Two nights ago, my roommate marched into my bedroom and handed me a book.
“I think you need to read this,” she said. “It’s a really good chapter.”
She had indexed a page with her thumb, so when I took the book from her, I flipped open to that page.
“Breaking Up Without Falling Apart”
I settled in to read for a few minutes before bed, but I only made it through the first 13 pages before I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. Alisa asked me the next morning what I thought, and I told her that I still had five pages or so to go. As I ate lunch, I discovered that those five pages were the best reading in the chapter – or at the very least, the most relevant to my situation.
The authors of this book (Relationships, by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrot) compared the process a person goes through after being dumped to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five phases of grief. I recognized these from a course titled Death & Dying that I took several years ago at Florida State. Never before had I thought of equating them to the end of a relationship, but the analogy hit home.
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In the two weeks that have passed since I was dumped, I’ve experienced all of these thoughts and emotions to some extent. They have come and gone, danced around one another and disappeared altogether – and in no particular order. I’ve thought a lot about the entire relationship, my reaction to being rejected and – of course – the dumper himself.
This is the first time I’ve been rejected by a guy I was dating (or “dating,” as the case may be). It certainly is different than being rejected outside of the context of a relationship – perhaps more so than I expected. But the beauty of this situation is that I have seen growth in how I relate to men.
Some time before this ex of mine, I liked a guy who I was close friends with. That crush lasted from January to October of 2002, and I wasn’t completely over him until February of the following year. I had tried to “guard my heart,” but I didn’t realize how much I had given away until it was too late.
Perhaps it’s a bit easier this time around because I hadn’t liked this guy nearly as long. (I only liked him for a month before we got together!) But I’m more inclined to say that it had a lot to do with sticking to that popularly referenced verse, Proverbs 4:23. I can’t really take the credit for the difference – God is good – but I am grateful for it nonetheless.
I wouldn’t say that I’m 100% over him or that I’m completely satisfied with where things are. But I’m moving into that stage of acceptance.
It’s still hard to remember the good times we had together, because the wounds haven’t healed completely. But they’ve scabbed over now. They’re protected from immediate pain when he’s brought up or when something reminds me of him. I do miss his friendship… but I’m moving on.
(A side note for those who have read this far: You may have noticed that my subject lines are generally song lyrics. I am loving the song referenced in today’s entry! They’re coming to Tuscaloosa on Friday night… maybe I should check them out.)