Question of the Week:
“My boyfriend recently broke up with me, but I can’t help but be there for him in any way I can. I feel like if I can show him what he’s missing, he’ll have no choice but to see that I want what’s best for him, and that I’m the only one for him. What should I do?”
Sincerely, In Agony
This is a story I have heard (and experienced) a slew of times. To me, it is astonishing and disheartening to witness how deeply a person can care for someone when that person could not care less about them. It is an understatement to say that we deserve better. But how do we move on to “better” if it feels so utterly impossible to move on in the first place?
The first step is to stop trying to show them what they are missing. If you deconstruct the phrase “showing them what they’re missing,” that would imply that you were not perfectly good enough during the time they had you. Additionally, the act of showing them what they are missing is still a deliberate attempt to prove something to that person, meaning you are still actively doing something for that person. I too was once caught up in this way of thinking, making every possible effort to better myself in an attempt to win them back. It did not work, so I ended up bettering myself so that I can be ready for people who choose me instead. Throughout this process, I realized that someone who is truly and completely over someone would not continue to try to prove themselves to them.
I bring you, dear reader, a wonderful solution — the No-Contact Rule (*cue angel chorus*). This method calls you to cease all communication with this person entirely. Neglect contacting them in any way you can. If you find yourself scouring your story views in search of their name, consider removing them off your social media. Cutting ties is not dramatic; in fact, I was amazed at how much peace it has brought me. No-contact speaks a thousand words: silence is an effective way of making someone aware of the damage they have done to you, and also suggests to them that you no longer need them. I know this abrupt loss of contact may seem daunting at first, but it becomes easier once you grasp the way they hurt you. If they had the gumption to disrespect you in such a way, ask yourself why should you continue to grant them access to your life?
There are a wide variety of things we believe will give us the power to mold someone into being the person we need them to be. But molding a person is not your job, nor is trying to be someone you are not. So don’t re-read your conversations anymore. Don’t try to pinpoint what went wrong. Don’t think about what they are doing, or who they are doing it with. Don’t respond to breadcrumbs, even in a moment of weakness. Eradicate the idea that you were never good enough, because there is no point in trying to be good enough for someone who does not notice. Never forget that you are someone’s everything, and in the meantime, you can be your own everything.
We lose a lot of ourselves when we try to appeal to only one person — especially when we are not on that person’s mind at all. Your life opens up once you gain the ability to free yourself from their orbit.