The Waves of Emotions

When you’re going through a breakup you’re going to be hit by waves of emotions. Waves turn out to be the perfect metaphor for several reasons. Think of yourself as swimming in the ocean and as an emotion as an approaching wave.

When you’re in the ocean and a wave approaches from out in the sea like emotions there’s not much you can do about the wave itself. It’s coming at you, it’s going to reach you, and all you have control over is how you respond, not whether or not it hits you.

If you stay calm, present and you’re looking at the right place, you can see the wave approach. If you’re still caught up in the previous wave or you’re not calm, you won’t see the next wave approach you.

You cannot fight a wave.

You can hold your breath, and dive under it, and if it wasn’t about to break, you’ll pop up on the other side. You’ll be somewhat out of breath, but you’ll have survived. This corresponds to choosing when to grieve and when not to grieve. You can only keep doing this if you maintain awareness and present-mindedness.

You can try ignoring the wave. But it will either swallow you or smack you down. Leaving you disoriented and confused. This corresponds with being emotionally unaware.

You can anticipate the wave, and float up with it as it goes up, and float down with it as it goes down. This only works if it’s not about to break. This correspond with being emotionally aware.

If it’s about to break, and you’re calm and aware, you can position yourself in order to surf the wave. Depending on how good a surfer you are and how powerful the wave is, you can successfully surf the wave. This corresponds with actively dealing and exploring your emotions.

Sometimes I’m able to forget you

Here’s one of the poems I wrote when going through my breakup. It’s translated from Dutch to English and doesn’t rhyme,  but that shouldn’t matter: Sometimes I’m able to forget you and then I can go on with surviving, but why would I want to survive if it makes me forget you, maybe you don’t think […]

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How to stop thinking you’ll get back together

From Chaz in Mexico: I am on a really good path to becoming a better man, we broke up two months ago after 7 years together. I am physically and mentally ok. The only problem is this hunch and gut feeling that I will end up marrying her and making my life with her. How […]

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My first love left me for someone else

From Brian in the US: I am trying so hard to stop communicating with my ex. Your articles are very helpful. I feel so “weak”. I am 45 years old and my ex was my first love. I was married for 25 years right out of high school, so when I got divorced I have […]

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Your different personalities

Have you ever felt a certain way about something only later to completely lose that feeling and even to have a hard time remembering how you felt in the first place. Sometimes you’re motivated to do something and it seems to happen automatically. Other times it seems like a chore, like an uphill battle. What’s the […]

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No contact when you work together

Hey Jesse, I love your website and have started to really get into the reading. I am coming out of a 7 year relationship and it is truly horrible. I have a particular problem, we work together. We own a company together. I know if I could cut off all contact for 6 months I […]

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How a breakup builds character

The breakup that was the catalyst for this website was back in 2010. I went through a lot of different emotions and only once I had overcome most of them, did I start writing this blog. Sometimes, however, something will happen to me in my daily life, and I’ll feel something, and it will take […]

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I’m Going No Contact, Now What?

No Contact Now What?

From a reader: Hey Jesse! My girlfriend and I had been dating on and off for about 3 and a half years, now that we are both about to go off to college things got stressful and we started fighting much more. She broke it off, and has never seemed to look back. The times […]

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Use your anger

Use your anger

After my breakup, several years ago, I decided I wanted to get better at interacting with women. I had always been nervous and shy around women and it left me without any control over my love life. Like most guys my success was largely dependent on random interactions through my social circles. Once in a […]

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My ex-girlfriend needs time and space, but she still loves me

My Ex-Girlfriend Needs Space

From a reader: Hi, my girlfriends been left the house now for 6 weeks saying she wants time and space so that is what I have given her. It’s been tough really tough. Anyway I found out the other week she needs to be on her own and be single, even though she still loves […]

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