Life After Love

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Before this month ends, I’d like to share a very personal and lengthy post. I promise that it’s a good read, my beloved readers. So… Welcome to the first installment (out of three) of my Love related posts today. 🙂 In this Post-LTR Blues, I talk about a few stages that a person from a Long Term Relationship experiences once it ends. On my next post, I’ll be able to properly explain my rationale for these Love related posts, but for now, I hope you enjoy reading this one~ 😀

I’ve learned the hard way that no matter how picture perfect a couple and their relationship may seem, there will always be nooks and crannies that only the couple can see. A relationship between two hearts should only involve those two. Not the whole world. They should have no one to answer to but themselves and their partner. A relationship is a partnership after all, so for it to work it needs solid team work, all the time.

However, not all relationships are fortunate enough to last forever. There are some relationships that are only meant to teach us valuable life lessons that we can’t really learn elsewhere. My mom calls those as Seasonal Loves. So… How do you handle the period after your LTR ends?

“Do you believe in life after love?” – Cher 

Breaking the News

If you’re in your early Twenties and you’ve been together past the three-year mark, making the dreadful announcement of your break up will be very complicated. It’ll be harder for your family to cope up with the loss than it will be on you. In the Filipino culture, your long time boyfriend or girlfriend gets adopted into the family, as you are to his or hers. Some of your family members might even be more affected by your break up that they would try to patch you two back together again because they’ve grown to love you and thinks that you’re still perfect together. No matter how much they try to make you reconsider your decision, you have to stand strong. You two broke up for a reason, a very good one. You can’t expect your family to accept your break up quickly. You have to respect their grieving process too. You also can’t expect them to accept the next person you date so easily. It’ll actually be even harder the next time around especially if they’ve loved your previous boyfriend or girlfriend a lot. You’re lucky if the next person you date turns out to be even more amazing than the last. Why wouldn’t they? Life is about leveling up.

As for the rest of the world, fuck them. Dr. Seuss made a good point when he said that “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” You don’t owe the world an explanation of why you two did not work out. It just didn’t. They should respect whatever you want to share publicly. Life goes on after all. That’s why it irritates me when people try to dig up what happened and end up making their own versions of what really took place. A good example would be a former classmate of mine. She’s Facebook friends with both myself (but not anymore) and my previous boyfriend. Like many, she’s noticed that we broke up because I stopped posting about “us”  and he’s been posting about his new relationship. She then tried to snoop more into it by asking my friends regarding the incident but of course anything she finds online is only skin-deep. She then makes assumptions of what transpired and uses my name as a verb in an ill-fashioned manner. Pathetic soul really. For starters, it’s none of her business. If the couple break up, they have a pretty good reason for it and everyone should just respect that. What the couple did and what they decided to do after is their own business, not yours. Butt out and live your own life. C’mon. Don’t be a pathetic loser, and don’t think I won’t find out just because I graduated and we don’t see each other anymore, you fucking bitch.

Counting back

“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.” – John Lennon 

Just because it didn’t work out does not mean you have to bitter about the entire relationship. You have to admit to yourself that there have been more happy moments than there were sad ones. Yes, it sucks to have all those years you’ve worked so hard for not result to that happily ever after. However, everything we do in life is a learning experience. Each experience is like a building block to a brighter and happier future. You’ll eventually get passed those “Ay, sayang naman all those years. Grabe. 4.5 years is such a long time din, noh?” conversations with friends and family. Expect it to get annoying at first, but you’ll eventually get used to it that it won’t even bother you anymore after.

“Tis’ better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” Alfred Lord Tennyson

I don’t believe in totally deleting the memories you’ve once shared with your past love. I do believe in deleting them from your main social media accounts as it may help with your grieving. I know that seeing their faces will still sting every now and then. But why delete everything completely? During the moments those happy pictures of you two together were taken, you were genuinely happy, right? I don’t believe in regretting something that once made you happy because at one point or another, it was exactly how you wanted it to be, at that time. 

My mother has told me countless times that a true relationship is one with growth and that it should bring out the best in you. If one or (God forbid) both stop growing then it will eventually lead to the end. The growth in the relationship can stop when the couple starts developing totally different priorities in life which don’t match and can’t be compromised. When that moment happens, if you think you’ve done your utmost best in saving the relationship but it still won’t budge, you have to do what’s right for both of you. It may not be what you want at that moment, but trust me, it’ll lead you to where you’re truly meant to be. After you’ve gone through the struggle, you’ll thank yourself later for not wasting anymore of your (and his/her) time being unhappy and unsatisfied. Time is gold after all.

Prized possessions

This is probably one of the easiest things to overcome after your LTR ends: What to do with all the stuff you bought together or the ones that they got for you. I never returned any of the gifts I got because (1) I think it’s rude to do that and (2) I liked those gifts and I think they’re really cool. There are some relationships that find this difficult especially if they’ve opened joint accounts, or co-own businesses together, or even get pets together. If that were the case, I suggest that you have to sit and properly discuss about your division of properties so that you can also protect both of your assets. As for the trivial materials, you can box them up if you want to, especially your printed photos together and all those handwritten love letters or handmade crafts or any token that was a labor of love. It’ll make it harder for you to accept the reality that’s happened if you still keep seeing your pre-loved things hanging around your place. Out of sight, out of mind.

If they’ve left some of their belongings at your place, I think it’s best to return it to them, in due time. Let’s say he’s left some of his clothes and other valuables like his Xbox at your place, it is common courtesy to return it to him, even if he does not ask you himself to give it back. Don’t throw or burn them, it’s rude and unbecoming of you to do that. You can take your time on this because maybe neither one of you are ready to see each other yet post break up. If you don’t want personal interaction with your previous beloved, you can always mail it to him or have it sent through other people like his friends or family. Yeah, that works too.

Stepping out of the Comfort Zone

After being together for so many years, you can’t help but fall into a routine that was convenient for you. During the course of your relationship, your previous partner may have been good to you and made you happy but your love was not enough to make it last. I’m guilty for not knowing when to let love go because of my fear of the unknown. I’m also guilty for growing too dependent on my partner and eventually losing myself in the process. There will come a time in your relationship, usually past the three-year mark, where you will realize whether or not you two are a perfect fit. Sometimes we put all our hopes and dreams into one person before we truly learn that you should really keep some parts of your heart and soul for yourself.

Are you really happy or just really comfortable? The honest answer to that lies only with you. Sometimes we stay because it’s convenient for one of you. Because maybe we have built this idea of what we think love should be and we attach it to someone who seems to fit the “rules”. By those rules, I mean those checklists that we all keep when dating someone like they have to be smart, good looking, funny, has a sense of humor, flexible, understanding, thoughtful, considerate, sensitive, and all those other things that you want out of your special other. Sometimes we forget that the things we want from people are not the same as the things we really need. Breaking up and moving on is a heartbreaking undertaking but if you two are no longer growing from it, it has to be done so that no one will get stuck unhappily ever after.

This is where you learn to re-learn everything else. There are certain things you got used to doing with your previous beau that it becomes weird and often lonely to do post break up. I’m talking about watching movies or TV series, shopping, groceries, cooking, eating at new places or your favorite restaurants, exploring new places, going to the mall, drinking with friends, chilling at home, or any activities that you used to do together. You’ll feel like you’re starting over on life because you got so used to doing things together as a couple that it’ll feel extremely unusual to do alone. But you have to suck it up because if you don’t you won’t progress with life and you’ll wind up stuck lonely and depressed. Don’t beat yourself up like that, mkay? I’ll share a few cliches that I’ve told myself several times in a day that helped me overcome those depressing moments: It’s not going to be easy, but it sure as well is going to be worth it; This too shall pass (my personal favorite); Things will get better (because they really do); and only Time can heal and tell (but only if you let it affect you in the most positive way).

Go out and find life all over again because it’s just there waiting for you to seize it. Go make new friends and a bunch of new happy memories to overlap your old ones with your previous beau. Don’t trap yourself at home and sulk all day for more than a week because that’s sad and pathetic. Trust me; been there, done that. Re-learn everything (if you have to) and add new learnings too while you’re at it, so that it’ll feel different this time around. Step out of your comfort zone and enhance yourself because life is about levelling up. Each learning experience that you get out of life is like a stage closer to getting to the boss round. That feeling you get once you’ve passed that unfavorable event in your life is absolutely incredible, I’m telling you. The renewed strength you discover after the struggle is just indescribably fulfilling. It’s beyond words, my beloved readers.

Skeptical Cynic VS Hopeful Romantic

Every person who comes out of a Long Term Relationship fears of not finding love again. It’s alright to feel that way at first. For whatever reason it was that you two broke up, it will take its toll on you. It will leave you to become a skeptic and a cynic. It’s worse if you become both since it’ll be harder to recover from. However, you should not let yourself be so broken that you lose your hope and faith in love. Having been there, done that, I can tell you that, “Yes, you will find love again and you will find the one that’s right for you.” For some, it can happen right off the bat while for others it will take a series of trial and error, of loneliness and perseverance. From experience, I can say that life gets better when you get better.

Moving on depends on a person’s capability to grasp what has happened to him or her. The sooner you’ve come to terms with yourself and with what happened, the sooner you will find happiness again. It basically depends on one’s mentality. So having a positive outlook in life will help you cope better than most people. I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy because it’s not. It was very difficult to deal with but once you’ve recovered from that low point in your life, like I said earlier the feeling of empowerment you get is indescribable. You can sulk and mope all you want but don’t tread in that period too long. You don’t want to be like a rocking chair, moving and moving but not getting anywhere.

You will find love again and it’s going to be even better than the last. You will finally be happy. You might even find your First Love. He or she will be the one to make you realize that the First Love you thought was your first is not actually your first, because it will be him/her and he/she will spend their entire life time proving it to you. He/She will be your first love as you are his/hers. You just have to have faith and hope against hope. You will find love again and it’s going to be the best thing that’s ever happened to you, I promise.

The Unspoken Competition

After each break up, people (mainly NOSY people) around (and sometimes even the newly broken couple itself) will always wait and see who moves on first. Like… who goes on dates first or has a new boyfriend or girlfriend first. Every LTR that ends will eventually find new roots elsewhere. Why wouldn’t they? There is life after love.  However, the storm comes before the rainbow so when you see your previous beloved go into a new relationship expect that it’ll hurt, a lot. The idea of being replaced is already painful enough, what more the feeling of actually being replaced. If you want to add salt into the wound, imagine being replaced by someone better than you. It will hurt and it won’t stop hurting until you allow yourself the forgiveness you rightfully deserve.

No love is the same and no heartache can be matched. You have to respect that each person grieves on their own pace. Moving on is not a gender thing, there is no pattern to it. So no one can stereotype that guys move on faster than girls do or vice versa. We all go through the process of healing on our own pacing. For some, it can take as fast as a few days, others can take a couple of weeks or months, while for the less fortunate it could even take years. Once you’ve accomplished acceptance, you’ll be glad of being happy for them because you’ve learned to be happy for yourself.

From first hand experience, you’ll know that you’ve grown to accept everything when you realize that there was no competition in the first place. It was all in your head. Sure, people will talk but why does that have to have any effect on you? Let them talk. They don’t know what you’re going or what you went through. Just take pity on them for having that much time to worry about things that are none of their business. My BFF for 16 years reminded me that, “I will not let other people’s actions make me miserable. I and I alone control my own attitude.” It’s wise to remind yourself of that. It’ll help a lot. 🙂

Staying friends

A lot of people can have different view on this,  but it will boil down to it not being healthy if you two stay friends immediately after the break up. I’m friends with all of exes, except this recent one. Our relationship was long and it was awesome but that’s what made it hard for us to stay acquainted; we shared too many memories together. At first, I thought that it would be fine if we stayed friends because we were amazing together, but it was not meant to be. It actually became easier for us both to cope with our losses when one cuts the string that connects you two. Not seeing each other for a long while also helps. You get to date other people without the guilt or jealousy to haunt you. You get to start fresh. But I know that after much needed time and space, I feel that we can resume contact with each other and I also feel optimistic that we can remain friends as well. 🙂

I will end this post with an amusing music video of Cher’s Believe. It’s a late 90’s classic and can hit the right spot if you may.

Stay hopeful and in love with life, my Beloved Readers! 🙂 Keep posted with my two other Love related posts soon~ Have an awesome week ahead!

***Special shout out to my soul brother, Russell Resti De Villa, for proofreading this, and to my beau, Jared Michael Dean, for helping me compose this. You two are amazeballs. Love you guys~ 😀

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One thought on “Life After Love

  1. Love the 1st installment, ate Celine 🙂 added this to my favorite blogs that you’ve made. Looking forward to your next blogpost 🙂

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