Breakups and Letting Go

How My Bruised Ego Kept Me from Being Vulnerable

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 01/10/2017

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I was 38 and really liked the guy I was dating.  3 months into our relationship, he said, “I’d like to date other women, but still see you.”  Because I liked him a lot, the thought of being one of many women was hurtful.  My defenses caused me to say something like, “I’m sorry, that’s not going to work for me.”

My mind automatically imagined the worse.  But there was context behind his words that I wasn’t taking into consideration.  He was a few years younger than me, had recently moved out here from the Midwest, and a few months into our relationship, a female friend of his came out to visit him.  When I wasn’t invited to meet her, I tried to rationalize away the uneasy feelings inside of me.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream vs. strawberry ice cream

Then my mind immediately went to, “I must not be enough if he’s wanting to date other women.”  Maybe it was true that I wasn’t exactly what he was looking for, which I equated to not being enough.  In hindsight, the story I believed about me not being enough was more likely about him not wanting to get into a serious, committed relationship because of where he was in his life.

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Did I Make a Mistake by Letting Him Go?

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 10/25/2016

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That was the question I struggled with for months after our breakup in the Spring of 2001.  After 5 long years, the stress was too much and I finally broke things off.  There were red flags early on in our relationship, but I looked the other way because I was in my early 30s and wanted so much for him to be the one.  Although it took me 4 years to let our relationship go, it was still so painful and I felt much regret.

Painful because my life was forever changed.  Regret because I would never get married and be with the guy I once hoped could be the one.  Painful because our breakup left me feeling uncertain about my future.  Regret because I mourned the life that was never meant to be.

Why we question ourselves after things end

We lived together and after moving out, I started to question my decision to break things off.  Even though we got to the point where I had enough and knew it was time to leave, and despite the immense stress I felt when we were together, the illusion of love was still there.

After a breakup, amnesia seeps in and can cause us to downplay the problems and struggles that led to the breakup.  Instead, our mind gravitates towards remembering the good times — especially when we feel lonely or when we’re not meeting guys we connect with — which gives us the illusion of love.

If you’re the one who ended things and you relate to what I’ve just shared, second guessing yourself is normal.  If you truly cared about him, the illusion of love can make you think, “What if things could have been…?  What if I could have done or been more…?  What if I don’t meet anyone else…?”

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How to Respond Gracefully to a Guy from Your Past

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 09/13/2016

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It was strange because I was very positive in most every area of life, except love.  In most of my love life, I would over-analyze what a guy meant and why he did what he did.  On occasion, I would imagine something good, but for the most part, my over-thinking mind had the habit of imagining the worst.

What happens when our imagination is overtaken by our monkey minds

As you know, imagining the worst is its own self-fulfilling prophecy and can end up causing great guys to disappear.  When your imagination is overtaken by your monkey mind, it’s hard to see things clearly.  It’s easy to complicate things which makes you feel doubtful, stressed, and let down.

For decades, love was exhausting and hard because my monkey mind would be in overdrive, making me read more into a situation. Reading more into a situation meant that I would make it mean something bad about myself.  It complicated my love life and added unnecessary stress on top of a shaky situation.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream vs. strawberry ice cream

I was 38 and really liked the guy I was dating.  3 months into our relationship, he said, “I’d like to date other women, but still see you.”  Because I liked him a lot, the thought of being one of many women was hurtful.  And I said something like, “I’m sorry, that’s not going to work for me.”

Then my mind immediately went to, “I must not be enough if he’s wanting to date other women.”  Maybe it was true that I wasn’t exactly what he was looking for, which I equated to not being enough.

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How One Weekend Made Me Feel Ashamed

August 16, 2016
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I was crazy about him We were sitting on his bed after sex and I was hungry.  He went to his kitchen and came back with a can of soup.  I can still remember thinking, “Something doesn’t feel right.”  Just a few hours prior, I had flown to Colorado to spend the weekend with a guy […]

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How to Find Peace With a Breakup You Didn’t Want

May 3, 2016
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Breakups tend to be heartbreaking, especially if you desperately wanted things to work out or were blindsided when it happened.  If you’ve been or are in this situation, then you know how excruciating things are – you obsess over him and wonder if he’s thinking about you.  Focusing on work is impossible, nights and weekends […]

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12 Things Keeping Us from Opening Our Hearts to Love

June 9, 2015
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Women are emotional beings in the best possible way.  If you’re like most women, you feel deeply about the man you’re with and take your romantic relationship seriously.  When you’re having problems or things don’t work out with the one you love, your heart aches and absorbs your pain and emotions. Here is a list […]

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How to Transcend Heartache

May 12, 2015
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If you have loved, then your heart has suffered deeply from being let down by men and relationships not working out.  The emotional pain, distress, sorrow, grief or anguish from heartache can be debilitating.  And times of darkness can permeate your entire being and make it seem as if things will never get better.  I […]

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Reasons to Stop Obsessing Over Your Ex

May 6, 2014
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When we lose one blessing, another is often, most unexpectedly, given in its place.” – C.S. Lewis Whether a breakup is mutual or one-sided, most women have a hard time not thinking about their ex.  I’ve had a hard time with this and if you have too, you know how hard it is to forget […]

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How to Increase the Possibility of Getting Your Ex Back

November 19, 2013
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“My boyfriend/husband broke up with me and I’m heartbroken. He says he needs time away to figure out if we’re right for each other. I know we’ve had some problems, but I thought things were still good. He is the love of my life and I can’t bear the thought of living without him. I’m […]

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This Too Shall Pass

October 22, 2013
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If you’re trying to salvage your relationship, in the midst of the breakup, letting go of a relationship that’s over, or mending a broken heart, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In these situations, it can feel as if things will never get better. But time eventually heals […]

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