I was in a relationship with a guy for five years whom I loved to the core of my heart but then due to some reasons, we broke up. Since then, I have dated many other men. I do everything to make them fall in love with me, using all the feminine wiles. However, once they become used to me, I dump them. I have to admit that I do that deliberately and now, I am somewhat addicted to this new habit.
I really feel bad about my attitude towards the guys and want to quit this habit but I am unable to do so. Please help.
A heart breaker
Dear heart breaker,
Heartbreak is a painful experience that one has to go through and it hurts. When someone falls short of our expectations, it really is agonising. In such a situation, it is common that we might be so overwhelmed by betrayal, disappointment, or other negative emotions that we start feeling no emotions at all. We start thinking that it is better to be a heartless person because this way we would not get hurt. Heartbreak also shatters our self-esteem. Therefore, we detach ourselves emotionally, avoid being too friendly, and put ourselves first, believing that by doing so people are less likely to take advantage of us or hurt us for their own gain.
However, eventually, we get over with the phase. For some, it is an easy to forget the pain, for others getting out of heartbreak is a tortuous path. Everyone finds a different way.
Your current behaviour with men is because of the suffering and trauma you went through after your relationship ended with your ex. Sadly, the path you have chosen to get over with your breakup is not going to generate positive air around you with a happy end. I believe you know that too, otherwise, you would not have written to me.
The coping mechanism that you have adopted – dating other guys, making them fall in love with you and then dumping them – to get over your ex is flawed. It would not let you heal completely. All it will do is satisfy your urge of getting revenge and that too to a limited extent. The reason you have become addicted to dumping them after dating is the power it brings to you. You feel in control of the relationship without any fears of losing a loved one. We all know that power can be addictive and heady. It has its own charm and is very difficult to let go.
Everyone goes through heartbreak at some point in his or her lives and there is no way to avoid it. Nevertheless, there are ways to deal with it and push you in the right direction.
Accept the reality
You might never be happy about the event that caused your breakup, and you might always shed tears thinking about it, but eventually, you will find out that you can live without it getting in the way. Just remember that every relationship is a learning experience and that every learning experience will positively affect your future. Time heals all sorts of wounds, may they be severe or minor.
Get over with your past
The term ‘emotional debt’ is often used to describe emotions that we have not been able to fully heal from by allowing them to repeatedly play out in our day-to-day routine. You should be honest with yourself about the old motions that are still lingering on – intentionally breaking the patterns that you have developed in response to those emotions – and step outside your comfort zone. You might think that your comfort zone protects you from bad feelings, but by staying there, you are letting those unpleasant emotions hold you back. When you step outside it, you can take control over them.
Give yourself time
When you are just coming out of a situation that has caused you pain, you are preparing to give yourself a time to grieve and to deal with all the emotions that are going to plague you during its initial period. You are going to have many emotional vicissitudes. Recovering from heartbreak is not a straight path but rather a complicated spiral.
List your positive attributes
Breakups can make you doubt your worth. It is important to remind yourself of all the good things about you. Studies have shown that when you remind yourself about your value, you begin to handle rejection better. Make a list of all great and interesting things about yourself. When you are feeling down, whip out that list and remind yourself that you are a remarkable person.
Rebuild your life
Engage yourself in new projects, and try not to look back at the past. Think about what you can do in the future, and do not let your heartbreak destroy the rest of your life. The more you move forward in your life, the less it will hurt. Keep yourself occupied, so you do not have time to be upset. Find something to help take your mind off your ex. Try activities you love and enjoy, they will help you relax.
Seek professional help
Sometimes you cannot get over with something on your own and you need professional assistance. You are still stunned by the trauma that your ex has left you. You may need guidance from a professional therapist. Remember, nothing is wrong with you or with seeking professional help. You should not feel ashamed about it, at all. Your therapist can help you decide which clinical approaches might be appropriate for you.
It is normal to feel that you will never be able to love someone again after a devastating episode. However, once you start putting back the pieces of your heart and your life, you will realise that being able to live and love again is within the realm of possibility.
Do not let the failures you had yesterday ruin the beauty of today and tomorrow. Remember, a better person you deserve is waiting for you.
Asad is a counsellor, life coach, inspirational speaker and a personal-development expert. He advises on social, personal and emotional issues. You can send him your questions for this weekly column at email@example.com with “Ask Asad” mentioned in the subject line and provide as many details as possible.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Express Tribune.