The Arena of Breakups


My son just broke up with his girlfriend of three years. Well, I think it was three years; I lost track and I only have one biological kid.

Breakups suck–plain and simple–they’re depressing. You can be the person who is being dumped upon, or you can be the person who is doing the dumping; it doesn’t matter–it sucks either way.

When he told me the news at four o’clock in the morning via text message, a flood breakupsof memories came back to me. Thinking of what was going through his mind, I knew he didn’t want to be bothered with one-off sayings and the ad nauseam one liners. My only response was, “I’m sorry.”

You see, I know my kid. He needed some time to just–as the Beatles would say–Let It Be.

I Let it Be until two days later when he came around to sending me a text and we chatted for a bit. This gave me time to reflect upon my other relationships before I married Dave, my wonderful husband, in 2007.

I remember being dumped by a guy because it was a long distance relationship and he was younger than me. This was completely legit and a good excuse to break things up. I was crushed either way because the guy was a great friend. By the way, when someone says they, “Just want to be friends,” you can surmise that it is a bunch of bullshit. No one remains friends after a break up. It took my ex-husband and me to be civil towards one another almost fifteen years after our divorce, which equates to the actual length of our defunct marriage.

I also dated a man for an entire year with the hopes of getting serious. What was I thinking? I waited an ENTIRE FRICKING YEAR??

He broke up with me on New Year’s Eve. It was probably the worst New Years Eve of my life, but it taught me a lesson; don’t wait for the guy to commit after a year. Fly away. Far, far away never to be seen again, until he decides that you’re not so bad after all and wants to get back together with you ten months later. At this point, you can politely tell him to go to hell.

It took me a few months to get over him, when I ran into another guy at a nightclub. He had an odd name, but I liked his smile and his laugh. He drove me home that night and he made it pretty clear he wanted to see me again.

2 1/2 years later, I couldn’t handle him any longer. I was fond of him, but I couldn’t stand the fact that he thought he was always right. Who can claim they’ve been in a relationship more than five years and say that their husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/wife is always right…and was happy? 

It doesn’t work that way in a relationship. Even if you’re wrong, you have to concede. It’s called diplomacy–maybe compromising–none of which he had the ability to do, which was probably why he was married three times before he met me.

As I’m filtering through all of my past relationships, I look at my twenty-one year old son and have a good idea what is going through his mind. It’s like an arena. The feeling of denial happens first. Anger comes next which is usually followed by acceptance.

arenaIt depends on the person as to how long you want to spend your time in each section of the arena, and of course, if you can afford the emotional ticket price.

Denial is typically in the upper section–you know–the place where you need binoculars to see everything. You really can’t see a lot because you’re in denial. You think that everything will be okay in a few weeks, months or year. He or she will come around and we’ll get back together. I’ll just wait it out. Based on this ideology,  you aren’t thinking clearly. You probably can’t even see through the binoculars because you’re in the denial section. They’re fogged up–blurred images beyond recognition. You think you see a touchdown when it’s really a personal foul.

Wait it out? Seriously? You’re going to waste a year on a person for whom you think may or may not come back to you? Get someone to shake that idea and the sulkiness you’ve been going through for the past three months. Make a change in your life. Do something positive. Do something for yourself. Just do anything–anything that will get you out of your denying, gloominess self.

Do yoga. Yoga is the answer to everything; or so they tell me. Namaste.

The middle section of the arena is for those who are angry. They remind me of soccer fans–constantly yelling with war paint on their faces (e.g. runny mascara from angry crying along with three layers of makeup). Anger can last a long time if you don’t talk some sense into the person who holds this terrible feeling; or just shove a hot dog in their mouth and tell them to shut up, eat, and get over it.

The best seats in the arena are the acceptance seats. These are the calm, happy, focused people who have come to terms with the relationships that have passed them by. They have accepted their fate and have moved on toward bigger and better things in their lives. Moving past a breakup allows those who are sitting in the acceptance seats the ability to leave the arena to open the exit doors first.

Exiting first allows the best opportunities; the door is now open when it was once closed and nailed shut like a coffin. If you are still angry or in denial, you’ll be the last to leave the arena and won’t have the ability to open up those doors.

Every relationship teaches you what not to do in the next relationship you come upon. Contrarily, they also teach you what you should not accept from another person. This is pure fact.

I wouldn’t necessarily look at past relationships as failures. I would look at them as lessons learned. Hopefully those who have had failed relationships in the past have learned from their mistakes and have improved upon themselves–and their lives–knowing that the next relationship they come upon will be better because of the knowledge they gained from the previous relationship.

It’s all a vicious circle. However, you can’t leave the circle because it involves love. Vicious, undying, never-ending love. You can’t live without it.

No one can.

 

 

 

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