If you’re going through a relationship breakup you didn’t want, you’ll know–like I do–they stink!
And you may well be struggling because it seems men find it harder to get over a relationship breakup than women.
According to a 2015 study published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences by Craig Morris, professor of anthropology at Binghamton University in New York and lead author on the work:
Women are emotionally hit hardest after a relationship breakup–but men suffer more in the long term and may never truly get over it…The man will likely feel the loss deeply and for a very long period of time as it sinks in that he must start competing all over again to replace what he has lost–or worse still, come to the realisation that the loss is irreplaceable,
Now from where I’m stood, this is bad news if you’re a man.
It means the rest of your life is doomed to living a life of regret! I can see how this could happen, I’m sure some men never get over a relationship breakup.
From an evolutionary perspective it’s the woman who ultimately chooses the man, so if a man doubts his ability to compete for his next mate, especially if he’s a little older, the dating scene may not look such an inviting place.
So I get how the unseen, evolutionary nuances of men and women could have a longer term impact for men, but we are conscious creatures. Yes there’s some stuff going on under the radar which we can’t control, but ultimately our experience moment to moment is created via our thinking, not evolution.
The more we understand this, the less prone we’ll be to having a relationship breakup take us down for the rest of our lives. The event is neutral, it’s our state of mind ultimately that determines how we relate to it, not evolution.
I know many men who are happier as a result of a relationship breakup, don’t get me wrong, breaking up from someone you love is really fucking hard, no doubt about it. It’s hard to let go of a great friend who you’ve shared some of your most intimate secrets with.
I know because I’m living it right this very moment.
It’s been three months since my long term partner left me. It’s been hard, and it still is, one of the toughest times in my life. My ego’s been shattered, my heart broken, my future now uncertain and a great friend gone forever.
So when you look at it like that, no wonder these are tough times.
I have moments when I think I’m never going to meet anyone as special, who’ll love me like she did, but of course whenever I’m thinking that way, it’s no wonder my world feels bleak and hopeless.
That said, I know I’ll look back on this time with great fondness, because I’ll come out of it stronger and if you’re going through the same thing right now, reassure yourself with this fact.
Over the last few months I’ve been having a number of insights, which might be useful to you post relationship breakup, which I share below :
A Break Up Makes Space for The “Right” One
The bottom line is this wasn’t the right relationship for you, if she was your soulmate, you’d still be together. You’d have worked things out. Although it might be difficult to hear, you are a perfect man for someone but not perfect for her.
I know it’s hard to hear, I still wake up and she’s the first thought on my mind, but you and I have to accept they don’t want to be with us. All the time you’re thinking she’s the one that got away, you’re blocking your chances of meeting the women who’s going to turn your world upside down.
It’s time now for you to say goodbye, wish her well, thank her for the amazing times you had and close the door behind her, as you let her go from your life.
Not easy, but necessary. Trust me, the best is yet to come.
This is a Very Special Time in Your life
I know it feels like the worst, but as one of my friends said to me “you may never have an opportunity to feel so vulnerable and insecure again”.
Now you might look at this as a bad thing, but what if this was REALLY is the last time you’ll ever go through a relationship breakup? I hope it is.
They only happen a small number of times, so embrace the experience, it is fertile ground for dealing with some shit that may have been blocking real happiness all your life.
I don’t recommend you try and cover up the pain with your drug of choice, whether that be alcohol or going out and finding a replacement immediately, rather sit with it, really feel it, the manly thing to do is to face it rather than hide from it.
I’m not suggesting you wallow, but don’t run away from the hurt; cry, get angry, feel the sadness, it will serve you in the longer term. Look at where the anguish is really coming from and you’ll probably find it has nothing to do with your ex, this is about you now not her.
These are powerful, transformative moments in life. I’m not suggesting they’re easy, they’re not, but the more you surrender, by that I mean accept it as though it’s meant to be, so that you don’t add further anger, resentment and fear to the situation; the easier it is to get through.
See this time as a gift and trust this is the best for you.
You Get to Work on the Most Important Relationship in Life
You can’t flourish in a relationship if you’re not happy with who you are. Let me say it another way, you can’t be really happy in a relationship, until you know deep inside,you don’t need need a woman to be happy.
It’s hard, it’s hard for me, but if I think my happiness is dependent on a woman, I’m screwed as long as I’m single and then I’ll be afraid to truly be myself in case who I really am, doesn’t meet with a woman expectations.
People or women pleasing isn’t attractive, and for a healthy relationship you have to get REALLY comfortable in your own skin.
My advice is to forget women for now, Embrace YOU because that’s the person the woman in your life needs to fall in love with, not someone who’s pretending or pandering to her needs so that she doesn’t leave you.
So before you go start hunting again, look at the relationship you have with yourself. Can you look in the mirror and feel really good about you?
If not, this is a time to fall in love with you. Men rarely talk about this, but it’s important; complete and total acceptance of you is paramount to your happiness in or out of a relationship.
Being single again gives you an opportunity to work on your self worth and see the illusory nature of the fears, doubts and insecurities that have held you back in the past.
You’ll Be Better Next Time Around
If you’re anything like me, post the relationship you’re seeing areas where you can change and improve (be careful not to beat yourself up about the perceived mistakes you made, it won’t help).
Personally there are areas of my life that need to change and I behaved in ways that weren’t useful at at times. I did my best in the moment and I never meant to intentionally cause any pain, but I did and I’m sorry for that.
I can’t go back and fix my errors, so I’m keen to be a better partner next time around. I don’t want to go through another relationship breakup, however useful the experience might be.
Craig Morris, believes that breakups bring literal pain not only to help us start over, but also to make sure we take our relationships seriously. He says,
Breakups should hurt, so that we have evolved to avoid them! If breakups didn’t hurt, we’d invest very little in relationships,
This makes sense, I’ve learnt a lot, it’s hard seeing, but these lessons will help me to love more fully next time.
So as I said, stay open to the pain, don’t try to cover it up, because if you do you’ll miss the lessons you were supposed to learn that will help you be a better partner, lover and friend next time around.
The World is Your Oyster
I’ve been so caught up reminiscing about my ex, but there comes a time when you have to let go of the past as difficult as it may seem, so you can focus on creating YOUR future.
This time is yours now, so what are you going to do with it? How can you use this time alone to grow, evolve and rise up to become a more powerful, loving and inspiring man, women will want to be around?
Where do you want to go, what do you want to do, who do you want to be?
What skills do you want to master?
Which areas of your life need attention?
Read more of Jamie Matthewman on The Good Men Project