I’m a regular reader of the Dating Goddess, even though I don’t date and have no desire to date. After relating a brutal “kiss-off” from a *gentleman*, DG asks “How do you manage your disappointments?”
The end of my last relationship left me feeling something I’d never felt for any past significant other: rage and hatred. The reasons aren’t interesting or relevant. Suffice it to say this was unusual, and unexpected. (I didn’t felt like this about my ex-husband or ex-fiancé!) My feelings weren’t of disappointment (I knew the relationship was ridiculous 6 months into it) , but how did I manage the feelings? I did try to manage the feelings for quite a while because I didn’t like that I could be a person who felt such ugly things for a human being, and I absolutely didn’t like how the feelings absorbed almost all my energy and focus. I made no progress–and I was becoming downright ill. Eventually, I stopped trying to manage the feelings. Instead, I started thinking about them and the fact of them.
As DG mentions in her post “There must be a pony in here,” I started looking into what the feelings were telling me and what I could learn from the relationship and my feelings about the breakup. Most importantly I accepted that it would take time–time without any romantic entanglements–to really let go of the anger.
What I’ve found after nearly 2-1/2 years is that I don’t want a relationship. Or rather I don’t want a romantic relationship. Instead I’m building relationships with friends and a new home city, family, and focusing on my business. I’m happy that I can be a friend to my mom who is facing some big end-of-lifetime types issues. I’m also deeply affected by my relationships with the kids I tutor.
So, rather than managing the feelings (we do seem rather hell-bent on always managing feelings don’t we?) I found relief by accepting them (not acquiescing or wallowing) and looking for different ways to fill the need I’d tried to fill with an entirely ridiculous relationship.