If the ending of your latest relationship seems to have gone a little too smoothly, maybe it’s the “faux zen breakup.” Here’s what you need to know about it so you can recognize if it’s happening to you.
It’s basically when the real trauma hasn’t hit yet. You think you’re totally fine after your breakup even though your friends have been handling you with kid gloves and acting like some major tragedy has occurred. You don’t get it—you feel like yeah, it’s sad and all, but life goes on and you obviously weren’t right for each other so what’s the big deal?
It’s probably not going to last. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that zen state of mind might not be a permanent thing. In time, your feelings will probably start to change. Much like after any traumatic experience, at first you feel great because the adrenaline is still whizzing around your body. After a while, when the dust settles, your real emotions will surface.
You suddenly feel generous. A weird symptom of the faux zen breakup is when you suddenly see your ex with rose-tinted glasses. In the past, you always thought that if your partner had the nerve to cheat on you or break your heart, you’d tell him to his face what a jerk he was. The thing is, now it’s happened and yet you still have some kindness in you reserved for him. Pretty weird, don’t you think?
You take the high road. You don’t want to burn bridges. You don’t want to hurt anyone, not even your a-hole of an ex. You’re just happy to be the bigger person and walk away with class. You might even find some strength inside you that you never knew you had. While this is a good thing in theory, it’s sometimes a bit disingenuous.
You might even be friends. You might tell your friends it’s totally cool to be friends with your ex right away. You can make it work but be careful—you might actually be rushing into new situations for which you’re not ready. Even if you think you’re completely zen about everything, you should give yourself some time to adjust to the new situation. And, if your ex is toxic, don’t be friends! You don’t need that negativity in your life.
Things aren’t usually that siple. When you’re feeling good about the breakup, you might think you’ll get through it without any troubles, but bear in mind this is real life, not a sitcom. No breakup is an easy one. They all come with some crap you have to deal with and some baggage you have to sort through before you can truly move on. In fact, the ones you think are going to be the easiest sometimes surprise you by packing a punch.
Your feelings catch up with you. One day, weeks or months after the breakup, you suddenly feel overwhelmed with feelings. A song comes on and it reminds you of your ex. You see a couple fighting and you remember all the times you fought. Maybe you’re suddenly feeling angry at your ex–how the hell could he do that to you? Or maybe you’re really sad that the breakup happened. Maybe you’re angry at yourself–how could you not tell the jerk to his face that he’s toxic? What were you thinking? Arrrgh! You imagine bumping into him again and telling him off.
You go from zen to zero. From thinking you had everything under control, now you’re all over the show. It feels like you’re starting out at square one, as if the breakup has just happened. Ugh. This is one of the worst feelings because it’s like you’re stuck in the past and don’t know how to move on.
You were in denial. Maybe feeling zen during the breakup was actually a form of denial for you where you couldn’t seem to grasp that your fairytale relationship really was over. In time, all your feelings hit you because denial has to come to an end sooner or later. But if you’re finally surfacing out of its numbing cocoon, that’s a very good thing!
Finally, you can deal. It’s scary when all those breakup-related feelings come crashing in, but now’s the time to deal with them instead of hiding from them. That never works. Maybe you never sorted through your feelings and thoughts. Well, now’s the perfect opportunity to do just that.
There’s no rushing breakups. Although a breakup can end within seconds, the fact is that its pain lingers long after your ex has packed up all his stuff and left you for good. But that’s OK. Who said you had to rush through these things? They’re an opportunity for self-growth so take the time to live through them and learn from them. Most importantly, it’s good to try to remember: the sooner you face reality, the faster and better you’ll be able to move on. It’s a great thought that once you do, you’ll never look back.
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