Columnist Nathan Hale Williams recalls lessons learned that helped him overcome the post breakup stings, and may help you too.
Although I hate to admit, I have been dumped a couple of times. Quite honestly, I don’t know too many people that haven’t been. It hurt like hell and left me wondering, “What did I do wrong?” Maturity has led me to realize that getting dumped probably wasn’t about me at all.
A wise friend once asked me who the most important person in my life was. At the time, I replied, “I would have to say my Mom.” He corrected me and said, “No, you are the most important person in your life.” It took me a minute to get where he was coming from, but following a further discussion I realized he was correct. At first, it may seem self-centered, but it really is very logical. Everything you do is about you even if you are doing something for someone else. It is about your choices, your beliefs, your desires, etc. Every action you take in life and every decision you make is rooted in your personal experience, which is why you are the most important person in your life.
Conceptually, I believe this is easier to digest for non-parents as good parents often put their kids first. Nevertheless, it holds true. If you don’t take care of yourself first then, you won’t be able to take care of your kids. Your very desire to put your kids first is all about your understanding and expectations of what it means to be a good parent and the same applies to relationships. We have all dated people who seemed like the perfect person on paper, but just for somebody else. And, ultimately, it wasn’t that they weren’t great it was that they just weren’t for you. Not being attracted to them or not wanting to take the relationship further ultimately had everything to do with your priorities and preferences.
Similarly, we have all dated people who we thought were complete jerks only to find them married and happy six months after you broke it off. I truly believe that there’s somebody for everybody. And, what might be trash to me is a treasure to someone else.
All of this is why I am comforted in the fact that those instances where I was dumped really had nothing to do with me. Sure, I might not have been the right person, but that doesn’t have much reflection on who I am as a person.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if you know deep down you’re a challenge to date then, you might need to do some introspection before dating again. But, if you’re like most of us beautifully flawed people, don’t take getting dumped so personally. It’s probably not about you!
Wishing you love and ceaseless joy!
Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.
Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.