I read your blog post about How to Not Blow It Early On, but it’s too late for that. I wish I had that advice before I ruined it. What do I do after I totally blew it with a guy a really liked and just recently started dating? I got carried away with emotions and all these past pains came out and I became needy, and said things I didn’t mean, and he broke up with me. What now? Is there any advice or hope you can offer?     ~A


Hi A,

Thanks for your note. Boy oh boy have I had a lot of those moments in the past where I was taken over with emotions and had a bunch of triggers come up that made me overreact and even act in ways that I didn’t understand. We humans are complex creatures full of emotions and past pain is very easily triggered if we haven’t faced it and processed it. Well, I don’t know too much about your personal situation or exactly what happened, so my advice will be very much applicable to all possibilities.

When there’s a lot of emotions involved, the best thing to do is to get away from the situation to calm down, and really look at what happened from a distance. You won’t resolve anything by continuing to communicate (or attempt to communicate when the other person is closed off) and it’ll more likely to spiral out of control further. Let the other person calm down as well and think about what happened on their own before you try to remedy anything. I’d recommend a few days, maybe even a week.

If you really feel like you were out of line and you now understand what exactly happened and why you behaved the way you did – put it down on paper (or email). Write it down then re-read it a few times. Make sure you’re not making excuses for yourself. Explain that you were in the wrong and help the other person understand what triggered those emotions and those reactions. Tell them that you know it wasn’t about them and how you want to handle those things in the future. You being the person who initiated a conversation about what went wrong and what should take place to resolve it and prevent it will put the other person at ease and not make them feel like they need to explain to you what was wrong, why it was wrong and what they expect instead. It also will show them that you can take the lead in admitting your faults and sincerely apologize. If he really liked everything else about you, and you two were compatible in all other areas, something like this actually has the potential to bring you closer together instead.

Go talk to someone if possible. Therapy is always amazing and I recommend it to all who are struggling with past pains that trigger an emotional outbreak. At the very least start reading books or blogs about how to let go of things and learn the skills to recognize when triggers happen, how to process those feelings, and how to handle other people who are in your space or in your life who have no idea what’s happening to you. It’s very important to not just write it off as a bad thing that happened, but to do something about it and heal from the past so that you don’t continue to repeat the same crap over and over, pushing amazing people away from you.

Hope that helps! Hugs