I'm exactly 3 months into the post-break up phase, and things don't seem to be getting much easier. If they are, these moments of hope/motivation/joy are short-lived with my darker moments taking up most of my days, forcing me to bury this darkness just to get through my day-to-day tasks and interactions with others. All my insecurities and traces of unhappiness that were present during the relationship — but my ex’s presence in my life definitely alleviated this— are starting to drown me preventing me from enjoying the love and company of friends and families and, essentially, my life. Without going into each and every detail of our two-year relationship, my ex was my best friend, my confidant, my rock and my first true love. I do want to venture out and say soulmate, even.
What makes this break up harder than imagined comes down to a letter. I sent a very lengthy letter about 3 weeks after our break up opening up about how I was feeling during our conversation that led to the break up, feelings and thoughts I've kept bottled up for some time now (we were long-distance for about a year) and how I was willing to keep an open line of communication — not necessarily stating a desire to get back together but rather to open up a space for dialogue. I called my ex the day I sent the letter off to alert them that it was on its way. I made it a brief conversation but they expressed a strong interest in reading it and continuing such dialogue upon receiving and reading the letter.
A few days later, they texted me to say they had received the letter but had not opened it yet. They texted me again about a week later to say they had read the letter a few days ago and had been meaning to let me know but wanted to read it again, which is why reaching out had been difficult. I explained simply that there was no time stamp on the letter and that I understood given the length and gravity of the letter. They thanked me for understanding.
Since then, I've heard nothing and we've had zero contact. That month felt excruciatingly long, I kept thinking about the letter and what I had written wondering if I had said something wrong (everything came out of a sincere place of love and hurt). After about a month, I resumed to normal life putting any feelings of sadness and confusion on the back burner to focus on schoolwork and finals. Sometime in or around finals, I found myself on one of their social media networks (which they rarely use) only to find that they had blocked me. At this moment, my heart sunk and I haven't really been the same since.
Was this their answer to me? Or could the blocking be a way for them to create their own space and move forward from the relationship without having to actually speak to me? For the past two weeks, this has been pervading my physical, emotional and mental spaces to the point where it's been the premise of my most recent dreams at night. Should I reach out?
I managed to muster up the courage to attempt to see them at their workplace–where I learned from a co-worker they no longer work there—but can't do the same with a phone call. With the start of a new year and semester, I find myself wanting closure (if this, in fact, is "it"), and after that type of letter, I would like some type of response.
Longing For A Response
Dear Longing For A Response,
There are so many things I want to say. The part of my heart that feels so desperately empathetic to your situation wants to put you somewhere safe, coddle and reassure you. But the part of my heart that longs for your resolve needs to be honest with you. Your ex is moving on. Now you need to do the same.
I’m sorry. I’m going for the band-aid effect here.
I know you want a response. I know you spilled your heart into this letter, and you feel you deserve something in return. And probably, you do. But the reality is that they aren't obligated to give you one, and their actions (not responding, blocking you) are screaming that they aren't going to. This sucks. I know it does.
Is this their answer? I believe it is.
Should you reach out? No.
I want to touch on several things now. I think a partner should most definitely bring out the best in you, but they shouldn’t be the reason for your shine. I worry that you are attempting to validate yourself through your relationship. While I don’t doubt this person helped you realize some things about yourself and feel confident about those things, they weren’t the source. Those things are still true about you even if your ex is not longer in the picture. Try to remember that. There is a recent post by a fellow Mender that I want you to check out called Start a Best Possible Self Diary. I really encourage you to do this because I think you will find out how wonderful and strong you are on your own through this.
I know you feel broken. This is so hard. The end of the world is the only thing that makes this pale in comparison. But I strongly believe that if this ex were your person, that response you are longing for would have happened long ago. I want to leave you with this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert about soul mates:
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
A soul mate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...”
I think Elizabeth perfectly describes a great love that scrambles things up for you. She nails it completely. She says (with much retrospect) what we all need to hear after heartbreak. This love might feel like your “soul mate” or your “destiny” right now, but really, it’s a chapter in your story. On that note, if you haven’t read Eat Pray Love: DO IT NOW. This is the perfect break up recovery book. But it is also the perfect “find yourself and make YOU the best version of that person” book. WIN/WIN. Sometimes we need a swift kick. And sometimes it isn’t so delicate.
Now, write two more letters. One to your ex. Be angry. Be upset. Cry through it. Say everything you said to me, and probably more. Then burn it. Or bury it. This letter isn’t FOR them. It’s for you. Get it all out and discard it. Write the next letter to yourself. Maybe this can be the first entry in your journal. Or maybe this is on a piece of paper you keep in your purse or on your desk. Talk to yourself lovingly. Talk about where you want to be in one month, three months, six months, etc. Tell your future self how proud you are and that you love them. Remind your future self that everything is going to be okay, and nothing will ever feel as bad as it did in the moments of writing this letter. Pull that letter out and read it whenever you need some reassurance.
I really want you to thrive again, on your own, and I know you will.