he’s just not that into u

he’s just not that into u

Most of us have heard of the book He’s Just Not That Into You, and to this day, I can hear Oprah talking about it on her show. Sometimes there comes a time in your relationship where you take stock of it… why you’re hurt, why you’re upset, and you realize he or she is… “just not that into you.”

It’s not like you never felt it before— you have; it’s just that you never truly let go. Or maybe you did but you somehow picked it up again thinking it would be different the next time, or you tried to be friends but it backfired again because you ended up wanting more, which he wasn’t giving, hence the reason you were friends instead of lovers in the first place.

There’s peace in releasing the dream. In fact, there’s relief. Because after spending months and years wishing and wanting, there comes a time when you give it up. Let it go. And it washes out in the tide, back into the vast ocean of experience. And you sit on the wet sand watching the waves crash, but you are no longer pulled in and under by them.

You say to yourself, as you watch the waves tumble but not pull you in, “Oh yes, I remember, just moments ago I was someone who allowed this other person to set me aside, to not make me a priority in his life over and over; that was me just yesterday or maybe just hours ago; but that is no longer me today or in this moment.”

Today I stand up for myself and claim the love in my life that is deserved. I reject the notion that just because I want to be a priority, I’m a needy, demanding princess.

And wherever this crazy road leads us, at least when we reach the end, whether we are apart or together, I will hold my head up, knowing I didn’t chase you. I gave us space— lots of space after learning you do not love me the same.

Breakups bring a host of emotions, including grief. A big part of that grief comes from the loss of what you thought your life would look like. I know that was true for me… I’d pictured a life of freelancing with my former love, working in coffee shops, traveling, being our own bosses… and what we ended up with was a lack of money, criticizing each other, and unmet expectations. Ugh.

According to the article, “…there’s no age minimum or limit when it comes to how much a split can hurt, whether it was a six-week fling or a six-year relationship.” 

The article also alludes to breaking up becoming easier with more life experience. People come to realize everything is temporary, including the difficult emotions brought on by a break up. The writer gives us seven main tips to help us through our heartache.

1. Keep Taking Care of Yourself 

To summarize the this subhead: exercise often, sleep well, eat a healthy diet, and maintain positive social connections.

2. Write a Letter to Your Ex

Even if you don’t send it (most don’t) it’s therapeutic to let it out.

3. Surround Yourself With People You Love 

Say yes to invitations to catch up over coffee or hang out on the couch.

4. Expect Healing to Take Time 

 Recovering doesn’t always happen linearly.

5. Feel the Feelings

I know I’ve dealt with this one quite a bit— allowing myself to feel whatever comes up. If that means journaling, hiking it out, talking to a friend or therapist… accept the feelings… accept… but then also move through them to something more productive, something that will bring you joy.

6. Do Something Kind for Someone Else

Volunteering is a great way to get out of our heads as long as we’re continuing to be real with emotions and our healing process.

7. Seek Professional Help

I love my therapist. It’s helpful just to have someone to talk to about the same old things that may come up or entirely new subject matter. Either way, she’s there to listen and help, not judge.

In the article, the writer covers additional helpful bits of advice under each bullet point above. You may enjoy my personal input, but licensed professionals weigh in, so please take a minute to read what they have to say, too.

Click here to read the article.

spinning

spinning

To remain friends or not with my ex-lover… the question has spun in my head relentlessly.

Now I’m letting it be. We’re friends, but I’m no longer chasing.

Any relationship I’m in now requires giving on both ends, not primarily on mine.

It’s taken me a long time to realize he withholds emotionally, to my detriment. So why would I continue to give more, when I have no clue what he’s thinking or feeling?

But then I turn the tables. Picture him as the one back with his ex-wife. I’d probably say fuck off, you made your choice; but the truth of it is, he could have had me if he would have stepped up and wanted me, then we wouldn’t be in this situation.

He’s said I wouldn’t give him the time of day if he were the one back with his ex. I don’t think that’s true. I think I’d want to be friends. But maybe not, since he’s terrible at communicating things back and forth on a heartfelt level, whether we’re lovers or friends. He hasn’t been willing to meet me half way, even in friendship, by asking me what I think a healthy friendship between us looks like. He hasn’t been willing to change anything about himself at all. It’s friendship on his terms. So, I’ve accepted that and released the situation. Friends from a distance.

Overall, my experience has been painful in trying to keep a friendship with my ex-lover. And as I said before, I think a lot of that is due to his unwillingness to change a few things with our communication that would make a real difference for me. But it’s not important enough to him, seems to me.

When one person is always doing the work to communicate on a heart to heart level, it’s excruciately painful to always be that person.

So, I’ve learned to gradually let go and accept what is. And if he wants more of a friendship, he needs to speak up. But the fact he doesn’t, tells me he’s perfectly fine with where our friendship is.

For today, the question is about whether or not we stay friends with our former lovers, and if so, how?

This article starts by telling us it’s a polarizing question, whether we should remain friends with our ex lovers. 

And then it goes on to say, “Rachel Sussman, a New York City-based psychotherapist and author of The Breakup Bible, advises caution when it comes to staying friends, but says there are couples for whom it works; ultimately, she says, it’s “an individual determination.” Nonetheless, Sussman says there are some guidelines all exes should follow after a breakup.

1. When to Cut Ties With an Ex

To summarize the article, toxic relationships are out the window. I think I need to clarify “toxic” because I’ve felt plenty of that in our differing communication styles… but is it enough to warrant not staying friends? Time will tell.

The article tells us, One 2000 study… found that friendships between exes were more likely to have negative qualities, and less likely to have positive ones, than cross-sex platonic friendships.”

The article continues to say possible downsides are the relationship could potentially hold you back from future relationships, or it could remain in a cycle of on-again, off-again.

Interestingly, the article tells us, One study, published in 2013 in PLOS One, found that “breakup distress may act as a catalyst for personal growth,” while avoiding that distress may inhibit the development process.

2. When to Stay Friends With an Ex

Of course exes who have kids together benefit from remaining friends, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. And, “The lines are murkier for couples without children, but Rachel Sussman, a New York City-based psychotherapist and author of The Breakup Bible, says those who dated when they were young, were friends first, dated casually or were together only for a short time are good candidates for friendship.”

The article tells us of a woman who went back to exes and mended fences, and her husband is okay with it because he isn’t jealous and she’s open about those friendships.

I tend to believe along those same lines, that people who come into our lives played a special part in it, and there’s no reason you can’t remain friends. However, the article tells us it ends badly if a desire for reconciliation is in the mix. It’s only when it’s platonic and for sentimental reasons that a friendship works.

3. How to Stay Friendly With an Ex

Taking a break, time apart, including social media is recommended by Sussman. And boundaries need to be set, whether that’s a dinner once a month or phone call, etc. Each friendship is different.

The article tells us, “Above all, regularly reassess how the friendship makes you feel, and be honest with yourself. More times than not, [someone who stays friends with an ex] is kind of clinging to something,” Sussman says. “It’s more of a security blanket.”

It can be confusing, deciphering if we’re in a relationship for security reasons (not having to step out of our comfort zone) or if it’s because we feel safe with our needs being met. I believe there’s a difference. If it’s the first then it’s probably best to let the friendship go.