Reaching acceptance in a breakup is the hardest step to reach, and it can sometimes take years to get there.
Why does it take so long to accept a breakup? Because, part of us doesn’t believe it. We can’t believe it because that person who we are trying to hard to win over, once tried so hard to win over us. At one point in time, you were this persons world. And now they want a world away from you. It doesn’t make any sense.
You possibly think to yourself, that if you could work on your shortcomings, change for the better, look better, pursue better, study better, work harder, work smarter, had a better job, a better personality, a more interesting life, a better temperament, was more cultured, cooler, hotter, whatever it was that you felt your partner needed and lacked in you, you think to yourself that only then, maybe, you could get your partner back.
If you give them enough space, enough time. Maybe then they might start to miss you.
And then you think back to all of the breakup mistakes you made. You yelled at their friends, you blocked and unblocked your ex a million times, you called them crying, you did everything wrong. You were toxic but you were apologetic. You tried to fix the broken glass. You tried to glue it back together to see a jaded reflection of your own broken heart.
You read a thousand articles just like this, telling you about how things happen for a reason, or time will tell, or if it’s meant to be it will someday be, or how if only you bought this product you could win any guy/girl/heart you wanted.
You think about all of your shortcomings, you think about all of the ways you could have just been better. You look at the version of yourself that you want to be so desperately, the version of yourself you “know” your partner would accept and love fully, and you try to become it. But you lack the energy and motivation to do so, because a broken heart consumes you. You don’t have the energy right now to transform yourself into this god-like being. The most loveable perfect partner that your partner would droll over. You don’t have that energy because you are too consumed in the hurt.
If you are religious, you pray for strength, but if you are atheist deep down, you know that strength has to come from inside you. And it doesn’t. It just doesn’t.
You know writing is supposed to help but you can’t bring yourself to do it, the only thing you will write is a list of all the things you did wrong and all of the ways you want to be better, for your partner.
You want to be rich, famous, successful, beautiful, smart… but your partner already sees you as these things. They already saw you as the most beautiful person they have ever seen. They already see you as smart, and to them you were famous, even if you only had a couple hundred followers on an overly saturated collage posted on Instagram.
You blame your partner, you blame yourself. You can’t even refer to them as anything but your partner. You hate the letter ‘x’ because it reminds you of every failed possibility, every broken dream. It reminds you that everything you touch breaks. It reminds you of all of your shortcomings. It reminds you of every broken glass bottle ever smashed by a person filled to the brim with frustration, sadness, and longing.
Your partner did not want to hurt you. They didn’t want to fall out of love. They didn’t want this relationship to end in a breakup, and you feel that you failed them. Because something inside of you, pushed them away. You pushed the best thing away.
But the truth of the matter is, your shortcomings are not enough to push away love.
The truth of the matter is, that will inside of you, that reason you want to change, that would have been enough, to keep someone you love.
If your partner loved you, if they really truly wanted to be with you, they would swim oceans, climb mountains, fly anywhere in the world, to be with you.
Stop believing that there was something you could have done. Yes, you have flaws, and you need to work on them for your next relationship. After all, taking someone for granted is never okay.
But acceptance comes when you know that even if you had worked on your flaws, tweaked your character, learned a new language, developed a new skill, worked a better job, looked ‘better’, it wouldn’t have been enough to make them stay.
Accept that, right now, there is nothing you can do to change this situation.
Of course, sometimes feelings change. Sometimes people cross paths, sometimes their needs re-align. But right now, in this very moment, there is NOTHING you can do. Nothing.
Just like there is nothing you could have done to stop someone from loving you, there is nothing you could do to make someone love you. People can do awful things, be ugly, be unattractive, and yet we might still love them, even despite their flaws. Think of it like this, your partner left you and yet you still love them deeply. Right? Why then, is it so impossible to see that someone could love you even despite your flaws. If your partner wanted to stay, they would.
Breakups are a pain for anyone. Think of how desperately your partner wanted out if they were able to follow through. The person who ends the relationship is always seen as the bad guy, they know this. The last thing they ever wanted was to hurt you, and yet… they did. No one will stay in a situation they don’t want to. Just like nothing can keep someone away from a place they want to be. You have to remember that, your ex wants this. If they didn’t, they would eagerly jump on your pleas of change, they would be won over by your tears and your texts, and your broken heart. They wouldn’t run away. But they did. There is nothing you could have done to change it. And you might never understand why.
They might not understand why they feel the way they do. They just do. I mean, yes your behaviours and actions might have driven them away, but it wouldn’t have been enough to keep them away forever if you wanted to change, and you wanted to improve.
If it’s meant to be with them, it someday will be, but you can’t live your life to impress them and win them over. It will destroy you. Right now accept the fact that they don’t want to be with you. Don’t try to change their minds. Live a good and fulfilled life for yourself. Be the best version of yourself for YOU.
The best thing you could do is to accept that there is nothing you could do to make them come back right now. Even if you were rich, and famous, and smart, and successful, and had a better temperament and a more interesting life. Only THEY could make themselves come back. Only they could love you. And right now, they don’t. Yes, sometimes feelings change, but you cannot make them change. You have to be the best possible version of yourself for you, and only you. Only then will you be happy. And when you’re happy, good things will come to you.
MAKE THOSE CHANGES FOR YOU. You don’t like your temperament? Change it. Change it. Change it. Go to therapy and do the inner work. Re-learn and grow. But do it for you, not for a possibility. Because if they wanted to be with you, they would.. the same goes for the future. If they wanted to be with you in the future, they will. Nothing could keep them away. But they don’t. So accept that now, and prepare for your next relationship, whoever it’s with. Work on your flaws that drove your partner away, and work on your life for you.
Acceptance comes when you stop trying to win your partner back over. Acceptance comes when you address them as your former partner instead of your ex, because you know ex stings too much to say aloud, and you can’t bring yourself to say it. And yet, you know they are in the past. And that is ok. Because the past was beautiful. But the future is beautiful too. You have to move onward to bigger and better.
I’ll tell you a story.
When I was in University, I lived in student dorms. The first one I picked was cheap, dark, and dingy. I had 4 male roommates, it was unclean, and uncomfortable.
When I looked for my next terms housing unit, I bought another cheap place, but this time, it was a little larger, a little lighter, still a basement unit, but it had a backyard. But soon after, I found a lovely apartment. It was above ground, spacious, one of the best units I ever lived in. And then I upgraded again the next term to the nicest student housing unit in the city. And the term after that, I scored a place without a roommate.
You never go back to worse after you’ve found better. Once your standards are high, you only see things that can match or exceed them. You won’t go backward because you can’t. It will literally repulse you.
The same is true with love. My first ex, cheated, notoriously. Every girl in the city was his playground, (though most were repulsed by him), still, I learned, that I will never date someone like him again. And I didn’t. Because boys with wandering eyes repulsed me. I could never love them the way I once did my first partner. So then onto my second, he was loyal, he regarded cheating as the worst thing you could do to a person. And so I trusted him fully, he bought me snacks, drew me portraits, cuddled me while watching movies, he was, at the time, perfect. But then he ignored me. Then came the neglect. I would go weeks without hearing from him, I would be perpetually stood up, on dates we had planned, in a relationship. I surprised him at his apartment once with a gift, a stuffed elephant, but he refused to see me. I drove home crying. And so for my next partner, I couldn’t bring myself to be with an avoidant type. So I found someone who loved me, and showered me with attention, fast replies, spontaneous dates, drives into the city, trips, love letters, everything. And that was perfect. He was perfect. Until he left me. He left me.
And now I know, that I need to be with someone who won’t leave me. I can’t live my life on eggshells. I am not a perfect person, and while I will always be the first to work on my flaws, I can’t live in a state of anxiety that I could lose my world, if I can’t meet the mark.
So I will never go backward. Ever. And if I do, I will do everything in my power to get OUT. Because, like I said, once your standards are raised, you cannot be compatible with something below them again.
I am grateful for my ex because he raised my standards significantly, I am scared because I feel that those standards are difficult to find in another, given my past, given my understanding of what most people will and wouldn’t be willing to do for love, but now I know. I won’t be happy with late replies, being stood up, being cheated on, and I won’t be happy to be left.
Now I know I deserve the love letters and songs and dates. But I don’t deserve the fights, the control, feeling like I am not enough. Feeling like I need to say the right thing, do the right thing, be the right thing, to stay interesting enough. I don’t.
I will be loved in the way I was loved. I will have spontaneous dates planned for me. I will fly to another city for date nights. I will travel, and I won’t be alone forever.
Life is long, and if I met someone in a small college town in Canada, who would be willing to sweep me off of my feet, I will find it again, and again, and again.
I will not settle for less, because I can’t. My standards won’t allow it. I feel repulsed by slow replies. Whereas before it was enticing and mysterious, now I feel turned off by those who expel them. I don’t feel the need to change them as I once did, I just block, and move onto the next.
Once my standards are raised, I will only find things and people that can meet and exceed them.
Life is long, and love is possible. It is always possible. It is always available and ready.
As long as there are rom-coms there will always be someone who will sweep me off my feet. There will always be new places to travel, new people to meet, new places to see.
I will always move onward to bigger and better. Because going backward just won’t do. I can’t. Every inch of me will fight it. I’ll know I won’t stay happy.
Love isn’t rare. Healthy relationships aren’t rare. Most of us, all of us, would do anything for the person we love. And when we are loved, someone will do anything for us.
There won’t be any hesitations, any doubts, that person will just love us. They will want to see us as much as they can, they will want to reply fast, they will want to stay even on your low days. They will.
They won’t have to choose you, because they don’t see it as a choice. They can’t imagine a life without you.
Someone will soon love you the way your ex did. Someone will want you the way you want them now.
Just like there is nothing you could do to repulse someone who loves you, there is nothing you can do to get someone who doesn’t want you to stay.
Acceptance comes when you stop living for them, and you start living for you. Upgrade your life for YOU. Live for YOU. Do not post on your social media accounts hoping they might see and regret their decision. Love isn’t about regrets. Love is about being accepted for who you are.