Back in November last year, I wrote an article for MSN Arabia. Unfortunately they didn’t publish the piece, although I was promised it would be. But nevertheless, this piece is very close to my heart; not that I have a significant experience on the subject matter but because I received good feedback on it from another company I forwarded it to.
5 Things to Expect When Dumped
By: Randolph Reforma
Here are a few things for expecting dump-ees:
NUMBER 1: It will hurt.
We’ve all heard it from people who’ve been broken up with but we probably did not anticipate that the pain could be a multi-faceted ball of mess. According to Psychology Today, it’s a mixture of a couple of things including anxiety, loss and rejection. There’s also this feeling that the just ended relationship wasn’t even real in the first place. You’re going to question yourself a lot: ‘What did I do wrong?’, ‘What did I do right?’, ‘Was I too controlling?’, ‘Was I boring?’. A second round of torrential downpour of emotional turmoil happens when you learn he/she has started dating someone else. The word ‘heart-wrenching’ is euphemistic, especially if the relationship was intimately serious.
NUMBER 2: People will feel like strangers.
This perhaps applies to people who’ve spent most of the duration of their relationship with the boyfriend/girlfriend. Research showed that getting into a relationship caused people to lose some close friends. You’ve probably lost touch with your peers because let’s face it; you’re getting some! And now that you’re not, your schedule for the entire year just opened up, the weekend is around the corner and you try to fill it by calling up your pals who you haven’t spoken to since you were in your pink cloud. Perhaps another reason for feeling like a stranger to people is because you don’t know how to talk about the break-up or you just don’t want to bring it up. When your friends ask you how you are and you say ‘fine’ even though your emotions are repeatedly imploding and exploding inside. Even among friends your mind remains distant, trying to make sense of the break up.
NUMBER 3: Everything will be a reminder.
Lookup ‘break-up’ songs and you will find a plethora that tells you that everything captured by your senses will whisk you back to a memory. This is especially true to those who’ve been in a relationship for a longer period. Every corner, every turn will remind you of places you’ve been to. The warmth of the afternoon sun is like his warm embrace and the wisp of cold air is like the night she spent with you watching the stars. The sound of trickling water is every silent moment with him/her and it seems that the radio knows what you’re feeling because everything that’s on is an anthem to your broken heart (Wrecking Ball anyone?). God-forbid you get a whiff of your ex’s cologne, you’re done for the day! Your entire relationship from start to end is a marathon rerun 24/7.
NUMBER 4: You will hope to get back together.
Taylor Swift poignantly pointed out that you’re never ever getting back together. If your ex was your friend, every text, call, tweet, smile, word and gesture is hope. You may find ways to hang out with him/her in a friendly setting, but it will end up in a miserable disappointment. You may even get a makeover and flaunt it, that’s perfectly fine, but you’ll do it only because you want to make your ex realise what they’re missing. More likely, it will not go as planned and you’ll be stuck with new stuff and no reconciliation.
NUMBER 5: The grey skies will look permanent.
You’re going to think you’re never going to get over it. Some people say you do but some say you just get used to the ‘fact’ it’s over. You might even start counting days, weeks or even months waiting for a morning without that stabbing pain in your chest. You’ll be in and out of denial saying you’re over it, and then you’re not in a seemingly unending cycle of shame. You may even go for that enticing rebound: that band-aid for a major emotional laceration! You’ll even sound depressing to listen to (especially if a month down the line and you’re still grieving). You set unrealistic deadlines but end up not keeping to it. You’re using the ‘half the relationship’ theorem, but find yourself sobbing over the calculator that belonged to your ex.
How do you cope? You acknowledge that it’s over and do something about it. The trick for a few people is: Distraction. Not rebounding, but doing the things you love, things that consume 100% of your attention. It’s probably not a good idea to be alone for while because you’re still within the gravitational pull of that relationship black-hole, so you need family and friends to anchor you. Talk to people about it; if you feel it necessary get counselling. And remember, your world doesn’t revolve around your ex, he/she just let someone like you, get away.