What’s that about?
It’s seeking comfort.
During and after a break-up, we feel the pain of loss, rejection, fear and all this stuff that is overwhelming. When we feel bad, we are motivated to change that feeling. So we reach out to our friends for validation.
- Tell me nice things about myself.
- Tell me he/she’s a dickhead and there’s nothing wrong with me.
- Tell me it will all work out ok.
The drink, chocolate, the shoes, the tv are all easy ways to feel comfort and soothe ourselves.
The body always seeks to return to normal. Homeostasis. And any good friend is going to care about your feelings and reassure you and say all the right things.
But your feelings are wiser than your friends. You… and your friends just want the easy route out of this. Most people want to see the obstacles and the hassles of life as some random bad luck. They want to bury their head in the sand and hope that it goes away so they can feel good again.
This is like wishing you win the lottery. Or wishing the Fairy Godmother will wave her magic wand and things will all be ok again.
The reality is, you feel broken because you are.
Whatever has been going on with you, in your relationship, in your general life, you weren’t fully being you. Your life isn’t exactly as you want it to be and that’s what your feelings are telling you.
You can take the easy path. You’ll soothe yourself back into feeling like everything is fine again. Sooner or later though, something will break through the facade. And then these feelings will erupt again.
My mission is to solve problems. Preferably before they occur. Meaning I try to project likely minefields and avoid ever tripping them. My job here is to warn you of the dangers of giving in to the easy choice.
We all love comfort and hate discomfort.
That’s why we have an obesity epidemic. That’s why we have addictions whether it’s to drink, drugs, work or our phones. Yet comfort never really gives us fulfillment. It’s like chocolate. It makes us feel good for a moment, but then we feel worse afterwards.
Discomfort can bring pain. It’s like exercising. It is pushing us to do what we really don’t want to do. Yet in the longer term, it is what makes us feel better. It brings us lasting satisfaction and makes us a stronger person.
Overcoming The Temptation of Comfort
We are wired to seek comfort. That’s our default mode. We have to override this to meet the challenge of life.
Your challenge in this process is to resist the temptation to give in to comfort. Stay strong and endure the suffering and you will be rewarded with all that you wanted.
Many, many relationships are broken because of the foundations they rest upon. Two people seeking a crutch to lean on. Then they’re mad the other one ‘wasn’t there for them’.
People get into relationships for the stupidest of reasons. People get blinded by physical attraction. They are so desperate to be loved. They’re bored. Lonely. They want regular sex.
And so they make unconscious contracts they can’t keep.
You have a chance to heal from all your past relationships now – romantic or not. But only if you take this chance to be alone to heal. Then when you are ready. When you can stand alone without needing to lean on anyone. Then you can base a relationship on solid ground. That is the kind of relationship you’ve always dreamed of.
If you can’t tolerate the discomfort of being alone. And so you rush into another relationship, you are starting the cycle again. I wouldn’t even recommend using dating apps as a distraction yet.
The Dangers Of Dating Too Soon
Because the most positive outcome of dating apps etc is a long-term relationship. And honestly, you’re not ready for that to work as well as it could right now. If you can delay this now, you’ll be much more successful when you do go for it.
Even if you’re horny or lonely going on a dating app now will cause you to get sucked into the game. Like gambling, online dating promises easy rewards for no effort. Yet the reality is it rarely works like that. Dating can be addictive for the attention, and the thrill of the chase. And all this will take time, energy and attention. You need those right now focused on this process to complete your transformation.
Moreover, there’s a cost in the hassles of using them. Dating apps are a minefield of unhealed people seeking to ease their pain and boredom. You need to be standing on solid ground to deal with these people. Otherwise you’ll end up going on another emotional rollercoaster.
Satisfying your deeper longing, with a quick scratch, will distract you. As a result you’ll end up weaker than you would if you let yourself sit with the discomfort for a little while longer.
If you can hold off you’ll be able to make a clearer decision about what you want from dating. Then when you know where you’re going you’ll be in a much better place to get the most from dating.
Relationships are the most difficult challenge we face.
Life is a big enough challenge. When you complicate things it by adding another person into the mix, you’ve made it harder. Adding in others, such as children, parents and ex’s and you’ve made it almost impossible.
So often people seek in a relationship what they can’t find for themselves. And all they end up is feeling more hurt and lost. All the things you’re looking for… you need to give to yourself.
When you are whole and complete, then you’re able to stand solid and be yourself. See, lots of people go into a relationship hoping that the other person will give them what they’re missing.
But relationships are essentially transactions. People don’t want to look at them that way and so they imbue them with all these romantic illusions. When you look at them deeply and honestly, they are unconscious transactions.
People go into them hoping that the other person will make them feel special, loved and adored. Yet, they’re unconscious transactions because we don’t want to feel we’re trading. We want to believe that we are this special person. And the other will adore and nurture… well because… hmmm… because I’m me… and I know I’m worth it.
Five or ten years later, she hates her Partner because he’s a controlling, narcissistic fuck face. “I don’t even know who I am any more. He made me scared to say what I thought. I lost myself in keeping him happy”.
That’s an unconscious transaction. You went in expecting to get something essentially for nothing. Without knowing what the cost was for you.
So did he!
So now there’s two people even more broken than they were at the start. And now they’re bitter and sure that all men or all women are this and that.
But then they weaken again and are willing to bargain.
But this time it’s two people with bigger wounds and bigger walls and quicker to mistrust.
Here’s another jumping off point. If you’re sure that this person is different or this time is different. And you want to jump back on the horse… then it’s time for us to part company. Because nothing I have to say from here on will be of any use to you.
To proceed from here you need to not be tied to any outcome. To not want a certain relationship. You need to be open minded at this point. We need to get you clear on what’s right for you. Then you can think about what relationship is right for you.
Fantastic. I knew you were a smart one.
Ok. So what makes people bargain?
It’s the same reason why one person sells their business for a fraction of the value at the first offer. While someone else waits until they get a multi billion offer. It’s confidence, belief and trust.
When people don’t trust they have the ability to change things that they are willing to settle. Relationships are always transactions. They’re not usually trading in money. Usually it’s because someone makes them feel good. Or because they feel like with this person they can achieve a better life.
Why We Need People
A Psychologist, Craig Hill, developed the Interpersonal Orientation Scale. This is the four motivations we have to engage with others. These are;
- Emotional Support
- Social Comparison
Relationships work on transactions. So now before you move on, you need to look at what is the currency in your last relationship.
What is it you are looking for in a relationship?
“Don’t fool yourself here and say it’s just X, I love him.”
That’s a copout! It just means you’re not aware of what you’re really seeking.
What is it you love about him?
You need to keep going until you get to the root of it.
Journal this all down because it’s going to come in handy later. Here’s some questions to guide you in developing more clarity. You need to fully understand your motivations and drives.
So let’s look honestly at the relationship, or more specifically your thoughts on it…
This quiz can give you some prompts and insights into your relationship. https://relationship-closeness-inventory.com/
What do you miss about your Ex?
What did you like best about the relationship?
What attracted you to him/her?
What were the best times?
What broke the relationship?
What things made you resent/angry/bitter?
How well supported did you feel? In what ways was that?
Were you a better or worse person for being with them? In what ways?
In what ways did being part of a couple differ from being single?
Did you get the attention/affection you wanted?
In what ways?
How did that make you feel/affect you?
Why was that important?
Were you a better person for that? How?
Did you feel validated by them?
How did this change you?
Was it warranted, false or unrealistic?
Did they stimulate/encourage/entertain you to do things you wouldn’t have otherwise do?
In what ways?
What aspects will you miss most?
How can you recreate the feelings you got from them without the negatives they brought? You see, what you really need is to identify what they brought to your life. Then you can work out how to replace that in a new way.
Start a new page with two columns.
Put in one, the best pic you have of him and list the best qualities and things he brought to you. Things you’ll miss.
In the other, use his worst pic and list the worst qualities and things he brought to you. Things you won’t miss.
List of what you need/want from people/life that you no longer get from this relationship.
How can you get the same feelings, but from a different source?
Have A Memorial Service
Rituals work for a lot of people. They signal closure. So maybe holding a memorial service for the relationship might help.
You could bury or burn photos or belongings representative of your relationship. Just not the house car or your Ex’s Crown Jewels. I want to add a disclaimer here that I am not responsible for misuse of this idea.
Give a speech of what the relationship meant to you and what you’ll grieve in its ending. Wish him/her well and then mourn.
To heal you must get to a place where you forgive fully and hold no resentment or bitterness. The extent to which you do this, is the extent to which you become free. Your grudges tie you to the other person.
Your mission at this stage… should you choose to accept it… is to not give in to the easy solutions. Stay strong.
Over the next few steps we’ll be taking a good look at your relationship and life in general. Then we’ll try to identify what was broken, so that you can evolve into the bigger, stronger and wiser version of you.