Relationship Advice from Stalin
Usually, when a relationship ends, I’ve found the easiest way to get over the heartache is to what Stalin did…scorch the earth. Obviously, not literally but I usually do a massive purge of all data. Nothing is safe. Texts, contact info, all email, mementos, etc. Occasionally, I’ll save a few pictures or something really meaningful from happier times but I’ll put it in safe tucked away place an pray I forget about it for at least a year.
Scorched Earth usually has the happy effect of actually making it EASIER to be friends with exes later. I find that the faster I can forget the stream of events that made us break up, I’m more able to focus on the happy times and re-introduce that person as a friend. I mean, I loved him for a reason, right?
Well, I was brutally reminded of why this practice works for me today. I signed into an IM client that I haven’t used in probably 2 years and as I was doing a little clean up, I found a series of saved chats between me and an ex from around 2008. Why I saved these chats is really beyond me but because I’ve gotten to the point of fondly remembering him (and because I was curious), I started reading one of them.
Wow. Two things: the reason we broke up came flying in my face but what’s more troubling was my reaction to it! Oh my. I don’t even recognize the girl who wrote those responses. Light years away. That girl was trying so desperately to save something that should have been called dead long before that chat exchange.
Things are still ok. I can still look at him from a place of love and not look at our breakup in terms of who won or lost but more along the lines of ‘Isn’t it great that we were released from each other to find our better happiness?’ (we’re both happily coupled to other people now). That’s always the goal, right? I’ve found that if one holds on to anger, bitterness, and the need to be RIGHT, it only makes you miserable. And how can you find love and beauty when you’re stuck in your own misery spiral?
But seriously, Stalin would disapprove. Those chats should have been removed long ago. 🙂
This is my way of handling relationships that have run their course. What’s yours?