My boyfriend and I dated for a year. We usually had a lot of fun together and tons to talk about. But slowly he started to feel like our relationship didn’t offer him much. He started saying that we never talk about anything meaningful or deep. He said that he didn’t know who I was at all. I kept saying that I didn’t understand. He said that he couldn’t explain it more clearly. Last weekend, he said it was best to separate. Before this, I thought everything was perfect. We go to the same college and have the same major so I will have to see him every day when we head back to school. Please help me.
Every conversation is an opportunity to remember that, although humans appear to be separate beings, we are also always connected to one another. In other words, we can choose to relate through words, energy and actions that are superficial and mundane, and most people do. This results in polite remarks about the weather or inquiries like, “How are you?” from people who don’t really want to hear what is unfolding in our lives. Their chief concern is keeping up appearances that would invite others to label them as nice or kind. People whose conversations consist mostly of complaint are on the same shallow track. They think they are sharing something important because they are too self-centered to grasp how boring it is to hear lists of superficial complaints. This is especially true when the conversation rotates around the same problems, but the person never makes the changes necessary to eliminate the issues. And, although they wouldn’t be labeled nice or kind, these people are adept at getting others to listen and that grants them the attention they crave.
Chatting about our favorite episodic entertainment, or our weekend plans or our endlessly sweet pets is fine. So is an occasional rant about the cost of living, the inequity of education or how Congress continues to embarrass the nation. The key is to dip below this level of conversation on a regular basis. Doing so allows other people to touch your emotions, mind and soul. Most people simultaneously long for this level of intimacy and do everything they can to avoid it. That’s because it’s scary. When we do reveal ourselves completely and someone rejects us, we assume we are weird, unloveable or fatally flawed. None of that is true, however. We’re just human. Only another person who has accepted their own flaws and shortcomings, who is on the trail of healing what can be healed within themselves and who longs for a profoundly honest and intimate connection with another person can meet us as we are.
Your work now is to understand the breakup as a challenge to open up. Confront your fears about being real in a relationship. Consider the benefit of the time you have before school begins and use this time wisely. Savor what worked in your relationship and be honest about what was false or continually troublesome. Don’t permit your mind to cling to your boyfriend as the only man for you. Let him go. If you suspect he met someone else, or if you hear rumors he did, remind yourself of this: It’s none of your business. You are no longer in relationship with him. You have separated. Focus on employing your resources to create the best life for yourself right now. Above all, don’t hide when you see your boyfriend at school. If you love yourself, when you see him you will smile, wave and silently wish him well. Those are the actions of a woman who is in deep communication with her own heart.