The Ever Hard Way of Not Getting Back at Your Ex

Sometimes revenge is a dish best not served at all

Maisarah Atan
Jan 15 · 4 min read
Photo by Silvestri Matteo on Unsplash

A breakup is already difficult, but it gets harder when it somehow gives you the idea that you need to ‘win’ it. I felt it before, but I must be honest that I actually have no idea how exactly to win a breakup.

When my 3-year relationship collapsed, I had a pretty good idea of why it ended. I knew what I did wrong. But I never realized that I could be more wrong when I was in recovery.

I was so focused on being better than my ex. I sort of tried to ‘win’ in life and decided to be so successful on a simple reason: I had the idea that my success would have been a slap on his face.

My success would be the best revenge.

Trying to win a breakup is the opposite of moving on

You break up for two reasons. It is either the person is not right for you, or the person feels that you are not right for them.

Either way, you are supposed to part ways and make peace with it. It is only natural and right for you to move on and get over the pain as soon as possible.

But this could not be achieved by constantly thinking about your ex in your every move. You are trying to move on, but in the background, your every move and decision revolves around being better than your ex.

You continuously check on them to see how they progress in life when you are supposed to live your life from the point of the breakup without them in mind.

This whole thing is redundant and you would be running in an endless loop.

We must do things for the right reasons

You have to have a strong ‘why’ to succeed. Your ‘why’ will keep you going, and when it gets tough, your ‘why’ will push you harder and it will be very difficult for you to quit because your ‘why’ is far more important and always seem bigger than the hurdles.

I cannot stress this enough:

I have done it all: first, I quit my job and joined a sales training. I even went to audition for a get-rich-quick reality TV show. I tried to write a book. I tried to write another book. I was jobless for 3 months. All these mindless efforts with no strategy whatsoever just so I can have my win.

In the end, I quit the sales training because it was costly to go around without any income. A woman made a scene on the audition line so I decided not to stay and went to eat sushi. I stopped writing when the chapters I wrote made me cringe and I was too embarrassed to find a mentor.

Since the very reason for doing all those things was simply to get back at my ex, I got exhausted, and I retired from the race entirely too soon and never really got anything done.

The desire to win is simply the void talking

A breakup will leave an empty space in your heart, and as much as you would want to close the gap by trying to shove things into it, nothing would fit. You don’t really want anyone inside the gap. You are just clinging to the idea of having a person in that gap.

Take some time to heal. Your precious heart will slowly stop bleeding after you have showered yourself with a lot of love and care. You need to heal, as the gap will only remind you of how lonely you are and you will end up letting a new person into your life a little too soon.

When the time comes, you will open a new and fresh space for another deserving person, and it is not to win a stupid breakup.

Trust the process. Winning a breakup is in no way would expedite the healing, but only will hurt you more, as you let the intrusive thoughts and memories of your ex stay in your head for too long.

Let it go. And your win will come, in the form of personal development. A breakup, as any other failure in life, and how you handle it will build your character, hopefully, to be braver and more empowered in the future.

But you have to let it runs its course.


Maisarah is a stay-at-home mother and freelance writer/translator from Malaysia. She quit her job in 2018 to work from home so she can care for her son. She loves looking at the clouds and enjoys long conversations.

Romance Monsters

Let’s get real about love and relationships.

Maisarah Atan

Written by

Freelance Writer & Translator. Full-lifetime Mummy. When I am not writing, I spend my time running from a persistent stalker that is my toddler son.

Romance Monsters

Let’s get real about love and relationships.

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