Dating after breakup
I broke up with my boyfriend two months ago. I had fallen out of love with him and just wasn't happy anymore. Things were very stale and I was always thinking about other guys when I should have been thinking about him. It was completely my choice to end the relationship and he took it very hard. We have not spoken since.
I want to know if it's normal to want to start dating other guys so soon after my two-year relationship. Should I try to resolve the tension between us first or is it okay to just begin anew with someone else? What should I say if I accidentally bump into my ex one day?
I get concerned whenever someone says they left a relationship because they were unhappy. If there was no alcoholism/addiction, abuse, unfaithfulness, or less dramatically, two people just didn't click happiness or unhappiness is not the sole standard on which to base the quality of a relationship. Assuming there was no abuse, addictions or unfaithfulness in your relationship certainly it was clear before two years passed that you two weren't clicking. So let me leap into a discussion about relationships in general.
It is not unusual for a couple to feel that they have fallen out of love after awhile. That does not necessarily mean they are not in love any longer. Rather, what seems to happen is that most relationships start out very intense with great emotion, attention, long conversations, intimacy, etc. However, it is impossible to maintain that level of intensity. Eventually, the intensity dies down and the next phase of the relationship begins. This is more of a questioning phase where each person is steps back and wonders where the intensity has gone. Some decide to drop the relationship believing that since the earlier feelings are gone they weren't really in love. Some decide to do stupid things like inspire jealousy or whatever to see if the other person still cares, all in an attempt to regain the earlier feelings. Some recognize that they learned enough about the other person during the intensive times that there maybe enough to build a long-term relationship on. They then move on to a more mature relationship that involves moments of intense emotion and intimacy but also the routine of life of work, shopping, travel, etc. Settling into a routine does not mean anyone loves the other less rather it is a matter of the relationship maturing a bit. However, it is then a matter for each person in the relationship to spice it up from time to time. A husband may take the wife out on a date. They may spend a long weekend away from home, work, phone, obligations, etc. In other words, the relationship begins to have depth to it as each learn more about each other, love each other more, forgive each other and even come to like each other.
What you do about your past or future relationships is totally up to you. The ex-boyfriend, if he is mature, will get over you. There is probably nothing you can say or do that will make it better. If you meet him don't be a jerk, just be friendly. Certainly, there will be tension, but that is to be expected after a two-year relationship. As time passes those feelings or at least their intensity, should decrease. If they don't or if they intensify it may be time to pursue therapy.
Thomas H Schear
This question was answered by Thomas H Schear. Dr. Schear has over 20 years experience as a front line counselor, clinical supervisor, program director and college instructor. Currently he provides online and telephone counseling service as well as home-study and online course for the helping professional from his website.For more information visit: http://www.ccmsinc.net/