Dave and I actually stuck it out for eight months after that fateful phone call. But the first few weeks following the phone call were rough. I didn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. I was always on his heels and wondered where he was and what he was doing when he wasn’t around me. Even I grew tired of the constant line of questioning I subjected him to. There would be Friday or Saturday nights when he would go out with his boys and I would trip if I called his cell phone and didn’t get an answer right away. The first few times, I’d blow up his cell phone until he answered and gave me a sufficient explanation regarding his whereabouts. But as time wore on, I stopped calling as much because he knew that I would be in my bag when he didn’t answer so he fell into line afterwhile and always checked in with me.
We actually became boyfriend and girlfriend a month or so after the phone call. And to be totally honest, I forced the issue. In my eyes, we were practically living at my place and doing everything a couple did, so I wanted to solidify the relationship. Like any relationship, we had our issues, but we had more good times than bad ones. In the midst of our relationship, I started getting into myself a lot. I guess I started doing what all our girlfriends encourage us to do during our alone time after we break up with a guy except this time I was with a man. Let me explain.
One day while talking to a good friend, she reminded me of the dreams and desires I used to share with her. “What are you doing to make your dreams come true?” she asked. I couldn’t answer her because I wasn’t doing anything for me. I was either still secretly grieving over my last relationship or forcing this new relationship. I totally forgot about me and my dreams in the process. Before hanging up, she suggested that I read the book, The Alchemist because she knew it would encourage me. I took her advice and got a copy of the book. She was right. That book changed my life.
The book’s message was simple. You can search the world over, but the answers you seek are within you. There was one line in the book that still strikes me to this day: “When one thing evolves, everything around it changes, too.” The book encouraged me to dust off my dreams and start writing again. I started meditating in the morning and changing my way of thinking, too. Dave actually started meditating with me. We would have these great conversations about our goals and dreams and one time we created vision boards together. We cut out words and pictures from magazines and created powerful affirmations that encouraged both of us. We started reading powerful literature like Rich Dad Poor Dad and Think and Grow Rich. I was more than happy with my relationship at this point, but like the Alchemist said, when a thing changes everything around it must change.
I must have changed at warp speed because I found myself outgrowing Dave. Through my new way of thinking, I began constructing a vision for the kind of life I wanted from a relationship to a career. I knew what kind of man I wanted to be with and at the time Dave wasn’t it. I wanted more stability at the time and I knew that Dave wasn’t ready for that. Most importantly, I was ready to make a drastic move in my career. I finally had enough of Corporate America and decided to walk away from my high paying job. I was ready to pursue my dreams of becoming an actress. Dave couldn’t understand my decision although he supported me.
On the day I quit my job I knew things were over with Dave. I didn’t break things off with him then and there, but we started drifting apart big time. Things I would normally tolerate from him soon annoyed me like me paying for everything and always having to be the thoughtful one in the relationship. My relationship with him felt like my favorite pair of jeans in high school, the comfortable ones with the hole in them. They were the bomb back in high school, but I couldn’t fit into them anymore.
Please don’t take what I’m about to say out of context. My relationship with Dave served several purposes. It helped me to get over my ex, but most importantly it helped me to find myself. Breaking up with Dave was extremely hard because I loved him, but I would have done more harm to him and myself by staying in a stagnant relationship. Sometimes people outgrow each other and they have to move on. This doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships, it applies to almost all relationships. You can outgrow homegirls and associates, too.
From my experience I’ve realized that simply getting under a new man to get over the ex is not sound advice. If you’re not careful, you’ll just add new problems on top of old problems you’ve carried into the new relationship. The best way to get over anyone is to evaluate yourself because you are the only factor in the equation that can change. You can’t change other people. The strength I needed and the answers I sought were in me the entire time. I just couldn’t see past my fear of being alone to recognize this truth. I didn’t need a man, I needed ME. Don’t get me wrong, it was easier to “find myself” while in a relationship than trying to do it cold turkey as many women try to do because they think you have to do this while they’re single. I think this line of thinking is why many women “lose themselves” in relationships because they put everything that’s important to them on hold for the new man in their lives and neglect themselves. I’ve done it and I have to remind myself not to do it in my new relationship.
Thank you to Shalena D.I.V.A for allowing me to share my story. I also thank you the reader for taking the time to read my story. I hope it has helped someone who is going through what I went through. Feel free to ask me any questions.
© 2015, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Personal Branding| Content Marketing| Product Creation. All rights reserved.