Abandon those abandonment fears

Joey Garcia

I ended my five-year relationship after suffering financially, academically and physically. I even thought about killing myself. That’s when I realized that I needed to be alone. I explained this to my boyfriend, and asked him to support me by letting me go. He wanted to help me with my problems. We tried. He unconsciously emotionally abused me. He was furious when I broke up with him and said never to contact him again. It’s been a month without contact. I’m working, paying bills and going to school again. I still love him. I’m afraid that he has moved on. I want to contact him and I don’t want to. Should I continue my progress and leave him be? Is it OK to contact him? Or should I wait?

Wait until your self-love is so strong, you have no interest in whether he has moved on, or not. That may take nine months, two years or a lifetime. Yes, that’s right, a lifetime. Thirty days is the beginning of change for you but it’s not long enough to ensure your evolution into a new self. As long as the fear of being forgotten is your motivation, you are not ready to contact your ex.

Abandonment fears have insidious roots. You’ve done a wonderful job managing your life, work and school. But adding a difficult relationship back into the mix could spin you into chaos again. That’s because your core issues have not been addressed. Start here: Why do you want to return to a relationship in which you were emotionally abused? Yes, I understand that your ex-boyfriend was not aware he was abusing you. Doesn’t that make the situation more dangerous? Another question: How do you know that what you feel is love? I think it’s attachment, not love. Emotional bonds develop when we kiss someone for more than 10 seconds or from chemicals released during sex or from patterns of contact that become habitual, like a daily text message wishing “Good Morning!” or dinner together four nights a week. Real love transcends emotional bonds. Love requires sufficient self-awareness to inspire selflessness for the sake of the other. The prerequisite is enough self-love to recognize whether the other person is capable of loving you. Your ex-boyfriend is not capable of loving you. You are both capable of wanting and needing each other. But wanting and needing is not love, it’s one wound meeting another. So, no, don’t contact your ex-boyfriend. See a competent psychologist instead.

How do I shut down a guy I’m not interested in but who keeps on trying to get with me?

Like this: “I feel like you’re trying to get with me but I don’t feel you like that. I’m not into it. If I’m misreading you, sorry! If I got it wrong, that just means we need to change the way we interact.” If he acts surprised, is offended or gets defensive, just nod and say: “So we’re good, then, right?” Then turn and walk away. If he curses at you, say nothing. If you must have a comeback, try this: “You just proved that I made the right choice. Thank you.” And, be genuinely grateful. Remember, it’s OK for someone to flirt with you, and it’s absolutely essential to let that person know you are not interested. If he fails to receive the message, and you fail to take care of yourself, you bear more of the responsibility for the resulting problem than he does. So step up. He’s trying to sell you. You aren’t buying. It’s normal for him to be disappointed, hurt, even a little angry. It’s not normal or healthy or smart for you to take care of his feelings. That’s his job.

Meditation of the week
“Superstition is to religion, what astrology is to astronomy—the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth,” wrote Francois-Marie Arouet, better known by his pen name of Voltaire. What madness dominates your life?

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