If you have been through a breakup recently from the person with whom you thought you would share your days, joys and sorrows until the end of your life, you will probably think for a while that your life has taken over. That nothing comes after that. It really depends a lot on the stage you are in: usually, this feeling appears after the first more serious relationship, or it can also appear after a long-term partnership or marriage. It seems to you that your life is over, you don’t see other plans and you don’t know where to start. It’s as if you’ve somehow lost your identity, you don’t know who you are, what you want. You will soon begin to gather the broken parts of yourself, to rebuild and build you.
You will realize that such a separation is so necessary, precisely because we need to get out of this symbiosis, to build on our own, to know what we can and cannot do. Let’s figure it out for ourselves. I remember that after breaking up with my first serious relationship it was so hard for the attachment to dilute, but I realized that I needed so much to live some experiences on my own, to understand certain aspects of life without going through them with anybody else. It is so important to interpret the life through your own filter and lens. All these experiences have helped me to define me in an independent way, to paint my identity.
As the years go by and time dilutes the emotional effects of a breakup, we begin to realize what we could have done better and how did the relationship evolve to this point, and especially what our contribution has been in this regard. If immediately after a separation we feel somewhat justified in considering that we were perfect, after the passage of time, this detachment occurs and it reveals important lessons. We understand more and more what the dynamics of the relationship were and we realize that maybe we would have done differently. Each separation brings with it or should bring a seed of wisdom that will make us more tolerant in the future but at the same time, will teach us how to set limits from the beginning phase for what does not correspond to our values.
We learn that there are essential aspects without which we cannot continue a relationship and at the same time there are small things that we cannot stop – in other words, we have learned to filter what is important and has an impact and we have also learned to tolerate differences as long as we realize that there is respect. Indeed, the lesson of tolerance is very important. But at the same time we learn to get out of the vicious circle of the savior – if in the previous relationship we hoped to save the other and we found a purpose in it, hoping that he will transform for our sake and for us, now we begin to realize that we are saviors only for ourselves.
We begin to live for ourselves, to put ourselves first, because after a breakup it is natural to allow ourselves to spend time with ourselves, as much as we the need. Sometimes it’s about months, other times it’s about years. And nothing is wrong with any of these cases. For us to become available for another person, we need to re-build ourselves – this can take years, and it is often the best option to take time for ourselves. We need to reach emotional maturity, to be able to live alone in the first phase, and then to be able to share our time with others and to create a genuine intimacy. Paradoxically, intimacy cannot be created in symbiosis – in which my needs are so intertwined with each other’s that we no longer feel distinct beings. The real intimacy appears in a setting where there are definite boundaries and where partners first know each other as separate persons, sometimes with different needs and rhythms.