Expert Coaching For Gay Men: How to move on after a difficult breakup that lingers for years.
The biggest challenge in any gay man’s life after 40 will be moving on from past relationships and creating a clean slate for new ones. Many clients I work with, who are looking to create new relationships, are still holding on to their ex-boyfriends even after many years have passed.
In this article you will understand why breaking up is difficult and you will become aware of your automatic patterns from childhood that make some breakups very difficult to let go of.
I will also teach you a powerful method for emotional processing that very few psychologists and coaches understand.
In this article you will get a powerful method to let go of your negative feelings after a lingering breakup. You will learn how to create a clean slate for your new relationship. You will also learn how to stop the comparing and the contrasting of new dates with past lovers. You will also discover how to stop the analysis-paralysis of the old relationship so that you can finally say good bye.
You will learn how to create a fresh start where the past stays in the past and the future is filled with possibilities and opportunities for new love and new excitement.
Why Is Moving On Important
When your emotions after a breakup are not properly processed, you will often neglect to see new men as completely different individuals. Instead you will compare future dates to your ex-boyfriends with bias towards that which was familiar, enjoyable and comfortable. This includes body traits, personality traits and sexual experiences from the past that you want to replicate in future relationships.
Instead of desiring to create brand new experiences with new dates, you will instead focus on traits of your past lovers and look for them in new men. This becomes problematic because you are still living in the past and not giving your future dates a chance to be themselves.
You become unable to see them for who they are. You are cutting them off because you still have unresolved sadness or anger over the loss of your past boyfriend and you can’t get yourself to open up to new possibilities with your new dates.
Naturally, meeting new men is exciting. Participating in new activities is something to look forward to. But when we have unresolved issues from the past, we no longer show excitement for brand new experiences and we become stuck in the past.
How To Move On From Lingering Breakups
So let’s start out by being really honest about one fact – that moving on is difficult, especially if you spent a substantial amount of time together.
There are two kinds of relationships – one where you see each other once every couple of weeks and another where you see each other regularly. The more time you spend together, the more difficult it will be to move on. So being patient and getting support is a must.
After accepting that breaking up is difficult and that it may take many months, the next step is to slow down your life so that you can hear all feelings associated with the breakup. This may include sadness, anger, disappointment, betrayal, frustration, hate, love and many others.
You want to become present to those emotions and put those emotions in a logical context so that you learn from them. This is how you become emotionally mature and how you learn about insights that can make your next relationship better.
It is critical to distinguish between the messages from your mind and your heart. Initially, your heart will dominate, presenting you with negative feelings that make no sense, yet are strong and overpowering. Those feelings need to be expressed in as many ways as possible for faster healing. I recommend a combination of sharing inside a group, sharing with with a coach, journaling and self-audio-recording.
To process your emotions, you will need to hear yourself talk about them so that you uncover the hidden meanings that became inserted into the emotions without awareness. This often leads to big breakthroughs and a release of emotional energy.
After you have processed your emotions, you can begin to ask yourself about the quality of your past relationship in terms of principles and logic. You want to uproot any false beliefs about love, sex, and relationships that may have been the reason for the breakup.
Most gay relationships that are healthy are also highly logical and grounded in principles. You want to ask yourself about which principles were violated by you and by your ex-boyfriend so that when you are finished with the breakup, you become a better lover next time.
Conflict Between The Heart And The Mind
Often, gay men experience a powerful inner-conflict between the heart and the mind. The mind wants to move on but the heart still holds on to the feeling of attachment. This shows up in crying spells, anxieties, depression and emotional eating.
When unresolved, this inner-conflict can persist for years, leading to binging, sex addictions and drug addictions as a mechanism to cope with emotional pain.
If you find yourself inside the inner-conflict between the mind and the heart – the heart usually wins. It simply means that you have not expressed your emotions adequately or you have lots of suppressed feelings that were never questioned for validity and logic.
A visit to a psychologist is recommended to untangle the web of emotions warped into irrational meanings and beliefs.
Why Does The Heart Always Win?
Early relationships are all about emotional validation instead of logic because we are unconsciously seeking partners who can give us what our parents failed to give us.
The reason why some people mean to us a lot more than others is because when we were children, we had emotional needs that mom and dad failed to meet. When we grow up and those needs are met by an accidental lover, we are swept away into a world of euphoria and fantasy without even knowing why.
If as a child, your parents never gave you hugs and kisses and as an adult you meet someone who is very passionate and physical with you – you will almost certainly lose yourself in the pleasure of those experiences.
Because of their emotional content – logic, reason and principles almost always “go out the window” and the stage for a very complex relationship is set. There will be no logic to it.
You can be inside a physically abusive relationship and still love the person. You can be emotionally abused and still love the person. It all goes back to mom and dad and unresolved issues from long ago.
Why Crying Is Important Even For Gay Men
Another aspect of moving on that may be challenging is the fact that most men don’t know how to process emotions with their body.
For example, how often do you cry?
Crying is a natural emotional release mechanism, so allowing yourself to cry when you are sad, when you feel anxious, when you feel depressed is very important, otherwise our emotions are trapped inside your body, often contributing to neurosis and disease.
I remember a situation when I cried the entire day and released months’ worth of sadness. The following day I felt amazing.
The Challenge For “Type A” Executives
A huge challenge for you will be to slow down your life and feel your emotions. If you are always on the move, always creating new projects, the typical “type A” executive, then for you, breaking up and resolving emotional knots will be challenging.
To the degree that you slow down your life and have the courage to feel all emotions – the process of moving on will happen much faster and you will learn a lot more from it.
When you begin to rationalize your distractions and choose to avoid feeling your own emotions – you run the risk of becoming emotionally underdeveloped. For men who lack emotional intelligence, the world of emotions in other people’s lives will become a mystery they cannot understand and connecting with other gay men will become challenging.
Imagined Possibility And Projection
Many gay men add their own imagination to their relationship. We look at our boyfriend and we imagine his future potential and we begin to fall in love with the potential. Instead of being present to who he is today, we fall in love with who he will be in the future with our help and advice.
When healing from a difficult breakup, we want to distinguish between who he was and who we wanted him to become and separate the two. When we blur the line between who he was and who we wanted him to become, we suffer longer because we are breaking up with two boyfriends instead of one – we are breaking up with the real person and also the phantom we created in our mind.
If you are an ambitious person and believe in growth, blurring this line can be automatic for you because you see yourself as always growing and changing. But doing that inside a relationship can create a situation in which your own desires are projected onto his possibility and he is no longer he but a copy of you layered on top of him. Projection of our needs onto his life will make the relationship and then the breakup so much more complex and painful.
We often imagine our lovers through the lens of Possibility Projection – adding all kinds of imagined possibilities to the meaning of the relationship with him. Examples include falling in love with his family, his friends, his career opportunities and his ability to attract people to his life.
For example, when you are not talking to your family for whatever reasons, you will appreciate him a lot more when he has a great relationship with his family. When you are struggling to find your purpose, you will find a man with purpose a lot more valuable.
Neglect and lack of responsibility to do the work that your life demands will be projected onto the life of your boyfriend making him more desirable when he is able to do the things that you are unable to do. This may include his relationship with his family, friends, his career, interests, and opportunities. In such situation he becomes not a boyfriend, but the savior. Unknowingly we victimize ourselves and turn him into the rescuer.
Breaking up with a man, after having projected your own secret desires onto him will be difficult because you will need to face the ugly truth about self-neglect and the desire to be rescued.
Instead of worshipping his family, friends, careers – you will need to work on your own, otherwise future relationships will not be about him but about what he can do for you. This is a classic example of self-victimization projected onto the lover in hope to be rescued and saved.
The 3-Step Process For Moving On Fast
First, a regular practice of meditation. Meditation will move away all the distractions that you are using to mask what you are feeling. You will slowly become more comfortable with experiencing your emotions and gradually you will feel all emotions and learn how to understand them.
Often, the reason why gay men don’t want to meditate is because they are afraid of facing their emotions. And if we are afraid of feeling our emotions, we are unlikely to recognize what created them to begin with and we are stuck in a perpetual child-like state, unable to understand ourselves and others.
Secondly, I recommend deep sharing of your emotions with as many people as possible and in as many formats as possible.
Thirdly, a very simple yet powerful form of self-processing is journaling. Simply writing out what you are feeling on a daily basis will produce deep emotional release.
Together, those three steps are extremely effective for anyone looking for emotional mastery and moving on after a complex breakup that has lingered for months or years.
My Experience Of Moving On After Breakup
During my last lingering breakup, I sent my ex-boyfriend a voicemail where I shared that I still loved him, even after 4 years have passed. I still remember that day. I had to let go of having to come across strong and tough. I had to let go of trying to win and be right. I had to admit to myself and be honest with my own feelings. I had to let go of my ego and share what my heart was feeling. I told him that I still missed him, that I still loved him, that I still wanted him to be in my life.
He later called me back and left a message for me saying that he no longer loves me, he does not want to be in a relationship with me.
Even though it sounded really harsh, that was the moment when I received the emotional completion and I realized that we would never be together. It was an important event in my life. I quickly realized how much of my own imagination I added to the relationship and I actually laughed about it.
Moving on from breakups is going to be challenging, it’s going to involve mental gymnastics and emotional processing. Because emotion is the central part of every relationship, with more practice and knowledge you will be able to take risks again with new men and create a healthier relationship.
Essential to healthy mental health are the following: regular practice of meditation, journaling and sharing with other people how you feel. If you get a chance, contacting the person that is the subject of your feelings is helpful in overcoming difficult emotional clots.
By sharing with vulnerability and with authenticity you can solicit genuine feedback that can help speed up the process of moving on from the breakup. Genuine feedback from the subject of your affection can provides a wonderful insight for moving on from your past relationship.
Ultimately, working with an expert is the fastest and easiest way to move on from a breakup and process all emotions. Hiring a coach or a counselor is helpful because in reality most gay men will not journal daily, share with others and join group coaching.
So, instead of moving on they will realistically take many years of self-doubt, helplessness and despondency – all from a breakup that was left unprocessed. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
So I highly recommend you take this information to heart because receiving emotional completion after a breakup is one of the biggest challenges for gay men today in the process of creating long-term, committed relationships.
In the process of your personal development in regards to emotional processing, you will learn a lot about psychology, learn about how emotions work and how to understand other gay men.
I hope this video and article helps you, I am looking forward to talking to you in the next video. Thanks for reading and watching. Talk to you soon.