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Simply Solo Spotlight: When It’s Just Not Meant To Be

May 22, 2012

Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is written by Jason Anthony, the founder of the individual refinement site EvenMinds. Jason shares his ideas and philosophies on love and relationships to enhance one of the three vital dimensions related to your personal fulfillment and happiness.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: simplysoloblog@gmail.com.

When It’s Just Not Meant To Be

How do you know if the end of your relationship is the right thing for you?

It is absolutely possible to be in a happy, fun, and beneficial relationship with someone only to have it end. Of course, you could also be in a horrible, stressful, and traumatic relationship, and end it yourself. I’ve been fortunate enough in my time to experience both ends of the spectrum, and much of the in-between.

There are thousands of different scenarios that can play out when dealing with relationship dynamics and it can get confusing. Our lives get extremely complicated on their own, then we go and throw someone else into the mix, and now we’ve got ourselves a rodeo.

I’ll never forget my first real experience with love. It was a disaster. She was older than me, and I was way out of my league. Outside of knowing absolutely nothing about dating, relationships, or women, I was riding on cloud nine. Chin up, chest out, and shoulders back – until she decided to leave me.

Looking back, I can tell you every detail and instance where I went wrong and messed up. It’s actually funny how naive and clueless I was. But if you would’ve ran into me back then, I was a train wreck. Head hung low and shoulders sagging – “High and Dry,” by Radiohead on repeat.

I’ve learned a lot since then about coping with the loss of a relationship, and as a guy, it’s easy to give my own perspective, but don’t be fooled. The same principles here apply to both genders.

See, men and women are a lot more similar than we are led to believe. Our basic emotional needs operate on the same level. We feel, dream, and search for fulfillment and bonds just the same. Part of our searching can include finding someone to be with, and somebody to share our experiences and time with.

For the sake of this post, let’s define “meant to be,” as either entering a long term commitment, getting married, or spending the rest of your life with someone. After that point, a whole new dynamic occurs, but what happens when it all falls short of that marker? In order to get beyond the doubt, confusion, and questions, we’ve got to break it all down.

The Three Paths Of The End

With the exception of death, in the simplest manner a relationship can only end in three different ways:

You give up, check out, or end it.

They give up, check out, or end it.

Both of you give up, check out, or end it together.

At first, these may seem obvious, but which of the three paths was taken is a very important detail. For instance, if it was you who ended the relationship, you have your reasons (or doubts) behind that decision as a starting place to move on. With that information, you can now work on doing what’s right for you.

If it was them, then there is little to nothing you can do about. In the worst case, you can stalk their every move and try to win them back, but that’s only going to make you push them further away. Yes, there are some instances when people do get back together, but we’ll have to save that craziness for another time. So, you’ve killed some time stalking, but eventually you finally realize that you can get started doing what’s right for you.

If the two of you decide together, well, congratulations. You are part of the elite members of society who are mature, responsible, and able to truly see how sometimes being apart can be the best situation for the two people. Now both of you can work towards doing what’s right for each of yourselves and move on.

Notice the recurring theme with each of the three instances? No matter how or why, the most beneficial move you can make is to work on yourself, and get to a better place (mentally and physically).

But I Still Want To Know Where Things Went Wrong!

goose fox sculpture

Photo courtesy of Wonderlane

All right, I get it. Even though having some sort of idea as to why it happened is not the most important thing to focus on, it can help in some cases. With that said, there could be a few reasons (of many) why the two of you didn’t last.

First off, this person just may not be for you (or you for them). A great relationship is built on a number of different attributes and values, and not everyone we date or enter a relationship with is going to have them all. That is not to say we aren’t good people, friends, or even partners, but it does speak for where we line up with respect someone else’s morals, ideals, beliefs, expectations, and preferences.

Lack of experience with dating and relationships can also play a part. The outcome may be due to your/their level of experience with the entire relationship process itself. Not to discredit “love at first sight,” or high-school sweethearts marrying, but without a proper knowledge of how different relationships work with different types of people, the less and less is going to be known about what it is that makes a partnership great.

Another problem area many of us run into is when we settle. Settling for less is the root cause for resentment. They may be A, B, and C, to us and have D, E, F, and G going for them, but what about the other 19 letters of the alphabet? They’re all important to the English language, just as all of what we want out of another person is important to our happiness. Accepting anything less than what you want can turn around to bite you in the ass someday.

I’ve purposely left out lying, manipulation, infidelity, control issues, abuse, and a laundry list of other reasons on purpose. They are a whole different ball game and tend to be rooted in some variation of a psychological defect. Also, as a current or former partner/spouse, it’s not your job to play therapist. If they aren’t open to seeking the right kind of help in this regard, then you have your cue to hit the road and never look back.

Where You Can Go From Here

While the dust still hasn’t settled, it may be hard to see ahead for some time. I’d like to share with you a few ideas which helped me greatly to solve some serious issues in my life, and really overcome some of those tough questions and concerns. Working on refining these areas of your own life will have a major impact on your mindset, well-being, and mean the difference between dealing with disaster or finding a favorable place to start.

Define your goals. To ever be sure about someone else, you have to be sure of yourself first. Who are you? What do you want? Get your thoughts, mindset, hopes, dreams, and goals in check. The more clear and defined you are about you, the easier it makes the entire process. It also enables you to get on the right path to find yourself, and eventually someone better. Not sure where to start? I’m currently giving away a freepartnershipfulfillmentprogram that covers this in full detail, if you’re interested, check it out.

Don’t mistake emotion for logic. This is probably one of the hardest feats to accomplish. Emotion and logic go together like oil and water. Feelings have an powerful way of hijacking us, overriding all forms of reason and rational thinking. Just think about that last big argument you had, what was running the show? Emotion or logic? There are a variety of strategies to deal with ourselves in this manner. One of the easiest is to step outside of yourself and take a birds-eye look at the situation at hand.

See your situation for what it is. Often times if things don’t work out, we end up hurt, lonely, depressed and wondering why. It stings. And for anyone who’s ever had their “heart broken,” you know exactly why that phrase was coined. One of the most important things you can do is learn to see your circumstance for what it is. Only then will you be able to make the decision to stay on course and continue to hurt, or change direction and start anew.

I am proud to say that through all the ups and downs I’ve been through, I am grateful. And if I can be this way, I know you can be, too. I’ve used each experience in my personal life as either a support system (while it lasted), or a stepping stone (when it ended) to learn from and grow. One of the biggest things to realize and take away here is that if it’s not meant to be, that’s actually a good thing.

Think about it.

Why would you spend your time and energy (your life) working toward or for someone who doesn’t afford you the same in return?

Now I’d like to pass it on to you. Have you ever tried to make a relationship work to no avail? How long did it take to realize it was over or what other experiences have you had when it comes to breakups and trying to move on? I’m looking forward to your comments below.

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.


15 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2012 8:49 am

    Great post, Jason. It’s funny (in that sad kind of way) to think that any relationship I ever clung to despite its overall “badness” occurred during times in my life that I wasn’t ok with myself. Your advice to take care of you first is absolutely true. I met my husband after spending some time alone and finally getting to a place where I felt perfectly content with that!

    • Jason Anthony permalink
      May 22, 2012 9:30 am

      Hi Tori,

      Our individual sense of self-esteem and worth plays a HUGE role in our relationships. Often, when we feel that we are lacking we look towards others to fill a void. The only problem with this is that its just a quick-fix (band-aid) solution. Thank you for sharing! I’m glad to see you’ve found a better place 🙂

  2. Stacia permalink
    May 22, 2012 10:33 pm

    Wow!!! This came at the most perfect time for me today! The ending of mine was more on the abusive side by him, and I stayed!! I continued within that toxic relationship for almost a year and now…am learning sooo much about myself. I now see the fantasy vs reality.

    Awesome post!!

    • Jason Anthony permalink
      May 23, 2012 7:47 am

      There’s a whole different dynamic at play in toxic relationship, like you mentioned. Its good that you got out and started doing whats right for you! Thanks, Stacia!

  3. May 23, 2012 1:58 am

    Thanks for taking the time to write that Jason. I am just now going through a breakup with my girlfriend of two years ( and she was the breaker). It’s been really tough because I have been dwelling on what is lost and the painful thought of moving forward alone. But after reading your post and with a little introspection, it’s become clear to me that we weren’t really as happy together as I want to remember. I haven’t been happy with the person I’ve become and I wasn’t really happy with the person she wanted me to be. In short, it wasn’t meant to be. I think sometimes, no, maybe most of the time we stay in relationships that aren’t working because we are comfortable. Remaining comfortable is often more attractive than dealing with the hard truth. It’s not going to be easy, I know that. But I think that if I can focus on my health and happiness that I’ll make it out of this a better person. Thanks again!

  4. gracepamer12 permalink
    May 23, 2012 6:41 am

    Excellent Post Jason,

    I have indeed tried to make something work in the past that was beyond repair. In fact on reflection it was just a bad idea from the start but loneliness and shared interests made it seem like it was worth giving a go. Unfortunately the giving a go went on for a couple of years because both of us had “settled” for each other. A viscious circle I hope others don’t repeat. It was only once I was out of this relationship that I realized who I really was and before long I really did find my life long companion. At least I learnt some hard lessons this way.

    I’ll tweet this out as it’s an excellent discussion
    Thanks
    Grace

    • Jason Anthony permalink
      May 23, 2012 10:12 am

      Thank you, Grace 🙂

      I may be the poster-child for learning the hard way!

      Its amazing what we can learn from experience. It also seems that we’re all guaranteed at least that one instance where we settle for less, due to a lack we may be feeling elsewhere in our life. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jason Anthony permalink
    May 23, 2012 7:50 am

    Appreciate you sharing your story, Matt.

    Its tough to be on the receiving end, but know that it happens to us all at some point or another. Comfort plays a major role, as does our fears and concerns about change. Sounds like you’re on the right track. Stay focused on you – doing whats right for you – and you’ll notice an immediate change in your mindset, and well being.

  6. May 27, 2012 1:08 pm

    It’s scary that this was posted so soon. Just a day after Jason posted this, my boyfriend of over four years wanted to have a talk with me about possibly breaking up, because it seems that we aren’t truly happy in the relationship. After reading this, I feel like he might actually be right. Bookmarking this for later. Thank you.

  7. Clara permalink
    July 2, 2014 3:16 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! My boyfriend and I of two years broke up almost two weeks ago. Everything seemed great with us, I never questioned our relationship. We barely ever argued, we were so “in love” with each other, we were so kind to each other and we learned how to live together and meet each others needs. Everything seemed great…on the outside. Meanwhile I’m feeling like something is terribly wrong with me. And I can’t figure it out. Once I admitted that I might not be in love with him anymore I felt immediate release. He knew, we talked and both maturely agreed that we had been growing apart for a while and that we are two totally completely different people with completely different paths in life. And that that’s okay. It was just time to move on. Not easy, or comfortable, but time.

  8. August 11, 2014 1:20 pm

    I am going through this right now. After 3 years, we are realizing it isn’t working and can’t continue. It’s hard no matter if you are the one doing it or having it done to you. It sucks.

    • Heidi permalink
      July 31, 2017 7:30 pm

      Agreed. I’m in the same boat.

  9. Riti permalink
    May 3, 2015 9:24 am

    Hi jason,
    its almost going to be three years to your post and it holds the same intensity for me as it does for everyone here who stumbles across it in times of need. Quite evidently i am going through the same thing, a recent break up with a guy i thought was ”the one” . I fought my family for him only to be dumped and left like he was looking for a chance to let go of me and finally found a ”situation” and did it. Feels terrible and more so ”vulnerable” which is even worse. I almost think i’ve lost my self respect in the due course of begging to be back with him . although i stopped that after 2 days of post the breakup because my trembling state of mind was not changing anything on the other side. The worst is being mentally hit by the breakdown of the ”illusion” that gets created with the heavyness of the words during that time. And yes your blog has helped and it has those lines that really prick my broken self esteem as to what did i ever want to do with a guy who i had to beg to be with .. but then again im still in the recovering mode and therefore there are parallel voices popping in my head that speak for an against the motion. Clueless as i feel sometimes, your words might serve as a reminder for all the bad times during the relationship and not just the good which the minds runs to in times of madness.
    thanks anyway

  10. Lehlogonolo permalink
    August 7, 2015 7:41 am

    We have sex years together, he cheated on me before and impregnated someone,. He apologies and i forgave her. So the way things are it seems like he did not stop cheating because i’m in a same situation again he impregnated someone again. He said he want to be me not their baby mamas, i think i’m wasting my time i need end this relationship, but the other feeling say don’t end it, please advise.

  11. Heidi permalink
    July 31, 2017 7:29 pm

    Thanks for the article. I’m the one doing the breakup this week with my boyfriend of 5 years. He’s a great guy. Truly. But, he doesn’t value how I spend my time (his words) and criticizes me a lot. It’s been a running theme where I feel hurt all the time and he thinks I’m too sensitive. And he won’t ask me to stay and he won’t break up with me. So, I’m left to rip off the band aid to be the bad guy. Which is fine. I’ll do it. But, I’d be lying if I wasn’t sad and scared and feeling doubt. But a 5 year pattern is enough. I’m not not looking forward to the near future and me moving out of his place, but I hope it’ll be okay in the long run.

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