Break-ups can be hard. They are devastating, painful, and well capable of causing irreparable damage to us. It’s perfectly understandable. Someone we had loved, trusted, and invested so much time in – if suddenly, they were to disappear from our life, it would bring sorrows. Nevertheless, sometimes, it’s the only choice we have. And perhaps, the right choice too.
So, what do we make our decision: A wretched relationship or break-up?
A quick yes or no would be unfair in this case. We may want to reconsider our priorities. Albert Camus suggested that we fall in love with people because, from the outside, they look so whole, physically whole and emotionally ‘together’ – when subjectively we feel dispersed and confused. We would not love if there were no lack within us, but we are offended by the discovery of a similar lack in the other. Expecting to find the answer, we find only the duplicate of our own problem. Therefore, it is suggested that you might want to reconsider your idea of romantic love, and deal with the flawed person, accepting them for who they truly are.
But… what if it still does not work out? Then, we need to do something about it. At which point, break-up seems inevitable. This is where literature can help us. How? Well, let’s see.
- Take the final call
Break-ups don’t happen all of a sudden. They take days, weeks, months and in some cases, years. Sticking around in a damaged relationship is the mistake most of us make. And yet, no matter how many times we read the previous sentence, once stuck in such a situation, we are likely to struggle. That is the time we need to think of ourselves.
Steve Maraboli, in his book Life, the Truth, and Being Free, says: The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself. And remember, the right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same. Break up, not because you are a selfish person, but because you care for both.
- Mourning period
Can we avoid being sad? No. Can we ignore the pain? Certainly, not. We will experience these emotions – the challenge is, what do we do about it?
Alain de Botton, in his book Essays in Love, says: The inability to live in the present lies in the fear of leaving the sheltered position of anticipation or memory, and so of admitting that this is the only life that one is ever likely (heavenly intervention aside) to live.
Give yourself a chance. The life inside you is oozing out. Don’t stop it.
- Be with right people
There can no better healer than your friends and family. However frustrating the idea of meeting people may sound, you would have to go out and do it. That is when the real healing begins. Yes, it is going to be painful to begin with. People will ask you a lot of questions – and that could be frustrating. This is where good relationships come in. Where you don’t have to encounter those awkward conversations; instead, where people understand and empathise and slowly work with you in order to ease your journey.
- Don’t be friends with your Ex
Just don’t. No matter how convenient it may sound, you cannot pretend to suddenly become friends with your ex. Especially, during the early days of the break-up. Besides, it could also spoil your chances of moving on. It will sound harsh, but the truth is, you will have to forget the person in order to move on. And the only way to forget is, by maintaining your distance from them. Once again, it is going to be hard, but you will have to do it for your own sake.
- Channelize your energy somewhere
Pick a new book. Find a hobby. Try little things. Above all, if you can, pursue Art. For there is no better healer than the Art itself. Johan Wolfgang von Goethe’s book The Sorrows of Young Werther, though presents rather deplorable fate of the character who was in love, but it shows how the author himself pursued his writings to come in terms with his own heartbreak. It was after Goethe was rejected in love by Charlotte Buff, he went on to write the book in which – quite expectedly – the lead female character was named Charlotte.
- Move on. Seriously!
The bonds between ourselves and another person exists only in our minds. The quicker we realise this bitter truth, the better it is going to be.
The great writer, Marcel Proust, in his major work In Search of Lost Time, wrote: For we are not as faithful to the being we have most loved as we are to ourselves and sooner or later we forget her — since that is one of our characteristics — so as to start loving another.