When someone you are in love with breaks up with you, it sets up a perfect storm of emotional pain and anxiety. If you are reading this article, you are probably there right now. If that’s the case, be sure to also read Just Dumped? Stay Calm and Read This.
What’s interesting is that even when we aren’t completely head over heels “in love,” with someone, if they break up with us, we often still experience our feelings turning on a dime. I’ve had close friends tell me that they didn’t feel much for their girlfriend/boyfriend and that they were thinking about breaking up with that person. But then, that person breaks up with them instead and they become obsessed and heart broken, convinced that their life is over without this person who they were actually considering breaking up with themselves only a few days ago. Why is that?
A breakup is painful for both people, but it is usually by far more painful for the person who has been dumped and that is because of three reasons I will list below.
1. Rejection – If you ask a stranger to have a drink with you or for their phone number and they reject you, it’s not fun, but it’s not that big of a deal because you don’t know that person. Therefore, it’s not really personal, albeit frustrating. But when someone you have had a relationship with who knows you breaks up with you, it is a very personal rejection because they do know you so well and have experienced emotional and physical connection with you. You now, often desperately, seek validation by trying to convince this person that you are worth getting back together with and that you are worth loving. So while I’m sure you genuinely love this person, part of the reason you are experiencing such anxiety, heartache, and feel that you want them back is so that you can reclaim the satisfaction of knowing that this person finds you worthy of their love and devotion. In this way, you are placing much or part of your self worth in your ex’s hands.
2. Feeling “So Close” – In sports, if our favorite team or one we play for gets beaten badly in a game, it’s a downer, but not as much as if they were tied with the other team but lost in the very last seconds. Watching something slip through our fingers is far more difficult than seeing it as never having been within reach in the first place. So as our ex has now pulled away, we feel the agonizing pain of having something in the palm of our hand only to now see it in the distance, seemingly unattainable. Yesterday (or fairly recently), you could kiss this person, hold their hand, talk with him/her, and hear that person say, “I love you.” But now, with the snap of a finger, it’s gone. That, obviously, creates a painful emotional response within us.
3. Scarcity – Though the “hard-to-get” relationship game that people are often encouraged to play is almost always counterproductive, we do tend to want what isn’t readily available. If it’s a celebrity, they are certainly hard to get, but we don’t chase them and ask them out. And we don’t stay awake all night crying because we can’t have them.
Some challenges are good, but if you make it hard for someone to get a date with you, you’ll find they’ll give up. The hard-to-get game will turn off a large number of people. The only time it works is when you already have some kind of relationship with that person and then they become hard to get. When they pull back is when you feel it the most. And most people chase to get that person back.
Chasing is emotional investment that is not returned or wanted and we subconsciously (and many times consciously) know which one in the relationship is more invested. The less invested person can walk away easier and will actually invest even less if the other person over invests. Once that line has been crossed, the one chasing and over investing feels that something is amiss. They feel the other person moving further away and know that they themselves have run far down the road chasing. But the response from the over-investor is usually to chase more and invest even more. It’s like a double-or-nothing bet that’s destined to lose. But because the over-investor is not where he/she naturally should be in the relationship – which is somewhere around 50/50 with the other person, desperation and extreme neediness take over. Logic and reason are ignored at this point (which often makes my job as a coach more difficult because getting through to that person is sometimes not easy).
This level of chasing is when people are blocked on the phone and social media or even have a restraining order taken out against them. And it’s due to an avalanche of scarcity that is responded to incorrectly by chasing and immaturely.
Add all three of those things up and you find this article while searching the internet for how to get your ex back. But even if you’ve messed up or feel there’s not hope, the odds are very good that I can help you get your ex back. To get my advice on your specific situation and a tailored map to getting your ex back, schedule a coaching session with me.