I’m not the type of guy who still pines for an ex girlfriend. Especially not a year after the fucked up breakup yet here I was. Still in love with my ex hoping against all odds that we’d get back together.
We’d met at Burning Man
Fucked up from the beginning. I know people who met at Burning Man and are still going strong. That is not my story.
I fell hard. I’d like to think we both did but in hindsight that wasn’t the case. She was too afraid of intimacy to let herself fall hard. A classic love avoider; she wanted me close, but not too close. I didn’t see any of this at the time. I was blinded by ‘love’.
We would name our children…
By the third date I’d created a shared document of potential baby names for our first born. Yea, it was like that. The list included Maisy, Ariadne, Lola, Scout, Kirby, and Chase.
I got lost in the relationship. I felt like the most important person in the world. Anchored, wanted, and loved. It was intoxicating and I was going to get as much as I could. I never wanted this to end. But that’s exactly what started to happen.
What started off as lots of fun turned into lots of problems. She would cancel on me frequently, I would lose my shit. She would gaslight me and I resorted to childish tactics. Tantrums, ultimatums, guilt trips. I’m not proud, I just didn’t know any better.
We fought a lot. Fights that I nor understood not felt equipped to fight. I was losing my footing in this relationship. I’d never felt so ungrounded before. She knew just how to push me over the edge. Going to sleep angry became the new normal.
She’d wanted to break up with me for awhile. She finally did it over cheap Indian food. I couldn’t believe it. Total denial.
My heart slowly wrenched out over a plate of sag paneer
“I can’t go on like this” she said. The relationship was over. “I need a period of no contact” she said.
“I taught you about no contact!” I exclaimed.
She wanted 6 months of no contact. I was sure that we’d get back together.
I was a mess; I either couldn’t sleep or would wake up to anxiety dreams. I relived past conversations in my mind and constantly looked at photos of us. When the pain was insufferable I wrote her letters that I never sent and balled my eyes out. Rereading old text messages became a daily ritual.
Six months after our fucked up breakup we made plans to see each other.
Reunited and feels so good
Or not. At the last minute she cancelled. She’d taken LSD with friends. She was on a sailboat in the middle of the San Francisco bay. She was not going to make our date.
I was devastated. I’d waited six months for us to get back together. All the pain came flooding back. I’d never let her go and I was paying the price. I was living in denial and it all came crashing down. Any shred of happiness I had was gone.
After months of grieving I couldn’t live with the pain anymore. I was miserable and completely hopeless. Something had to be done.
Here’s what I did to finally get over the fucked up breakup and slowly start bringing happiness and love back in my life.
The 5 step fucked up breakup recovery plan
Desperate times call for desperate measures. This is an extreme solution designed to help you get over your fucked up breakup as quickly as possible. You will get results. It worked for me and it can absolutely work for you.
1. Let go
The pain I was experiencing was a direct result of not letting go. Any hope that you’ll get back together will put you in suspended animation. Accepting that the relationship is over will allow the grieving process to begin immediately and help you get over your fucked up breakup. Easier said than done but a crucial first step. Every time you start fantasizing about the future together, crush the thought. It’s a fantasy, not real life.
2. Take care of your mind, your body, and your soul
Exercise. Go to the movies. Hang out with friends. Read a book. Write a book. Learn a language. Try a sport. Pick up a hobby. Finish an old project. Spend time in nature. Get out of the house. Spend time with your family. Take a bath. Clean your house. Meditate. Do yoga. Visit museums. Go for long walks. Stay active. Focus on self care. Love yourself. Forgive yourself.
3. Put the memories on hold
Take a break from the memories and the reminders. Physical items (photos, letters, gifts, etc.) go into a box in the closet. Digital items get zipped and put on a hard drive. Leave it there for 6 months. It’s not going anywhere. Delete, unfollow, and unfriend. If they love you, they’ll understand. If they don’t understand fuck it. It’s not personal, it’s survival. You’re going to war with powerful emotions and you need all the help you can get. We’re here for you. Lean on us.
4. No contact
No contact for any reason. Not to check in or because you remembered something. Not because you’re in the neighborhood or because it’s their birthday. Until you’re actually over them, do not contact them. If they contact you be courteous, brief, and explain to them that you wish to not be contacted for 6 months. You are doing this to be healthy and happy. It’s not forever; it’s just for right now and it’s what you need to heal.
5. Cry and be sad
It’s going to take time. You’re grieving. It’s OK to grieve and it’s going to take as long as it’s going to take. This was a fucked up breakup. It’s going to suck. Sit in sadness. Talk about it. Call friends in the middle of the night. Lean on your loved ones. Cry until you can’t cry anymore. Then cry some more. This is a temporary situation. The feelings will eventually pass, they always do.
This will not be easy
It will hurt. Lean on us because you cannot do this alone. You might have moments of weakness and reach out to your ex. It’s OK. Forgive yourself, be kind to yourself, and go through the steps again.
You will start to feel better. It will not be overnight but it will happen. Time, love, and distance will help you through this.
Once the pain is gone, you might be ready for friendship. Follow these steps to make a transition to friendship possible.
Remember: You’re lovely, lovable, and you deserve the best love there is.
Shaun Galanos is the The Love Drive. He lives and writes in Montreal.