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 codependent, emotional 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.