7 Steps to Survive Your Lesbian Breakup
I remember the first time I met her. It was magical.
Two years into our blissful long distance relationship, I U-Hauled my love-infested self over 1,300 miles from Houston to Richmond to be with the woman I would spend my life with.
For five years, my girlfriend and I combined our two lives into one. We made a home in the suburbs (not my choice, but I compromised), adopted two dogs that instantly became our children, and celebrated life events together including weddings, a new niece, and my brother’s battle and remission from cancer. We even looked at engagement rings.
Over time, things shifted. As with any relationship, people grow. Unfortunately we grew separately and with neglect for one another. I didn’t understand her anymore which left me bitter and lonely. In turn, she could not relate my desires and needs.
Of course, there’s more to the story of the breakdown in our relationship. There’s always more. Everyone’s own breakup deserves a novel – it’s an event so complex which deeply transforms one’s life on every level.
Terminating a relationship is going through the motions of a death. However, with lots of time and the right mind set, it starts to get better. While immersing myself in YouTube, articles, and meditation I’ve come across advice and positive affirmation which has slightly eased this crazy pain. I find it worth sharing for other folks going through this heartache and rebirth of a new you.
1. Feel it all: This is the time to let it out: Cry, write crazy shit in your journal, get angry, eat, or not eat. Feel what you feel and be okay about it; own your emotions. I became visibly upset in the middle of the Carytown Martin’s this past weekend as it was my first single-person-grocery-trip in my new neighborhood and I embraced it. You combined your energy, body, and life with another human being and the sudden change is mind-boggling.
Take it in baby steps. There’s nothing wrong with your Radiohead-infested cry nights.
2. Be kind to yourself: You might have a case of the “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve”. For example, “I could’ve been more accepting about her fillintheblank, then maybe this would’ve worked.” No. This is one of the most agonizing ways of thinking and can torture your mind for hours. Forgive yourself and realize you are a good person, a great person in fact.
3. Separate yourself: Your heart and mind cannot start to the road to any phase of recovery when you’re still living together, texting, or having multiple bouts of breakup sex (oh so good but so confusing). For some, this might be clean and swift for others, this can be a lengthy back and forth process.
Social media plays a big role in this one so now is the time to unfollow, unfriend, or take a nice hiatus from it all no matter how much you want to see what she is up to. Why go through hurt you can prevent?
4. Detach what was once attached: Learn to release attachments to her – from the future you thought you would have together to trying to control her reactions (or her reactionless reactions). You might feel the urge to send hateful texts, get “even” by having a one night stand, or con your ex into feeling guilty about the breakdown in your relationship. I assure you, none of this will move you forward.
Buddhist teachings consider releasing attachments to outcomes (past, present, or future) will lead to a more peaceful existence. This is hard. Really hard but once you start, it will continue. Promise.
5. Find your thing: Always wanted to try spinning? Did she hate Thai or your group of friends? Do the things you wanted to do, maybe even the things that caused problems between you and her. Experience and find love for yourself again through things you enjoy.
Finding your thing doesn’t mean finding a hookup either, this will only be depressing since they won’t look at you or touch you the way she did. Time for that will come later, heal yourself first then the world will find you someone else again – all with time.
6. Surround yourself: Rely on your friends and family for support. See a counselor. Discover or hone in on your hobbies, work, or volunteering. Be busy but don’t use it as a coverup to distract yourself from reality. Go through the emotions but channel it productively.
Also, drowning your sorrows in alcohol should be avoided, it’s the toxic catalyst to send that drunk “I miisss u. do u miss me?” text at 1 am that will send you 10 steps back.
7. Embrace your journey: Slowly, things will get better. Celebrate those moments where you don’t cry when someone mentions her favorite restaurant or you take up running and loose a couple of lbs. A lyric of a Stars song (which has nudged me along my own journey) says it all “live through this, and you won’t look back”.
“If you love yourself, you will let her go” … This is something I tell myself when I’m woken to a dream about her not wanting me anymore, when I hear that Rolling Stones song we loved, or moments when I think about how I’ll never get to kiss her again.
Through your own up and down battle with your mind, unpredictable future, and broken past, remind yourself that you’re a good person and likely your ex was also a good person but just because she’s a good person doesn’t mean you were good together.
I adore good food; the restaurants that serve it, the energy around it (even the hoopla), and telling others about it. When I'm not grubbing down on a great meal or writing, I'm mixing aromatherapy oils, letting Jillian Michaels kick my ass, and discovering new indie music that eventually goes mainstream (sigh).
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