I am better off without you
When people break up, it’s like they take part in a contest to look who is doing better. They’ll go to the gym, start dressing up, make new friends, or start dating someone prettier, hotter or richer. They will do anything to show the other one how they are better off without them. How they have more options and they don’t need them to be happy.
You see this in every relationship. There’s a strong urge to prove a point. To win the game of who cares less. Look I have already found someone better than you, so I win. Oh, I started my own business and earned 30 grand this year since you left, see how I’m better, happier and richer without you.
Show them what they lost
The other trend is ‘show them what they lost’. Quite similar to the previous one, in this, they will try to become the best versions of themselves, not for self-improvement purposes, but to show their ex-partners ‘what they have lost’.
They’ll post pretty pictures, paint a happy life, be a part of lit social groups, date someone famous/rich/with a high social status to drive home the point ‘you lost the best thing ever’.
On one hand, this may help people grow a little bit, especially in terms of fitness or finances. But the whole mentality sounds unhealthy to me. I mean, at one point, you loved this person. You spent some good days with them. You have done many things for each other. At the end, things went wrong, it doesn’t matter whose fault it was. This is life, these things happen. People make mistakes, friends drift apart. You lose the people you thought will stay with you forever.
But why does it have to make you bitter? Why does it have to become a contest of who’s doing better?
Comparison is the killer
People start comparing every aspect of their life with their exes and try to prove it to themselves and the people around how they are doing much better than the ex-partner. They do this to emphasize how the person is a loser and how they are awesome.
Cover up the feelings of needing/wanting/missing
When you pretend like you’re doing so much better without them, it helps you convince yourself and the people around that you don’t need them.
It’s a subconscious technique to exaggerate your personal well-being and success to cover up how their absence is affecting you.
Because often when you think about how things have changed since they left, there’s a lot of pain, anger, emptiness, loneliness and missing. It can often get unbearable especially if you ended on bad terms.
So to keep yourself from going down the depressing spiral, you come with the good things that have happened to you since they left. Like how you have more time for yourself, to focus on your hobbies, to pay attention to your health and fitness, to be more social, etc.
You vs Life
It’s a good technique, I must admit. Although, a healthy relationship should never keep you away from those things. Life isn’t a choice between well-being and a relationship. You can have both at the same time. But we often lose that balance and end up blaming our partners for the instability in our life. So when they leave, we are like look, I’ve been thriving since they left.
But often, we spend so much time and energy trying to prove them how we are better and how they are miserable without you, that we don’t really have the time to truly move on.
Are you really moving on?
Let’s face it- the longer you are obsessing over the whole ‘I’m better off without you’ point, the more you are thinking about them, whether in a good way or bitterly, they’re still on your mind and they’re still the main reason you’re doing everything you are doing. That is not how you move on.
You can spend all your life trying to make them feel guilty for leaving you or cheating on you. You can spend all your time, energy and resources trying to show them what they have lost. While they have probably moved on and are truly living a better life without having to prove it to anyone.
But what’s important here is to understand, you can’t be happier by being bitter to someone you used to love. Yeah, they were wrong and they did shitty things. Yeah, you can never forgive them and they’re a massive loser. Yeah, they’re miserable without you and will die alone. Okay, accepted. Now how long will you keep trying to hold this story up? How long until you truly wholeheartedly learn what this relationship was supposed to teach you and move on?
Turn the page, burn the book
No good is ever going to come out of spending a large chunk of your life proving something to someone who’s not even a part of your life anymore. They have left. The chapter is over.
How long will you keep re-reading and re-writing the story to make yourself look like the hero?
How many fresh pages will you stain with the same old bitter memories?
How long until you realize that right here, right now, you have the choice to turn the page and start writing a new story. A new story in which you really are the hero without having to prove it to anyone.
You broke up. It’s over. Let it go. Move on. I know it’s not easy. Nothing good comes easy. Nobody wins overnight. Get over it. Get your shit together.
Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you truly want to keep carrying their ghosts long after they’ve dropped yours. Ask yourself if you came into this world just to prove your worth to some douche bag who didn’t know your value. Ask yourself if the purpose of your life is to spend precious moments trying to make someone feel miserable for the choices they made.
Ask yourself if loving someone comes with an unsaid agreement to obsessively focus on trying to ruin each other when you separate. And most importantly, ask yourself if all this is really worth it?
Can we truly move on in a humane way?
Can we, for once live our lives for ourselves? Can we focus on self-growth so we can be the best versions of ourselves for us? Can we socialize, pay attention to our health and live a fulfilling life because that will make us happy and not because it will make someone else feel guilty/miserable/sorry? Can we let them be a part of our past without dragging them all over our present and future?
Can we stop trying to act mean just because we want to show them how we’re so over them and how they mean nothing to us? Can we let shitty people be shitty people without trying to show it to them/fix them/teach them a lesson?
Can we allow someone to love us without destroying them if they change their mind? Can we make use of the conscience and cognition that separates us from wild beasts that only see in terms of friend/prey/enemy? Can we separate like civil humans without giving in to our animal instincts of attacking and destroying the other? Can we love and lose like humans?
Previously published on Medium.com.
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