On Making Up and Moving On [Dear DBN]

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dear dbn

Mistakes and mishaps riddle our lives and their ability to haunt us is only amplified by our own inability to forgive them.  You can grieve being made a fool, or you can accept it and get on with your life.  This week, when to forgo the pity-party and move on.  

The first person I thought of going to is you and I really need your words of wisdom. I went out last night and got really drunk and I feel like I made a fool out of myself. I talked to this guy who I’ve caught staring at me and who always smiles at me at the gym, but he was not into it and kinda blew me off. I feel extremely pathetic and it doesn’t help that I was yelling at the bouncer as I was leaving (in my defense he pushed me for no reason). I just feel pathetic and unwanted. Help?

There is a heat that swallows you in shame when you’re embarrassed. I would rather be slapped in the face repeatedly than wallow in my own pathos. It’s a demon so tangible you writhe in your clothes to escape it. But the fact that I can be so empathetic to your issue should tell you something: we’ve been there. All of us have. And all of us can still walk into a room like we own it, and so can you.

So you misread some signals, had too much booze, and got a little feisty – so what? Did you ruin your career? Fail all of your classes? Make out with your best friend’s boyfriend? At the end of the day, all you really did was go for it. You put yourself out there and got denied. And I hope you do it again and again, because your life will be better for it. You’ll be tougher, smarter, and though you’ll never be infallible, you’ll grow to be unflappable.

Pretend for a second that it’s your best friend that did this. You would say that guy’s a douche and that she’s awesome. No big thing. Embody that attitude until you embrace it. We’ve all been there and we all bounce back.

Some actions will bend a relationship and others break them. How do you know which is which and when is a relationship still able to be repaired?

It’s not the relationship that bends, it’s the people in it. Like Twister, you can wind and mix and bend and strain only to untangle or topple. It’s a mix of strategy and flexibility that determines the outcome. The same is true with relationships. Some actions are purposeful, others are mistakes.

Relationships aren’t a living thing in and of themselves, they can’t just die or grow: you have to kill them or you have to nurture them. You are going to have to make a decision about the severity of whatever happened and choose to end things, or decide that you and this person are fated to be together.

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