When you break up with someone you really cared for I believe you go through different stages. Kind of like losing a loved one. The 5 stages of loss and grief that a person goes through with death is something that we also can go through in a breakup. After going through these stages myself I've had a moment of clarity. I now appreciate those relationships and I even appreciate those ex's.
If you've read my blog at all you know that I reference past relationships often. Some of my blogs reflect these different stages.
1. Denial - We don't want to believe that the relationship is over and think that there's a still a chance of getting back together.
I was like this for awhile with Mr. Dallas. I actually had the thought in the back of my mind when I moved hear to Texas that there was a possibility that we maybe just maybe could date again.
2. Anger - This can be in different forms. Anger towards the ex, anger towards a situation or person that you see as responsible for the break up.
As I'll explain alter this one was especially difficult for me.
3. Bargaining - This is two fold. It's comes as the "what if's" or "if only" The part 2 of this is trying any way to keep the relationship. Telling your partner you'll change, begging them back. This stage goes hand in hand with denial.
I can't tell how many times I ran down the different scenarios in my head of "if only" this happened or Maybe if I would've done ___ we'd still be together.
4. Depression - This comes in sorts of forms. Whether you don't want to leave your bed or start drinking too much, these are forms of depression. The worst is hopelessness. It makes you believe that nothing will ever change and it can never get better.
This step to me was the toughest. It's one I'll probably still have pop up on me here and there.
5. Acceptance - The stage where we able to let go of the relationship and move on with our lives. Sometimes it may feel like this stage may never come, but that's usually because there's an earlier stage that you're still dealing with.
For me stage 2 and 4 were the hardest to get over and deal with. The 2 major relationships that have affected me have done so in different ways. The ending of my marriage made me more angry and bitter.
I went through a stage where I didn't think he deserved to be happy and I didn't think he deserved good things to happen to him. I believed I was the one that deserved that. To me, I was thought I was the better person. I just couldn't understand why God would let all the things I wanted in life go to a person that I thought didn't deserve it.
Over the years, I've realized that not everyone is on the same time frame. Everyone has their own path. I also realized that my anger towards him wasn't getting me anywhere. That anger was only holding me back. It was interfering with my path to happiness.
Now, are my ex husband and I buddies? No. We still haven't spoke in years. However, I'm no longer looking for answers or reasons why it didn't work or why I wasn't the one. The anger stemming from that has gone away and now I just appreciate the experiences and things I learned along the way. During that time he helped open my eyes to a lot of things.
A few of the things that I appreciate from that relationship and from him:
* I learned a lot about the business we're in
* My appreciation for fish/sushi
* My appreciation for red wine
* Steak Rare/Medium Rare vs. Well done.
* Nice family Christmases
* Becoming a dog owner for first time
My relationship with Mr. Dallas was especially hard for me to move on from. In many ways he holds a lot of "Best moments" in my life and a lot of "first moments." For that reason stage 4 was hard for me. With that breakup I can honestly say I went through all 5 stages.
The last couple of years has been a period of serious growth for me. I had to realize that some people don't stay in your life forever and they are here just for a moment. One when you need them in your life. Even though it took me a very long time to get this in my head I have come to terms with it. I've come to terms that I may might not ever have as an amazing first date like we did, but that's ok. It's that moment that showed me that someone can really like me and there are some guys willing to try.
I appreciate all that I learned from that relationship. I look back fondly on the great moments and experiences. I've also learned from the things that I did wrong in that relationship. It may not have ended the way I liked or the way I expected, but I'm grateful for the things that he showed me while we dated.
A few of things that I've taken away from that relationship:
* Make sure to ask people questions
* My love of Champagne!
* Be better at saving money
* Learning to try new things like Hookah
* Make sure to always say thank you
* Midday Saturday naps
All these people helped shape me into the person I am now. Some for the better, but all of it was a learning experience.