When Your Ex Says ‘I Need To Find Myself’, Is It Over?

what-to-do-when-your-ex-says-he-she-needs-to-find-himself-herselfIt used be that women break-up with men because men are afraid of commitment, and men break-up with women because women pick fights over nothing. The other common reasons for break-ups were bad communication or lack of, and loss of that “in love” feeling.

Over the last few years however, “I need to find myself”, “I need to work on myself”, “I need to get my life together” or some thing along those lines is becoming one of the most common reasons for break-ups.

Some people find this reason for ending the relationship vague, unbelievable, frivolous and even annoying. I’ve had clients ask me, “What does that even mean?”, usually in a tone that suggests they think their ex is just being silly. Next thing you know they’ve cut off all contact.

But knowing who you are, which is what happens when you “find yourself” is so important not just for you, but for any relationship you get involved in.

Knowing who we are makes us feel “safe” in the present and certain about the future. It makes us confident we can handle just about anything thrown in our path without falling apart or becoming someone we don’t like. It makes us comfortable with and among our fellow human beings because we know we can protect ourselves from being used, abused and taken advantage of.

We feel more calm in our surroundings, more together (collected) in our dealings with others and more connected mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It makes us cool.

Knowing who we doesn’t just stop at being calm, cool and connected; knowing who we makes us more attractive and better partners.

We’re more attractive as partners because we are less afraid to show all of who we are — the good, the not so good and the ugly — and therefore less afraid to be “just ourselves”. People see us as in control of our lives and who we are now  — and certain about our future including who we’re are becoming. That kind of confidence is more magnetic than hitting the gym or growing our social network.

People who haven’t yet “found themselves”, who are not sure of who they are, or have lost a sense of who they are on the other hand come across us all-over-the-place, controlling, uncertain, anxious, pessimistic, needy and even angry. Because don’t really know who they are, they feel pressured to do everything “right” (look good enough to be attractive or be interesting enough to be liked), where “right” is defined by someone else’s rules of engagement.

The pressure to do things “right” and then repeat to obtain the same or a similar outcomes often leads to performance anxiety, feelings of inadequacy and disappointment in oneself.

People who feel disappointed in themselves don’t make good relationship partners. And if they are not self-aware, they project their disappointment on their partners.

Depending on one’s locus of control, some people think their partners are disappointing them and some feel they’re disappointing their partners.

It’s not fun being in a relationship with someone who thinks you are disappointment or keeps beating themselves up because they are disappointed in themselves.

That’s why if you are hoping for a relationship in the future, and you know that the only way you can have a truly happy and lasting relationship is if your ex finds him/herself, works on him/herself or gets his/her life together, your best move is to give your ex the time he/she needs while showing him/her that you are supportive of whatever he/she needs to do to feel happy with him/herself.

If your ex isn’t happy with him/herself, there’ll be no happiness for you either.

You know what, may be you need to do some “finding yourself” yourself. Just putting it out there…

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1 Comment

  • Hello,

    My gf of 8 months broke it off and gave me the exact same response as above. I have been working on myself, knowing that was probably one of the issues. Recently reached out via text had a decent back and forth (not sure if she was just being nice), but I want to keep communication open but I’m not sure where her head might be. She did say she was getting better, but the months to come are going to be”intense”

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