The girl I wanted to propose broke up with me: why it was the best thing that could happen…
Don’t get me wrong, it was the most painful experience of life. Like if someone was squeezing my heart in my wide open chest. I couldn’t sleep for almost 2 weeks, couldn’t eat (I’m the type of guy always hungry), lost 4 kg, and started to feel depressed. I cried for 20 straight days… every morning asking myself what I did to deserve this. What I could do to repair everything I did wrong. The world just fell on my head.
It still hurts a little bit everyday and I’m not here to tell you how wonderful I am right now. I just want to tell you how things (can) go better, and how you can become actually happy, and learn from this experience. Here I look at things through optimistic eyes, and in a positive way. So here’s my story:
Not only she left me (for another guy… yeah), but also she lied to me several times, and got out of the relationship like I was no one. You need to know I was the happy piece of the couple, always optimistic, dreamer, smiling all the time… We moved together while at school in San Francisco, everything was bright. After I graduated (and found a job) and she had to go back to her country we decided to move to Brussels together, so she could continue her studies in Europe, while being together. And that’s when it went bad… I suddenly lost interest in everything. I was not the same, and I never felt supported by her. From the beginning I had to handle everything, and as a freelance I had to work while shopping at IKEA … I couldn’t get used to the new city, and lost what people liked me for.
After 4 months of struggle, I had my first vacation for New Year’s Eve, and spent it with friends. When I came back to Brussels I finally realized I changed… And I was willing to work hard to be happy again, starting by cherishing her and us.
That’s when she broke up…
One lie after another I finally understood she left me for another guy. Funny for a girl who talked about marriage a month prior. Lies didn’t stop there, and I found myself asking the same question over and over again: “What the fuck”?”. I was hurt… Everything I put in this relationship, the sacrifices I made for her… How could she leave me? After weeks of crying, self-bashing, doubts, I started to see clearer in what happened.
Then something happened in me. I understood that this break up was more than just a break up. It was the turning point of my life.
Here’s what it taught me:
1 - Her Real Nature
Love does make you blind.
She was the most beautiful, intelligent, sweetest, cutest, prettiest, funniest, nicest — you name it — girl in the world. She was the only thing I cared about, and I only wanted to be with her. I never told myself that I’ll try to make her change, and took her as she is. Seeing her smile was the best thing ever.
Like I mentioned our experience in San Francisco was amazing, and even though not everyday was a bright day, we never experienced anything like in Brussels. We were always happy together, and never had to say anything or talk about anything wrong. We were living the dream, always found something to do, and were optimistic.
For the first time our environment was becoming challenging, sad, depressing, rainy, stressing… That’s where couples are being tested, where they talk and see what is going wrong. What she did was the opposite: she didn’t say a word, hide it all inside of her, and avoided all kind of conflict by leaving whenever she felt challenged. I didn’t see anything because, first I was too damn stressed to see anything, but also because she’s usually not a “show-er”, and often keeps things inside. To keep it short, she stayed for the great time, and found me a replacement when the bad time arrived”. Not necessary the definition of a person willing to engage in a serious relationship.
2 - Who Really Mattered
“Bros before hoes”!
Friends are at the core of our happiness and nothing can be done without them. Keep them close to you. Your family will always be by your side so cherish them because they are the ones who care the most about you! I had to find myself in such deep pain to understand who had my back. I talked like I never talked to my mom, telling each other secrets we kept buried for years… from when I was only 10 or 11. I also started to get closer to people I never really had the chance to appreciate enough before. And it changed everything. Friends are amazing, and chatting with them made me forget her for the time of the conversations. Drinks or lunch with them was a time of freedom. Keep your friends and family close; they really matter in shaping who you are, and will always help you with hard times.
3 - Love Is Beautiful
“I’ve seen the light, shining right through her eyes!”
Not only life is beautiful, but also love is probably the most beautiful thing you can experience. Before meeting her I never thought I could feel those things for someone. I didn’t have that many girlfriends in my life, and I often feels uncomfortable asking someone out. Falling in love with her made me indestructible; I could talk to whomever, or just act like I was the king of the world. The hard part is: don’t let it get you! Loving someone doesn’t need to involve sacrifice, so keep this in mind: don’t sacrifice anything for anyone! The key to healthy relationship is compromise, and communication (and love, duh).
4 - (Sometimes) You need to be selfish
Focus on yourself, and then take care of others.
For the past 3 years I always made sure everyone was happy, and sometimes put others first. I was fine with what was left. When we decided to move to Brussels together I gave up the options (and opportunity) to obtain a work visa in the USA, and thought I didn’t need it because I had her. I didn’t think for me, but I thought for us, and for her. I was not were I wanted to be, I was not doing what I wanted to do, but I was with the person I wanted to be. Sometimes you need to be selfish so you can live the things you’re passionate about, and enjoy things that matter to you. Being in a couple shouldn’t always involved being together all the time… It is normal to have some alone time, and it is normal to think for yourself some times. You need to find a balance between what you like, he/she likes, and the things you both enjoy. You don’t need to agree all the time, and don’t need to spend all your time together! Keeping your independence is necessary if you don’t want to forget who you are!
5 - People can turn on you in a finger-clap
By the way, I’m breaking up!
People are really unpredictable… They can change overnight! My best friend once told me: “You can fall in love in a sec, why can’t you stop loving someone in a sec?”. I was really pissed at him because I felt he was not being supportive… But it actually makes sense. Love is a super weird concept, and no one can understand it; we can never say “I’ll stay with this person for the rest of my life”.
I often was afraid of our relationship because she was in love so deeply, and she reminded me of her love all the time. She talked about kids and marriage, and I could never project myself far enough in the future to think about it. I saw how many couples (including my parents) got broken up so I always tried not to think about it and take it easy.
Anyway, if you think you know someone by heart, think twice, cause everyone around you can fuck you up! Don’t hate everyone and stop trusting: just know that anyone can leave you for better (what they think is better), or just for the sake of fucking it up.
6 - What I really cared about
I like beer and hookers!
Okay I’m joking for the hookers… But focus on your core elements! For me it was music, freedom, family, friends, series and movies (does that sound superficial?), and most of all my life! I started writing music again, finished what I started composing months (or years) ago because “I didn’t have time”, hung out with my best friends, with new friends, or lost ones, and I started cooking again (I couldn’t say no to her amazing dishes).
All these made me feel better and I started to forget that I needed her to live, cause I don’t. I lived before her, and will remain alive after she left.
7 - My future is beautiful and exciting!
Who doesn’t want to live the life?!
I work as freelance as Director for a US based company in Europe, I applied for a MBA, got accepted, have awesome friends and tons of connections… Why could it go wrong.
If you’re afraid of the future just do a list of your goals, and for each of them try to find a way! Sometimes a bright future is easier and simpler than it seems.
8 - You can’t be at your best alone
Talk to yo’ mamma!
Seriously, talk to her! (if you can…)
She helped me so much, she shared her experience, opinions and was always here to listen to me complaining, crying, etc.. Go out, talk to your friends, your family… The point is that everyone needs someone, but don’t focus too much on finding the rare pearl. It’ll come eventually, when you think of it the least.
9 - Who I Am
My name is Slim Shady!
I forgot I was French, with 2 bachelor degrees, fluent in English, European Director for a San Francisco based company, working wherever I wanted, a great (I think) composer, a great guy, a good friend (not sure I’m great at it…), attractive (??)… I only remembered the awkward me, the weird one, sad, depressed, ugly (goes both way, huh), and unable to speak proper English, with no stable home.
Being with myself for a long time really helped me realize I became better at everything, and it is a matter of time that luck will come back in my life. I am focusing on doing what I love and I’m good at: writing music, hanging with friends, and drinking beer (oh well, you are what you eat/drink).
10 - Moving On Is Easier Than It Seems
“It’s gonna be okay… eventually”
This is probably the worst thing to hear. How could it ever be okay? After a bad break up you think that you’ll never be able to feel joy again, smile or laugh for no reason, or you’ll never find interest in other people, and it’s normal to feel that way. Being aware of the pain you feel is the best way of letting it go. Acknowledge this pain and turn it into strength. One thing not to do: whatever she/he did to you, don’t say she’s a bitch, fucking jerk, he deserves to die or any other bad shit. She/he doesn’t deserve your attention anymore, so let the fuck go.
As I mentioned earlier I cried for 20 straight days, and I’ve never felt that way before. I travel for my work, and sleeping alone in an empty hotel room was the toughest challenge. “What if she was here?” “I wish I could tell her how much this hotel sucks or rocks”. You just can’t, and must understand it’s not going to change.
I saw her in the street with her new guy, and even though it pissed me off, I didn’t feel sad (okay…a little). At that moment I knew the process of recovery had started.
You’ll move on, just give yourself some time, hang out with friends, and have fun. Life goes on, with or without her/him, so try to get the most out of it. Do what you never did with your ex (Party until 6am, talk to strangers, go pub-crawling to meet more people, go out on your own, connect back with old friends). It is really important to understand that you’ll get better only if you want to get better.
I highly recommend the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz! It tells you the 4 fundamental statements to make your life happy:
1. Be Impeccable with your words (aka: why do you need to swear and be mean to others?)
2. Don’t take anything personally (aka: people do stupid things because of what THEY think, not because of you)
3. Don’t make assumptions (aka: maybe it didn’t happen the way you think… Don’t torture your mind)
4. Always do your best (aka: how can you regret anything if you always do your best?)
I really want to insist on this: even if you feel like shit now, it will get better! Even after 5 months I still feel pain in my chest when I think of my life before. I thought I found the one, and I even thought of proposing her the day of her graduation… But life is a bitch, so now I have to accept it and find my way. Everyday is a new day to make your life brighter and better, so go and create your own destiny! Sometimes forgiveness cannot be given, but allow this: “I will forgive but I won’t forget”.