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  • Dr. Karin

Will I Ever Be The Same? Tales from #27YearsOfDating: Years #7-10

It was a bad breakup—not that any are good, of course—but the aftermath of this one lingered. I couldn’t shake him.

And the funny thing was, I broke up with him. Yet I was the one who couldn’t move on.

We’d dated my last two years of college and I truly loved him. But I was young and felt I needed to live a little before settling down. Plus life was taking us in different directions after graduation. I was headed to grad school while Kyle was moving south to play soccer.

So I broke up with him—well, kind of. In my typical style, I technically ended the relationship but we continued to see each other and played the “on again/off again” game for a while.

For the next several years we limped along—neither fully committing nor letting go. We’d try to date someone else—breaking each other’s hearts all over again each time—then rush back to the safe and comfortable. Our relationship endured a brutal long, slow death.

But the worst part of the Kyle breakup was that it robbed me of me. It tore away the happy, hopeful, positive Karin, leaving behind a depressed, hopeless, jaded girl who was convinced True Love wasn’t for her. Some people marry the love of their life. Others mess everything up and are destined to be alone. I’m unlucky in love. I’ll just have to be thankful for the other blessings in my life.

For too long I pined for what we had, convinced I’d never find another relationship that could possibly match ours.

Until I had an epiphany that changed everything. Perhaps I got tired of being sad. Perhaps I missed my old self. Or perhaps the power of this one thought finally snapped me out of my funk.

I realized that yes—Kyle and I had an incredible relationship. But half of that incredible relationship was me! And I still had me and all my love and enthusiasm to give to the next guy—which would make that relationship incredible, too! The Kyle breakup couldn’t rob me of me—unless I let it.

So finally, I stopped letting it.

I reclaimed my happy, hopeful, positive self by taking charge of my mindset. No more placing my happiness in others’ hands. No more losing hope in my future just because the present appeared bleak. No more allowing negative thoughts to dominate.

Don’t get me wrong, I still had plenty of heartache ahead of me—including a stint as a runaway bride!—but despite the pain, I never again lost me. When a relationship tanked, I didn’t let it take me down with it.

Love and Life Hack: No one and nothing can rob you of you . . . without your permission.

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