Tears streaming down her face, my client looked at me and asked “What if he’s the best I ever do? What if that was my one shot at true love and everything is ruined for me now?”
I felt and understood her pain. It was an empathy that I had felt only a few hours before with another client. Strangely enough, she was the fourth client this week who had asked me a nearly identical question.
I hear some derivative of “What if my ex is the best I’ll ever do? What if nobody ever compares to them?” every week. So I figured I should write about it. And here we are.
Let’s dive in.
What If Your Ex Is The Best You’ll Ever Do?
What if that’s it? What if they were your best shot at true love? What if the best of your love life is already behind you? Would that be painful? Would a part of you feel like it was always waiting for your ex to march back into your life and declare, “I messed up. I love you. Let’s make this work”?
Have you let this fear-based belief hinder you from leaving a relationship, or (if you’re single) from putting yourself out there and finding someone even more amazing for you?
Well, all hope isn’t lost. In fact, far from it.
As I tend to do, I’d like to start with an analogy that I believe highlights a lot of the nuance of this anxiety-producing thought process (and why it’s totally false).
Imagine If You Will…
Imagine you invested ten years of your life into pursuing post-secondary education in order to land your dream job of becoming a lawyer.
Right after graduation, you became a lawyer. You started making your six figures, everyone patted you on the back, and you felt like you were really figuring out this whole life thing, once and for all.
You woke up with a sense of purpose, and you had a deep sense of fulfillment in the work that you did, day in and day out.
Then one day, the firm that you worked for shut down and you were laid off.
You feel devastated. What happened to all of that money that was flowing in? What about all of that respect that you had from your peers? What about all of the awesome perks that you were recently enjoying? They’re gone. All gone.
You cry yourself to sleep for a few weeks because you miss your job and you feel hopeless about any future prospects. The dishes pile up, you self-medicate with junk food, and you wear sweatpants an inordinate amount of the time.
Then one day you wake up and realize something that impacts the trajectory of the rest of your life.
Yes, It’s Over, But That Doesn’t Mean Anything About Your Future Prospects
To carry on the analogy, being laid off from your job doesn’t mean that you can’t find other (even more deeply satisfying) jobs in the future. Just because that was the most money that you ever made doesn’t mean that you can’t become even more valuable with time and make even more money at a future job. And just because the job ended doesn’t mean that you suddenly lose all of the growth and education that you invested in over the last 10-50 years of your life.
You’re still you. You’re still valuable. And you can continue to become even more valuable/yourself/awesome with time.
The long and short of it is…
If you feel anxiety around never doing better than your ex, then you can take that anxious energy and funnel it into becoming the next greatest iteration of yourself.
We become depressed, anxious, and despondent when we feel like our best job/relationship/life situation is behind us… and we lose hope for our futures. Why be excited if there’s nothing good coming up for us in the future?
So if you’re feeling hopeless about if you’ll ever meet someone who will be able to match up to your ex (or, dare I say, surpass them in compatibility and awesomeness) then take that energy and funnel it into yourself and your own growth.
How To Get Over The Idea That Your Ex Is The Best You’ll Ever Do
To put it succinctly, the greatest way that we can be more hopeful for the future partners that we will attract into our lives is… to be better.
It’s as simple as that. Be better.
If we beat ourselves up for not exercising enough, not sleeping well enough, not eating cleanly enough, or not living up to our expectations of ourselves, then there’s only two things we can do… 1. accept where we currently are completely, and 2. change where we are from a place of self-love and self-compassion.
As long as you are continuing to do your work and grow yourself as a person, you will inevitably be setting yourself up to meet and attract the type of people that your former self would be in total awe of. As in, “Woah… how does this person even exist?” Get to that place with your relationship to yourself and you’ll find and attract those amazing people into your life. Become amazing, attract amazing.
To be clear, I don’t believe that this process is about coming from the intention of “I’m messed up/under-optimized/not good enough now… so I have to fix myself in order to be worthy of someone awesome.” It’s much closer to a, “If I do the things that I know that I need to in regards to (these specific areas of my life that my intuition is calling me towards) then I will inevitably end up being surrounded by the kind of people who line up with who I am at the deepest core of myself. The more ‘me’ I am, the more I will attract my most highly aligned romantic partner… and it will all have been worth it.”
It’s a process of self-initiated transformation from a place of self-love… not self-loathing.
For you, that could look like…
– I want to feel healthier in my body because I want to honour myself and my physical and emotional health.
– I want to shift my job/career/work-life balance so that I feel better on a daily basis.
– I want to cultivate sacred time for my hobbies/interests/passions/creativity because I am at my best when I make space for myself.
– I want to spend more time with my friends/family because closeness and connectivity is deeply nourishing for me.
– I’m going to finally face and fully feel all of the residual pain that I have buried throughout my lifetime. I’m going to do the emotional work necessary to free myself from the demons in my mind that I have allowed to have too much power over me.
Set the intention, and then carry out consistent, committed action to towards fulfilling those intentions in your life. When you do, you’ll find yourself surrounded by even more amazing and more highly aligned dating prospects than you ever thought could exist in your life. And your ex will fade into the background of your mind as a fond memory to be cherished, and not a painful thought to avoid.
Want help in pin-pointing the areas of your life that you want to work on, or getting an action plan that will help you have hope for your future dating prospects? Reach out and we’ll chat.
Dedicated to your success,