Recently a past client of mine reached out to me. She sent me an email saying that she really appreciated my posts about how to create great, happy, and successful relationships, but pointed out that I have yet to address what to do when a relationship doesn’t work out.
She had just gone through a very hurtful and difficult break-up with a man she really cared for and felt very close to. “Saying goodbye to him meant saying goodbye to my best friend too”, she wrote.
Reading her email was heart-wrenching and humbly sobering at the same time. My client was right, I did dedicate most of my relationship posts to how to build better and stronger relationships, and much less time focusing on how to move forward from a failed relationship and a difficult break-up. [However, I do write a bit about one of my most difficult failed relationship stories, and what I learned about myself and relationships here, in this post.]
My client asked me if I had any guidance and support for her. I will share with you what I shared with her.
When I was in my mid-twenties I was dating for marriage. [Click here to read my post about the differences between dating for marriage and dating for a relationship.] At the time, I was already interested in finding ‘the one.’ I knew what I wanted for my life and was looking for the right person to build that with. I dated a few men and early on in my ‘dating for marriage’ excursion, I met and dated a man I really liked. He was kind, funny, and passionate about the things I too cared about. Things were going very well. I was really enjoying our conversations, getting to know him, and doing fun things together. I was developing stronger feelings for him as the weeks went by, and thought, this could really turn into something very serious.
After one of our dates at an intimate concert in the city we were living in (where he thoughtfully surprised me with a Djembe drum to play on because he knew I liked to play), he walked me back to my apartment building and…dumped me…in the lobby.
I was totally not expecting it and man did it hurt. It felt like I had been punched in my stomach. I walked up to my apartment and did not really know what to do with myself. I hated feeling the way that I did – hurt, angry, confused, heart-broken…and really sad. Not only was I not hanging out with this great guy anymore, I also had to say goodbye to the potential of this person being my husband.
It really stunk.
I called a good friend of mine for support. She gave me the following incredible advice:
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