The relationship has run its course.
You are ready to move on.
Perhaps the other person is not.
This is a hard position to be in. We think we OWE the other person all the details of why. We think that closure means getting a complete understanding of what happened, what went wrong, and ultimately what we want to avoid in the future. But let’s pause this processing path for a minute and consider a few truths.
There is no good way to let a person know you will no longer be in a relationship with them.
- Sure, we all want a face-to-face meeting, but it’s often not the best idea. (A phone call may be enough. A text may be the best option.)
- We may not be 100% clear ourselves on WHY, WHAT, and HOW, but we know it’s over.
- Our objective is to leave the other person with as little drama and damage as possible.
- We may or may not remain friends, that will depend a lot on how the next few weeks or months go between us.
- One of us knows it’s over, the other person might want to negotiate, bargain, argue, yell, cry, rage.
- The parting will not be easy for either person, but it must happen to allow both people to move on and get on with “what’s next” for them.
First Rule of Letting Go: Closure is a Myth
Once the relationship is over, the closure you seek is with yourself. The old partner, the ex, cannot offer you any comfort, nor any answers to what went wrong. We think they can. We long for the answer. If we’re the jilted partner, we long for a way to win them back, to decipher what’s wrong and make it better. But the time for that negotiation is long gone. If you’re going to negotiate a compromise, work on a solution, align your goals and ideas, you need to do it before the proverbial trigger is pulled on killing the relationship.
Focusing on the Ex
- My ex has no information that I need.
- My ex has said it’s over, I need to accept that and move on.
- My ex may be missing the biggest opportunity of their lives (this relationship with me) but now it’s done.
- My ex cannot heal me, or give me comfort.
- My anger and frustration may need a target, but my ex is no longer an option (find a coach, a therapist, a priest, a friend)
- My ex says they want to be friends, says they want the best for me, says they wish me well, but that may not be true over the coming days.
Releasing the Ex to Regain our Center
If we are stuck with the idea that we need closure from our ex. Some tidbit of information, or signal that that still love us, or that they still want to be with us… Well, if we are seeking any signals from our ex, we are seeking the wrong thing. The closure comes from you and you alone. It’s not easy. But you have all the tools and information that you need to achieve closure in your past relationship.
If you have anger or sadness to work out, you can’t do it with your ex. You can write about it. (Hey, start a blog about it.) You can pray and meditate about it. Asking for release and relief. You can talk to others about it. You CAN NOT talk to your ex about it. There is no release through processing with your ex. There is no victory or lesson that comes from rubbing up against the source of your pain again. None. Nope. Nada.
Here are the following topics for the next post. TBD.
Moving to the Next Level In Love
By letting go completely, you are telling your higher power, the universe, to open you back up for receiving. If we can pause and learn from what our failures have taught us, we can move forward with new confidence and new questions. By failing in one relationship, in theory, we learn a lesson and we move forward with new parameters and new ambitions. If we remain partially connected, partially fulfilled by a semi-relationship (“let’s still be friends”), you might be giving the spiritual world the message that you do not need a new BIG LOVE at this time. As Brene Brown says, do the difficult thing, don’t settle for what’s easy.
Orbiting Our Own Star
Part of the reorientation comes from bringing our energies and light back into our own body, our own house, our relationships with those around us. We must fuel our own star. We must rediscover what lights our fires, what gives us pure unadulterated motivation to keep seeking that one true love. It is a long journey to find your next partner. And you will need all of your energy and focus to maintain your focus. It’s easy to get swayed off the path by a near-miss. We might go down the road for a moment with someone we think “might be” the one. And… We might find that everything is okay, but the fires are smoldering and not catching fire.
Listen to the flame inside your heart. In Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore talks about listening to the energy in your heart. Find places in your soul that are catching fire. When you notice you are talking excitedly about some project or topic, pay attention. This could be your soul beginning to catch fire. It may be a project you haven’t worked on in years. It might be a person who haunts your imagination. It might be something completely off your roadmap, like learning to fly ultralight airplanes. Your job, as the caregiver of your own soul, is to listen to these energies, these excitements, these places where you can feel your heart begin to take flight. In the end, it may be a flight of fantasy, but it might be your soul giving you a strong and persistent message. GO THIS WAY. PAY ATTENTION TO THIS PART OF YOUR LIFE.
Seeking New Destinations
As we leave another person behind it is tempting to keep “in touch.” Not a day goes by that I don’t think of sending my ex an article or meme I found, that I imagine would illuminate some of what went wrong. Or some of what I think she needs to work on. How arrogant that is. And how draining it is, just keeping her “interests” her “family” her “projects” in my mind. She is no longer my priority. She is no longer the object of my affection. She’s still a friend. But a friend that I don’t need to see or talk to very often. It’s okay to exchange pleasantries. It’s okay to be friendly when we’re in similar social circles, but anything I think I could teach or tell her is better left unsaid. The text is better left unsent. As time goes by, my twitches of connection will lessen. I won’t think about things to send her. As I move into a new partnership, I will be consumed by what I want to share with my new friend. We began as friends. We are still friends. But her goals are no longer shared goals. Her schedule does not include me as a priority. I am only returning the favor. Time to move along.
Reorienting Again, With Someone New
Onward back into the dating cycle again. It’s not easy. It’s a combination of bravado (here’s who I am and what I have to offer) and bravery (okay, let’s take a chance meeting tomorrow night at a coffee bar). And if you have friends nearby who are supporting and cheering you on, it’s also a bit more public than you might like. But we have to move along and keep trying. Dating is the only way to secure a relationship. No new potential partner has ever knocked on my door asking if I’d like to play pickleball. It’s up to me. Either I get out there and present myself to the world, or I stay at home. Both are good. And, until you have found your spiritual center, and your mojo, perhaps going out is a mistake.
To be in the arena of dating you are going to take some arrows. You are going to kiss some frogs. You are going to have some false positives. And you might catch fire a time or two, only to discover that the fire was distracting you from some of the other problems that became obvious later. You’ve got to give up some of your ideas about your ideal partner when you are really ready to open to what the universe has in store for you. Let’s say you think your dating range is a partner within 5 years of your age range, and who also has grown kids. Be prepared for that idea to be challenged and ultimately blasted away by the next big love. That’s what can happen. That’s what’s happening in my life. I’m still trying to decipher the message and the NEXT RIGHT MOVE, but I’m listening.
Seeking Spiritual Alignment
There are three connections that make for a lasting relationship.
- A relationship connection (Can you be best friends?)
- A spiritual connection (Do you share a spiritual path together?)
- A sexual connection (Can you open to the gift of connected sex?)
Achieving Escape Velocity
Once you’ve fired up the engines of the next relationship in your life, can you make a go of the long-distance journey into the future? Do you both have what it takes to survive difficult situations, depressions, deaths, and financial hardships? Does your now coupled spaceship have the energy and joy to keep making micro corrections towards one another? As you accelerate into the journey of a lifetime partnership all kinds of challenges will arise. There will be dangers and difficulties you can’t imagine, but with the right attachment and commitment, you can decide to make those recalibrations together.
You are either moving towards your partner or you are heading away from them. As long as the pull is always towards togetherness, you’ve got a lifetime to map and explore the stars. Good luck. I hope to see you out there on the journey.
Stay tuned to each other’s frequencies, and love with all your heart. And when there is a problem seek the answer within your partnership. Always.
How I Can Help
I am a relationship coach and a dating coach. I coach women in 1 x 1 zoom or facetime calls. I work in monthly blocks (4 sessions). We establish a relationship. I become your wingman in navigating and sorting through the bullshit of dating and relationships. If you are here, you’ve probably already read some of my opinions. If we’re a fit, we will both know on our first call. For SEPT-OCT I’m offering a 1 HR introductory call rather than my usual 30-minutes.
I am also launching two coaching groups about dating and relationships in the coming weeks. One for men and one for women, facilitated with a dear friend and wellness/aging coach. Both groups will be limited to 8 participants. So join the FB groups and watch for the opening announcements. THANK YOU.
- Free Coaching Call (1 HR Special)
- Women’s Relationship Group (join Private Facebook Group)
- Men’s Relationship Group (join Private Facebook Group)
- General Whole Parent Group (join Private Facebook Group)
- Subscribe to our monthly email (easily unsubscribe system too)
John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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- Self-Care and Appreciation: Can I Love All of Myself Right Now?
- 3 Required Traits for Building a Lasting Relationship
- Emotional Intelligence Essentials for Long-Term Relationship Success
- Pausing in the Gap: Trying to Force An Answer Is Not the Way
- 7 Habits of a Sizzling Sex Life: Relationship Building
- The 3-point Formula for Loving Relationships: Where You Lead I Follow
Reading List: What is Love (Redefining what we want in our lives and loves)
- The 6th Love Language: Distance – Jessica Wildfire
- The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman
- Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone – Brené Brown
- **A General Theory of Love Thomas Lewis, M. D. et al.
- The Soul of Sex: Cultivating Life as an Act of Love Thomas Moore
- ** Care of the Soul Thomas Moore
- Single Dad Seeks: Dating Again After Divorce: Advice and Strategies on Learning How to be Loved Again
- Fall of the House of Dad: My journey through divorce, from loss to joy, again and again
- A Good Dad’s Guide to Divorce: One father’s quest to stay connected with his children
- The Sex Index: Getting Our Love Languages Right in the Bedroom
- Here Comes the Darkness: Surviving and Thriving After a Mental Illness Diagnosis
- The Third Glass: When Drinking Becomes an Issue
- The Storm Before the Divorce: When One Parent Wants Out, That’s the End