Thursday, October 30, 2008

LISA DAILY: Dating Tips TV #1 - "What your drink says about your dating style"

We at So You've Been Dumped - are pleased to bring you a new series to the blog - Lisa Daily's dating tips. We hope you like it.

DatingExpert.TV:

What Your Favorite Drink Says About Your Dating Style Is our choice of drink the key to a deeper understanding of our innermost thoughts, our reason for being; the single-malt answer to the depths of our souls? According to dating expert Lisa Daily and a few savvy bartenders, what your bar tab says about your personality may be more than you think.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS # 3 - Charitable Giving at a Charity Event

MORE KINDNESS

I love this post as done by Emily recently. I hope you find it as wonderful as I did when reading it.

"I was on the receiving end of a random act of kindness yesterday. I went to a charity raffle and a (very drunk) bloke at my table was looking at the list of prizes with me. He said he wanted the bottle of champagne, I said I rather fancied the silver necklace and earrings set. When the numbers were called, his got drawn fourth or fifth. Big drunken cheers all round! The champagne had already gone, and his prize, which they called out, was vouchers for a local restaurant. He went up to get it. When he came back he handed me a jewelery box. As the thing he'd wanted had gone, he'd asked them to swap his prize for the thing I wanted. This was from a virtual stranger who had no reason to do this other than to be gratuitously nice. I'm smiling."


Please keep them coming. I feel like doing something for someone anonymously today. Will look for opportunities to be of assistance and see if any present themselves.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

ASK SYBD: Should I Move Away?

Instead of seeing the rug being pulled out from under us, we can learn to dance on a shifting carpet. - Tom Crum

This was meant to be posted yesterday - but I spent my day as an "extra" on a BBC Sitcom - THE OLD GUYS. So this article is rather long-over-due, as the question was asked weeks ago. I simply have been that busy I didn't have much time to sit and address it. Even know I am not sure it's the greatest article on the planet, written whilst onset, but hopefully some food for thought.


Dear SYBD,

I've always wanted to move away from the area I am in, but been too afraid to try it. It's only been a few months from the split, but I am wondering if leaving down is the best option for me?

Thanks,

Slumbeautiful

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Beauty,

Pros and cons can be found for just about any situation or decision eh?

On the one hand, you say you’ve “always wanted” to do this, so maybe now is the time? But on the other, it’s only been a short period of time since your break up and perhaps more healing and planning might be better.

First of all, tell me, do you feel like you're running to something or away from it? What's your motive for leaving where you’re currently living?

THINGS TO CONSIDER


Let's look at both sides of the equation! I am sure there are many more pros and cons you can come up with if you sit down and do a list for yourself...but here are a few to get you started.


SUPPORT NETWORK


CON # 1 – doing a geographical can mean leaving behind a support network of family and friends and the life you know. Depending on the city or area you're thinking of going to, you may not have support there which could end up being a very lonely situation indeed.

It’s one thing if you have a bunch of friends or family members in the new area to call upon, but if you’re just lulled in by an idea to go somewhere "brand new" – it’s more than likely you’ll find yourself feeling more than a tad lonely after the buzz dies down. So think carefully,…

On the other hand…

EX-ENCOUNTERS


PRO # 1, there's little or no danger of bumping into your ex if you’re miles away – in a new town, state, city or country. That's always a bonus when trying to heal. Especially if they've moved on to someone new and you’ve had to bump into them! Outa-sight-outa-mind! Well that’s the theory. You can stop looking for them everywhere you go – the supermarket, concerts, driving down the street. That can be a load off – not having to look over your shoulder.

PAIN STAYS WITH YOU

CON # 2 – Is there a better living situation, job, support network where you’re heading? Or is it a case of you're fleeing from the scene of an emotional crime? Because I can pretty much guarantee that if you're trying to run in order to ex-scape the heartbreak - pain will likely resurface in you,…eventually.

The pain, (if you have any) that you have at “home” is likely to be with you somewhere else. It’s a part of you. Oh sure, at the beginning things will exciting, shiny and new in your new environment and you’ll be so distracted you’ll almost forget the pain’s there, but eventually as the novelty wears off, it’s likely you’ll end up right back where you started, emotionally anyway.

Does that mean it’s always a bad idea to do a geographical? Not at all. It can be life-changing and challenging and those are generally good things.

CHANGE OF SCENERY

PRO # 2 – By the same token though, heading outa Dodge, you’ll experience fresh, new scenery and not be haunted by memories of the places you lived, loved and visited with your ex.

Fresh start means just that – no one who knows your history – in a sense you can re-invent yourself. No baggage of people knowing about your situation or who you were with your ex. That’s incredibly liberating but at a cost…

IT’S STRESSFUL

CON # 3 – Going through a break up is one of what they (who every “they” is) call “Life Changes”. A “Death” is another one. “Starting a new Job” still another. When I was going through my big split of ’99 – my doctor said that normally people go through one or two “life changes in a year and then said, “Look Thea, you’re going through a break up, you moved house, you started a new job…” I am sure he said something else but I can’t remember – but he said I was going through even more stress than he’d hoped for – so it was no wonder I was so all-over-the-place and feeling decidedly unsettled.

So if you’re still reeling from a break up, you’re already having to cope with one big life change – think long and hard if you want to add more on top.

Many of us have had to move after a split (which as I say is a mixed blessing) but choosing to move to a completely new area – possibly away from your friends and family – might be even more stressful in the long run. Then, it might not. It depends on how you’re wired.

LIFE CHANGING

PRO # 3 – I think it was Susan Jeffers, in her book “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”, who talks about “saying ‘Yes’ to life”. This can be an incredibly enriching and rewarding way to live your life. Being open to all possibilities and surrendering to what is.

So in summation – think about it long and hard. If you really don’t like your area, you don’t have a support network and you like a good challenge then – sure, why not consider it? It truly can be transformational. But if you’re really just running away in hopes of escaping the pain, you may want to reconsider.

If you own a place, perhaps you might think about renting it out and moving. Then you can see how you get on – whilst having a ‘safety net’ to fall back upon.

There is no hard/fast rule for getting the hell out of the area after a split. For some it will work and for others it might be far-too-challenging for them to cope. We don’t have long on this planet at the end of the day so I tend to lean toward action rather than inaction.

After my big split – I debated on going back home to America, moving down to London but I knew for me such upheaval would be too much for me to take. Instead I opted to move out of Glasgow – about 20 minutes so I could regroup. As I grew stronger I eventually moved back into town and bought my first house. I can never see the paths I didn’t take (London or California) but a decade on, almost, and I love my life and where I am at. I am glad I didn’t run away from Glasgow. It’s made me a stronger person by staying.

Again it come down to your reason for living. If you’ve always wanted to get away – then that’s different. That’s called seizing the day…but if you’re running way, I’d encourage you to stay at least long enough to ride it out on the path to recovery.

Good luck whichever course of action you take.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

BOUNCED BACK: SUCCESS STORY #2 Meet Rebecca

SYBD CASE STUDY: Rebecca

Here is another chapter in my book called BOUNCED BACK. I hope you find the following inspirational. It was great for me to revisit her story and I am delighted to share this one with you.

Rebecca (Reb for short) is a thirty-three year old graduate student from Canada. She joined SYBD in August of 2003 when her brief, six-month relationship came to an unsatisfactory ending. She had met her ex at a birthday party thrown by a close friend in her own honor. The friend thought the two might get along well so she invited him to come, and making a good impression, he showed up with a thoughtful gift – gloves and mittens for jogging.

He seemed so thoughtful, interesting, sensitive and laidback, but I felt that we would be “just friends”, and over the next three months, the three of us hung out, jogging, going for breakfast, etc. The relationship progressed quite rapidly from there, with us spending every evening and night together for at least two months. We had a lot of interests in common, like skiing and biking and traveling to the mountains. He even brought me little, thoughtful presents almost every time I saw him. He was a doctor, fit, attractive, wealthy, and adventurous.


What more could a girl ask for? Well a bit more, it would seem…because within a few months, things started to change for Reb in oh-so-subtle ways.

First of all, he could not seem to break off ties with his ex-girlfriend, who was depressed and lonely. He claimed he was her only friend, making it sound like he was sensitive and caring and couldn’t abandon her. My problem was that he’d see her and not tell me about it. And one night, we had a date, and he showed up three hours late because one of his other female friends had asked him to dinner and he felt he couldn’t say no and hurt her feelings (or tell her that he had a girlfriend).


These were certainly some warning signs for Reb to take note of. If someone starts to lie about the little things – what else will he or she lie about? Also it’s disappointing when you are spending a lot of time with someone and they refuse to tell their family and friends about your existence.

I started to feel like I wasn’t following some sort of script that he had playing in his head. He would get frustrated at small, insignificant things. The one example that sticks in my head is the time we went biking with some of his friends, and he wouldn’t speak to me afterward because somehow I “biked funny” and embarrassed him! At the time, this behavior was odd and subtle, but now I see it as controlling, in that he felt he had to control the way everything progressed. The mother of his child used to leave these wild messages on his answering machine, screaming that she knew what he was up to, that he might have his new girlfriend fooled, but that he couldn’t control HER. He passed it off as her being crazy, but when our relationship ended, I thought “aha! she was right!”


The relationship came to an end over a folk festival in the city of all things. Well that was not the reason, but rather the catalyst for change. She didn’t fancy going and suggested he take his son along. When a mutual friend bumped into them – he was with his “depressed” ex girlfriend.



I confronted him that night, saying that it was the deceit that made me angry, and that it must mean that he had something to hide. We met for coffee the next morning and he said that our relationship had gone too fast, that we should slow things down and just be friends for a while. And then (this was the best part), that we could “re-date” later on, but this time “do it the right way”. I said that it wouldn’t matter, that we would always end up at this same place. He still claims that I broke up with him, since I wouldn’t follow along in his master plan. And sure enough, a few months late, he tried to grab my hand and insinuate himself back in.


Regardless of who ended it and why, it was a painful thing for Reb to come to terms with and she struggled. First she didn’t really eat and ended up losing ten pounds. Then she realized she needed to drink meal replacement supplements to get by in lieu of eating. The shock was overwhelming.

HE had initiated all the talks about love, and moving in, and getting married. HE had cleared out half his closet to make room for my stuff and talked about having a child together. Then I moved on to sadness and self-pity. WHY couldn’t I be the one? WHY couldn’t it have worked out this time? I was very embarrassed, to tell my family and friends and coworkers that yet another relationship had failed. I think it took me a very long time to actually get angry, to look at HIS life patterns and see that he had treated me exactly the same way as his other girlfriends, and that his history was full of on-again-off-again relationships.


The break-up feels like a different lifetime ago for Reb. She’s taken some time out and healed. She took a cold, hard look at her relationship patterns and found some disappointing discoveries. One failed relationship after another.

Nothing had really changed. I was confusing anxiety (“does he like me??”, “will he call??”) with passion. Now that I have released that need, I feel so much happier and centered. Don’t get me wrong, I still remember the pain and suffering that used to grip me in my stomach, but I realize now that it is a sign that some things need to change.

Sometimes it’s too hard to make improvements all on our own and we need to get professional help or support. Reb used this experience as an opportunity to look inside herself and confront some demons lurking there.

I got some one-on-one counseling and also joined the SYBD website and got a lot of positive feedback and advice. I realized that I was so afraid of someone not wanting to be with me, that I never stopped to see if THEY were right for me. I lived a lot of my past relationships in my head, dating some fictional character, and then being shocked when “out of the blue” they dumped me.


Reb made a vow to focus her energy on herself and see what ways she could improve herself. She worked hard at banishing her negative thoughts (no easy feat when agonizing over a break-up). I had suggested to Reb to come up with a “mental bouncer” that would guard her thoughts and not allow her negative ones to take root. They, I suggested, should “literally be kicked to the curb”. So she tried it and found that with practice she had success with it. Though it was challenging, Reb upheld the No Contact rule and felt that it helped her move on much easier than when they were in contact.

Her tips to the newly dumped are as follows:

1. Get some personal counseling.

2. Find a like-minded support group like SYBD, a place where people won’t get tired if you repeat yourself over and over again.

3. It really wasn’t meant to be. Even if you thought they were the best thing to ever walk this earth, if they didn’t love you or want to be with you, then they weren’t the right person for you. In order to do this, you might need to take a really good, objective look at that person – if you can’t see ANYTHING wrong with them, then perhaps you need to take off your rose-coloured glasses.

4. Try not to rebound! I made this mistake, and when I was dumped six weeks into that relationship, it all came crashing down even harder. In my case, it’s almost like I had to go through it in order for the point to be really hammered home. But try to get the message the first time. ;-)

5. Especially in the beginning, make sure you treat yourself well – don’t leave the house looking like crap, or you’ll just feel like crap. And women, wear your lippy! Or you’ll end up bumping into your ex like I did, when you haven’t showered in days!

6. Try to not focus on the “why” or the “how” of the breakup. If it’s over, it’s over. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can move forward. I would obsess over the fact that one guy broke up with me over the phone. The coward! On the other hand, there is no good way to dump or get dumped. That can keep you from really getting the point.

7. You can’t change people. And just because they don’t come running back to you, saying they made the worst mistake of their life, doesn’t mean that you are any less of a wonderful person. A relationship is the chemical reaction between two people, or the fitting together of two blocks. A lack of reaction or a wrong fit doesn’t mean either part is deficient.

8) Try not to focus on the “maybe s/he’ll want me back”. My ex tried to insinuate himself back in, but I would have been just putting myself back at square one if I’d gone along with it.

When things get tough, and they always will in life, you want someone who’s going to be there through it all. Someone who wants to work things through.

So if s/he has broken things off, you are either not the right one for them (most likely), or they are playing hot/cold with you, and either way, you deserve better. I felt embarrassed that I’d been dumped by him once, but I would have felt way worse to have been dumped by him twice.


These days Reb feels like a new woman – more at home in her own skin. Her spirit is calmer and less clouded with worries about her future. She changed her dating style and made guys work a little harder.

At the time I hated the idea of dating more than one person in the beginning, it was definitely a good thing for me. It helped me keep my perspective. And when I found myself really liking one guy (and NOT the one I would have ever expected!), it was easy to let go of the others. And that’s my final point here – I’ve ended up with a guy unlike the kind I had ever thought I’d be with. But I’m with him because he makes me a priority, calls me, adores me, tells me I’m beautiful every day, and rushes home to be with me every evening. These were not qualities on my radar before. The break-up, and what it opened up, led me to realize that the focus is ME, not some guy.

It definitely led to think about what is really important to me in a relationship, and for some reason, this was quite hard. It forced me to look at my upbringing and how I had developed some of my values.


She’s left her native Canada to move in with him in Seattle. She feels that once you learn to make your happiness a priority instead of just “being with someone”, you begin to get it all. And the confidence you gain in looking after yourself spills over into other aspects of your life. If you know you can survive a horrible pain, you are willing to take more chances. Sage advice indeed.

Thanks to Rebecca for your honesty and candor on this subject. If you'd like to be a case study for SYBD - and help to inspire others - then get in touch via soyouvebeendumped.com.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

LIGHT HUMOUR FOR A RAINY THURSDAY,...

Well TomWinter posted a link on the forum that was quite silly-but-cute, and so we thought we'd share it with you. It's called THE EIGHT PHASES OF DATING. Have a read and tell me, how true is it? Keep smiling!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS # 2: Ways to Be Kind to Others

Following on from last week's blog, where Husky was given a helping hand by a helpful scooter stranger...This week, I thought I'd share the words from long-term benefactor Eva - now these are less "RANDOM" acts of kindness and more, merely suggestions as ways to be kind. In any event, they're constructive suggestions.

DONATE BLOOD

This is something that is needed all over the world!

VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME AND HELP

-- Visit shut-ins or those in hospitals or nursing homes who don't get visitors.

-- Get involved with a local pet therapy group at your local hospital. Watching patients' faces light up when they get a visit from a playful dog makes my eyes well up.

-- If you have an elderly relative or neighbor, make a list of their medications for them and have them keep it in their wallet, help them organize their medications, take them to a medical appointment, make sure they know who to call in an emergency and review signs and symptoms of heart attacks and strokes. Tack down cords and rugs to try to prevent trip hazards in the home.

-- Volunteer at your local school, homeless shelter, animal shelter, hospital or church.

-- Volunteer with the Special Olympics.

-- Volunteer for your local Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. (When it is Girl Scout Cookie time, I don't buy the cookies as the troops only get a very small amount from the cookie sales...and I don't need to eat those cookies. Instead, I give them cash...that way they to use every penny. I am a big supporter of the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. I was a Girl Scout up until I graduated from high school. I was a Girl Scout leader in college. I give to the local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and often speak to troops on career days and help them with first aid training. My pitch is over.)

SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE

Write letters and thank you cards..to friends, grandparents, troops currently serving..anyone who would love to hear from you.

GIVE THE GIFT OF READING

Read to children at the local library. If you have old books, donate them to the library. Volunteer with a literacy organization.


Some wonderful ways to extend yourself there, Eva, thanks for that.

I especially like the one about thanking people. It's such a little thing to do. You can do it sending a wee email, text message or posting on a social networking profile. You can pick up the phone. You can write a postcard. You can send a hand-written letter. Remember them?

TICKET TO RIDE?

The other day, Kenneth and I went to town on the subway, and as we arrived back to my stop, he no longer needed his ticket, so he handed it to a stranger who was going toward the station. I am not sure the public transport system would like that one, but I sure did smile to myself when he did that. (I'd have done it too but mine is a week long ticket!) :)

If you don't take the tube, or the bus but tend to drive...Why not pass on your "pay and display" parking ticket if they're time left. Or if you see someone running out of time on the meters, add a coin. Pay the bridge or express toll for someone who is behind you...There's plenty for you to do.

KINDER LIFE

I really have been taking these principles on board, once more, since starting this series. I am actively seeking one thing I can do that's kind to another person - whether it's someone I know or not. Sometimes I really have to actively search for something to do - and other times the opportunity just presents itself. What we put out comes bouncing back, often, ten-fold - the more good you put out the more good you get back.

But of course true giving comes without expectation of anything in return.

Oh and speaking of giving and of thanking people, I personally want to thank those of you who made generous donations in the past week. You know who you are. You're absolute stars in my eyes. Thank you so much. SYBD would be nothing without the kindness of site members! It'd have closed a long time ago! xxx

"It is better to give than to receive" - actually both are quite good. Have a lovely day!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

ASK SYBD: HOW LONG DOES THE PAIN LAST?

This week's "ASK SYBD" is a rather-two-fold one which aims to answer the questions - "How long will the pain last?" and "I am doing all the right things, why aren't I over it". Both slight variations on the same theme as you'll agree. I'll tackle the first part and then hand over to benefactor HUSKY to answer the second bit.

QUESTION ONE: HOW LONG WITH THE PAIN LAST?

One of the most common queries on So You've Been Dumped is - “how long does it take to get over a break-up?” Though there is no answer to such a question, one thing does appear to be true - the length of the relationship does not always correlate to how long it takes to get over it.

There have been plenty of theories over the years about the healing process. Some people argue that it takes anywhere from a third to half of the time of the relationship to get over it – so depending on which one you believed, a six-year relationship could take either two or three years to recover from fully.

If that were the case, then I wonder why it took me close to two years to get over a six-week relationship and less time to get over my relationships that lasted several years?

Hmmm, the fact is there are no time scales because we are all so unique. That said, I personally estimate that it can often take about two years to get over a serious relationship – taking into account that any given person may define “serious” differently.

Yes, some people take less time, but some a lot longer and others never really get over a break-up fully.

Many people panic when I tell them that it can take a few years to fully recover, but I am not saying you will feel the pain for that whole time. I am saying you may find yourself a year down the road and something triggers old emotions you had long since thought had vanished. By the time you’ve gone through all of the stages and experienced some highs, lows, slips or setbacks, it can be a year or two years down the road when you realise you no longer have any attachment to that person and are unaffected by news of their nuptials, babies, or whatever.

Most people refuse to take the time to heal properly and end up doing anything they can to fast-forward their way through it. This can mean dating before they are really over their EX (rebounding), working too much, drinking or doing drugs – anything to escape the pain.

The aim of soyouvebeendumped.com is to help people suffering from a break up (or divorce) to heal at a natural and healthy speed – that is to say - not too fast but not too slow either. It is my hope that doing so will result in laying stronger foundations for future relationships.

So more often than not when people ask how long it will take, I want to respond with one of two things “how long is a piece of string?” or “it will take as long as it takes”. Neither of which would help the seeker on their path.

The trick is to not get too bogged down with it all. Throw out the calendar. Stop counting the days. Trust that you will get over it when you’re ready to. Each day you’re a little more over it – even when it feels like you’re not. It’s like dieting. You don’t see it on a day to day level but you do when you look at the bigger picture (or yo

QUESTION TWO - I'M DOING ALL THE RIGHT THINGS - WHY AREN'T I OVER IT?

As I mentioned, back by popular demand, after last week's story on RANDOM KINDNESS, HUSKY'S back to answer this common question.

It's been a few weeks or months since the breakup, and you no longer feel like you've been hit by a train. You've stopped contact and stopped crying. You've read self-help books, been jogging to get those endorphins flowing, taken up a new hobby and had lots of nights out with your mates.

While you're relishing your free and single existence, ready and able to let a new love into your life when the opportunity arises...or are you?

You're not sad, but you're not particularly happy either. You're just...blah. Stuck. Plateauing. You're sure you used to enjoy life before the ex came along, so why can't you now? You should be over it!

The first thing to do is eliminate the word 'should' from your vocabulary. Nobody can tell you what you should or shouldn't be feeling - not your friends, not your family, not even you. There's no set timetable for recovering from a broken heart, and if you dwell on why you're not getting better you may set yourself back further.

Are there specific things that make you blue - a particular situation or time of day? Try changing your routine to avoid them. If you find yourself at a loose end at weekends, plan a trip. Hate seeing couples holding hands in the park? Walk home another way.

If you feel stuck in a rut, what could you do to change it? Maybe now is the time to think about moving house or a career change. Move your life in a new direction.

But often there's no cause or pattern to the feelings. You might describe yourself as 'a bit down' or 'out of sorts', or, if you wanted a more impressive word, suffering from 'malaise'. A malaise is literally an illness, so what's the prognosis?

If there was a mathematical equation for 'getting over it', it would include two factors. Let's call them T for Time and E for Effort. T times E equals R for Recovery. (There would probably be other letters involved - X for Ex, for example - but I never was any good at algebra.)

No matter how many new activities you hurl yourself into, you still need Time as well as Effort. You can't hurry yourself over a breakup any more than you could train for a marathon in one weekend of intensive exercise. But equally, you still won't be ready for that marathon in a year's time if you don't work hard for it. T times E.

What makes you so sure you aren't getting better? Maybe you don't notice your own progress, but it's hard to spot gradual changes. You don't notice a plant growing day by day, but photograph it every day for a week or a month and you'll see it shooting up from picture to picture.

You can apply a similar technique to your life. Keep a mood diary - every night, give the day you've just had a score out of 10. Those marks do keep climbing up, even if there's an occasional dip.

If you're really stuck and there seems to be no joy in your world at all, seek help. How can you tell if you're clinically depressed? If you've been feeling down for many months with no sign of improvement, if nothing brings you genuine happiness even for a moment, if your friends are starting to drift away because you're no fun any more, then it might be time to ask a professional for advice. You don't feel like that? Lucky you - you're all right!

Finally, remember that it's normal to have the odd wistful moment of wishing you had someone, no matter how full and happy your life is. When you're in a relationship, you might well find yourself casting an occasional envious glance at your single friends. Until then, keep seizing all the opportunities your free and easy lifestyle brings!

Thanks Husky! I will leave you readers with one small peice of advice written years ago on SYBD but a tidbit I've always loved,...It is imperative to know that when it first happens to you, "you will have desperate days, awful days, bad days, and okay days. In time though, the awful days will become bad days; the bad days will become okay days; and okay days will actually become GOOD days." I think it came from a member called baloo - but don't quote me on that. It's a cracker.

Just a little reminder "This too shall pass". Happy healing. With love from SYBD.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

"BOUNCED BACK" - SUCESS STORY # 1: Meet Mark

BOUNCED BACK: SUCCESS STORIES

Over the yeas I've witnessed tens of thousands of stories on SYBD and on occasion I have asked site members to fill out a survey about their story and those lessons learned. There are now three hundred pages of stories (and counting) - so I thought each week I'd share a story about how a site member has bounced back from heartbreak. I hope you find their stories as inspirational as I do! First up is a gorgeous Englishman (I know I met him once!)...

Mark’s Story

Mark is a handsome, successful thirty-one year old Londoner. He logged onto SYBD in early 2003 when his relationship of more than ten years ground to a halt and he found himself struggling to cope in the aftermath. He met his ex-girlfriend while working his way through his education.

I was working at Burger King in the evenings whilst at college, and I worked with some of her friends, so through hanging out with them, I met her. We also went to the same college and drank in the same pub. She told her friend that she liked me and the rest is history. I went up to her one night and started chatting to her and things developed from there.

We both loved each other with all our hearts but we got together too young and ultimately as we grew older we wanted different things from life.


While living together in Brighton, things came to an unfortunate end. They’d been living together in Brighton, while he commuted to work in London.

I remember she called me up and said she wanted to go out with her friends that night. I made a fuss saying it was Valentine’s Day, and that was the beginning of her staying in town at her brother’s for a week. After that week, she came back down to the flat and said she wasn't in love with me anymore and we wanted different things. She was very adamant that the relationship was over.

I was gutted. She broke my heart in a way I could not imagine. I cried a lot and couldn't stop thinking of her. Any song would make me think of our relationship. I couldn't get a grip of my 'new' life. Work was hard, and I couldn't concentrate. I definitely couldn't sleep and I was off eating for a while too.


To cope, like so many, Mark went into party mode. He was going out all the time, getting “trashed” with his other single friends and did his best to not get too depressed. To do so, he took some strong action.

I was just shocked, hurt, angry etc. Once I made the decision to leave the UK, things began to get better. When I came to Australia, and met lots of other people, I gained confidence again in myself. I had spent ten years with a side kick, as it were, and now I was on my own. I was worried that I'd be on the scrap heap and no girl in their right mind would want to be with me. As soon as I started to realise that the relationship wasn't all that good and that people liked me for who I was, then I started to see the light.

Since the split, Mark has gradually started to seize life. His personal confidence is good and he’s carved out a new life for himself down under and despite his low moments, he likes who he has become.

I have learned to live on my own and understand that life does go on after a break up. It's what everyone in a relationship fears. The breaking up. I don't worry about that anymore therefore I feel as though I can get on with things without worrying. I got a new job and moved to Australia on my own to find work and adventure. I realised one day that someone who wasn't in my life anymore was still making me unhappy, and that annoyed me, so I decided to make positive changes in my life. It felt as though someone took away ten years of my life and I was playing catch-up.

Mark eventually came to the conclusion he’s moved on and he’s more than a little surprised about where he arrived.

I actually felt like I would ALWAYS want her back and could never see a day when I would not hurt. Everyone kept saying time is a healer and I didn't believe them. I was offered the opportunity to get back with her about twelve months after we split up and I said “no”.

I couldn't believe I was saying no, but my heart had healed and it just wasn't letting me get hurt again. Every time my head thought about getting back with her, my heart would step in and say 'No way Buster, it ain't going to happen'. That is why now the best thing I have learned from all of this is that the heart is always right. Always lead with your heart and not your head and you'll be OK. Your heart is always right.


Mark would be first to advise a newly-dumped person that time is a great healer. He’d suggest they listen and learn from other people who have been in the same situation and be strong.

Breaking up does make you a better, stronger person. It's a life-changing situation that a lot of people don't take the time turn the experience into something that benefits them.

Don't contact your ex. Try and just accept that someone has ended it and that means something in the relationship is wrong. Don't plead, beg or even try to understand as the ex will not always be honest and open. They have moved on and they want you to do the same. My advice would be that if someone ends it, then walk away with your head held high and move on building your own life and experiences. There are so many wonderful opportunities out there in life. Go get ’em...


Mark is now more relaxed when it comes to relationships. He is the first to admit, however, that he does still have a brick wall that is “rather hard to penetrate” these days. He is now more focused on looking after himself and getting the most from his life. It’s brought him closer to his good friends and given him a confidence though independence.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS # 1: A Scooter Diary

PAYING IT FORWARD (OR BACKWARD)- RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS - ON SYBD

These are something that get talked a lot about on SYBD. In most cases, the tales have happened to the person doing the writing. I like to be on both the giving and the receiving end of these random acts (...who doesn't?) So I thought each week (or so) we're going to be featuring another story about kindness shown. Why? Because it's nice to be nice, and it's good to be inspired by other people. I have now taken it upon myself to try to do one act a day. It can be something as simple as letting someone in ahead of me in traffic (or at the grocery store), leaving someone a message on their profile, simply letting someone know I appreciate them, or it can be a bit bigger with more thought planned out. Hopefully you'll be inspired to simply do something nice for someone else - not so you get something back - but just because it feels good to GIVE.

The first submission comes from a London-based, Scooter-loving gal, Husky:

I'd been out for the evening with a friend and got back to my scooter around 10PM to ride home. I smiled and nodded at the other biker in the parking bay, put my helmet on and set off.

Ten metres later, my scoot sputters and dies.

I start up, set off, it sputters and dies again. Repeat twice; sit staring at dashboard in despair. The fuel light went on fairly recently and I usually get a good 15 miles out of the reserve, so I don't know how this has happened, but it has.

Meanwhile the other guy from the bike bay has got going - but instead of roaring off into Bloomsbury he stops beside me. This is why you should always nod and smile!

"Out of petrol?" he asks. He's Australian, about my age, riding a small Gilera motorcycle.

"Looks like it," I reply, then add "I'd better ring the AA," so he won't think I'm angling for him to go and fetch me some fuel (which I am).

"Want to hop on the back and I'll take you to the garage?"

I assent with gratitude and ascend with a clumsy legover. Yes Ma, I got on the back of a complete stranger's bike at half-past ten at night in Camden, trusting in the international biking fraternity to keep me safe. (If it looked like we were leaving W1 for some seedy crack den, I planned to tip myself off the back.) At the first set of traffic lights he introduced himself as Neil and asked my name.

At the petrol station I bought a can and a fiver's worth of unleaded, and we returned with the container jammed between us. Once I'd filled my tank he excused himself on the grounds of having to get up early the next morning and we parted with a handshake and many injunctions to take care and ride safe.

Thank you, Neil, wherever you are, for turning a disaster into an adventure!


Excellent story. Thanks for sharing Husky,...If you have a story you want to contribute - please log onto the forum to the PAY IT FORWARD thread and tell us about it...

While it's always fun to be nice to people we know - it can be even more exhilarating to do something nice for a complete stranger. Try it and tell us about it! Thank you for reading.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ASK SYBD: "HOW CAN MY EX MOVE ON SO QUICKLY?"


“How Can My Ex Move On So Quickly?”

This is one of the most common questions (in some shape or form) that is asked nearly every day on SYBD. Mostly the question is coming from someone who is hurt and bewildered at an ex’s behaviour post-dump. Their horrified that the ex is moving on in what seems like hours, or days after a split. What is seemingly over night for the dumpee – can actually be much longer from the dumper’s standpoint. Read on as this week, forum member and SYBD Benefactor, Kylie Nexus answers the question.


Even though we can never really decipher the actions and words of another person, we try. We obsess our way through our hurt, confusion and even anger that’s spawned from the breakup, and most likely end up with completely erroneous conclusions on the matter.

What a dumpee must recognise is that, though it seems like it’s happened “over night” for them, for the dumper it’s been a more gradual process. The end of a relationship, for them, doesn’t necessarily take place when they break up with their partner - rather it is likely that for weeks (possibly months and maybe even years) before they actually end the relationship/marriage, they’re emotionally detaching and distancing themselves.

This is often shown in a change of behaviour towards their partner and the relationship; like spending less time together, refusing sex, and lack of communication, possibly even secrecy regarding their whereabouts and activities when they’re not with their partner.

As the “dumper” is emotionally detaching themselves from their partner, they have the space and distance needed to come to terms with the demise of the relationship. They’re having time to deal with their romantic feelings for their partner, and sadly, they have time to get over their partner with that, so when they end the relationship, it’s likely that they’re leaving it with a lot less emotional baggage than the person who’s just been broken up with.

This is often why, when the relationship is over, the dumper’s ready to move on and date. In a lot of cases, the ex will immediately start dating some one right away or begins playing the field. When there is seemingly no down time at all before they’re in another relationship, it leaves the dumpee to feel like it’s happened over night.

So often this can be a very baffling and painful experience for the person who’s been just left. More often than not, they assume that their ex didn’t care about them, or were cheated on, that the relationship meant nothing, or that their ex doesn’t care about the pain they’re in.

Surprising as it may seem, this is not actually the case (in most instances). It’s merely that the ex has had time to come to terms with this new path in life, and the dumpee is hurt/heart-broken.

The dumper assumes that because they’ve moved on emotionally over the time they’ve had to make their decision to end the relationship, then they can date again - but the dumped person assumes that this is a completely new situation for both parties and not knowing that their ex has already been detaching from them for some time, views their ex moving on seemingly fast as something that’s wrong, hurtful and insensitive. But the ex has been able to deal with their feelings regarding the breakup, and that’s why they can move on so quickly.
Kylie Nexis


Thanks Kylie…

There are dozens of threads along this vein every week in fact, but a current one asks “How Long Did They Plan On Leaving Us?” A question of course that has no answer – because every break up is a little different – but the thread offers perspectives from people who have been on both sides of the dumping fence. Myself included.

I found when it happened to me - I eventually arrived at the point where I realised it didn't matter how long he'd been thinking about leaving me. The fact was it was over and the only thing I could do was get over it.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING @ SYBD?

FACE LIFT FOR BABY

'Been having some great chats with some wonderful, talented, creative people - who are offering to give SYBD a much-needed make over. The poor site has been left dangling in the wind for far too long, (shame on me!), but will be spruced up real pretty, very soon. I hope within the next few weeks, but frankly it's a little out of my hands when I am relying on other people to do the work! So, it will get done, when it gets done. Very zen-like of me, I know, but hey, it disguises my frustration just a little - of having to rely on other creative people to do this for me!

But in any event, I am excited to have a new, fresher site, which is easier to navigate and is more search-engine friendly! Win / win / win. Watch this space! And we're trying to raise the bar on the content level here too, which brings me nicely to my next topic...

NEW(YOU)SLETTER

Currently SYBD needs people to help write copy for the blog and new(you)sletter. (Please sign up for it now. We'll only be sending one out every two months - so you don't need to worry about being SPAMMED by us. Honestly.)

So if you fancy yourself as a budding writer - then why not email in some story ideas to Thea (at) soyouvebeendumped dot com. In return for your time and effort, we'll link to your site, blog, or product. We may even find some goodies to send by way of thanks.

The whole aim of the new(you)sletter is to help you be the best possible you that you can be! Sometimes we need a kick up the backside to really get us motivated to take action. That's what we'll do for you! There are some great pieces about "finding yourself" after a split, 10 ways to empower yourself (anytime), success stories and more.

WONDERFUL DISCUSSIONS ON OUR FORUM (as usual!)

Please note: you need to be a member to view our forum. But good news, it's FREE to join!

There are some fabulous threads on the forums - as ever. Like, in the DUMPED ZONE, what happens when you're in your forties and your husband comes in, sits you down and tells you he's leaving?

Of course SYBD is not all "doom and gloom" there are plenty of up beat success stories to be found!

In the SINGLE LIVING forum, we have a wonderful, long-standing thread where members add their own personal #1 best/worst thing about being single.

There is also a thread about a gentleman who just passed his one year anniversary since his break up and has gone on to achieve wonderful feats in the process!

BREAK-UP LINES FROM CAMP DUMPED

We have a ever-growing list of some of the funniest, most bizarre break up lines. Many of which have wound up in a book I've written called "Goodbye My Lover". We add new lines to the list every few weeks (and subtract others). There have been more than a 1000 sent in. Some are classic, some are harsh, some are indecipherable, but all of which are real.

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