When I was in college I went through a very painful breakup. My boyfriend, Trevor, didn’t want to be in a monogamous relationship and decided to cut things off after we were together for almost a year.
Although I was absolutely heartbroken by his decision we ended things amicably and it seemed logical to try to stay friends.
Lo and behold, we ended up being friends with benefits for almost a year which meant holding on to romantic ties that resulted in us (mostly me) being much more hurt than if we just went our own way once things were over the first time.
Even after that year, there were times off and on when we would reconnect and it was far from a healthy arrangement.
I reached a point emotionally where I realized I had to stop reaching out to Trevor for the sake of my emotional sanity.
These are the steps that I took to finally break the connection I had shared with Trevor in order to move on with my life.
. . .
I stopped hanging out with our mutual friends
While we were dating Trevor welcomed me into his group of friends which consisted of both men and women. They were all extremely wonderful and fun, in fact, I even ended up taking a trip with the group of girls at one point.
Then when we broke up things became strange. For a time I tried to remain friends with everyone. This resulted in numerous complications, the primary one being that I would see Trevor at every party. Another example is that none of his male friends knew how to navigate our interactions because I was now viewed as “Trevor’s ex.”
Although it was painful to let the relationships fade, I realized that whether I was doing it subconsciously or not, I was trying to somehow hold on to the life Trevor and I had shared through my relationship with his friends.
I began denying invites to parties, eventually, his friends stopped reaching out to me, and we went our separate ways.
. . .
I stopped using him as a fallback option
After Trevor and I broke up it didn’t take long for me to get back on the dating horse, we were in college after all.
Yet time and time again the end of the night arrived and I would find myself calling or texting Trevor to see if we could meet up. Unfortunately, that behavior happened off and on for a few years in between relationships.
I continued to let myself end up in a “half” relationship with Trevor and ultimately he was my fallback plan whether I wanted to admit it or not.
Then came the last night that I ever spent with Trevor. He came back to my apartment and I could clearly see two roads laid in front of me. I could go down the normal path, or I could finally stop. I told him that I couldn’t do it anymore and he said he understood. He slept on his side of the bed and in the morning, we said goodbye… and this time, after all of those years it felt like it was really goodbye.
. . .
I accepted that he wasn’t meant for me
People will often say with good intentions that, “you could have done better” or “they weren’t that great” about someone’s ex when that isn’t necessarily the truth.
Trevor was extremely book-smart, yet he was goofy. The first time I saw him, I truly thought he was the most handsome man I had ever seen, and while we were dating I was shocked that I was with him. The first time that he met my Dad he ended up getting a full-on bear hug (which is not a normal occurrence) and could instantly fit into any environment or situation.
The truth is that Trevor is the only man who ever dumped me. He ended things and I was extremely shattered. When he wanted to get back together I said no to protect my heart, but allowed him back into an almost half relationship because I was so infatuated.
I couldn’t try to convince myself that he wasn’t good enough for me, or that he had a huge glaring flaw because that simply wouldn’t be the full story.
The reality is that Trevor and I wanted completely different things for our future and we weren’t meant to be with each other long-term.
When I let that truth wash over me and accepted that I could not control someone else’s heart, I was able to finally start letting Trevor go.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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