“There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.”
― Lemony Snicket,
Patience isn’t overly prevalent in today’s world. Especially when you know exactly what it is that you want. And when it’s dangling there just out of reach, it can be… frustrating, to say the least.
I’m preaching to the choir. You of all people know exactly what I mean. The worst part of all of this is that, if you want to get your ex back, she has to decide that she wants you back too. You can’t just make up her mind for her.
Though that would make life much easier, I’m sure.
However, if you are anything like me, part of the fun of being with someone is that they chose you. It’s what’s so great about being in love.
So in certain situations, as you can probably imagine, patience is key.
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The reason I am going on and on about patience is because so often we get asked, “Should I just give up?” And nine times out of ten, that person has begun No Contact.
However, the intensity of the desire to reach out to your ex makes one day of No Contact seem like forever. So, a person can easily fool themselves into believing that it has been much longer than it has actually been.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen, “My exes birthday is tomorrow. Is it okay it I break No Contact to tell her Happy Birthday?” or “Is it okay to break No Contact to wish her a Happy Valentine’s Day?”
I have a good friend who tried out the Program and she texted me one Tuesday to ask me if four days was a long enough No Contact because Taco Tuesdays were sacred in her relationship with her ex.
Like I said, your mind will try to convince you that any reason it a good reason to give in. Don’t let that little voice make decisions for you. It will only derail you.
The best part is, it’s never too late… if you have the patience of a monk. However, even if you are the most patient person in the world, holding on forever isn’t always in your best interest.
A Good Time to Give Up
Yeah. You read that correctly. Sometimes, giving up is the best choice. Now, I’m not telling you not to at least give things a hearty try. However, there are some really good reasons that you might need to let that dream of getting back with your ex be just that… a dream.
Six reasons why giving up might be your best course of action:
Reason #1: When holding on is holding you back.
You have stopped forward motion.
Newton’s first law states that an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an external force. If you consider it inversely, you can assume that that same object once stopped will not move again until it is also acted upon by another outside force.
That being said, if you stay hung up on the past, then, like an object not in motion, you will be stuck at a stand-still because you will be unable to see and react to an outside forces or opportunities.
Reason #2: When it’s taking over other areas in your life.
Your mind is consumed. You’ve stopped caring about… well anything else that would normally matter. There was this movie we watched when we were little, similar to the parent trap, but it had the Olsen Twins in it.
It was called “It Takes Two.” And in it, she described love as a “can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of stuff.” At the beginning of a relationship, being enamored is cute. It’s endearing.
However, if you stop being able to do your job, keep up with schoolwork, or keeping up other relationships because you are fighting to keep your ex in your life, well, it might be time to reconsider things.
Reason #3: You’ve stopped being able to picture an outcome.
You can no longer see the finish line. Have you ever done something simply because you’ve been doing it for so long that it no longer holds meaning?
I don’t know if you ever watched Lost, but around season three or so, they came across this guy in a bunker who was pushing a button ever 108 minutes simply because there was a guy in the bunker when he got there that told him that typing in a code and pressing the button repeatedly would “save the world.”
He had no idea how it worked, he just kept pressing the button for three years. And then when someone else came along, he told them to press the button too. After some time, you might realize that you can’t remember why it is you “need” your ex in your life so badly.
You remember things about her that weren’t exactly positive. You may start to wonder why you ever fought to keep her around in the first place. At that point, you kind of need to wonder if it’s necessary to continue to try to recapture the past. Once you stop understanding the reason behind your actions, they tend to lose purpose.
There isn’t really a reason to keep going in that direction.
Reason #4: It’s starting to take a serious toll on your self-esteem.
When you are fighting to keep someone in your life who has not interest in fighting to keep you in theirs, it’s easy to understand why you might begin to believe that they have good reason to let you go. Even if they had reasons for going their own way that had absolutely nothing to do with you, it is easy to fall into this way of thinking.
Well, we are the center of our own world. When we try to see things from other peoples’ perspective, our brains forget to adjust to the fact that they are the center of theirs. It’s one of the reasons people who are self-conscious have trouble sticking to going to the gym regularly.
They feel as if everyone in the room is looking at them, judging them. However, even if someone notices you when you walk into a room, each person has their own life filled with their own issues that they are dealing with.
It is unlikely that they will keep their focus on you very long. So, unless you did something unforgivable, it is more likely that she has other reasons for staying apart.
Reason #5: You spend an awful lot of time considering giving up.
You are exhausted. Every single day that goes by that your ex doesn’t respond feels like it becomes more and more impossible.
You lie in bed in the morning after you wake up and think about what it would be like to give up. You lie in bed for hours at night and you consider cutting her out of your life forever. Who cares if she doesn’t seem to care. It almost seems like you think more about letting go that you do about getting her back.
The conflicting ideas have begun to make you miserable.
Reason #6: You are the only one making an effort.
Have you ever been on a lake in a canoe?
If you are the only one rowing, it’s hard to get anywhere. In fact, you pretty much just wind up spinning in circles or progressing really really slowly. When you are the only one putting in any effort, it’s hard not to get discouraged. At some point, you will get fed up with it, and you will have to literally talk yourself into not giving up.
Once you hit that point, that’s when it’s time to seriously consider letting go. You know that moment when you are bending over backwards and it’s as if she doesn’t even notice.
Choosing Me Over We
After looking over this list, it’s easy to understand how you could get caught up in the fight to get your ex back and forget to take care of yourself. Letting it take over your life can keep you at a stand still and do quite a number on your mental state.
I mean, if you get focused on anything, you can find yourself losing track of everything else in your life, whether it be a relationship, school, or your work. It’s important to find balance across the board and not get too focused on any one thing.
So, how do you move past the breakup and let it go?
Seven ways to let go of your ex:
Way #1: Learn from your mistakes and shortcomings within the relationship.
It’s easy to get down on yourself when things aren’t panning out the way you wanted them to. But let’s face it, there’s always a small percentage of people that don’t respond to the norm. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your fault.
However, if you know that you did something that lent to the breakup, then owning up to that can become a great asset to you in future relationships. I know I know, you aren’t ready to think about being with someone new just yet, but owning up to your shortcomings give you an opportunity few people take advantage of.
How do I know this is true? Well, how many people do you know that make the same mistakes over and over again?
How many of your relationships were recreations of a relationship you had in the past?
If you think about it, you will realize that most people spend their entire lives in a cycle of the same relationship over and over again with different people, making the same mistakes again and again.
Take the opportunity and break the cycle.
Way #2: Forgive yourself for the little things.
For the first months after a breakup, you will find yourself going over and over the relationship without even realizing it.
Don’t worry. Everyone does it. You’ll be lying in bed trying to go to sleep and you’ll remember that she hated it when you used too much milk in your cereal or when you refused to pause a movie when she needed a quick bathroom break.
It’s so easy to convince yourself that it was your inability to take out the trash that made your love go sideways. While these things combined would mean that you became a little complacent in the relationship, you’ve got to realize that there is NOTHING you can do about the stuff you did in the past. Even apologizing for them won’t erase that they happened if you get her back.
You have to forgive past-you for the crap he did or didn’t do. And, like I said before, put in the effort to learn a lesson from past you and make future you into someone who would never leave the toilet seat up.
Way #3: Don’t consider it to be time wasted.
The time you spent in a relationship that didn’t work out doesn’t have to be pointless or wasted, which is one of the reasons people tend to hold on so long.
They feel as if they have to save the relationship because of the time and effort they invested. If you spend time investing money in a bank account but then, by some accounting error, the bank said that you no longer had access to that account… you’d fight like hell for it.
Especially if it was a lot of money that you had invested. As they say, time is money, but to me, time it more precious than money. So, I can see why it might bother you to let go after investing so much time. If you adjust your thinking, you can see it as something else.
Every relationship in your past has been a stepping stone up until this point. Once you find the strength to let go of your investment, you can see it as another step to build your future on. All of the time you’ve invested into each relationship just makes the foundation stronger.
Way #4: Let yourself grieve for your loss.
This is the tough one, because, as you know, grief has stages.
According to the Kübler-Ross model, there are 5 stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Originally, these were written in regard to terminally ill patients who are learning to deal with their impending death.
However, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross later realized that these don’t happen in a linear progression and it happens to anyone who is dealing with bereavement. While it may feel like you’re dying, that’s not what I mean.
Losing a relationship can be just as devastating as having someone you love die. So, dealing with the grief is something you have to do to move forward with your life, free and clear.
Way #5: Don’t forget the good that came out of it.
One of the things I learned really quick after my last breakup is that you can’t just sum it up to all being a horrible mess.
There are people you met through your ex that make wonderful additions to your life despite the fact that your ex isn’t around. The moments that were so full of joy that, at this moment, you are dreaming of wiping from your memory brought meaning to your life.
Those moments are what make life worth living. Discounting those moments would be doing yourself a huge disservice.
Way #6: Reconnect with who you were before.
So many people get out of a relationship and see it as the end of life as they know it.
What always kept me going was knowing that I was perfectly fine before he walked into my life and I would be perfectly fine once he was no longer in it.
Remind yourself that you are stronger than you imagine and reconnect with the things that once gave your life purpose; friendships, passions, and maybe goals for a future.
Way #7: Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
The thing about moving forward is learning how to see things differently than they were at the moment. Knock down drag out fights were experiences where you learned that you deserve someone who will fight FOR you rather than with you over stupid things that don’t really matter.
Take those moments you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy and figure out how to make them into moments that matter. My ex turned into a royal butthead after we split.
But dating him meant that I found a new hobby that changed my life. I also know for a fact that even though I hate the person he became after we split, I did care for him. So, now, years later, I am truly happy that he has moved on with his life. I found a way to find the positive and get rid of the positive ones for good.
When Not to Give Up
Okay, but don’t go giving up on things just because you are tired of waiting. This is where that whole patience thing comes in. It’s easy to get a couple of weeks into No Contact, or even a few days, and suddenly feel like you are completely out of control. It’s almost as if time has slowed to a crawl and it feels as if your ex will never be up for reconciling. Just because things feel hopeless doesn’t mean that they are actually hopeless. So, if you haven’t made it all the way through a full cycle of No Contact and gone on to try the other tactics Chris has laid out, then you shouldn’t give up just yet.
If you have made it through to the texting phase and your ex is responding positively in any manner or even neutrally and you’re just starting off, don’t let impatience get the best of you. There is definitely a chance that patience will win out if you don’t give in to that desire to give up just yet.
Lastly, don’t give up if you haven’t even jumped into No Contact yet. You can’t win without a battle plan. And lucky for you, we have one that actually works. The worst part is that a lot of people are so afraid that it won’t work that they won’t even start No Contact. If that’s you, then have I got news for you. If you let fear control you and you don’t at least try, then you are definitely going to fail. However, if you at least try, the chances of things working out are endlessly more likely.
So, what rules you? Fear, impatience, or you?