When my boyfriend broke up with me after a 5-year long relationship, I felt that my world had broken apart.
I didn’t know what to do or why this happened..I just cried for days on end. I tried reaching out to him but he would never respond. He had blocked me from everywhere.
I became more unhappy day by day. I would keep reading our PREVIOUS conversations on Whatsapp or look at our pictures together. Ironically, more than when we were together, He was becoming the single MOST important focus in my life after our break up. I couldn’t let go of the future we had dreamt of together. How could he LET GO of that?
I couldn’t concentrate on my work and kept having crying spells every night. I was NOT ready to accept that we are no longer together and kept thinking of how to get him back.
A break up is a devastating experience that can leave us feeling emotionally overwhelmed and in pain. It is not easy to accept that a person that we loved is no longer a part of our life and hence there might be instances where one partner wishes to reconnect and revive the relationship.
Some of the most common reasons for a break up can be lack of understanding, breakdown in communication, cheating, abuse, falling out of love, circumstances, financial situations, different priorities at that time etc.
PROCESS OF RECONNECTION
Majority of times, soon after a breakup there is a painful phase wherein a person experiences emptiness, loneliness and sadness. There is a lack of interest and concentration in other areas of life. This period may feel like a withdrawal phase where we are in a hurry to return to the safety, comfort and happiness that we used to receive from our partner but this also a risky phase
According to research, up to 80% of couples who decide to get back together after a breakup end up breaking up again because they have not yet been able to identify and resolve the underlying cause of their dissatisfaction in the relationship
So what can be done?
TIMEOUT- Taking out personal time to get some perspective would help us to assess the following:
1. What went wrong in the relationship?
Introspection on what went wrong in the first place is very important to not fall in the same trap again. This will help us to identify and work upon the thought and behavior patterns that led to the break up in the first place.
Plus, it gives us the space to get past the initial unbearable phase of desperation and loneliness that makes us take certain steps that might further close the window of reconnecting with our partner.
2. Did we play any part in the demise of the relationship?
Timeout helps to deal with any sense of dependence that we might have developed within the relationship or feelings of insecurity and unworthiness that commonly crops up after the break up.
We can look back at incidents wherein any of our intrapersonal factors affected the relationship in a negative manner and what can we do now if such situations were to happen again.
We all have developed a certain way of relating to others, communication patterns, conflict resolution styles, emotional reactivity, attachment styles, love languages. All these factors come into play in the dynamics of our relationships. Hence identifying these factors would help us to further gain a better understanding of the part we play in a relationship.
What can make us feel empowered and in control over what we have an impact on is ourselves. Our feelings are ours to manage, not a demand to get our partner to change the behavior that was allegedly causing them.
We can contemplate on:
Is there something missing within us that we are expecting our partner to fulfill?
What are our ideas of personal space and boundaries in relationship?
Are we lacking in a secure sense of self?
This time can be used to develop a more secure and content self and work on ourselves to be better versions otherwise we end up sabotaging our chances and it makes us seem needy and desperate, which reinforces our partner to push us away from their life as it reminds them of the reasons the relationship ended.
3. What are the reasons to reconnect with our partner?
Once we are aware of the reasons for the breakup and take accountability and responsibility for how we may have contributed to the challenges that led to it then it becomes easier to see the underlying concerns that we may have overlooked earlier as we were too involved and attached to the trigger- our partner.
Compatibility in terms of core values, beliefs, approach towards life and relationships needs to be taken into account. We can introspect on the following questions
Are we compatible personalities?
Are there any irreconcilable differences that need to be worked on?
Are we coming into the relationship from a place of need, fear or obligation rather than happiness and freedom?
The best time to get your ex back is when you know you can do fairly well without them. You WANT to be with them rather than NEED to be with them.
Once we are completely certain that we have worked on ourselves and are ready to invest in the relationship again then we can focus on the next step that is trying to reconnect with them. This may be a step full of apprehensions and we may not be able to control their response to our intention of reconnecting but we can focus on letting them know about them. After that, it is up to them whether they also feel the same way
If they are willing to reconnect, we can first walk through our versions of what happened before the breakup and what we both can do in order to make it better this time individually and as a couple.
If they are unwilling, though it is heartbreaking and crushing, it is necessary to understand that we cannot force someone to develop or strengthen their feelings for us. As individuals, we are different and unique and hence how we perceive the relationship and how the break up affected us would be different.
Either way, the decision has more clarity and conviction when the realization comes from within rather than when it is forced.