Letting go of love

Aside from the birth of a child, no other experience compares to the euphoria of falling in love. It’s warm and cuddly and giggly.

Aside from the birth of a child, no other experience compares to the euphoria of falling in love. It’s warm and cuddly and giggly. It’s marathon phone conversations late into the night and pet names and hand holding and doodling “Mrs. So-and-So” on the backs of notebooks. But sometimes, too many times, love ends. And that, dear friends, is when the proverbial ish hits the fan.

Along with the obligatory dramatics that coincide with a breakup—the pleading phone calls, the subsequent squabbling, the returning of every single gift ever exchanged between the two of you—there’s the messy matter of letting go of an individual who had been a major part of your everyday life. So often it requires one, two, maybe even three, four or five attempts before the severance really takes place.

There are three main reasons why keeping an ex on the payroll is a poor idea.

1. It has your mind, heart and spirit partially invested in an arrangement that you yourself have deemed either unhealthy, unproductive or undesirable.

That preoccupation prevents you from fully engaging in possibilities with other dudes who may be offering what you’re looking for—stability, commitment, intelligence, compatibility, a full set of pearly whites, a consistent record of holding down a j-o-b, whatever was missing from your last tryst in la amour.

2. There are physical risks to having even a purely sexual relationship (eh-hem) hanging in the balance. You’d have to be living in a cave to not know the Black community’s mind-blowing AIDS rate. For your own peace of mind and body, it’s best to leave that coitus in the past tense.

3. Maybe most importantly, your gifts, talents and beauty—inner and yes, outer, even if you don’t presently feel like knockout—are too precious to be wasted on a has-been.

When you see the number on your caller ID, let it roll to voice mail. Eventually he will get tired of being dissed and stop dialing—and he’ll probably stew a little about what has made you so suddenly unavailable.

If he shows up at your job with a proposition for lunch or stops by your house for a little post-separation nookie, kill the noise with a kind smile and a gentle reminder that you are looking for your king, not the court jester. A breakup doesn’t make him a bad guy. But it does make you a liberated woman, which means you’re free to explore and enjoy another chance at love (much unlike the VH1 version) that will give you stories to make your girlfriends envious and your grandchildren smile.

Breaking up is, without a doubt, hard to do. Here’s some sage wisdom from breakup survivors who finally pulled the plugs on their back-and-forth romances.

Cut the ties that bind.

“Contact causes backsliding! No phone, e-mail, texting!” – Asha, New Orleans

Keep your mind and social calendar occupied.

“For a lot of my exes, it was as easy as meeting someone else.” – Tracy, Maryland

Don’t let warm, fuzzy feelings override your good sense.

“It’s interesting how a grown, intelligent woman can understand logically what is wrong with the relationship yet have her decision-making process be completely fogged over by emotions. ” – Muriel, Ontario

Let the spirit guide you.

“Just pray for God’s will and don’t be mad if God gets rid of the guy rather than makes him start acting right.” – Erica, Washington, DC

If you are considering a reunion, review the relationship with an objective eye.

“One of the things I learned during my 3rd “get over him” period is that we stayed together because we’re comfortable with each other, not because we are at all the best couple—we’re not.” – Brandi, Virginia



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