Have you ever been in an unhealthy relationship, but despite all the red flags being thrown your way, there was just something about this particular person that got you hooked, having you believe that there will never be someone else quite like them?
Even with the persistent doubt you felt, you still wanted to believe it will work out in the end and that they are ‘the one’ for you?
You may have believed that it will get better and that he does loves you even though it often doesn’t feel like it? And the longer you were together the more you started focusing on how to make him love you and less about loving yourself.
My Experience with “Mr. Perfect”
Personally, I’ve been there before, and it’s not a pretty picture. You see several years ago I met a guy who blew me away. I mean everything about him was an A+ in my book. He was attractive, charismatic, had a great sense of humor, financially stable, and most importantly… totally into me.
Seems like the perfect guy, right?
The truth be told, as much as I thought I was smitten and planning our future babies (oops), deep down I knew something was off. You see even though he was all the wonderful things I listed above, early on a few things weren’t quite adding up. Basically, I smelt a rat, yet I pretended that the stench wasn’t there, because everything on the surface was so damn pretty.
Because I was emotionally naïve I was neglecting my inner knowing that said “get out of there”,instead I found myself determined to make it work even though I knew this man wasn’t good for me (face-palm). The more I got into the idea of making him my soul mate, the more negligent I became to my own needs. Even though I knew this wasn’t the definition of a healthy relationship, I thought in time things would come around.
The Downward Spiral
This is what happened… The first few dates were pretty much a fairytale, he picked me up, took me to nice restaurants, drove me home, etc. On the forth date he took me to a party and introduced me to all of his closest friends, which had me feeling instantly secure with him. At the end of that evening he asked me to accompany him on a date to a football game the following evening. Just before I jumped into the Taxi, he kissed me tenderly and told me he’d call me in the morning…
That call never came.
I was devastated and confused.
After making a few phone calls I found out that he had a girlfriend in another city. What!!!! And to top it all off they ended up getting married later that year! BUT, the worst part about this story was;even after he lied to me and mislead me, I was still enamored with him, I still desired him. Call me crazy.
Sure,I tried dating again but I would compare every guy I met to “Mr. Perfect”. Fast-forward a year and Mr. Perfect had broken up with his wife and was getting a divorce.
As luck would have it (well, at the time I thought I was lucky) we crossed paths and he asked me out again, of course at that stage I was still ‘Naïve Nadine’ and I said yes. Only this time as much I was hopeful that he was still my perfect man, I saw the cracks early on, and after a few more face-palmnaïve moments I had the courage to end the relationship.
This was the most humbling of experiences because I had to admit that I had deeply neglected myself with this man. I had dishonored my core values and gut feelings, and to let him go I had to tap into the parts of my self that I had so willingly ignored.
To be honest, it took me some time to heal, get over him and get back to loving me, though luckily this time around I was crystal clear that he was not healthy for me.
This story leads me to the topic for this post…
How do you let go of a past love so that you can move on and find true love?
In all honesty, getting over an ex, especially one that you thought was “Mr. Perfect”, can take some time, courage and loving-discipline.
Here are a few suggestions to get over your ex and build a healthy relationship with yourself that will ultimately lead to finding new love.
1. Let it All Out – Any relationship that does not work out can feel like a loss. Even though it may be for the best, it’s still something that you need to grieve in order to get past. My advice would be to simply let it all out. Cry, watch chic flicks, eat a gallon of your favorite ice cream, write in a journal, or whatever it is you need to do to really get your emotions out about your ex. BUT, yes there is a ‘but’, don’t overindulge in this place of hiding, crying and self-pity. Give yourself a time limit, then it’s time to pull it all apart and rebuild. Reframe the experience, forgive yourself and him, and heal your beautiful heart.
2. Cease All Contact – This may be bit more challenging seeing as how social media keeps us all connected, but it is important to cease all contact with your ex. Even if the hope is that one day you’ll be friends, after breaking up, you need space to heal properly. If this means you have to skip out on events that mutual friends are hosting – do so. No emails, text messages, video messages, social media posts, or phone calls should be made between you and your ex. Staying in touch is like picking the scab off a wound – it won’t heal right.
3. Get Rid of Reminders – Are there things around your house or in your car that remind you of your ex? Whether it’s their personal belongings, a gift they gave you, a picture, or a souvenir from a trip you went on, if it’s going to bring about a ton of emotions you need to part ways with it.
4. Hang Out with Friends – Many times when we’re in an unhealthy relationship we put aside things that matter most to us. As you were trying to figure out how to make him love you, which is impossible, since you can’t make someone love you, you may have been neglecting your friendships. Now is the time to call up your besties and ask for their support. Being around your friends takes your mind off of your ex and helps you to focus back on the things you enjoyed about life.
5. Spend Time Finding Yourself – If your experience with your ex was like mine you probably neglected the most important person in the world…yourself. Now that you’re single spend time cultivating your deepest, purest wants, needs and desires. Whether it’s doing things you used to enjoy before your relationship or spending time trying new things that interest you, it is important to cater to your needs. Words can be just as good as actions when it comes to loving yourself. If your self-esteem is a bit low words of affirmation can help boost your spirits as well. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are worthy of love, you are beautiful, and you have a lot to offer.
6. Stay Single for a While – Hopping back into the dating scene after a breakup is probably one of the biggest mistakes you could make. Even if it’s been several weeks since your breakup you may need time to emotionally heal from the relationship, most people do need this time. If you’re a serial monogamous type then staying single for a while could be the best thing for you as this will allow you the perspective you need to change old unhelp patterns. If you want to find true love then take some time to get very clear about what that is for you. Once you’re ready to start dating again, take it slow so that you can ensure you’re not dealing with a rebound situation or comparing them to “Mr. Perfect”.
It may have seemed like he was the one. Like he was created just for you. However, any relationship that causes you to consume your time and energy on how to make him love you is not worth your time. If you get the feeling that he’s bad news, no matter how hard it may be, LET HIM GO. You are too precious to settle for anything less. The road to emotionally healing from this may be tough, but with time and the tips above, you’ll soon get over him and be well on your way to finding true love once again.