An open letter from me to me
I know you’re hurting today. And I know you hurt yesterday, too, and the day before that. I know right now you resent me for stating the obvious. Your relationship is over. You’re single again. That sucks and I’m sorry. Another break-up to add to the books. Grab your Cool Whip and take a seat.
All your friends have said the same things I’m saying. You’ve read it in blog posts. You’ve watched it in YouTube videos. I’m pretty sure it’s been said in after school specials.
You said it for a living when you worked at the shelter.
Relationships don’t define you.
Your value is not based on men’s opinions of you.
It’s okay if boys don’t like you.
You have my permission to hurt, though. You’re allowed to feel sad, angry, hurt, and betrayed. It’s okay not to feel okay right now.
But it’s not okay to put yourself down. It’s not okay to tear yourself apart because you didn’t get approval today. It’s not okay to question everything you could have possibly done wrong.
It’s not okay to feel empty. You were a whole person before you met him.
Hell, you fought against falling in love, kicking and screaming. You had just declared independence. You finally felt comfortable and confident on your own.
Getting back to that? It’s easy. It’s mandatory. It’s the right thing to do for you.
Take care of yourself. Feel what you’re feeling. But stop tearing yourself down.
Dating for Validation
Far too often, we date for the compliments. We seek out guys who will make us feel better about ourselves by saying nice things and showing affection. But the old, cliche advice will always ring true: you absolutely must be able to stand on your own two feet before you can be happy with someone else.
After this break-up, I realized that I was honestly using him to help me feel better. I didn’t want to be single during the holidays. I’m not the first person to use a guy for validation. And I certainly won’t be the last. But it didn’t make it any less wrong.
Stop trying to use men, women, dates, sex, and affection to fill the void inside yourself. Don’t use people and their compliments as a way to feel better about yourself. Take this time – this break-up – to build yourself up again. Learn to connect with yourself and love yourself. Find ways to appreciate yourself and talk yourself down from the ledge. Invest that kind of love and attention into you – not into finding a rebound.
But stop repeating the same pattern over and over.
Except binge-eating whipped cream while watching Legally Blonde. You can keep doing that.
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