Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 5:24 pm | Fair 76º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Breaking Up and Broken Hearts, Feeling Alone As a Couple, Cycle of Fighting

Question from Angie

My boyfriend left me a few weeks ago because he fell out of love with me, and after three weeks he is already dating someone else. Now he looks happier than ever.

I’m happy for him but still broke inside. Everyone at school is talking about me, saying that Andrew left me for someone else, and feeling “sorry” for me.

I cry every night. My grandma tells me that everything will be OK, but everything seems so far from being OK.

I don’t understand. Why would someone tell me that I’m the love of his life and that we will move in together after high school and go to college together, if they don’t mean it?

I’m so tired of this. It’s the third time I got my heart broken by a guy. And every single time it’s because they don’t want to be with me anymore or they fell in love with someone else. And I always was a good girlfriend. I would appreciate any advice.

Weezy

Love at your age is usually not permanent. BUT that does not erase the love. It was love. It was not a lie. You and the people around you are growing and changing every day. The kids who are talking about you today will have their hearts broken tomorrow. That’s just the way love goes.

Your grandma is a wise woman. Go out into the world and discover yourself. YOU are not just somebody’s girlfriend. You are an entire person with gifts and talents and knowledge and wisdom and love to share with every friend and relative.

At the end of the day, the number of people who will be your romantic partner is going to be either 1 or 0. That leaves everybody else you know and will meet. Among these are many who will have a valued place in your heart. Do not discount them. You will enrich one another.

What kind of friend, sister, granddaughter, cousin, aunt, mentor, co-worker, confidant are you going to be? How are you going to impact the world? It is best to figure all of this out while you are single. That way when you get into a relationship you are far less likely to compromise your true you for the sake of a guy.

I know that this is painful and horrible, but you will come out the other side a stronger, more highly evolved person.

Going through a breakup is a lot like drug withdrawal according to the folks at SoulPancake:

(SoulPancake video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Samantha

So there’s this guy that I’m into and he’s into me, hahah. Sounds simple but the thing is that he’s a sophomore and I’m a freshman. Ya big deal right?

Well to him I guess it is. We text and facetime almost every day but we never see each other in person, and I kind of get the feeling he doesn’t want to see me in person because he puts no effort into it. Whenever we make plans, he bails last minute.

I really want to make this work, but I’m beginning to not see the point anymore. We spend no time together and we go to the same school. Do you know how frustrating that is?

I want to confront him about it but we’re not really anything official yet. We’re just kind of at an awkward more than friends stage. I feel like just ending whatever we have but I also don’t want to. Any advice on what I should do and how I can maybe get this to work?

Weezy

Here’s the stone, hard, cold truth. A couple involves two people. Both always paddling their way toward each other. Life is the current that will otherwise pull them apart.

If he is into you, let him start making some forward motion in your direction. It feels like you are currently doing all the work. I know that makes you want to paddle all that much harder toward him, but without his participation he will always slip just out of reach.

It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes we get what we desire by turning and walking away from it. You have no control over somebody else’s behavior; you can only control your own. If your actions inspire a change in someone else, then it was a change that was motivated by your dignity rather than by your desperation.

We don’t know exactly what’s holding him back. He may still be nervous about dating a freshman. He may be shy. He may not be all that committed to having a girlfriend.

Whatever the reason, he is not being the person you need him to be right now. He is causing you angst and frustration. When love clicks it is not this hard.

My advice is that you first tell him, “I’m sorry but this is not working for me.” You then stop making an effort.

One of two things will happen. He will either start missing you or you will stop caring. At the end of the day, don’t you deserve a guy who wants to paddle toward you?

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Theresa

I have not spoken to the man I love since last Thursday. I said some mean things out of hurt and revenge and I don’t really regret it because I’ve had enough of his stubbornness and mind games. He doesn’t want to accept his mistakes. I want him to consider my feelings and stop those things.

I don’t know what to do anymore because I’m fed up with the behavior, but I still love him and don’t want to start over. He hasn’t cheated, disrespected me or put his hands on me. It’s just his stubbornness, noncommunication and inconsiderate ways.

I want to reach out, but I know he probably hates me because of how I addressed the issue with my horrible words. For two years I’ve been ranting about the same things, and he seems not to care to change and progress. I’m confused I don’t know what to do. Help me.

Weezy

You are describing an unhealthy pattern. He is wounding you emotionally so you are lashing out at him. None of this is leading anywhere good or productive.

When you feel hurt, revenge is NOT your friend. Your goal should be to express your hurt in a way that allows him to hear you. When you put someone on the defensive, their next impulse is to either retreat or attack. They are not in a hearing or listening posture. They are in survival mode, and many people when they feel threatened protect themselves by going on the offensive.

It feels like both of you are simply behaving and reacting. No one is doing any processing, and and so the cycle continues.

If you want to be heard, you need to take the volume and the tension down. Stop accusing. Make statements about yourself. Say, “I love you and I need you to understand how I feel.” Then continue to make “I” statements. This can be tricky so plan them in advance.

For example, rather than saying “YOU always yell at me ...” Say, “I feel scared, angry and upset when we raise our voices at each other or when I don’t know where you are or when we’re not communicating.

In fact, never say “never, and never say, “always. Example: “You always yell at me! No one is always anything except maybe breathing. When you accuse him of always doing something or never doing something else, he will go right back to defensive mode and he will remember that time he DID do something right and he will feel like you NEVER appreciate him.

And now, I will break my own rules because ...

It is ALWAYS a good idea to compliment people when they do something nicely and ...

It is NEVER a good idea to dredge up old infractions when you are discussing a current issue.

You two are on a rocky path. My advice is that you go get couple’s counseling so you can learn a new, different and better way to communicate, be heard, be understood and respect each other.

Learn more healthy communication tools from Love At First Fight:

(LoveAtFirstFight video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara​. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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