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To The Tear-Stained Face Young Lady At The Park

I was at the park for a run, but as usual, I tried to run like I was still in my prime track and field years. I was so out of breath I had to stop to get a few puffs of air to fill my lungs. I could see you in my peripheral vision. I'm sure you were not looking at me, but you were sitting and staring intently into space. I may have disturbed your stare when I said hello. Your response was unenthusiastic when I asked, "what's going on with you?"

You began crying; my first thought was, what did I get myself into now?

A breakup can be challenging to process. Initially, the idea of moving on is emotional and stressful. In your case, you lost your companion of 8 years and are actively performing a relationship postmortem to determine where and when things started to fall apart. For example, the aftershock of a breakup can leave you with thoughts and feelings of rejection. You may even consider pleading your case to rekindle the romance without considering what it means to continue the relationship.

You described the relationship as becoming "toxic" over the last few years. However, you believe the "toxic" behaviors could have been changed but indicated neither of you attempted to change the "toxic" behaviors. Instead, your pain was palpable as you spoke. You expressed that your "soulmate" described you as a "pick me" and a "try hard," terms you indicated you wanted to frame positively. Still, you have trouble seeing them as flattering, although you know better.

You shared you wanted to consider "pick me" as you are the ideal woman for him, and you both could accomplish great things as a couple. Yet you know that is not what the term "pick me" means in the context of what you described. Neither is "try hard," a term of endearment that you worked tirelessly to keep the relationship healthy and strong.

It is evident that you want to stop hurting, but focusing on the breakup as a problem is likely to slow your change process. There is no timetable for when you will move on from the breakup. Eventually, you will recognize a new day is dawning in your life. As you bridge your negatively framed focus to a positively framed guide about your relationship that "ended suddenly."

Yes, I know it is much easier to say than do when assessing the relationship with regret. Still, in the interest of your relationship, you feel you compromised parts of yourself that you almost lost your identity. But don't forget we sometimes compromise or sacrifice for the ones we love. But, in hindsight, things can look worse than they were when we made our decisions. You made the best decisions for yourself and your relationship at the time. You hearing these words may sound a little harsh, but your focus after expressing your many emotions is to get on with life.

Well, this is a new opportunity for you to refocus your energies. You mentioned the word closure several times in your narrative. Still, how you described closure may not be forthcoming from your ex-boyfriend. However, he may not be prepared to express or share the reason for the breakup that would satisfy your curiosity.

You revealed your ex shattered your heart, but I hope your talk with a stranger at the park left you some food for thought. I suggest you read about relationship grief. You laughed and retorted; no one died. I concur that no one died, but the end of your relationship is a loss that results in a significant life change. Relationship grief is real.

I hope you find healthy ways to assuage your many intense emotions. Acceptance that the relationship ended may not be near, but it is possible. Just know you are worthy; a breakup does not mean you are unworthy of love.

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