I am not, by nature, a particularly competitive person. I never played sports, I wasn’t really brought up with any sort of competitive spirit, it’s just not how I jive – at least when it comes to the ordinary things you’d expect someone to be competitive about. I push myself in my mind all the time. To do better, work harder, etc. But I don’t put that face on externally, especially when I’m not sure if I can “win”.
Here is a funny thing about break-ups, though: It always turns into a competition. Whether both people consider it that way or just one of them does, it’s still a competition. Someone wins, and someone loses. Usually the winner is the dumper, because they wanted to be done with the relationship in the first place. There’s not a whole lot of “moving on” to do, because they’ve already half way moved on by the time they cut the cord. That leaves our dumpee as the loser. The one scraping their life back together and spending long nights crying over the same thing again and again.
Not a pretty picture for the loser, is it?
It goes without saying that the winner/loser mentality is unhealthy and pointless. No one really wins or loses – this is not a game. It can’t be a game, because you can never get inside someone’s head enough to know how they’re really feeling. Appearances, as they say, can be deceiving. But it can be difficult not to consider your life in relation to your ex’s, because you’ve spent “x” number of years living you life in relation to them. That’s the entire point of being with someone, after all, to share plans, decisions, everything with them. And it’s difficult to re-train your mind so that they are no longer the figure off of which you bounce the echolocation system of your life. (see what I did there? made an analogy? heck yes). Suddenly what they are doing/want to do/should do has absolutely no affect on your life.
Well, let me rephrase that. It shouldn’t have any affect on your life. But who are we kidding here? Unless you’re perfect, chances are there have been at least one or two instances in which you’ve found yourself caring about something that, logically, you shouldn’t care about.
Because we all know that logic reigns supreme when it comes to our feelings.
The thing that makes the winner/loser mentality so hard to let go of (at least for me) is the fact that you don’t have something else off of which to bounce that lovely echolocation system of yours. There’s nothing there when you send out your waves, when once upon a time there was always something there. And you cling to that idea, that comparison with the thing that used to be there, even though it’s not actually good for you. Because it’s what you know how to do. The thing is, though, that now it’s just you. And you have to be your own system – your own gage of whether you’re winning or losing in your life based on your life, not based on someone else’s life.
Because if you’re always comparing, you’re not really living your life independently, are you? It’s not a life of proaction, it’s a life of reaction.
And a life of reaction means losing, undoubtedly, because you’ve based your ability to be happy on someone who probably didn’t deserve you in the first place.