What makes relationships tick? 4. – When it’s hard

I originally wanted to write to you about International Orgasm Day (and I promise I will). But after the past couple of days I had, I’m not feeling up to it. As a writer, you might as well touch on experiences when they’re fresh, right?

In three previous posts, I have given you tips on how to make a relationship work. I have based these bits of advice on my own positive experience in my currently well-functioning relationship. I still stand by the fact that these tips do make it easier for a relationship to function and remain healthy, but, they don’t make it foolproof…


So should I give up?

You can think about relationships as an opportunity to learn about yourself and better yourself. Right now I have learned that despite my best efforts, I can’t make my relationships work. I can put in my best and hope, but it is ultimately out of my hands. And that is a very scary thought. I confess that in the past few days I’ve thought maybe I should give up dating altogether. I’m clearly doing something wrong and I’m not sure what. My past four relationships seem to head towards the same end – abruptly ending and me feeling like the earth beneath my feet suddenly parted and I’m falling uncontrollably.

And you know what? I might give up on dating – for awhile. It seems I haven’t fully recovered from my earth-shattering life-changing breakup two years ago. I certainly thought I did. But when it came to the next big step with the boyfriend, I felt visceral panic. Despite me being terrified of ending up alone in the second half of my life, I think I’m right now more terrified of a newly broken heart.

That ominous break up two years ago was a big blow, and I had to rebuild my trust, my hope in that relationships can work out in general. And then two other following break-ups chipped away from that trust and my current relationship was the final thing that kept nurturing it. And now, even if we do get back together – after a pretty big fight, with tears – I feel like my trust in “it will all work out” is very close to zero. And I hate this feeling. I dunno how to build hope back up, other than waiting. And noting the good things.


Now what?

But I wouldn’t want to end on a note of sadness and hopelessness. Although I am grappling with these feeling right now, I know things will eventually turn out okay. I know for a fact because I have gotten through worse – I have to wait a bit more to also start hopping.

I’ll leave you with the encouraging thought of breaking up doesn’t have to mean the end of the relationship. If you really are important to each other, you can stay friends. Don’t be fooled though, it’s going to be a tough transition. I recommend spending some time apart first, then working your way into your new relationship as friends. You have to close that previous period of your relationship first.

(Source of picture.)

2 comments on “What makes relationships tick? 4. – When it’s hard

  1. It is possible to stay very close friends with exes. One of my best friends is a girl who I not only dated but lived with for two years. I devastated after the break-up, but there was such a bond between us that we were able to continue a non-romantic/sexual relationship that actually was a lot better. It didn’t happen immediately, and we did have an ill-advised shot at getting back together which didn’t work out, but I would say she is now one of the people who understands me most. So: hang in there!

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