After a break-up, the hardest battle you will fight will be with yourself. It does not matter if it was you who decided to end the relationship or not. Your new single status has the potential to incite fear—fear of being alone, fear of not ever finding the person you secretly hope exists.
For the sentimentalist, this is dangerous territory. And ladies, we tend to be sentimentalists. That is to say we begin to remember only the good. The bad times, the disappointments, the inadequacies all seem to get displaced in some remote corner of our brains: the denial epicenter. Our mindset becomes focused on what we hoped would be rather than what really was.
If you were "the leaver," all of a sudden the reasons you called things off seem to elude you. You can’t seem to remember why you were dissatisfied. John Doe now seems like the perfect guy. Thoughts such as, “What was I thinking?” begin to settle in. If you were "the left," you can’t figure out what happened. Things seemed so perfect. He seemed so wonderful. And all the things that “clicked” between the two of you seem of paramount importance.
It is when these thoughts begin their assault that you must take a crucial step back so that you can look at your situation realistically. Plan your counter-attack using truth as your weapon of choice.
If you were "the leaver," remember there is a reason you left. Make no mistake, fear should never be the justification for being in a relationship. And if you run back to John Doe, it will not end well. All those reasons, or perhaps just the one reason, things would not work (which were so obvious to you before you allowed fear to take hold) will still be there. Eventually, you will want out again, which means you will be faced with the unfortunate task of a second break-up with the same person. Facts don’t cease to exist just because you ignore them.
If you were "the left," there is a reason Mr. Not-For-You wanted out. Now, this does not mean that you did something wrong. A man, no matter what you choose to believe, may not be the one for you. He may not be able to give you what you need, or you may not be able to give him what he needs. This is not a matter of trying harder or being willing to make sacrifices. There are simply times when two people are not right for each other, and if these two people stay together, it will do more harm than good. Each of them will lose a part of who they are, their energies will be drained, and they will become exhausted from something that should be, for the most part, a joy. This is not a sacrifice for the greater good. It is fear of the what-if-nothing-better. It is selfishness in one of its greatest guises—martyrdom. And while this is difficult, and often painful, to come to terms with, it does not make it less true.
Of course there are always exceptions, but I am not talking about the exceptions here. If your relationship has ended, there is a reason for it, and no amount of denial or sentiment will change reality. Break away from the fear of being alone. Break away from the what-could-have-been mentality. What could have been is not. Embrace the opportunity for a new beginning, and enter into it with the conviction that “you will not lie down and be someone’s concubine when you are intended to be someone’s queen” (Unknown).