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moving on after a breakup

How to have REAL closure from a break up

Happy Diwali!

For Diwali we celebrate the “festival of lights” which signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and good over evil.

Hope Over Despair

This was the theme this week as I was speaking to a woman named Shelly who had an amazing question for me about moving on after a breakup.

A few months ago, she had started dating this man who she really liked.

He was taking charge, planning things, calling her, taking interest in her and it felt like such a great connection.

It was easy for her to take the back seat and let him lead.

As he opened up, revealing more of himself, she would also get a little more vulnerable.

Shelly was excited to have found someone that was really trying with her.

About 3 months in, as she was packing a bag to go to his place, he grabbed her hand and said, “I don’t think we are connecting on a deep enough level and so I don’t think we should keep seeing each other.”

She was in shock.

It totally blind sided her. She hadn’t seen ANY signs of this coming.

Shelly didn’t know what to say. She asked a couple of quick questions and said, “Okay if that’s how you feel then let me walk you out.”

She was hurt.

She was confused.

She was sad.

She was angry.

Reaching out for clarity.

After she had a couple of days to process what had happened, Shelly asked if he could talk on the phone to get some closure.

She asked him when he decided that it wasn’t going to work out, and he revealed that he had just decided earlier that day.

She then said, “Why did you wait until the end of the day if you had kind of already known?” and he simply replied that he didn’t know.

Shelly left the conversation feeling some closure but still couldn’t understand what happened.

How could it have felt so right and then totally explode in her face?

During our conversation she told me she was over it and was ready to date again.

But I could feel she didn’t actually have the closure she desired.

I asked Shelly if she had a question about what happened with this man and she said, “Yes, can you see anything that I can’t see?”

I said, “YES. It may not be the thing you want to hear but it will be helpful.”

I intuitively felt that when he said he didn’t feel depth in the relationship, he was referring to her holding back and not really letting him in and getting vulnerable.

I explained, “You let him lead all the time and waited for him to get vulnerable before you would reveal anything. That’s what was missing. He wanted more of you. When you look back do you feel like you let him in?”

She said, “I guess I did hold back a lot. I let him lead most things because that felt safe for me.”

That was the key.

He didn’t feel like he KNEW Shelly and he couldn’t tell if she was really into him.

I dove a little deeper, “Especially in that last conversation, you were hurt so I understand that you wanted answers to feel okay and you were protecting your heart. But you never told him how you felt. How you really liked him and you hadn’t connected with someone like that in a long time.”

Shelly was like, “That is so true! I didn’t tell him any of that and this is so helpful because when you talk to friends you just get – he is an A**hole just forget about him!”

I laughed and said, “Yes I know. There is a huge difference in talking to friends and an expert about these kinds of situations.”

But there was still a connection between Shelly and her ex.

I said to her, “I can still feel a connection. I know you don’t know if he is with anyone or not, but what I want you to do is WRITE HIM AN EMAIL telling him how much he meant to you and that you are sorry that you hadn’t told him sooner. Let him know it was hard because you were guarding your heart and that you want him to know how much you really cared.”

I knew it would be a little scary, but it was also a way to get REAL clarity with this man and have the closure she desired. Or maybe even rekindle something (you never know).

Hedging Your Heart.

When I look back at when Hemal broke up with me (before we were married) one of the biggest reasons he did was because I couldn’t let him into my heart.

I was terrified.

I wanted him to be my version of a perfect man before I could truly get vulnerable.

This was my way of protecting myself, which I like to call Hedging Your Heart.

I really am asking you to stop doing this.

Hedging your heart only leads to a break in connection and a feeling of not being seen that will continue to repeat itself.

This has layers, but you can totally do it.

There are many layers to why it was difficult for Shelly to get vulnerable.

One of them was that she felt like if she speaks up and gets vulnerable that she will be “too much” for men to handle, which is something I know a lot of you also feel.

That “too much” feeling came from Sherry’s resistance to her mom’s big personality. Her mom asked for a divorce from her father, so she believed that if she was like her mom then she won’t really have what she wants in love.

I had my own version of this and you may as well.

Know there are LAYERS that NEED to be uncovered to allow yourself to STOP hedging your heart fully.

And you CAN shed them.

Here is your first step:

Can you pinpoint an experience with your mom and dad when you were younger that made you put your guard up or has you protecting yourself?

Share it with us in the comments below so that you can practice getting vulnerable with us!

I am here to support you.

In Love,
Kavita

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  • jOAN

    You have amazing insight into women’s hearts. I was always guarded with my parents they had an extremely volatile relationship. The one time in particular I asked for something which broke my heart was I asked to go to a Brownie camp and I asked my father and it was flat out no we have a cottage and you don’t need to go anywhere else. My entire life I didn’t dare ask for much it was always a big stressor for me to be vulnerable enough to ask for anything. I am 62 years old and you are really asking a lot for me to pull these things out of my memory bank. Anyhow vulnerability and my masculine emotions I’m guessing are a large part of my problem. My ex was very narcissistic and I was co dependent so I’m wondering every day in my journey to heal myself if I will find a new partner.

  • Leslie

    Hi Kavita,

    I can definitely relate to this blog and what you refer to as ‘Hedging your heart’. I can’t pin point a specific experience with my parents that made me put my guard up, but I did grow up in a household where we didn’t talk about our emotions or feelings. I have continued that pattern and find it very difficult to be vulnerable in any type of relationship (friends, boyfriends, family, etc.).

    Leslie

    • Kavita

      Hi Leslie, awesome that you are seeing the pattern. Now to break the pattern and to be able to open it up you can start with friends and family so you can practice on the people that already love you.

  • Michelle

    i loved this post. What if you went out with someone several times who you made sure knew you were enjoying and they disappeared? How do you get closure in that when you realize you may have done the opposite, as in, came on too strong? You see you struggle with receiving and insisted on giving sooo much back, they got scared away?

    • Kavita

      Hi Michelle,

      If he is scared of you being yourself then that is something he needs to own. When you meet someone you can only be responsible for what you put out there, you can’t control how he is going to react, but his reaction can help you weed out if he’s right for you.

  • Lizzy

    I’m scared of two things:
    1. Settling for “good enough”…. That’s why I left the father of my kids. I never knew if he truly loved me.
    2. My father was an alcoholic. And was really mean to my mom. A lot of violence and yelling.

    This makes me shut my heart down until I’m really sure the man I’m interested in really really like me. And…. I always find out later… when I have been running away for a while that YES… he actually DID like me. He Just couldn’t show it when I needed him to.

    Lizzy Darcy

    • Kavita

      HI Lizzy, When you feel the need to run, stop for a second and ask him directly how he feels. Sometimes we need to get vulnerable for our partners to get vulnerable with us.

  • Regina

    When I was in a dating relationship and my Dad was anxious about the guy’s career I found it hard to get close to the guy and my Dad. in the end I kept the part of myself from each of them and I had my own anxiety

  • Steph

    Losing our home.

    • Kavita

      HI Steph,

      When you think about Losing your home, what else comes up for you, is there blame, regret, fear, etc.? What are you feeling?

  • Stephy M

    Loads of things come to mind for me, but what they all come down to. Being told or treated like I was just “to much by my family.”, and my father not being around in a healthy way after the marriage was over.

    • Kavita

      Hey Stephy, now that you see this, how has this had an affect on how you interact with men?

  • Julie O

    My dad was not exactly a nice person and I saw a LOT of emotional and physical abuse between him, my mom, and us kids. My first real memory is when I was about 3. He had one of his ‘fits’ as we called them, had my mom on the floor kicking her and tried to break her arm. Before he left he spit in her face and called her a whore. I just remember it was morning and I still had my little Rainbow Brite nightgown and I was sitting on the couch with my knees pulled up and under my nightgown trying to make myself as invisible as I could. Mom was wearing her housecoat. He tore her housecoat in all of the rage. Later that day he came home, threw a plastic sack from the store at her. He said, “You needed a new one anyway.” Inside was a housecoat. So yeah, I’m pretty much closed off to men. The couple times I trusted and let my guard down I ended up being cheated on. Most recently just a month ago had a relationship end and he has already started seeing someone. I’m still devastated and can’t move on. Pretty sure he had been seeing someone last few weeks we were together but he will never admit to it.

    • Kavita

      Hi Julie, I’m feeling a lot of hurt and anger and even though I could tell you your love type just from hearing your experience, I want you to take this quiz: http://kavitajpatel.com/lovetype. By taking the quiz you will start an action. Once you’ve completed the quiz make sure to do the lovework for your love type and see those shifts.