Health Hazard: Your Post-Breakup Gray-Area Relationship
Since we're in the season of purging things and what not, figured I’d tackle the age-old messy situation of the dwindling, residual, post-relationship pseudo-relationship. Ready for this truth bomb? We’ve all been there. Ok, maybe not all of us, but it’s not that uncommon of a situation. If it’s not directly affecting you, you’ve had at least one girlfriend who’s experienced that awful phenomenon that can occur when a couple breaks up, and then mires around in a murky gray area of a non-relationship for an indefinite amount of time post-breakup. Blech.
This usually happens when one party doesn’t want to let go of the other, but that other has checked out a long time ago. Damn near had one foot out the door the whole time, just waiting to be let off the hook. Or, and this may be worse, when the other side wants to have his cake, smear it all over his face and lick it up too. It can go either way, split male/female, doesn’t matter. All that matters is who cares more. The person who’s left with all those icky feelings could inevitably choose to subject his or herself to this entirely counterproductive conundrum.
The gray area can take various forms: a “friendship,” just hooking up, the occasional casual hang and/or convo.
If you’ve fallen into this trap, lovey, let me help. I get that you think this is a healthy solution for a relationship that has seen better days, one you’re not quite ready to let go of juuuust yet. And I know you think that it’s a harmless situation. But it’s not. Here’s why:
You. Still. Love/Like. Him.
On some level. You’re still into that.
You still want his validation, you still want to know that he cares about you, even if he broke up with you. Somewhere in the deep (or fairly shallow) recesses of your mind, you’re holding out hope that maybe, just maybe, he will come back to you. That he’ll realize the error of his ways. That things just aren’t good “right now,” but they will be later. If you’re still convinced that this is not you, then allow me this: at the very least, your non-relationship is triggering old, residual emotions from the time you two have spent together. Tell me that’s not a mindf*ck.
Unrequited love is the worst. The absolute pits. When you throw yourself into the gray area, you strategically set yourself to be eternally in a state of unrequited love, because you can’t allow yourself to move. on. And, doll, that’s exactly what you need to do most. And it’s scary. And it’s painful. And it sucks. Maybe more than anything you’ve had to do. But it is absolutely necessary. For you to propser and be happy and healthy and find a love that’s unconditional and fabulous and meant for you and RETURNED. Because that’s what you deserve, dear. That is what you deserve.
So, stop selling yourself short. Stop sticking around with the guy that left you mentally, emotionally and physically months ago. You don’t need “friends” like that anyway.
Hide his feed, defriend, delete the number. Whatever you need to do to get space. Tell him that this arrangement (whether you made it or not) is not really working for you and that you need to distance yourself from him. Ask that he honor and respect your decision and that he not reach out to you, either. (That’s major, because as strong as we can be, sometimes all it takes is one teeny, tiny, leetle text from him and BAM, all willpower is out the window and you’re back where you started.)
I get it, trust me, I do. I’ve had to cut off “friendships” because they were too painful for me, because the relationship wasn’t lining up “right now.” Because he was into me but he wasn’t. But when you remove a stagnant, comfortably familiar mess, it opens up the opportunity, space, energy, emotion for a clearer perspective and the next lesson and next love. Something that serves your best interests. It gets better, boo. Promise.