My break-up with my ex last November not only broke the relationship itself, but it also broke me. I felt I was doing “well” for some time, but I was also being eaten away with regrets. One of them, in particular, felt like it’d never go away.
One of the main problems we had in our relationship was the lack of communication. I love talking but when it comes to having difficult conversations with someone I care for, I just run away. On her side, she kept for her what bothered her. A recipe for disaster if you stop to think about it for a second.
When I mentioned it during our break-up, she gave the idea of having a set day each week on which we would exchange about what went right and wrong the previous week. I heard it and thought:
“F***, that’s a good idea.”
But it had taken a lot out of me to start the conversation and I had decided to never bulge, no matter what she’d say. So I refused and ended the relationship.
Looking back, I realize that this was the first time we truly communicated and I wasn’t listening. I wasn’t open. In the end, she was willing to make the effort and I wasn’t.
Time passed. I reflected. I suffered. I cried. I got drunk. I tried to move on and couldn’t but I pushed it away and doubled-down on writing.
Yet, about a month ago, we started talking again and the pain came back. I had probably pushed away “the One”.
The one who would be willing to go to lengths to try to save her relationship with me. The one who made me want to be a better man. The one who made me look forward to the future for the first time.
When she asked about meeting up, I believed I wasn’t ready to see her again and refused. But days later, I accepted. I had to be honest with her.
We met and I told her and, after a few drinks that helped to get some courage, I asked her whether she’d consider going back together. We talked about it and she said to ask her again without having drunk alcohol before she’d consider it.
And so we met again last Friday. We discussed what didn’t go right last time and how it came down to communication. I explained how I regretted breaking up and how I was ready to work on myself to never do the same mistake again.
I’ll spare you the details but, in the end, she said she’d consider it. She had moved on and this selfish request had come out of nowhere, so more conversations will be needed.
Everybody knows the importance of communicating. This is not a secret. But the focus is too often on the aspect of sharing what we feel. Communicating is important, but it’s only the first step. Listening is the most important part.
It’s where real change occurs. It’s where you see the actions your life needs. It’s where positivity comes from.
Don’t just work on communicating what you want and feel. Work on building the most important skill: Being open, shutting your mouth for a moment and listening.
And so I’ll take my own advice and stop talking now. It’s time to practice listening for a while.