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For those dealing with the break-up of a 'situationship'

by Michelle Wolf 14 days ago in advice

Don't let anyone tell you the pain you're feeling is not valid.

For those dealing with the break-up of a 'situationship'
Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

I have piles of journals all stacked in boxes and placed neatly around my tiny apartment. Years of turmoil fill the pages. Angry chicken scratches that detail my financial woes, but predominantly, nearly every page is littered with details of my love life.

A recent weed-induced night in with a friend had us reminiscing about the debauchery that ensued during our youthful dating lives. I was not the best girlfriend, nor was I the best girl to have a crush on. I embodied the word "heartbreaker" and wore it proudly across my chest like a badge of honour.

My friend, red-eyed and giggling at the endless broken hearts she left in her wake seemed to agree. I suppose that’s the status quo when you have nothing to lose and the thought of happily ever after is still miles away.

The word karma quickly became the topic of conversation and is a concept that has left me in a self-imposed state of purgatory.

If you were brave enough to get past my feisty Maltese Poodle, break into my apartment and snatch my box of journals, you would find countless pages filled with me lamenting about my barren and sometimes frustrating love life. Granted, there have been some moments of rainfall, but the water-filled clouds have moved past as quickly as they entered … ghosting me in the process.

According to my number one source of news - TikTok, the reason you keep attracting emotionally unavailable partners is simple - you yourself are emotionally unavailable. It’s a jarring truth, but one that I can firmly attest to.

By Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I recently found myself head over heels for someone I met on Bumble. I mean, where else are we meant to meet eligible bachelors these days, a coffee shop? As always, when it comes to online dating, being aloof is the key, right? You don’t want to show him that you’re too into him. Keep him on his toes and keep him guessing has always been the motto of the single gal prowling the streets of the internet.

Basically, the end result was not a happy one. Aside from the fact that the dude had to make his way back to his home country, the issue of me not being open enough was something that appeared to be a constant thorn in his side.

What do men even want?

During the short-lived would-they-won't-they, in an attempt to unravel my unemotional behaviour, I often found myself choking on my words. It was like trying to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a rucksack filled with bricks on my back when it came to expressing myself and being open. I often found my subconscious childhood programming kicking in as my mind immediately started screaming: danger, danger!

When I eventually plucked up the courage to express myself and my feelings to the person, it was a little too late and his mind was already made up. Granted, there were a range of factors that contributed to the eventual dismantling of this summer romance, but I intuit that that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.

The current dilemma? Having to contest with the loss of a future that could have been.

You see, the mind is conditioned to cover-up the present moment with thoughts of the past or future. Think about it. How often have we found ourselves ruminating on past relationship experiences, associating the one standing in front of us with the one we should have put behind us.

All that past trauma is now projected onto your present, while you seek to escape into the future with the person in front of you. It seems so messy but staying in the present moment (for me at least) can feel like trying to trudge through a muddy swamp.

Frustration, anger and confusion have filled every cell of my body. A range of emotions made even more baffling by the fact that this situationship (as the kids are calling it) only lasted a few months.

“He's not your man,” was a phrase that my friends often threw around. And it's true, we were never official, but that doesn't detract from the fact that it meant something to me. Perhaps something to him too.

Grief was the emotion that was buried beneath the anger, frustration and denial. I now had to release months of fantastical ideas of what a relationship with him would have looked like had he chosen to stay with me.

I’m gagging on these words as my emotional boulder forces me to push down these words, but it’s my current truth.

While grief is a prickly pear to handle, fear is unnerving. It's like one of those sleep paralysis demons that you hear about. The ones that attempt to choke you in your sleep. Not every human can sit with fear and allow it to pass through them, especially when thoughts of being alone forever are hurtling through your mind.

The mind is a weird place if you allow it to be the boss of you. It swallows you whole and thinks nothing of spitting your meatless bones out again.

So, there’s this analogy that I keep coming back to. When I was younger I loved to ride my bicycle. And I'm sure you know where this is going, but I had a bit of an accident that knocked the wind out of me. I broke my leg and had the biggest nob on my head, which forced me to spend the entire summer in an itchy cast - it was horrible. Fear quickly followed suit and bikes were not my go-to mode of fun or transportation for a long while.

The point? If you're going through your own situationship break-up, split or whatever, I have no words of wisdom for you. Sorry. But I will say this: I've found comfort in learning to express myself, no matter how idiotic I think I look or feel. You can pick this article apart … that's cool. But here I am, being a little more vulnerable … on the internet no less. My first bold step in removing the emotional gag that I’ve been walking around with.

Find what scares you and do it. Maybe it's jumping off a literal cliff or expressing how you feel to a coworker. If there's one thing I'm slowly learning about this life-thing, it’s that you need to do what brings you joy.

So, get back in the saddle and start peddling.


Michelle Wolf

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Michelle Wolf
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