I’ve written about almost relationships before, but I can’t believe that there’s nothing out there regarding ALMOST BREAKUPS.

And I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this.

I’m not talking about the kind of almost breakups that are the result of an almost relationship ending. What I’m referring to is when you’ve been in an an official relationship with someone and then you breakup… or do you… ever?

Almost breakups have a tendency of getting disproportionately romanticized. They’re the ultimate, Carrie-and-Mr.Big-fairytale-Happily-Ever-After-you’re-just-too-good-to-quit, HOPE that we ALL have.

I mean… who wouldn’t want that kind of staying power?

Despite breaking up, all the emotional baggage incurred along the way, the complications of life in general and both parties trying to move on… you’re both still the one that got away to each other. You’re both “the one,” that neither of you could ever quit, despite everyone and everything life has thrown your way.

That “I-just-can’t-quit-you,” scenario above is the foundation for nearly every fairytale, romantic comedy, love story and song.

Years ago, I dated a man that was literally everything – except empathetically and emotionally available – 2 huge, deal breaking red flags, right? The problem was, so many aspects of our relationship were GOOD… too good, too addicting and too irreplaceable to let go of, which provided JUST ENOUGH hope on my end for an emotional epiphany on his.

We ended up breaking up, but never really “broke up,” until 2 YEARS after the initial breakup. It started with the knowingness that at the time, we couldn’t be together but swore to remain friends. “Friends,” soon turned into friends that sext which turned into friends with benefits.

And even though we both got busy and out of touch at times, we’d always find our way back to one another. It was super hot, romantic and it was the perfect insurance to have as far as being rejected while dating.

“What are we doing?” I asked him one time after meeting up with him when he was in town. “I don’t get it. I can’t do this anymore. We’re broken up, it’s finished… Isn’t it?”

He looked in my eyes, smiled and said, “Baby, you and I will always be unfinished business.”

And because the almost breakup had depleted me of the ability to evolve in any way from the relationsh*t we had, I started ovulating on the spot and romanticizing this idea that we couldn’t quit each other.

In reality, It wasn’t Carrie and Mr. Big… it was just 2 lost and disconnected souls in search of negations to their own self limiting stories and fears. Two people in need of bandages for the cancer that their abandonment issues had become.

With almost breakups, there’s never a clean break. Your heart can’t turn off because your logic and instinct have abandoned ship and thus prevented acceptance. You’re left to reside in this constant state of limbo, ambiguity and the self imposed prison of “objects in mirror are closer that they appear”… (or, are they?).

You can’t ever truly heal, deal, evolve or move on because the death of your past relationship is subject to resurrection.

Sometimes in life, you have to breakup due to circumstances that are outside of your control. Sometimes both parties don’t want to breakup, but they know they should and sometimes, one person wants to breakup, one doesn’t, but the other person still wants the benefits of having a monogamous relationship (minus the relationship).

Emotions aren’t engineered from a foundation of logic, they’re the reflection of a more often than not, fear-based, self limiting story that we’ve chosen to subscribe to. The foundation of this story was solidified in childhood at some point, where conditions were put around love that should have been given to us unconditionally. This story ends up shaping our belief system, self esteem and in turn, our decisions when it comes to love, our limits and boundaries.

Here’s what you need to know about almost breakups and how to deal when your heart can’t turn off:

I understand that life can be incredibly messy, I really do. I wish there was an emotional Container Store I could go to that would organize the current beautiful and sometimes not so beautiful “mess,” of a lot of things going on in my life right now.

The only difference between how I operate today and how I used to operate in the past is that I no longer identify myself as the mess. I used to label myself as the mess because it gave me a license to operate under the belief system of “less than,” and make subsequent decisions (hi relationsh*ts!), based upon the mentality that I just needed to find the right container to “complete me.”

Nowadays, I identify myself as the nonjudgemental janitor. The one who connects and knows that no mess is permanent, not every mess needs to be immediately cleaned up or under-the-rug brushed and that those very messes are lessons to be learned more than they’ll ever be a chore.

Today, I’m cool with just being. feeling. LIVING. letting go when I need to. 

& not judging myself to the point of fear based inaction.

A big reason that I started this blog was to create a place where there would be no judgement and a completely clear acknowledgement of the fact that we are ALL fallible, flawed, grieving, in repair and HUMAN. We’re all doing the best that we can.

I think the worst addiction in this world is the addiction that we have to inflicting our own pain (and then acting from the trauma that problems associated with it cause).

Almost breakups are the express lanes to your triggers, pain and the depletion of your power source.

Here’s what to do when your heart can’t turn off & how to get off the “almost” ferris wheel once and for all:

  • The number one thing you need to know about almost breakups is that they can’t survive without codependentemotional unavailability (& trust me when I say, that’s the OPPOSITE of sexy).

    Just like you can’t ever have a “selective” breakup or relationship, you can’t have selective emotional availability, connectivity and empathy.

  • Understand that almost breakups are the ultimate distraction and distractions are your psyche’s go-to coping mechanism when you’re operating on ESM (emotional survival mode).

    Whenever I’ve engaged in almost breakups, it was never because what we had was so rare or that we truly loved, empathized with and understood one another. The almost breakup was nothing more than a distraction – we were both secretly trying to distract ourselves from our own suffering. It was all smoke and mirror projections. How could I claim to have TRUE understanding, love and compassion for my ex when I had none for myself? If I had any ounce of it for myself, I wouldn’t have consistently chosen to breathe life into the idea of almost breaking up.

  •  Stop shining your light on the “almost” of the relationsh*t that was and then marveling at how illuminated you BOTH are making it.

    DO NOT make the mistake of confusing being needed with being wanted. YOU shined YOUR light on this dynamic and just because you keep colliding with/re-attracting someone that finds your light useful, it doesn’t mean that you’re soulmates. It means that they’ve lost their flashlight. All of the passion and butterflies that you feel… YOU ARE creating that and you can RECREATE that again in a mutual, committed and connected relationship.

  • My amazing Mom told me recently: “Thank the universe for bringing you this awareness and stop stirring the sh*t just to try and see what it’s made of. Nourish yourself with your boundaries, your instincts and what you have available to you. Stop trying to push a few sh*tty crumbs together just so you can try to convince yourself and everyone around you that it’s a cookie.”

    You are so.much.more than the crumbs of “almost,” even when it comes to breakups. Trying to convince yourself that you’re really in control and in the driver’s seat just because you’ve already broken up is like trying to believe that crystal won’t crack if you drop it on the marble floor.

“Almosts” are the trans fat of emotions. Lets all make the decision NOW to go on a permanent bullsh*t & almost diet FOR GOOD.

I love, value, support and APPRECIATE each and every one of you more than I’ll ever be able to express. Thank you for allowing me to see that I’m not alone (& never was), in my pain, emotions, experiences fears and insecurities. I truly look up to you all.

Getting close to launching my YouTube + so much more 🙂

ALSO (!!) I’ve got another giveaway coming up soon for the summer as a BIG thx to you all.

Natasha xx

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25 comments

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Holy f-ing crap.

So, so, so right on the money.

Speechless.

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YAAAA! So glad it helped! Thanks Karen 🙂 xx

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Hiya Natasha, I hope you’re well. Today, I was out for lunch and shopping with my mum, it’s been a year since the relationshit with him ended. I was telling my mum on the way what a blessing the day was he left my life for another girl. Guess who walks passed me bizarrely later today .. him. My heart didn’t stop until now and I’ve cried, confused over my heart still aching when I thought I was ok. Thanks for this post, it was perfect timing xxxx

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Hi Jules! I know exactly how you feel. You’re not alone <3 Glad that the post helped. Sending so much love to you soul sister. xx

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Oh Natasha, your blog has been my saving grace since I found it last October. I broke up with the emotionally unavailable man I had been with for several years after finding out he was having relations with our mutual friend. I had broken up with him in July/16 (when I confirmed his cheating but never told him I knew) then got pulled back in Sept when his custody trial was coming up and when I asked him why I was there it was because “that’s what 2 people do that love each other.” I did my research & discovered he was still in contact with the woman, so I called them both out and got a history lesson from her it had been going on for quite sometime. We had worked together so I moved to a different location for a time. For months afterward he continually emailed me professing all sort of regret, love, can’t live with out me blah blah blah. But that’s all it was – emails. He didn’t even have the guts to pickup the phone or come by. I ignored 95% but did meet up with him at Christmas as he has a daughter that I was very close to which just added to the heartbreak. We met for coffee a few times, I waited for him to bring up what had happened but he did not, instead he kept his distance physically but talked about if we were to be married we’d need to by a house to fit all our kids. My jaw dropped-but I didn’t bring it up right away. He continued contact we went out a few times with his daughter etc, and when I called him out again saying I felt more like a playdate for his daughter then in a relationship, he of course denies this, he wants to be together etc. He backed off again, and I left it trying to get over it all again. Then this past Feb he’s sick, texts me he can’t drive etc he’s too ill, so I go get him and take care of him for a few days then ask him why are you calling me and not her? “Because that’s what’s in my heart” he says….We finally had that heart to heart I don’t know what I was expecting out of it-probably an epiphany which did not come. I don’t even recall what he said as he never answers anything directly he talks in circles says he & her are not together. And guess what he backs away again, and I feel ashamed that I fell for it yet again and I’m trying to get over it -again. Fast forward 2 months when I’m contacted by his girlfriend last week that he cheated on me with (although if you ask him they aren’t together). She wants to apologize for her part in the deceit, I know she also wants to know the status of things with he & I as I’m back at the same work location as he is now. She provides all these details about how they’ve had this ongoing relationship since 2015 when I told her I was dating him. She tells me details of things I don’t need to know about (their intimacy) I’m sure to solidify her position. And, I share with her what his actions have been since last fall apparently she had no idea that while he’s telling her he wants to buy a house with bedrooms to fit her kids, he was doing that with me last fall. She had no idea about the emails, the visits or that when he was sick in Feb that I was over there for 3 days, oh and she was there the day before I got there dropping stuff off for him. She said she had bought him a new iphone 7 for his for Bday which is on Christmas day (he had told me he finally broke down and got one) I asked her if he even bought her a gift that Christmas-NOPE. She’s never met his daughter or any of his friends but he has her believing she’s “the one.” She says she’ll break up with him, but I’m doubtful and that’s her journey. She had told him we were going to be meeting up and he was not happy about it. I did not want to meet her though, we had this conversation over the phone. I hung up with her, went home grabbed the house key of his I had from when he was sick and went over to his house. I was surprised he let me in but he knew it was coming at some point. For the first time ever I lost my sh*t on him face to face. He denied a lot of what she said, he was drinking Jack Daniels (which apparently he’s been doing a lot of for about a year now). Even if only 10% of what she said was true, it was disgusting. Then he just gave up, said it didn’t matter what he said, broke down crying a few times & said he was broken. He tried distracting me by wanting to go out etc but I held ground this time. I told him that he broke my heart and had been cruel. He did not need to pull me in again, he had her (he says he has no one) and I couldn’t believe he could do that to myself and his daughter and I walked out the door.
I’m sorry this post is so long, I needed to write it down, I just couldn’t bring myself to write it in my diary. this all happened 5 days ago, and yesterday I ran into he & his daughter at Starbucks. He and I did not speak but his daughter came up and chatted with me for a few minutes. I miss her terribly, he has not told her anything, likely just keeps telling her I’m “busy” and can’t come over.
So, I keep reading this blog and the posts and replies to help me in this recovery. I feel like a switch has been turned this time and I will able to move forward now, I only hope I do so into a much healthier and emotionally mutual relationship. Keep posting ‘Natasha, your tribe is listening!!

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You know, one day, just like that, you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. Sometimes it’ll take one tiny little thing for you to be like…”fuck THIS.” And truly mean it. It’ll just happen. All on its own. Trust me. And then, you’ll be SO FUCKING HAPPY and FREE that you broke from that web. Life really is great on the other side away from HIM. I promise. I’m on it. 🙂 Hang in there.

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This made me cry. LOVE the sisterhood and support. SO, so true. xxxx

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Christina, I cannot thank you enough for sharing. I wish I had the time to say everything that I want to say (thank you for understanding), but all I can say is that you’re loved, understood, supported and not alone in this. I believe in you and you’re backed every step of the way. I promise to keep at it and am so honored to help. ALL MY LOVE to you soul sis. XOX

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I’m always in tears by the time I get to the bottom of your posts. It hits right in the heart. Thank you so much for being honest and open. You are definitely not alone in any of this.

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Thank you so much Pris <3 you are so loved and appreciated. I'm happy that the post resonated with you 🙂 XOXO

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Ugh, the truth hurts but we got to go through it to get through it.

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XOXO

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Thanks Pris, I’m counting on it 🙂

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“In reality, It wasn’t Carrie and Mr. Big… it was just 2 lost and disconnected souls in search of negations to their own self limiting stories and fears. Two people in need of bandages for the cancer that their abandonment issues had become.”

Spot on and to the point.

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<3 xx

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This is the perfect article right now. I’ve been feeling like a crazy person trying to get over a 2 month “almost” relationship that is taking me so much longer than any other “ex”. Thanks for providing me with some clarity. I realise more each day that we stopped before them rose tinted glasses came off and hes not what I’ve built him up in my head. I look forward to the moment when I bump into him and get that “what was I thinking” moment ha 🙂 love love xxx

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Thanks Nicola! I’m happy that the post helped 🙂 You are supported, appreciated, loved, believed in and never, ever alone. XO

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Damn, I wish I had read this in my 20s!!

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XOXO

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This hit close to home! I love all your blog posts. But what about when you feel you are unlovable? That any guy would be embarrassed to love you? Xox

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Thanks Lisa! I’ll try to write a post about that soon 🙂 xxx

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Bravo to you and your mom! Ya! I want a whole cookie…I’m putting that quote on my fridge.

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🙂 Thanks Gina! Sending you love! XOXO

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I was thinking the exact same thing about shining my light on him…Like how the moon doesn’t have any light on its own and just reflects the light from the sun. Natasha, Natasha! thank you for being my beacon light in this particularly tough phase of my life!

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Hi Anne! YES! I love that analogy 🙂 and I am honored to have helped. You are loved, supported, understood, believed in and never, EVER alone. Thank you for being a part of this tribe! xxx

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