IS YOUR HEART RUNNING ON EMPTY?

03/31/2014

undefined Psychology Today recently published an online blog post titled, "6 Reasons You Shouldn't Still Be Friends," which was about whether or not couples who had gone through a breakup should remain friends. Although the end to a relationship can be mutual, many times it isn't. I think probably more so than not, after a breakup, couples don't tend to become friends once an intimate relationship had been established. However, although small, there are those who do continue a friendship post breakup. In the Psychology Today blog post, it was noted that individuals shouldn't continue the friendship route when there wasn't a solid foundation of a friendship to begin with. I'd agree that for a friendship to continue post breakup, there must be a solid foundation which a friendship had been built upon. I also believe that there must be clear boundaries, ideally discussed with your ex, on what exactly does this friendship look like and how does it proceed. Although some healing may need to occur before progressing to friendship, these two points are crucial. I think discussing and drawing these boundaries is very important because poor communication = poor boundaries. But more importantly, the parties involved could experience rejection once again, especially if the end to the intimate relationship wasn't mutual; I mean who wants to go through rejection over and over. Nonetheless, I guess we have to ask ourselves, "What was it about this person/relationship that motivates me to continue a friendship?" I know sometimes couples say, "You know, it seems like we're better friends than partners." I believe that on some occasions intimate relationships that end can move to friendship status when there wasn't anything in particular that happened in the relationship that was terrible, devastating, or down right unforgiveable. It's true that sometimes couples are just better friends than partners. But, I think we also have to ask ourselves when this happens, "What was it about this person or relationship that motivated me to create something deeper or more meaningful?" "Why was I drawn to him or her in the first place?" I believe to the core of my being, that whomever we end up with, there's always something we're trying to work out with that person. Basically meaning, there's some sort of unfinished business that we have with our parent(s), and thus, we're trying to work that out in our relationship that which we didn't work out in our childhood. I know fascinating, huh?! I wonder if there's something that you're trying to work out in your relationship. If so, what might it be? For example, perhaps you're wanting your father's approval and you just can't seem to get it from your partner. If you're having difficulty becoming aware of what it is you're trying to work out in your relationship, think about some of the relationships that you've had in your life. Here, you can think of both friendships and intimate relationships. Are there any patterns that you see occurring over and over and that unsettle you? If so, ding ding ding…you hit the jockpot! Now that you found a pattern, begin to explore what that might be about. Relationships are complex, so if you believe you're struggling in your relationship or would like to become more aware of who you are in your relationship, feel free to contact me or any psychotherapist and begin to understand your internal and interpersonal self!

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