If Your Relationship Is On Its Last Leg, You’ll Notice These 9 Signs

One from a female reader…

Read on to find nine signs that your relationship might be on its last legs.

1. BOTH OF YOU HAVE STOPPED MAKING AN EFFORT

If you’ve both stopped making an effort to connect, the relationship may be nearing the end. What’s a sign of making less effort? “When you eat meals together and can’t muster a conversation because you’re not interested in doing so, or you’re annoyed at the other person and the way they chew sends you into fits of annoyance,” Relationship and etiquette expert April Masini tells Elite Daily. Not making an effort to even chat over dinner could be a sign the relationship is on its last legs.

Maybe you start by telling small white lies, but pretty soon you’re giving your partner completely inaccurate accounts of where you’ve been all day. It’s OK to have secrets, but frequent lying could be a sign that you’re not comfortable in the relationship and want it to be over.

 

Bickering is totally normal, but sometimes, if it’s too frequent, it could mean the relationship is struggling. “Do you bicker all the time? Chronic bickering is a sign that more is wrong than right in a relationship,” Masini says. If you can’t make peace even over the small things, maybe there’s an incompatibility issue in the relationship.

4. YOU FANTASIZE ABOUT BEING SINGLE

It’s OK to have crushes, and even to imagine being with them (I’ve planned my wedding to Jesse Eisenberg through all my serious relationships). It’s also OK to fondly remember being single. It becomes an issue when the fantasies are constant, and you spend every moment thinking about how nice it would be to be single. If this is the case, it could be a sign that your relationship is coming to a close.

 

Maybe you used to discuss a future with your partner but now shy away from the conversation topic — this could be a sign that the relationship is winding down. However, just because you’ve stopped discussing the future, doesn’t mean you can’t start again. “Make a bucket list together, and make it one that’s a couples’ bucket list, not just an individual one,” Masini says. If you start planning around a future together, you could save your relationship.

6. SEX WANES

Your sex life could give you a sign about your relationship. “You don’t have much sex. It’s just not that important to either one of you,” Masini cites as an indicator that a relationship is coming to a close. However, it’s just a sign — many go through periods of increased or decreased sexual desires, and it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. If you’re unsatisfied with the amount of sex you’re having, consider opening up the communication with your partner to try to work through it.

 

Are you hiding that you have a partner? You don’t need to bring it up in every conversation (in fact, doing so can be annoying), but if someone is expressing interested in you and you wait weeks before mentioning you’re in a relationship, it could be a warning sign. Maybe you’ve already mentally checked out of the relationship and you’re starting to look for other options. This is OK, as long as you’re being honest with yourself about whether you plan to stay in your relationship.

 

Old problems may resurface from time to time in any relationship, but if it feels like nothing from the past ever gets resolved, it could mean the relationship isn’t in a good place. “One or both of you keep bringing up old baggage — like a best friend’s slight at the wedding (ten years ago), or an indiscretion that happened before you got married,” Masini says. Ask yourself why either of you is having trouble letting go of the past, and determine if you think your relationship might be coming to a close.

This is perhaps the biggest sign that a relationship is on its last legs. If you (or your partner) know that you want the relationship to be done, then it’s definitely coming to a close. Breakups can still take a while or one of you could change their mind, but once you start wanting it to end, it’s probably close to finished.

Do any of these signs ring true to you? They’re just warnings, so if you notice a trend but you want to save your relationship, then DW — it’s still possible. However, it could be time to look inward to see if the relationship is really bringing both of you joy. And if your relationship is on its last legs, don’t worry — there’s something more fulfilling for you out there, just around the corner.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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If Your Relationship Is In Crisis Mode, You’ll Notice These 7 Signs

Every relationship goes through its fair share of ups and downs. No matter how connected you are, or how well things have gone in the past, you’re never going to have smooth sailing together 100% of the time. Usually, rough patches are nothing to worry about, but occasionally, they may signal a deeper disconnect between you and your partner. If your relationship is in crisis mode, you probably need to do some soul-searching about whether it’s meant to be.

1. YOU’VE LOST TOUCH WITH EACH OTHER PHYSICALLY.

 

It’s one thing to have a brief period where you’re not having sex as often as you normally do (maybe one or both partners are busy or stressed), but if this has become a regular pattern over the course of weeks or months, it’s a problem. “When your romantic time or sex starts to wane, it’s a sign that your partner isn’t feeling connected with you,” Spira said. One way to fix this? Schedule sexy time into the calendar! Even if you’re not in the mood, it’s important to stay physically connected to your partner. This doesn’t mean you should have sex when you don’t want to — enthusiastic consent is always key — but it does mean you should talk about why things have changed. Making intimacy a priority can help keep the spark alive in your relationship.

 

 

In a stable relationship, both partners care deeply about spending time together as a couple. This doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment hanging out with bae, but you should be excited about the time you do get to spend with him or her. “When your regular date nights are canceled and not being rescheduled, it’s a sign that your relationship isn’t a priority,” Spira explained. If you find yourself constantly trying to do anything else other than hang out with your SO, it probably means you’re super disconnected.

3. YOUR CONVERSATIONS ARE SURFACE LEVEL.

 

If you find yourself unable to talk about vulnerabilities and insecurities the way you used to, it means one of both of you are pulling away emotionally. Perhaps you’ve noticed yourself or your partner shutting down whenever serious subjects are brought up (about the future, about relationship conflicts, or about your bond as a couple). “When conversations that used to flow end up with abrupt ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers,” Spira explains, it’s a sign that things aren’t going well. You’ve stopped being each other’s confidante — a crucial indicator that your bond might be fading.

 

 

Fights are to be expected in any relationship that’s past the honeymoon phase, but there’s a difference between healthy and unhealthy conflict. “When a couple fights, the more they display contempt, stonewalling, criticism, and defensiveness, the less likely they are to sustain a close and loving relationship,” explained sex and intimacy coach Irene Fehr. If you want to stay together, you might need to address the root causes of these fights in order to move past them.

 

 

Maybe something specific happened to ruin the trust in your relationship, or maybe it started to fade away when you stopped communicating. Either way, if you find yourself stressed out when your partner is spending time away from you, or if you get jealous when they’re out with their friends, it could signal a lack of trust. “Consult with a therapist or relationship coach who can help you facilitate these conversations and explore places of alignment and misalignment, as well as learn to repair and heal hurt feelings to be able to sustain the relationship,” Fehr suggested. With expert help, you can work to repair the wounds and start to heal.

 

 

Do you feel like you’re not really a factor in the decisions your partner is making, or are you making major life choices without even telling them first? It’s never fun for either partner to feel like they’re not a priority. “If they’re not consulting you with decisions, [or] they go and take a weekend away, and they don’t even tell you, you’re an afterthought,” explained dating expert and matchmaker Stefanie Safran. Even when you have your own lives and agendas (as you should!), it’s important to clue each other in when you’re making a big change.

7. YOU’RE CONSTANTLY VENTING TO YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP.

If you’re so fed up with bae that you count down the days until you can vent to your besties, that’s not good. Obviously, your friends are there for you when you want to talk things out, but if you’re always complaining to them about how you’re unhappy, it means you’re not in a healthy place. “If you’re constantly venting to your friends about your [boyfriend/girlfriend], chances are you know something isn’t right and you’re seeking validation,” explained behavioral scientist Clarissa Silva. Deep down, you probably know there’s a problem, but you might not be ready to admit it to yourself yet.

If more than one of these signs applies to you, take a step back and think about what you want out of this relationship. Are you in it for the long haul, and committed to making things work? If so, individual or couples’ therapy can help you sort through your relationship struggles in a useful and productive way. And if you decide you need to break things off, that’s OK, too — sometimes ending a relationship is the best thing you can do for your happiness. Whatever you decide, know that you deserve to have a love that makes you feel encouraged and strong.

 

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If Your Relationship Isn’t Meant To Be, You’ll Notice These 4 Signs

If you’ve ever gone through a breakup, chances are a friend has tried to comfort you by saying, “It just wasn’t meant to be.” And while, sure, that may actually be the case, accepting that your relationship isn’t meant to be can be really hard. What does “meant to be” even mean? Simply put, not all relationships are meant to last forever. The cliche that some people come into your life for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime,” rings true. And if your relationship isn’t meant to be, you’ll know it.

1. YOUR DREAMS CLASH.

Victor Torres/Stocksy

It’s totally normal for you and bae to have different dreams – after all, you’re not dating yourself. But if your dreams are incompatible, that might be a sign your relationship isn’t meant to work out. If neither party is willing to compromise, it might be time for a more serious conversation.

“If your dreams clash, that means one of you will have to give something really important up in order to make the relationship work,” licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson tells Elite Daily. “If you really love your partner, you should want all of their dreams to come true and not encourage them to leave those things behind.”

Don’t forget: They should want those things for you, too.

Jovo Jovanovic/Stocksy

Working through conflicts together and trying to come to a compromise or solution can be really important when it comes to relationships. But caring and respecting each other as you work through an issue is just as important as resolving it, says Richardson.

“In happy, successful relationships that pass the test of time, roughly two-thirds of their conflicts don’t get resolved,” she points out. “The key to conflict is not resolving it, it’s communicating and caring about each other through it. If the relationship isn’t worth fighting for, how could it be meant to be?”

Briana Morrison/Stocksy

Sure, maybe you’re in charge of making dinner reservations and your partner tackles vacation planning. It’s OK to take the lead on things if your partner is taking the lead on others. But that’s the trick: You’re both contributing. If “one person has to be in charge or [in] control, that’s not typically healthy,” Richardson states. If your relationship has no space for both sides of an argument, a plan, or a conversation, then you just might not be compatible. “In a partnership, it is important that both partners have their perspective[s] heard and needs listened to.” It’s called a partnership for a reason, folks.

Sean Locke/Stocksy

If your partner has continued to break your trust repeatedly, that might be a sign they don’t totally respect you as much as a good partner should. If “you’ve confided very intimate things to your partner and they betray your trust, and tell anyone who will listen your deepest and most vulnerable secrets,” Dr. Brown says, it’s probably healthiest to part ways. Trusting your partner is the bare minimum. If you can’t trust them, there’s not much else you can do.

If any of this sounds familiar, don’t panic. Making an honest effort to resolve these issues and work on your relationship isn’t off the table. “You can try to work on them,” Richardson says. “Do your part to see if you can help switch up the dynamic.” But your partner should make an equal effort, too. It takes two to tango, and sometimes, accepting that you’re incompatible may be the healthiest option.

Try to remember that if a relationship isn’t meant to be, it’s probably because there’s something, or someone, better suited for you. It’s all a matter of knowing when to walk away, and looking toward the future.

 

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If Your Relationship Is Suffocating, You’ll Notice These 7 Signs

Romantic relationships can be difficult at times. Occasionally, your relationships might require some mediation, a little bit of trial and error, and a lot of communication to work things out. This especially can be the case after the honeymoon phase, or as you and your partner face life changes. However, romantic relationships shouldn’t feel like a burden or heavy obligation. And you definitely shouldn’t feel as if your relationship is suffocating you.

Here are seven red flags you’ll notice if your relationship is suffocating you — and seven signs it’s time to talk things through with your partner (or, honestly, break up!).

1. YOUR SO TEXTS YOU… NON-STOP

Nikita Sursin / Stocksy

A 2019 study by Typing.com surveyed 1,000 people — women, men, married and unmarried, those in long-distance relationships and not, — about their digital communication habits with their SOs. Among other tidbits, researchers found that about six text messages in a row is the point where most people feel their partner is too “clingy” or “needy.” Whatever that number might be for you, a partner who texts you incessantly might make you feel stifled by the relationship.

As relationship expert Susan Winter put it, “Having someone to check in with throughout the day can feel great, but constantly having your phone bombarded with texts and notifications from your (new) bae can start to feel like a bit much.” Moreover, Winter said, if your partner gets upset any time you want to take space, then that’s reflective of some seriously controlling tendencies.

Your partner might explain away their behavior by saying they’re that they’re worried about you. On the surface, that might seem sweet. But if they’re blowing up your phone — especially in rapid succession and throwing a fit if you don’t respond — this can actually be manipulation. “This is to substantiate their position, making emotional manipulation look like affection. Don’t fall for it,” Winter said. “It’s a ploy for control.”

Guille Faingold / Stocksy

To “gaslight” someone is to “make them doubt that their thoughts, feelings, and actions” to the point where they believe they can’t trust their judgment or that they’re losing their mind,” Dr. Leslie Beth Wish explained to Elite Daily. It’s another tactic a suffocating (or even abusive) partner might use to gain control. This might include your partner flat-out denying saying things you definitely heard them say or denying doing things you definitely saw them do.

A partnership where one person gaslights the other can feel suffocating because now, there’s an extra layer to your relationship dynamic (especially when it comes to arguments). If your partner constantly makes you feel irrational, you might start feeling like you’re always the bad guy — and might start believing that about yourself, even if it isn’t true.

 

Guille Faingold / Stocksy

It can feel equally smothering to have a partner who frequently nitpicks and puts you down. Just like with gaslighting, undermining behaviors can do major damage over time. “[Their] feedback, in the beginning, might have just enough ‘truth’ in it that you doubt yourself. Over time, your partner will lie, and tell you that so and so said negative things about your appearance or conversation. Now you have ‘proof’ from another person that you are too stupid, too silly, too shallow, too wrong or too much or too little of something in your behavior or appearance,” Wish said.

Weeks or months of this kind of behavior can chip away at your self-confidence and inner strength, according to Wish. This is, all in all, a toxic situation. Constructive criticism is one thing. Disintegrating your self-worth is another thing entirely.

Guille Faingold / Stocksy

One classic abusive behavior (that has a suffocating effect) is when your partner starts to isolate you. Your partner might start with putting down your family and friends. By casting your crew as untrustworthy, your partner narrows the scope of your reality and exerts control over you. Isolation tactics can be that subtle or more overt. Ultimately, it can come in the form of guilting you into not attending family functions, or berating you for enjoying wine night with the girls.

As love coach Monica Parikh told Elite Daily, “The goal is to isolate you from your support network, making you an easy target for emotional manipulation and abuse.” It’s overwhelming to be forced to deal with the trials and tribulations life throws at you, without your core support network by your side.

4. YOUR PARTNER NEEDS TO KNOW WHERE YOU, ARE ALL THE TIME

Guille Faingold / Stocksy

You might be feeling overwhelmed by a clingy partner if, as Winter put it, “you begin to feel like leaving your apartment requires a sign-out sheet.” And, Winter continued, “Your partner’s incessant need to know where you are at all times is a sign of deep insecurity.” It’s just not realistic or healthy to have your partner monitor your whereabouts at all times. It’s important you maintain your autonomy, even if you’re someone’s partner.

Guille Faingold / Stocksy

It’s also unhealthy if your SO is determined for the two of you to spend all of your free time together. This prevents the two of you from having space for yourself or to be with your own friends.

Again, having freedom is so key to not feeling like you’re drowning in a relationship. Kali Rogers, who founded Blush Online Coaching, told Elite Daily, “Having your own autonomy is so critical to not only your overall happiness, but for your relationship’s, as well.”

6. YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS CO-DEPENDENT

Guille Faingold / Stocksy

There comes a point, too, where your relationship can feel suffocating because the two of you are co-dependent. In co-dependent relationship, there’s one partner who relies heavily on the other and one who’s sense of self is wrapped up in providing for their partner. Psychologist Erika Martinez broke it down like this:

The dependent relies on the codependent to take care of, support, fix, and generally enable [them]. In some cases, the dependent really can’t take care of themselves, and in others, it’s a state of learned helplessness.

The codependent does the enabling and grows accustomed to being the one that people (including the dependent) turn to for help. Thus, codependent’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem are often tied to their ability to fix things, be proactive, help others, people-please, etc.

Being tied to this unhealthy relationship roles can suck the joy out of your partnership.

Michela Ravasio / Stocksy

Similar to the desire to know where you are at all times, another suffocating relationship behavior is your partner demanding access to all your communication. Yes, transparency about what you’re up to and who you’re talking to is good. But it’s best when that happens in couples willingly and organically.

If your partner is pressed to see what you’re looking at online or who you’re messaging, either one of two things is happening: Trust has been broken or your partner is trying to control you. (Depending on your relationship, the situation could be a bit of both.) Parikh confirmed the latter, saying, “A controlling partner may feel entitled to have access to your email, phone, or internet history.”

Guille Faingold / Stocksy

It’s crucial that you and your partner talk things out. If your SO is texting you too much (or throwing a fit when you don’t text back), have a conversation about what kinds of texting or calling is appropriate for your relationship. Talk frankly about self-care and taking time for yourself. Re-establish boundaries. And if you have these hard conversations with your SO to no avail, then these red flags are grounds for breaking up.

Rough patches do happen. But at the same time, your relationship shouldn’t feel like a heavy obligation, or a black hole sucking up all of your happiness and self-esteem. You deserve a partner who’s going to gas you up, be your equal, and nurture your well-being.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.

 

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If Your Partner Is Falling Out Of Love, Therapists Say This Is The 1 Thing You’ll Notice

All relationships have natural ebbs and flows. No matter how long you’ve been seeing someone, having little arguments here and there or taking a break from the sexy stuff can sometimes be super healthy. But if you’ve been feeling a little disconnected from you boo for a while or if the fights seem more frequent, you may be wondering if your partner is falling out of love with you. “Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if you are having a tough time in a relationship, if you are experiencing significant problems, if you really are questioning how well it is working versus actually falling out of love,” Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Elite Daily. “Love can be lost and found. It can fade and come back, it can be ‘fixed’ but because love is a feeling, it is not a guarantee that love lost will return.”

It’s not always easy to unpack whether or not you are falling out of love or just going through a rough patch. If you’ve been fighting a lot or are just generally feeling distant from your boo, falling out of love could be the result of a loss of connection. “When we fall out of love, we lose a deeper feeling of connection with our partner,” Dr. Klapow says. “Falling out of love is losing that almost indescribable feeling of wanting to be with your partner for the long run no matter how much of a disaster or how perfect things are in the moment.”

If you’re concerned that your partner is falling out of love with you, Dr. Klapow shares some behaviors to look out for. “When it moves from ‘I don’t like what you are doing’ to ‘I don’t like you.’ They go from being emotionally connected to emotionally ‘neutral.’ They ask you to change the way you eat, talk, interact, spend time, look. They seem to schedule their life differently,” Dr. Klapow says. “Growing distant is a major relationship red flag.” Of course, every relationship is different, and your partner exhibiting some or all of these behaviors doesn’t necessary mean they’re falling out of love. Long-term romantic relationships are hard. And with school work, family, and general life to deal with — it’s completely natural for schedules to shift around, personal preferences to evolve, or even for feelings to change overtime.

If you’re starting to sense some disconnect in your relationship, or you’re starting to worry that your partner is falling out of love with you, it’s important to directly communicate how you are feeling and where you are coming from before guessing what they are feeling. “Don’t assume that the distance can only be that they are falling out of love,” Dr. Klapow says. “But don’t assume that everything is fine. Remember that your partner’s personal issues, your own issues and the relationship itself all drive the emotional setting.” If your partner seems to be pulling away, or if they’ve been more emotionally neutral — checking in with where their head is at can help you communicate openly, before assuming how they are feeling.

If you’re worried that your partner may be falling out of love with you, and you want to make the relationship work, it can be helpful to express to them how much you love them. “Ask what is going on, and express your desire to make things better,” Dr. Klapow says. “Don’t be defensive. Don’t argue. Just listen.” Giving your parter the chance to express themselves in a low-key and supportive way may enable them to open up about where their head is at. “You may find that what you are hearing is a combination of you, them and their relationship itself,” Dr. Klapow says. “Ultimately, it is your choice to pull the plug or not — but don’t decide until you have tried to work it out or have tried with professional support.” Getting everything out in the open can help you and your partner better understand what you need from each other and where your relationship is going, moving forward.

If you’re worried your partner is falling out of love with you, you may be noticing them pulling away or not being as emotionally engaged with your relationship. Before assuming their thoughts or feelings, openly discuss where you both are coming from and what support you both need. Love changes and flows, but opening up a conversation can keep everyone feeling supported and heard.

 

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How to Survive All Seven Stages of a Brutal Breakup

How to Survive All Seven Stages of a Brutal Breakup

 

Everybody loves the 1962 classic “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” but singer/songrwriter Neil Sedaka didn’t get the story entirely correct. Breaking up isn’t just hard to do. It’s freaking torture. And almost everyone roaming the earth has gone through the seven stages of a nasty breakup at least once in their life.

But if you’re finding it difficult to bounce back from a breakup, go easy on yourself. Just like losing a loved one or a beloved pet, breakups bring up deep, deep emotions that can include grief. This is totally normal, and you need to give yourself plenty of time to grieve to really get over this hump. Knowing what to expect in each stage of the breakup recovery process can make it easier to ask for help from friends and family when it’s needed — and may remind you to be gentle with yourself.

And actually turns out that there is science behind why going through a breakup is so tough. In 2016, Stanford psychologists discovered that you are more likely to take a breakup harder if you internalize it, seeing the rejection as a reflection of your potentially flawed personality. In five studies conducted on 891 participants, people who felt their personality was fixed without the room for growth or change held on to a relationship rejection for much longer.

It’s hard not to feel the sting after a relationship ends, and it’s even harder not to take it personally. But understanding that it is possible to make it through and even see changes in yourself on the other side can make the grief gauntlet more manageable. Taking the time to heal can help, but if you find yourself stuck in anxiety, anger or depression following a breakup, it’s important to seek professional help. Sometimes, the perspective of an outside professional is just what we need to point us in a new, healthier direction

How to Survive All Seven Stages of a Brutal Breakup

 

Breakup recovery is a process, and as you’re putting the pieces of your life back together, you may have experienced one or more of these breakup stages by now:

 

1. Shock: “What the hell just happened?”

Shock is the body’s natural protection against pain. And when your relationship first ends, you just might not want to deal with what’s coming next. It may be too scary, too lonely, too confusing. A state of disbelief could last minutes, weeks or even months and likely lasts longer if you are on the receiving end of an unexpected breakup. Don’t be surprised if you feel a sense of blurriness about the actual breakup scene, a literal loss of breath, or trouble sleeping.

Do/Do not:

Do prescribe yourself calming cures like meditation or long walks.

Do not freak out. You will make sense of all of this!

 

2. Denial: “This is so not happening.”

Denial is rejection of reality and a storage of feelings. The thinking is that, if you don’t accept the heartbreak, then it didn’t really happen, thus leaving hope for reunion. During this stage of a breakup it is common to call, email or even Facebook-stalk — anything that feels remotely “normal” about the relationship — in an effort to put dealing with the heartbreak on hold.

Do/Do not:

Do open up to a journal or trusted friend to begin unleashing fears, identifying unreasonable thoughts and more.

Do not minimize the situation. Pretending your breakup doesn’t have to be dealt with will lead to emotional numbness and leave you stuck.

 

3. Isolation: “I just want to sit in this all by myself.”

Once you’ve recognized the breakup, you get into the dirty work: Dealing with the dissolution of the relationship. You may replay the relationship over and over in your mind, trying to pinpoint where it fell apart and how it could have been saved. Your thoughts may feel very scattered and disorganized. This stage of grief has you in withdrawal; you don’t even feel like updating your Facebook status or checking your voicemails. You may draw your blinds and not even want to leave the house. Sitting in silence, darkness or a pint of ice cream feels better than going outside and admitting to the world that, yes, it’s over.

Do/Do not:

Do take regular showers and create reasons to face the day (work, social activities).

Do not indulge in self-pity by letting irrational thoughts like “No one will ever love me again” take over.

4. Anger: “I hate you for breaking my heart!”

In this stage, your heart goes from sad to raging mad. It becomes fueled with anger towards your ex for whatever his part in the breakup was, and/or toward yourself for your part. During this stage of breakup, you may find yourself burning pictures of him, holding his stuff hostage, slandering him to his friends or worse. If you are angry with yourself, you may do a lot of self-talk — regretful thoughts and angry conversation with yourself. The deeper desire here is often to place blame.

Do/Do not:

Do feel, write or talk about your anger.

Do not act on it.

 

5. Bargaining: “What will it take to get him back?”

Sometimes involving prayers, this stage is often about getting your ex back, but other times, it is about absolving your own guilt if you did something wrong that caused the breakup. Desperate to negotiate with yourself or your ex, you may go to extreme measures to make deals or become something else (thinner, less jealous, etc.) to make amends — when in truth, it is just about making the current pain go away.

Do/Do not:

Do create a self-love list complete with what makes you happy and things you want for your future.

Do not include wanting your ex back in the above list!

 

6. Depression: “I will never get over him.”

You realize the magnitude of your loss in this stage of grief, and it can feel all too overwhelming. You may wind up in a state of deep sadness that can even resemble mild depression. At this point, recalling what your life was like prior to your relationship or what it could be like now can be hard. Just getting out of bed feels difficult, and you may even feel physical aches and pains perpetuated by deep feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and sadness.

Do/Do not:

Do surround yourself with positive people and lots of sunshine.

Do not fall victim to unhealthy behaviors such as binge eating or drinking.

 

7. Acceptance: “I understand why I was with him, why I’m not now, and that I will be better than just OK.”

The acceptance stage of a breakup makes all the other really tough ones worth it. This is the one that finally gives you that welcome sense of exhalation. You come to realize what the past meant and what the future can hold. The sun begins to shine, and you begin to feel like yourself again, ready to move onward and upward.

Do/Do not:

Do celebrate getting through your breakup.

Do not be surprised if you still feel moments of sadness from time to time; it’s normal. Just keep on your positive path!

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Annabelle – Epilogue

“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

It was about 6 months later until I saw her again. I was working for a local publication, and my boss asked if I’d check on their booth at an event in University City. It was on a Saturday in the spring of 2015. They would normally have a booth set up at some sponsored events, and they’d have a couple of interns man it.

Since I was new no one would recognize me there, so I could see that the magazines were displayed and the swag was out, and that the interns were doing their jobs.

I met with my friend Carla for a few drinks that evening at The Continental bar in midtown. Now that I think about it, I had spent the day with Kylie, (See: Kylie – Broken Wing) and had to ditch her to go meet up with my good friend Carla.

We had a couple of drinks and wound up chatting with a couple of gals we would meet up with later. After about an hour we hopped in an UBER and headed out to University City. We got there and when you live in Rittenhouse in center city, going out to University City is like going to a different planet.

I was expecting a straight up festival, with beer and food, but all that was out there was a bunch of families, a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cart and a big stage set up. Oh, and our little booth off to the side.

Carla and I were clearly disappointed. We thought we’d be chugging free drinks and stuffing our heads with chow. We go over to the booth and check it out. I chat with the interns and everything seems to be in order.

The show starts and it’s some sort of musical number.

“Carla. I need to get out of here now.”

“This thing sucks. I agree. But it seems like something’s bothering you.”

“See that girl right there? The one on the left in the show.”

“Yea.”

“That’s Annabelle. My ex-girlfriend.”

“Oh the girl who was standing over there before, staring at you since the minute you got here?”

“She was?”

“I didn’t even see her. How did you…?

“Women can sense these things.”

“Let’s go.”

The next time was  a month or so later when I went to a beer garden that was my account at the publication. They invited me down to their place of business for some free drinks. I can’t pass that up.

So I get there and have a few drinks at the bar, and who the hell comes out to entertain everybody?

Yep. Same musical troupe, and there’s Annabelle. I watched the show a little bit, but it was so awful, I had to get out of there. Their stuff is so silly it’s absurd. I think the only reason the troupe exists is so the lead guy can run around in public in a fucking dress.

It was killing me to see her and I needed closure. I texted her and said I wanted to meet up and chat. We set it up and I met her at a bar in Northern Liberties. (Which I hate)

I had one before she arrived. She gets there and we go to a table and sit down. She orders a drink and said her stomach has been bothering her. She says it’s from all of the junk food she’s been eating down at the beer garden where her troupe has been performing all month. I think she’s full of shit. She always pulls health issues or headaches to get out of stuff.

I begin to recount all of the stuff she did after she broke up with me, and how much it hurt me, and how adults don’t do that to each other. I told her how much that hurt me for months, having her rip open the sutures that were trying to heal in my wounded heart.

She said she was sorry she hurt me, but really didn’t show any real emotion. I believe simply because she isn’t capable of it. When you don’t know who you are, where you’re going, or what you want in life, how can you possibly know what anyone else around you is feeling? Annabelle only sees what she wants. She hasn’t a clue that her selfish actions can really hurt a person that is close with her.

She told me that she had moved, and was going to buy some shitty house but her parents told her they didn’t want her living in that neighborhood, so they bought her a nice house in a better part of town. I suppose since they’re rich and she’s the only one of their kids that’s a financial failure, they felt they had to step in. So she lives on the first floor, she has taken in a roommate who lives on the 2nd floor and uses the basement for her photography stuff.

She has the roommate because she obviously can’t afford the mortgage. Who has roommates in their thirties?

“I don’t really have to work that hard anymore or make a lot of money. Because I don’t have the bills I used to have.”

(Yea, because your parents bought you a fucking house.)

She left after the one drink and I walked her outside and she got on her bike.

“You’ll have to see my house.” she said as she rode off.

No thanks, I thought to myself.

Well, so much for closure.

Her apology was hollow.

About a year later this woman I know who works in the arts hit me up at the publication I worked for at the time. Trixie wanted some love from our magazine to promote a little art performance she had written. I asked her if there was any budget to advertise and of course she said no. These “artists” never have two shillings to rub together.

So I talk to my editor and since we support the arts, she said she’d be happy to write a little piece about it and put it in our events calendar.

I called Trixie and told her that the piece would run for the two weeks before the event. So it would be in our magazine twice. She was very happy and thanked me for the free support/advertising.

So on opening night of the show I decided to check out what I had promoted for the last two weeks. I like Trixie and I decided to take my good friend, Carly (See: Carly – 2013 to Present – The Mad Baker)

Carly always comes through for me in the clutch. She’s one of my favorite people in Philadelphia.

We plowed some vodka before the show in case it sucked. We hop in an UBER and head down to the show. We get there. It’s some little installation in South Philly. We go in and there are only maybe between and 20 or 30 people there. We grab a pair of wines (Box wine!) and head into the show.

It starts with some woman doing some sort of weird slow dance on the floor. I don’t get it. Then they have us all head upstairs for the 2nd part of the “performance.”

I have the sudden realization that it is a two woman show starring Trixie and of all the fucking people on the Earth… Annabelle.

I’m an artist. I’ve been an artist my whole life. Started drawing as a child. Art major in school. Won art shows, and drew comics. I have sold my art work and even had it stolen. So my shit must have been good. I taught myself how to play guitar. I started out as a singer in the choir and then a lead singer in my first band. Then guitarist in my 2nd and 3rd bands. Philly, Jersey and LA. I’m a writer and a huge film guy. I love all kinds of music from Sinatra to Slayer and everything in between. I love the ballet, the orchestra, the arts in general. So I have a pretty good idea what is good art and what is absolute shit.

What I witnessed that evening may as well have fallen out of a dog’s ass and hit the pavement in a steaming pile of awfulness.

It didn’t make sense. It was poorly written. Horribly acted. Trixie has a great ass though. That’s all I can say. She looked hot. Annabelle was like a scientist in the beginning and then changed into a bird of some kind. It made no sense at all. Annabelle literally wrapped in saran wrap with feathers covering her sort of non nipples and hippie bush. It was a revolting mess.

I’m grateful that I had the lovely opportunity of plying myself with alcohol before the “show.” (more like, abortion)

After that massacre, Annabelle came right up to us and I told her it was really good. It was either that or just simply throw up on her in disgust.

I introduced her to Carly and I’m sure she thought Carly was my main squeeze. Oh, by the way, Carly looked amazing. Black Versace cocktail dress, black sheer hose and black pumps. She looked smoking hot.

Annabelle told us she was going to have to get out of the polyurethane feather nightmare that she was wearing and would chat some more. We told her great job and we’d be downstairs sipping free boxed wine.

We went downstairs and grabbed more wine and went outside to smoke.

“What do we do?”

It was starting to rain.

“We get the fuck out of here. Trixie ambushed you and got free advertising for her shitty show that no one went to see. We’re going.”

I hit the UBER app and we were back in Rittenhouse in 15 minutes.

This is an entirely different epilogue that Michelle’s (See: Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day) This is all I have to wrap up the tattered mess that was my short nine month relationship with Annabelle.

In hindsight, should I have ever gotten involved with Annabelle? No. She was too young, and too naive about herself or even the world. It was an absolute mismatch. I once made a list when it was over of all of the thing I liked and didn’t like about Annabelle.

On the GOOD list there were only 3 things. Youth, sex, and nice to be with when we were together just doing things. (ie: dates, museums, dinners, etc.)

Just think. Two of the 3 things she almost had no control over.

The BAD list had over 15 things that I didn’t like about her on it. That my friend, is a strong indicator that it was an absolute mismatch and maybe she was just with me due to her distant daddy issues and I was a novelty to her. A new toy. The latest shiny thing that had attracted her attention like a squirrel.

I remember she told me she once slept walked and went into the bathroom and cut her bangs off. When I met her that second time at that shitty bar where she worked I thought her hair looked a little weird. She had to go to a hairdresser to try to fix that mess. I think it may have something to do with stress.

One time she slept walked and got scissors and cut up a dress that she was supposed to wear to some event for her sister. This chick has real issues or maybe even a real mental disorder. When I look at my relationship with her now, I can’t even believe I stuck around as long as I did. I should have cut her loose way earlier than when it ended. I should have seen the crazy. But you know, I did. I just put up with it because I loved her.

I didn’t love her. That just sounds nice. That’s why people put up with shit. No. People put up with shit because their minds are clouded with society’s norms. If you can take a step back, (Most men can’t. Actually most people can’t) you’d see that you’re in a relationship with someone who is absolutely not right for you. I know some idiots that are doing this right now!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter. But you can think about your mistakes with people. You can talk to your friends and family about your mistakes, but when you take the time to actually WRITE them down, you see the truth. The truth “that your own rod licks you the hardest.”

My mother used to say that, and it’s so true. Think of all the fucked up shit that has happened to you in your life. The bad stuff. You did that. You were probably the architect of that madness. You made that. You at least helped. You brought that nightmare into your life.

It’s okay. I’m not here to hurt anybody. I just want you to think. “Doing the same thing over and over and thinking you’re going to get a different result is madness.”

I’ve done that. We all have. I have to evolve up and out from this relationship. I will. I will never get mixed up aith a girl like Annabelle ever again. I’d rather die alone than go through something like that with such a mixed up emotionally bankrupt, lost soul like Annabelle.

You gotta cut your losses and go.

Everybody’s different and we all go through our own shit in our own way. You can tell your friend that he should leave his cheating wife who hasn’t fucked him in two years but he has to exit that burning building in his own way. All the while wasting years of living he should be enjoying and not going to fucking meetings and therapists.

Drop the clutch and GO!

It’s like telling someone they should get in better shape.

You try to change your own mind and body.

That shit’s hard. How are you going to change another person?

You can’t. They have to do it their own way in their own time.

Anyway. No more artists or failed actresses. I just can’t.

Annabelle was texting after the show and thanking me profusely for my support. Sadly, she seemed so scared and unsure of herself. I guess now that I was standing outside the gates of Annabelle Asylum, I had a different perspective. I could see clearly she was just another lost soul of the arts community here in our fair city

I had some great dinners and some decent sex with her so there’s that. But I would erase it all if I could have the opportunity to never have met Annabelle. But I’m wrong in my thinking. I had to meet her. I had to experience this so I could learn more about myself. I’m still on the journey to find real and genuine love in this city.

But now based on these experiences I’ve had I now have a clearer idea of what that should look like. I have learned much.

And for that I am grateful and I continue to evolve and grow as a man.

That show was the last time I ever saw Annabelle.

But last year on my birthday, she messaged me on Facebook.

“Happy Birthday, Charles, I hope your life is going well.”

I waited a day and thanked her and wished her a happy birthday too. (Hers is July and mine is August 9, both Leos)

 

That was the last I ever spoke to her. I’ve never seen or heard from her again. (Thank goodness!)

 

Will I ever find a girl who is a good match for me in this city that will stick around?

 

My heart is always open, and we’ll have to see what happens. Thanks to you all of my readers. We’ll get there together!

 

 

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