Let's just say it. Breakups suck.After announcing the news about my engagement, I thought about the breakups in my past that led me to that defining moment.
One in particular was the one that inspired everything you see here.
I was on the phone with my girlfriend during spring break, and she said she didn’t want me to visit her and got very quiet.
I knew something was up.
That moment resulted in my second devastating breakup in 4 years. When you’re in college and you’ve been dating someone for a significant amount of time (for most people, more than 6 months would meet the requirement for “significant”), any breakup is a bad one.
My response to the breakup was different than the one a couple years before when that girlfriend cheated on me (and we had been dating for 2 years). It was worse.
I stepped down from my resident assistant position on campus, stopped going to class, participating in school athletics and activities, hanging out with my friends, working out and eventually stopped taking care of myself.
It reached a climax (or lack thereof) when I got really sick. My body was in so much pain and at that point, the physical pain was so bad -- then again the emotional pain was just as bad.
Confined to my bed, it occurred that I had NO ONE to call to spend time with or help take care of me.
That was without question the lowest point of my life.
With no other outlet, I called my last resort. Mom. She could barely understand what I was saying because I was crying my eyes out the whole time.
That conversation concluded with me deciding to get myself together just enough to graduate and get the hell out of Philadelphia.
However, that decision had a caveat. If I was going to go through the process of "being awesome" again, I had to create an accountability system to not only transform myself into the man I knew I was capable of being but also prevent taking what I had for granted and continuing my personal development.
It was a tall task and I couldn’t think of any way of holding myself accountable. That was until I had the ridiculous idea of blogging about my entire developmental experience.
So what did I do?
First off, I was very fortunate to have the chance to physically remove myself from the situation -- in this case, my ex and the city of Philadelphia. I believe the hardest part of recovery is when you’re trying to “move on” and you’re constantly exposed to what you’re trying to move on from.
Every time I saw her, I wanted to be with her and we tried many times to work it out -- and failed each time, making "moving on" much harder.
As an aside, that’s a part of the reason relationships in the workplace are the most difficult and in some ways still taboo.
Secondly, I had a motivation for why I wanted to do this. And I’ll be honest with you. My motivation was to prove to ex and all of the women who dumped me before her that they made the biggest mistake in giving up on me.
Even the one who dumped me in the first grade.
I wanted it so the next time any of them saw me, I was better than ever -- physically, mentally and most important, emotionally.
Yeah, it wasn’t the most positive or mature motivation but you know what? I didn’t care.
Always remember, your motivations will always be unique to you so whoever hears it doesn’t need to understand or like it. If it truly is what you need to push yourself to reach your goals, no one can take that motivation away from you.
Lastly, I created milestones, long-terms goals and fun exercises that made my recovery process fun -- and very effective.
Going out to 30 bars in 30 consecutive nights that summer after graduating college was a fun exercise that got me to meet a ton of people and date many women.
Being a valet and having to run across the Boston Common Public Gardens 20 times a day was great exercise that I knew would put me in great shape, which was a long-term goal.
Going to social events ALONE was a significant milestone in my journey to realizing who I was -- and increasing my confidence.
And at the first event I went to by myself, I ended up meeting people (now long-time friends) who forever changed the direction of my life and still keep in touch today.
That was nearly 4 years ago.
But that plan that I created for myself changed everything. And that blog that I started?
Well, that turned into Project Infinity [check out my first post here], which later became what you see today.
As for the previous girlfriends? I have no resentments toward them at all. Looking back, I believe those sequences of events happened for a reason and led me to where I am now.
And they had justifiable reasons to breakup with me. I wasn’t the guy they wanted to be with. And it was important for me NOT to become the guy they wanted me to be to stay with them.
The person I would end up being with would know the true “me,” and want to be with me.
And that person is now my fiancée.
The recovery process I imposed on myself was the catalyst for becoming my authentic self, embracing my DNA and not just being comfortable with that but OWNING it.
That has led me to personal dating success in my life and eventually helping others become successful finding long-term love as well.
But it’s hard to realize that on your own and in a timely manner. I didn’t have anyone to go to and talk about this so I was very fortunate to do this on my own.
And I know I'm pretty ridiculous for even going the lengths that I did.
But that process overall took well over 4 years.
I’m sure you don’t have that kind of time to “work” on this. Many of you are looking to move forward but can’t seem to get over the past that’s been holding you back and it’s stealing time you don’t have.
Over the next few posts, I'll share different aspects of breaking up, the recovery process and case studies from clients that have gone from terrible breakup to as far as being engaged.
I’m excited to share all of this with you!