We all know how awfully heartbreaking it is when a relationship ends, especially in a situation where a person you thought would be your life partner forever, ends up leaving you. But in reality, the hardest breakup that I ever had to go through was the one I had to initiate myself.
Like most women in our patriarchal society, my mind has been ingrained with the thought that I should never trust my own instincts or gut feeling. So the period leading up to that particular breakup was full of times where I would keep invalidating and second-guessing myself.
Do I really need to leave such a nice guy like him? Have things really gotten that bad?
It feels quite embarrassing to admit how long it sometimes takes for me to do the things that need to be done. But I wasn’t exactly surprised when my mind couldn’t stop debating itself long enough to say those final words to him.
The majority of resources that help in dealing with breakups are aimed at the one who is getting dumped. That does make sense- having a person break up with you can be extremely painful, and that pain often ends up being sharper and more surprising than the pain we’ll be focusing on today.
But being the person who actually realizes that a relationship has reached its end, and being the person who will have to take action to end it, can also be extremely hard.
I don’t intend to make a comparison of these two experiences- A lot of us have experienced both and we might have extremely differing perspectives on which one was harder. The point here is they both SUCK!
Since there’s practically no help out there on how to break up, I will utilize this space to finally affirm the people who are dealing with this situation.
Breaking up will be hard to do, but the following affirmations just might help:
Romantic or Sexual Interest isn’t something you owe to anyone
A lot of people, especially women, have been socialized to feel like the sheer fact that someone likes them implies that they need to try to like them back. If a person like us, we start viewing it as a favor- and it’s only polite to return a favor.
This attitude results in a lot of us ending up in relationships we never truly wanted to be in. And it can also make it really hard to end a relationship that we no longer wish to be in.
Just because you consider yourself a feminist doesn’t imply that you’ve completely unlearned all of the ways in which you were taught endlessly to prioritize everyone else before yourself- I know I haven’t.
If you’ve been having a hard time in completely letting go of a relationship you know you no longer want, this might be because a part of you still feels like you owe that relationship to your partner.
In a situation like this, it might be helpful to keep reminding yourself that you don’t owe any kind of intimacy or romance to anyone (EVER) no matter how much they desire it. - Continue reading on next page