When we’re going through a breakup, whether it's of the particularly vicious variety or more of a conscious uncoupling à la Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, it’s easy to get stuck inside your head wondering what it was you did wrong.
Whether your relationship was toxic or relatively healthy, it’s still a slippery slope when it comes to taking the red pill and falling down the rabbit hole of break-up insanity.
Once you’re wrapped up in the wave of your breakup, you start to entertain a lot of questions.
Do I need to sleep with someone tomorrow to help me get over this? What did he mean when he said, “It’s not you; it's me?” Is coming down from this going to be like kicking a cocaine habit?
Don’t worry; we all have questions and concerns when it comes to ending a relationship.
There are a whole host of myths and urban legends that attempt to rationalize the time it takes to get over someone and try to make sense of those cryptic and final goodbyes.
Elite Daily had to wonder, is any of this folklore true? Will following the old adage really help me understand what happened and move on?
We asked Emmalee Bierly, a marriage and family therapist and relationship coach who specializes in sex therapy, all of our burning questions so we could debunk the mysteries and trade in trifle for truth once and for all.
1. The Myth: You have to get under someone to get over someone.
It’s been an age-old idea that in order to move on from a relationship, you need to have no-thrills rebound sex.
It’s thought if you get intimate with someone who means nothing to you, it will be a lot easier to get over someone who meant everything to you.
According to Bierly, this is a crock of sh*t:
Whatever horny individual came up with this idea was a genius but not completely accurate. Sure, maybe that helps for a little bit -- it distracts you, makes you feel good, gives you comfort -- but for the most part, it doesn’t really allow you to grieve the relationship.
You might not want to feel anything, but the truth is allowing yourself to feel is allowing yourself to heal.
Jumping into bed with a stranger is only going to make you feel worse about the whole situation.
2. The Myth: If you did the breaking up, you should get over it quicker.
As Bierly points out,
You can miss someone AND know it’s better in the long run.
Just because you knew your relationship wasn’t going to work out and had the wherewithal to end it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt like f*cking hell.
Having to break someone’s heart is still incredibly painful.
No one walks out of a relationship unscathed.
3. The Myth: “You’re too good for me.”
When your boyfriend or girlfriend offers you something like, “You’re too good for me,” as an explanation for why he or she is ending things, chances are it's just to cover up his or her own personal insecurities.
As Bierly says, this is akin to saying:
'I have insanely low self-esteem and am going to sabotage every relationship I’m in,' or 'I am kind of a wimp, and this excuse for ending it makes me feel better than actually giving you an honest answer.'
Only a coward would offer you such a weak and pathetic excuse. Take some comfort in that fact.
4. The Myth: You have one month to get over every six months you were together.
There’s no exact timeline for how long it takes to truly move on from an ex. Don’t let anyone put you inside of a box and hold you to some ridiculous expectation.
“We’re all different people and in different relationships, so when it comes to dealing with people and emotions, there is no definite,” Bierly tells Elite Daily.
We think grief takes place in the classic five stages, eventually subsiding with “acceptance.”
Bierly informs us getting over a breakup is definitely more complicated than a cut and dry process. It is more likened to an ocean:
The tide can go out, and we feel relieved and happy and start to flirt with the cute guy next door, but then it can come in like a tidal wave and flip us on our ass, and we feel like we’re drowning all over again.
Once those waves of sorrow start to come less frequently, or when they stop overwhelming you, reducing you to a puddle of tears, you know you’re moving on.
5. The Myth: “I’m just not boyfriend material,” or “I’m not ready for a girlfriend.”
Any guy or girl who tells you he or she’s “just not boyfriend (or girlfriend) material” really is just that.
“Anyone who wants to be with you will make it work,” Bierly notes.
So, while the people who say this may really have your best interest at heart by ending things, they are completely right when they say they aren’t going to be what you want.
Don’t waste your time.
6. The Myth: Breaking up is exactly like getting over a drug addiction.
While being in love has often been compared to being drunk or on drugs, Bierly says this is only true of unhealthy, codependent relationships. We’ve all had toxic love affairs.
If your breakup is making you feel like you’re going through withdrawals, it wasn’t a good relationship to begin with.
7. The Myth: Once a cheater, always a cheater.
It’s easy to believe what Mom told you and run for the hills if your new partner admits to being unfaithful in the past.
But Bierly assures us people can change; they just need a reason to:
They want to change. They are motivated, and they want to make their relationship work. A guy or girl can change and stop [his or her] behavior, but [he or she] generally needs a reason too.
If your boyfriend or girlfriend was unfaithful in your own relationship, SURPRISE! It actually has nothing to do with you or what kind of relationship you have.
It has everything to do with them, maybe they think the relationship is tanking anyway, and they are looking for a backup. Maybe they are scared by how serious the relationship is. Maybe they have insanely low self-worth and need validation they weren’t getting through you.
Don’t blame yourself, even though you want to.
8. The Myth: You can change your partner.
You can’t change a person. Going into a relationship expecting to make your partner the person you want him or her to be is setting yourself up for disappointment.
All you can do is “love them, appreciate them, encourage them, stand by them and empower them to make changes” that are in their best interest.
If your partner is doing something self-destructive, it’s OK to try to get him or her to amend that behavior, but when it comes to character, what you see is literally what you get.
9. The Myth: If you don’t care about the relationship, you should just break up by text or pull a “fade away.”
No matter how “over it” you are, every relationship deserves enough kindness and dignity to be ended with respect.
As Bierly eloquently puts it:
Texting or doing it via someone else is pretty screwed up and disrespectful to someone who did give you time and attention and deserves more than the fade away or you being so rude and avoidant that you eventually make [him or her] dump you.
Don’t be an assh*le. If you’re too much of a wuss to take him or her out for an uncomfortable coffee, at least have the class to pick up the phone. No one deserves to be dumped without vowels.
10. The Myth: “It’s not you; it’s me.”
While everyone thinks this means, “It’s definitely not me; it’s you,” this is actually not the case.
According to Bierly, he or she may as well say, “I have bad communication skills and have trouble hurting people, so I’m going to do what I think is the easiest out and put this all on me.”
It IS all about him or her, not you.
He or she is sucky.