you let yourself go.
What would happen if you used the powerful emotions of this breakup as fuel to get back in the best shape of your life?The food you eat and the amount of physical exercise you gift your body often suffer after a breakup (even during a relationship). It’s time to turn that around.
The first thing your ex will notice is your physical appearance (yes, this is true even if your ex is a woman), but how you look attests to more than just attractiveness — it’s also a symbol of your mental strength and sense of self-worth. Did you let the breakup “break you” or did you rise in the face of loss with resilience and a great outlook?
2. You stopped being interesting
Listen, he fell for you because you had a life of your own. You had friends you cared about, activities that excited and inspired you. You were interesting, and that life of your own added a little mystery that he found appealing.
But then you gave it all up. Made him your entire world and there was nothing new to discover about you.
So, get back to spending time with your friends. This doesn’t mean you need to get your high school garage band back together. It simply means inviting people back into your life that you used to enjoy. The friends that remember the woman your ex fell in love with, the interesting, capable person you stopped being along the way.
Recruiting a network of friends during a breakup is equivalent to constructing a life raft next to a sinking ship. It can save you from the sinking into the depths of self-doubt and hopelessness.
3. You forgot who you are (and what you want to be)
Once upon a time, you had goals. But during your relationship, the two of you became “comfortable” with each other. Perhaps a little too much so.
You forgot what made you happy when you were single, and as a result, also said goodbye to the core confidence that following your own path to happiness unlocked.
You broke up with the vision of who you wanted to be to shape-shift into what you thought your boyfriend wanted (forgetting he picked you for being you from the start). You left you long before your ex walked out the door. Your ex just followed your lead.
I repeat — he was attracted and fell in love with the person you already were (not the one you changed into trying to make your world all about him and the relationship).
If this story sounds like your story, it’s important to know: It’s not your fault (at least, not entirely).
Losing yourself can happen in all kinds of relationships, even the best of them. Often it infects couples over and over again until they finally become aware of the pattern and break it.
It may sound heartless, but it’s human nature. People are magnetically attracted to those who can thrive amidst adversity and uncertainty, someone who demonstrates spiritual and emotional fortitude. When you’re truly connected to yourself, you naturally radiate this grace. You once did, before you met your ex (that’s why he noticed you), and you can do it again.
A second chance only becomes possible when your partner gets to see your core again, the woman who once swept him off his feet. If you don’t, ANYTHING you say or do to win him back won’t have any power. Until the true you is authentically shining through again, all he’ll see is the fearful echo of a woman you’ve become.
As you begin to reclaim your sense of self, getting your ex back and possibly starting over naturally becomes easier. And more importantly, any relationship you create from the place of being connected to SELF begins from a place of empowerment rather than desperation.
No relationship is worth losing yourself over. So, before you even think of giving your ex a second change … please, give YOURSELF one first!