Breaking Up & Relationship Half-Life Theory
Skinner Layne

There are so many great points in this piece.

I agree with all of them. We just have a different way of thinking about them.

I think when I learned to get over people I wasn’t over, that was one of the most freeing things that happened to me.

Heartbreak has always been my Achilles Heel. It’s always swung me. Into the depths of Hell.

Ironically, I’ve only been broken up with once, when I was young and crazy. I really really loved that guy. I was just getting started on drugs, and he wanted out. It took me ten years to really get over him. To not think about him all the time. ( but the next relationship I had with a man I cared about was horrible too)

Looking back , and all the relationship experience I’ve learned since , I’ve come to the same exact conclusions you have. Just from thinking about it.

I too, think that heartbreak is fantasy. To the degree that you are in denial, or imagine that person is the only person for you, that some cosmic mistake has been made and you are star crossed lovers , but that other person isn’t willing to accept it, or just doesn’t know it yet , or whatever. Basically you’ve convinced yourself that you and this person belong together. And you still think that the other person loves you. Somewhere. You believe that they think about you too.

If we all knew how the other person really felt about us, if we really understood how little they gave the preverbal shit about us, we would get over it so much faster. If we knew that inside their heads , they were thinking how relieved they are because they are not with us anymore , or how they dreaded touching us or dealing with us for a month before the breakup… our egos would not let us mourn that! We would be so glad that we left that situation! ( I also learned this from watching other people breaking up and knowing both people involved. One invariable is always totally over it, has moved on, fallen in love with someone else, and one invariably is always not over it, still in love, and believes the other is still in love too, just having a bit of a “rough spot”. They are stuck in this vicious cycle of trying to make up a rational excuse for why someone In love with them has left them, and trying to fix it. This is also what convinced me brutal honesty is the best policy in breakups. And with casual dating, with any situation where a person develops feelings for me. If I care about someone I care more about them, then the way they feel about me. I have to help them let go. Sure it might sting a bit at first, but in a week, they will be feeling 1000xs better than if I wasn’t brutally honest with them. Yes, they hate me. But I also know, I’ve really cared about them, and loved them by doing that. Not enabling them to stay hooked on me. Or mourn me for years possibly.)

I’ve also learned that each relationship actually taught me so many things. Things that I tweeked and improved on, basically making every new relationship better than the last. Or at least better in a certain way.

And lastly , I’ve had to break up with people that I had a great relationship with, that I truly loved. That I was happy with. That I didn’t want to leave. ( because of drug/ alcohol problems and depression) it was awful. Really awful.

But I am also really proud of myself because I did it, when it was what I had to do, and I ended up actually being able to force myself to get over it. When I wasn’t. Why?

( I’m not sure if this is how normal people work in their heads, but for mine, this was a milestone! I am emotional. Like deep like the ocean emotional. On the inside. Hate histrionics. But on the inside I feel deeply. Super deep. )

Well, first I convinced myself that he didn’t love me. I also told myself that if he did love me , he would always love me. If he loved me, he would come for me. He would change and come get me. Because that’s what people do. The longer I realized he wasn’t coming for me, and wasn’t going to change, and wasn’t heartbroken, the better it was for me to get over it. It was the first time in my life that I realized I had ownership of my feelings. I still love that guy to this day. I just am not sad about him. I am not mourning. I forced myself over it. Here is the kicker. I would not date him again. Although we got along like Peanut Butter and Jelly, he didn’t offer me things that I need to feel safe in a relationship. That security is too important to who I am. That also was a revelation. Usually the way I feel about a person always trumped the deep things inside me, that I needed to feel safe or loved. I was willing to sacrifice myself for my “needs”.

Not anymore.

Maybe because I love myself. That also might be part of all of it, too. I want what I need now. Not what feels good on the surface.

I remember someone telling me that it takes half the time you were with someone to get over them. I was devastated.


I remember thinking.

It’s total bullshit.

Depending on my maturity level, my self awareness and knowing my own worth,

Having none of that, a two year relationship took ten years to truly let go of. Having all of it, took me four months.

Heartbreak is fantasy.

Recovery / healing is truth.

Great post! Made me think. A lot!

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