Heartbreak & Breakups

The painful sting of heartbreak is a uniquely awful experience that brings up a lot of our wounds around abandonment and rejection. In today’s episode, we’re getting raw and real about our heartbreak and breakups.

We’ll be answering questions such as:

  • What was your hardest breakup and why?
  • What do you need when you go through a breakup and how do you usually manage it?
  • What have been some of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned through heartbreak?
  • Looking back, what are you grateful for about your past dating experiences?

Listen to this personal and poignant episode to learn how heartbreak can be a valuable part of your personal growth and development.

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All right. Hello. Hello. Welcome everybody to gay men going deeper podcast series by the gay men’s brotherhood, where we talk about all things, personal development, sexuality, and mental health, your host today, our a Michael Matt and myself Calan and collectively, we have over 40 years of experience in the personal development world. And if this is your first time listening to us,

then we want to welcome you. We each have our own coaching practices, but in this podcast, we’re given all of our good stuff away to you today. We’re going to be talking about heartbreak and breakups. This is going to be such a good topic, and we’re going to be exploring questions. Like what is your hardest breakup and why, what do you need when you go through breakup and how do you usually manage it?

What have been some of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned through breakup and looking back, what are you grateful for about your past dating experiences? So it’s gonna be a juicy one. We’ll continue these discussions on the last Thursday of every month in the gay men’s brotherhood group, zoom Hangouts, where you’ll have your chance to share your experiences. This podcast and YouTube channel is listener and viewer supported.

If you really enjoy what you’re, what we’re creating, you can support us by heading on over to our Patreon page, in the show notes and contributing to the help, support the show, or subscribe to the early access on apple podcasts and gain early access to episodes. It helps us to continue making content for you and supporting our community. And we thank you in advance.

Also, the gay men going deeper membership doors are open. And next month in April, we will be launching our brand new course, all about relationships, which we are so excited to be doing for all of you that will be included inside the membership access. So if you are already a member, you’re going to get access, or if you join,

you’re going to get access to that course. If you’ve been waiting to join more groups, zooms, and you want to go deeper with your personal development journey, please come and join us. Just head on over to gay men, going deeper.com and register today. Now let’s jump into today’s episode, but first I want to read a review from one of our listeners.

So Dylan says, this is some great stuff. Thank each of you for sharing these genuine parts of yourself, because all of y’all are making an impact and you are helping me through my personal journey blessings. Oh, thank you so much, Dylan. That was so sweet. So heartbreak and break us. This is going to be a big, juicy,

juicy topic that we’re going to talk about. So first we’re going to jump into what was your hardest breakup and why man. Okay. So for me, breakups, it’s not been a major huge thing. I’ve had two, what I would call significant relationships in my life. I’ve had my first ex, which was, which is probably what I’m going to dive into the most.

And then I had another X, many years later. So there was like a good amount of space in between. And I learned a lot about myself. And then I learned a lot about myself in that relationship. But my hardest breakup was definitely my first breakup because mine was one of those blind ciders where I had no idea it was coming and they were just like,

okay, bye. So it was really difficult. I was only 23. You know, he’s an amazing person. And like, I still think fondly of him, he’s still a great person, but I was 23. We’d been dating for almost a year. We were coming up on our one-year anniversary. And so I’m just like over at his house and I’m getting ready to go to choir.

And like nothing’s out of the ordinary, like literally nothing is out of the ordinary and I’m sitting there and like, I’m literally just about ready to walk out the door and he’s sitting on the couch, he just looks at me and he’s like, I think, I think I need to take a break. I think we need to take a break. And I was just like,

What, like, where is this coming from? Because we had always been at like a really good at communicating relationship, a couple. And like, like we talked about things, we were both fairly like spiritually opened and aligned. And so I was just like, there’s nothing we ever fought about. Like we would disagree and we’d talked through things, but there was nothing that ever came up.

And so, and it kind of like, he didn’t really give me a reason, reason. It was more like, well, I think the reason was like, I was looking at it like possibly like talking about eventually moving in together because like, it had been a year and I lived like way in the suburbs and he lived downtown and he was a flight attendant.

And so he was away all the time. And so like, it was really like logistically harder to see each other. And I was just like, yeah, like that’s something we could move towards. And once that conversation started coming up, I think that that is what gave him like super cold feet. And it was just like blindsiding. And so that’s definitely a hundred percent the hardest breakup I ever had to go through because I went and I was kinda like in shock and I just left and then I went to choir and I’m sitting there and I’m like in shock.

And like, everybody’s like, are you okay? Cause they know me as like more of a bubbly, like fun, Hey, how’s it going? And then I, they tried singing and I was like, I can’t, I can’t do this. And he just stood up and walked out and everybody’s like, this is like a room full of a hundred gay men.

And everybody’s like, what the fuck? And I just left, I got in my car and I called my mom. I was like, I’m coming over. And she’s like, okay, are you all right? It’s like, I’m coming over and I just go over there and I don’t even really tell her any, I just like start bawling. And I just like followed,

like fell into her lap and I just like cried and cried and cried. And that’s all I really remember from that. I do remember being like, I can’t just have it be that like, I can’t just have all of that and then just have it end. And so I was like, I need closure too for myself. And so maybe like a month later I went over.

Cause it was like, we need to talk about this. And then we talked about it and I remember getting so mad at him because he hadn’t cried yet. Cause I like asked him. I was like, have you been cried? And he’s like, no. And I was like, part of me is like, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Like, and that’s awful and judgmental of me, but I was like, what the fuck? Like were together for almost a year. And like were I thought building life together? And like, you didn’t even like, I was like, okay. And so then I left, but I left my charger at his place. Cause I’d been charging my phone when I was there.

And then so I texted, I was a fucking, I need to go up and see him again. And so then I went up and like, we had already done like a good, like real like, okay, let’s just have a goodbye kiss. Let’s just like seal this off. And like it, the conversation went up and down, but like it ended on a high note.

So I’m like, okay, let’s just leave it. And then when I go up to get my charger is like, eyes are all red. And he’s like, So like you’d finally cried. And I was just like, okay, well obviously something unclicked for you or whatever. But that was probably the hardest breakup that I’ve experienced. Yeah. That definitely,

and that like, nothing will prepare you for it. Nothing does prepare you for it. And you don’t know how you’re going to act or how the other person’s going to act. And it’s just like, it is what it is sometimes. So I’m curious. What about you guys? Let’s start off with Michael. Cause I know Matt is going to have a lot of soundness.

I want to hear what Michael has to say. And then when we get to All right, well, I mean, yeah, I could, I could talk about this for a while too, but I don’t really want it. So I’ll say, you know, I’ve had five long-term relationships to my shortest relationship was a year. So I’ve dated for,

I’ve been with five guys. I’ve had to break up five times. In fact, with one guy we had to pick up three times. So I think he’s the one that would be the hardest for me because we were together on and off on and off on and off ultimately off. I think of those. The, the second, the second one was the hardest.

This was someone that looking back now. I think one of the reasons why it was so hard for me was because as much as, as much love as I had for him, a lot of it was also attachment on my part. I was very attached to him and I needed him in perhaps ways that maybe weren’t healthy. And so when he cut it off and it was,

he, he broke up with me. It was over a text the second time. And basically just said, that said, I’m done, but I don’t ever call me again, blocked me everything. And like, to just someone that you’re attached to like that when they just cut you off like that, it triggers all of the things. Right? Abandonment,

fear, anxiety. I had like separation anxiety. I went into a spiral. I went into a really deep spiral, I guess it didn’t know how attached I was to him. And again, I did love him. Like I did genuinely love him. I just think it was really muddled up in there. But for me I went and that was Thanksgiving.

It was Thanksgiving, Monday. He broke up with me and I, for the next three months, I wanted to a very deep dark place. I disconnected from pretty much withdrew from the world. Right. I was obsessed with trying to contact him. I called him. I tried everything to find him. This was before Instagram and all that. Or he didn’t have social media other,

so he had blocked my number. I went to his place of work even to try to talk to him. And like I was trying everything to see him again, to get that, to get, I would say at the time I wanted closure, but really what I wanted was to try again and like convince him to stay and like beg him to stay with me.

But yeah, it was really hard for me. I, I, I had decided on him, you know, I, he’s the kind of guy that when we first met, it was what you’d call love at first sight. You know, that, that movie Hollywood style I saw him immediately or eyes collected. And like, I just was like,

yeah, him and yeah. So we had that kind of beautiful love story. We got together over Christmas. It was really romantic. We had all those high highs, all those kind of things you’d expect to have, you know, a traditional, romantic love story, which I love. But yeah, when it ended so abruptly, it, it really triggered a lot of things in me.

And I think, what did I say was Thanksgiving? So at Christmas that same year Christmas, I, I was very, in a very deep, dark place. I had lost about 15 pounds. I wasn’t seeing my friends. I was basically just barely making it at work. Like I was calling in sick all the time. Luckily I had a good boss who gave me like some chances and covered for me,

but I, like I said, I withdrew from the world and I had a really hard time. It wasn’t until that new year’s Eve that I decided, okay, Michael, that’s, it enough is enough. And I decided to dedicate the next year to like making myself stronger and better and recovering and healing from it. But yeah, I think it was the hardest because of the attachment.

Like I needed him, like it was a desperate need. It was, it was like if he wasn’t there to fulfill all those needs, I had, I couldn’t find it within, like this was before I had that ability to meet my own needs, the ability to have other connections that met them. I put all of my eggs in his, the him basket.

And so when, when he disappeared, it was so disempowering for me. Like it just, he took everything, all of my satisfaction with him and didn’t give me a chance to talk. Didn’t give me a chance to do anything. I really hadn’t heard from him until three years later. So I had to deal with that on my own. So that was,

that was definitely the hardest for me. And I’ll talk about him a bit more in the other questions, but for now I’m curious to know what Matt’s hardest, most challenging breakup was about. Yeah. I’m going to just acknowledge I’m feeling already emotional. Just listening to you guys. Yeah. I was excited to talk about this, this topic, because I just knew that it was going to bring up a lot of juicy stuff.

We, we, we planned this, this topic two weeks ago, so I’ve had two weeks to kind of stew on all this stuff and it’s been bringing up just all the stuff and I’ve been working on this stuff for the last year, very, very deeply. And I feel like I have so much more awareness around all this stuff. And so,

yeah, I’ll share, I’m going to take a bit of a different spin on this. Instead of talking about relationships or a specific relationship. I want to talk about how I was molded into showing up into interrelationships that were creating heartbreak. And This is not going to be easy When I started to think about what I wanted to talk about our thought about my very first heartbreak,

which was my father And him leaving when I was about nine. And It was very traumatic for me. I’ve been working on healing this for pretty much my whole life. And the reason why I wanted to share that is because this has had a huge impact on how I show up in relationships and how I, I guard myself and hold myself back In relationships.

And every single one of my relationships, I has been really hard, very, very challenging, very messy, because I’ve been so terrified of being abandoned and a, Every single one of my relationships I’ve ended, as soon as it starts to get a little bit challenging or, or anything like that. I just, I peace out and Yeah, like I,

I can think of so many different instances where I led my with this fear with this really, really deeply ingrained fear. And I finally feel like in the last, the last, I would say year, I’ve done a lot of work in this area. And I’ve had a lot of conversations with my father who I have a good relationship with him now,

but it’s taken pretty much like my whole life, really, since he left to work on this and to get to a place where I can forgive him and forgive my mom and kind of get to this place where I can truly let go. And I think part of my emotion is sadness. But part of my emotion that I’m experiencing is like, like relief.

Like I feel like I’ve finally made some really big strides in this area where I can not be so controlled by this fear of being, being left or being abandoned. It just reminds me of Probably the hardest breakup for me was with this guy that I was with. I was with him for two years and it was just, it was the most tumultuous relationship that I had ever been in,

but there was also a lot of joy and a lot of beauty in it. And I just could see how much he loved me. Like he just was head over heels for me. And I just didn’t know how to receive love. I had no clue how to receive love as soon as somebody would come close to me and they would want to love me.

I would freak out I would panic and I would push them away. And, and it’s almost like looking back, like I, I see now, like how much I hurt so many people because I was hurting. And it really is like this whole notion of like hurt people, hurt people. Like I didn’t, like, I didn’t know how to,

to be secure in love because I hadn’t healed this, this really significant attachment trauma that I experienced when I was a kid. And so remember I was with this guy for two years and I was living in Vancouver at the time and things got just way too intense for me. And I called the U haul book to U haul and w with a two week window and sat him down that night and told him that I was leaving.

I was going to go back to Calgary and he was just super hurt. And, and I got, got back to Calgary. It was a really awkward thing. He actually helped me pack up. And then I got back to Calgary and then within like a week I had called him and, and ended it because I feel like I just couldn’t do it.

And I think the, the, the, the lesson in all this was, I just, I had to heal. I had to do a lot of deep work to get to the bottom of this, this attachment trauma that I had. So I could, so I could start showing up in love without so much fear. So, wow. Yeah.

My heart stopped like pounding super rapidly. So anyway, thanks for holding space for that, because yeah, that was not easy. I could feel it coming. I’ll leave it there for now. Yeah. Oh, well, I knew today was going to be a heavy topic because everybody out there listening as well or watching, like we all, like a lot of us know,

even if it’s not romantic and you’ve not had a romantic experience, you had not had a boyfriend or significant other partner or anything like that. We’ve all experienced heartbreak in many different ways. It doesn’t have to be this romantic, tangible thing. It can be this thing where it’s just like, you know, somebody passes away in your life and they mean so much to you.

And it’s like, that can create heartbreak and like the, of going through that heartbreak and the attachment styles of like, you know, being abandoned and feeling that abandonment, that creates a heartbreak. And I know because I felt that myself and my dad was still there, but I felt abandoned. I felt abandoned within the relationship because it was just like on picking this other person over you.

And you’re just this other person who has to live in this house because you’re a child that I have to put up with you. And so it was this like emotional abandonment of like, I’m an island all by myself. Like I’m surrounded by people, but I’m alone. So yeah, I felt that. So thank you for opening up and sharing a little bit with us.

I actually wrote something down. When Michael, when you were talking about your relationship, cause something came up for me with my first relationship and it, a lot of that abandoned stuff that you were just talking about, Matt was in mind because that’s literally what happened. Like step like instantaneously abandoned. I was like, okay, this is happening again. I’m not worthy.

I’m not good enough again. But I was almost like using my ex pardon me as like my measuring stick of how attractive I thought I could be. Know that doesn’t sound right. I was using him. Cause I thought he was so insanely beautiful, like beyond my like grasps. And it was like, Michael, like, like I saw him from across the room at a club and I was like,

that’s gonna be my first boyfriend. And I looked at my friend. I was like, that’s gonna be my first boyfriend. She was like, I met this guy. And then he was my first boyfriend. So that energy was there. But like, I was almost using him as the measuring stick of like, wow, he’s so attractive and so amazing.

He’s so handsome. That must mean I’m those things as well, because why he wouldn’t be with me otherwise. And so when we broke up, it was almost like that was taken away. It was like, oh, maybe it was a lie. Maybe I’m not all of those things because I hadn’t learned the language that we all now share. And I haven’t had learned all these things about myself that I was using that as my measuring stick and being like,

well, if he doesn’t think I’m these things, then I must not be these things. And that it was just like, it was fake the whole time. And like, he was just because he also broke up with me. So it was like he must’ve been faking it the whole time. So yeah, I was like, I was detaching my worthiness to the relationship of being like,

well, if he thinks I’m worthy, then I can be worthy. And I think that there is a gray space in there, a messiness in there in regards to relationships where it’s just like, yes, you need to work on yourself and you, and, and go on your journey and figure out your own things. But I do also think that there’s huge value in other people,

supporting you through that and loving you through that so that they help teach you. And they show you the mirror of like, well, I can love you. You can learn to love yourself. And it, it comes at two sides. So it’s not like one comes before the other or there’s no right or wrong way to do it. But I think that this combination between those two things of like learning the language of loving yourself and getting there,

and then you can still also use other people to help you figure that out as you go along. So that was the first hardest breakout. Now I want to talk about what do you need when you go through a breakup and how do you usually manage it? Because for me, I am a cold Turkey. Don’t talk to me. I need my space of a person,

even though that first breakup was hard. And it was very like out of the blue, I knew enough about myself to go, okay, I need to process this. I need time to think about this. I still knew we needed to at least have some sort of a talk, some sort of a closure. And like we needed to be adults.

And I knew we were enough of adults to have that, but I was like, Nope, I need this space in this time. Otherwise I’m going to be either a super angry and carry this with me forever. Or like, there’s going to be shit that I carry around forever because I’ve not, you know, talk through it. But with my second relationship,

this is when I really learned that. That’s what I need. I can’t be one of these. Like, let’s be best friends and continue talking and continue seeing each other type of people. Like I can’t do that because it just, it co-mingles too many emotions that are still too confusing. And I think that that space is really important for me to kind of sift through those emotions and see where things land so that if,

and when things do come back around in that that’s a friendship or whatever, that I can know who I am in that space. And so with my second ex, he had like chased me like insane amount. This is when I lived in Dubai, he super chased me. And it had been a long time since I’d been with somebody. And he was,

he was really cute. He was handsome, nice guy, like great job, like checked all the boxes there. Wasn’t that first initial spark that I had had with my first ex, like of like, oh my God, that’s the one. But I was like, but there’s different types of love and there’s different ways to experience love. And so I was like,

maybe this is one of those like slow burners where it’s like, God’s on the back burner. And it’s only on like a one or two degrees right now. And then slowly over time, it’s going to get like, it’s going to get better. And so it did it like little by little, it started heating up and, and developing until like,

I knew that he was going to be leaving Dubai to go for work to New York. And I was like, well, I’m not going to leave my job. And like, we’ve only been together for a couple of months. Like it’s a lot of stuff kind of came up and I got to a point where it was a month before he was leaving.

And I was like, he’s not going to break up with me. He’s just going to leave. Like, he’s he chased me. He wanted all of these things. Now he’s the one who’s getting cold feet and he’s the one who’s fucking off. Like, so I had to end things and be like, look, we are breaking up officially. We can’t talk,

we can’t hang out. Cause he was also a codependent in the sense, like he wanted to continue that like as if it was just a friendship and it just had fizzled. And I was like, I cannot do that if I want, if you want me to be in your life, we’re going to have to take space. And I knew he was leaving on a flight.

So I was like, we’re going to take this month so that I can kind of grieve this relationship and like process the emotions I have. And then we can come together like one last time or whatever, before you leave so that we can like leave on good terms. So then that ended up happening. But like I learned from my first relationship, like,

this is what I need. And then in that second relationship, that’s what I really learned that I was like, it’s important for me to take that time and space and mental space to process those things. And like, now if that were to happen, I would also like have like my therapist be a part of that journey of like unpacking things. So then I can be happy because we’re also not always going to get that closure.

Right? Like sometimes people just do whatever they want. And so it’s important to learn how to be in that space of that uncomfortable feeling, because people always want to run away from those uncomfortable feelings, but we need to be able to learn how to sit with those feelings because they’re not going to just go away. And that’s one of the things that I learned through my relationships is that after they end,

like what I need in that process. So I’m curious. What about, what about you, Michael? How do you manage and how do you, what do you need after those breakups? Yeah, I think, I think what you said rings very true about, you know, wanting to get out of the emotion, right? Cause it’s none of these,

none of the emotions that come from a breakup really feel good, abandonment, loneliness, fear, anxiety, all the things, right. Then guilt, sometimes regret. So it’s, it’s hard for me to answer this because when I look back, I can answer. I’ve done previously, but I think today I’m a, I’m a different person. I would handle it differently,

but I want to start by saying that the kind of like surface level things that really helped me. And I think they would even help me today, which would be when I, I feel very thoroughly and I feel very deeply when I do feel right. So for me, if I’m going through pain or heartbreak, like I need to really feel it.

Like, I’m not one of those people who wants to numb. I’m like, no, let me go into the pain. Like there’s almost, it almost feels good to, to go there. So I will put together a breakup playlist, all of my saddest songs that just make me cry and I just cry it out. And I just be, and I’m just sad.

Now today, I would say that I would love myself, but I give myself the grace of having those emotions. But back then, I didn’t, I didn’t know that that’s what I was doing. I think I just, I think it just felt good to acknowledge the sadness. I didn’t, I didn’t have the language I have today around it. So I would say,

you know, I would probably still do that today. Just, you know, have, have my go-to songs that just make me cry and make me feel, cause sometimes I don’t have the words or I don’t have the, the, you know, I don’t know what to say, but there’s a lot of songs about love and breakups out there, my friends,

and they seem to have a way to get me to cry it out. So I let myself more and I let myself be dramatic about it. If that’s the case, like, yes, I’m going to be, I’m going to be that sad sack of a friend. Who’s going through a breakup and I’m just going to let myself go there. You know?

Yes. I rely on my friends to listen. I have friends who are the kind who will let me. And then I have the friends who are the content say, listen, bitch enough is enough. You gotta, you gotta move on. Luckily I have both. So, you know, I’m thinking for that for the breakup that I was talking about earlier for me,

it was Sam Smith. His album had come out just at that time. I forget which one it is, but the ones on the side songs had come up at the right time. So it was perfect. So Sam Smith was the soundtrack to my breakup at the time, you know, Adele, all those, all those kinds of people. Taylor swift has a lot of good ones too.

So at the surface level, I would say a good soundtrack helps me really process the emotions and process the pain, letting myself cry as always writing. I can’t tell you the amount of breakup letters or love letters I had wrote to, to that ex because like I said, he, he cut me off cold Turkey. I had no way to talk to him.

So the only form I had is to like, just write these, I have pay like, it’s, it’s almost ridiculous. How many pages of journals I have that are just telling him how much I love about which I miss someone else, sorry. I’m like, it’s just goes on and on, but it needs to come out. Right? Like,

you know, like you said, Calvin, we don’t, we don’t always get closure. Like that’s, there’s no guarantee that that’s going to happen. So we have to find a way to create it within ourselves. And because I was so attached to him, I needed something to, to get that out of me. So I think that helps, you know,

music helps. And then on the other side, it, so on the flip side of it. So I said, I feel very deeply, very, very thoroughly. Right. And I do, I go hard and fast and then I go hard and fast the other way, then all of a sudden something happens and all of a sudden like, okay bitch,

I’m done. Like I’m coming back, Phoenix, rising from the ashes vibes, pop diva, playlist comes on. And then I’m like in that vibe where it’s like, okay, you know, show me love. And you know, all that lady, God, God good stuff. And then whatever it is that that makes me feel empowered and confident.

I use that to kind of bring myself back. You know, I go back to the gym, I start focusing on me. I go very much into like pop diva, you know, confidence kind of playlist. But that, that for me, some in my whole life, like I start doing things for me. I, I go on vacations.

I, I just do things that are fun. I go back and I focus on my friends again and I kind of get out of that withdrawal. And that really helps me to, and you know, this might be an unpopular opinion, but I will say that sometimes the casual sex and fun and hookups is exactly what I needed. Like, you know,

sometimes you just, you know, you need to get back on the horse, as they say, after a certain amount of time or, you know, I was ready to, it felt good to get that out there and remind myself, there are other people out there it’s not just this one. Like I shouldn’t put all my eggs in this basket.

And yes, even if you know, these things were not relationship material, it’s still nice to kind of have that sense of putting myself back out there, having the fun, you know, that really helped me in the past again today. I don’t know, like I’m with a partner now and we haven’t broken up. So that might be very different.

I will say this. I want to add something with the, that guy. I don’t want to say his name. He, so I told you, we got back together. We broke up three times. So the second breakup was the heartbreak though. Right? We got back together after that software, all that after three years, we got back together,

which is, you know, for anyone out there who wants to get back together with their ex, I always, I always say like, I don’t want to tell you this story. Cause I’m the guy who did get back together with his ex and then we broke up again. The third breakup was a completely different story because I had gone through such a shift in who I was.

And it, it, it really tells the tale of the two Michaels, like the Michael before. And then Michael, after like the same thing happened, he broke up with me and I handled it in a completely different way. I was sad. I mourned, I grieved all the things, but it didn’t, it didn’t like empty me of, of who I was like,

I was still me at the end of the day. Like I still had myself to lean on and I could still have my own back. I spent in my friends as well. I don’t want to just kept them and family and yes, therapy right there, but it didn’t devastate me the same way the first one did. So it’s an interesting shift.

What happens with the same breakup, or I’m not the same break up the same guy and a breakup. How, how can shift after you’ve done that work. And after you’ve really learned how to meet your own needs and, and defend or not fend for yourself, what’s the word I’m looking for? Like validate your, validate your own emotions and understand yourself.

So yeah, I’d say, you know, for me, music is the key in writing at the surface level, but also listening to your emotions and just letting yourself go there, cry it out. I love a good ugly cry. Yeah. I pretty much relate to everything you just shared, Michael. Yeah. Right. When those vibes I’ve had,

I’ve had five relationships, five long-term relationships. And after every single one of them I’ve always needed to grieve because I’m always just a total mess after them. So I just like, I can’t even go into another relationship or even thinking back on it. Like, I didn’t even really have much sex after relationships. Like I really just go into this incubation period where I need to like really grieve everything and process the relationship and then which I’m grateful for that actually,

because I think having compounded grief, man, I just could never do it. I’m way too sensitive for that. It would just like live inside me. And so taking that time, I think is so, so crucial in order for me to be able to prepare and get into the next relationship. There was something that you had said Callen in the original question.

Oh, clean cut or cold Turkey. That’s what it was. So yeah, out of five relationships, my first one was eight years. And then all after that or that the one after that was two and then 1, 1, 1 years and the first row, I didn’t, I, the first four, I did not talk to them after. So I needed,

I needed cold Turkey, clean cut. See you later. I never spoke to any of them ever again. And then I was, I was called to come back to Vancouver, even though the very first time I lived in the city, I didn’t really like it, but there was an energetic connection I needed to come back to Vancouver. So when I left Asia,

I came back, had a quick pit stop in Calgary. And then I had to Vancouver. I was there for just over a year and I was dating Ben. And he’s the first person that I’ve ever remained in contact after we broke up. And I, for me, I look at edit as extreme progress and growth because I was never able to do that before.

It was just way too intense for me. And I think now I pretty much talked to Ben like every few days and we have a really beautiful friendship and so much consciousness and we are continuing to grow and evolve in the relationship, challenging each other, you know, speaking and practicing, authentic, relating, doing all the things that we need to do to heal.

So I think I’ve had the most healing out of any relationship with, with Ben. And he knows that. So, and he’s okay with me mentioning that on here, which I’m just so grateful for. And, but I did the guy that I dated the first time I was in Vancouver. I actually reached out to him when I was in Vancouver and I hadn’t spoken to him in five years and I reached out and I asked if he’d be willing to meet with me because I had been doing a ton of work and processing all my relationships and getting to kind of the heart of what was actually going on the whole time.

I thought I was anxiously attached. Didn’t realize I was actually fearful avoidant in my attachment style. And it stemmed from my father and the relationship I had with him and the avoidance and the inconsistencies and, and all that. So anyways, he agreed to meet with me and we connected in a park and we, I was able to share a lot of stuff.

I was able to apologize for a lot of the ways that I was showing up in the relationship. And it was almost like this really beautiful chord was just cut. And like, it was, I dunno, it’s something released. And then from that point, fascinating thing is from that point, my relationship with my dad just got better and better, like every month.

And my dad started reaching out to me and wanting to connect and, you know, he’d never really done that most of my life and, and a really fascinating thing about that. Both that relationship too, is that, that, that guy reminded me so much of my father. It was very, very paternal that, that relationship. So it’s just,

it’s so interesting how, like, it’s like, my guides probably brought me into this relationship and stir up all my daddy wounds and I didn’t process them. Right. I pieced out and moved back to Calgary. I ran from it all. And then I ended up meeting Ben who also brought up all my daddy stuff. It was like just the second chance of being able to work with it.

And I did, I went to the heart of the matter and really got to the bottom of it and then released the chord with, with the other gentlemen. And, and then, yeah, and ever since I’ve had such a solid relationship with my dad, like we talk every week and it’s been, there’s been just like a really nice improvement in that space.

And it’s allowing me to feel more confident and more secure in, in relationships. So I just want, I really want to highlight to people that like, you know, our relationships with our caregivers, our primary caregivers is going to be such an important, important, like piece of information to understand how we relate to other people. And if we did have an insecure attachment or attachment trauma with our caregivers,

that does not mean that we can’t move forward and we don’t even need them to move forward, we just need to do that healing right. Then we need to understand that, okay, shit. You know, I was the, it’s an exact replica of how I was showing up in the fears. I was trying to prevent myself from having to experience again,

that was causing me to not be able to move into intimacy and security in my relationship. So anyway, I, I think that’s why we do this work, right? Like we want to point these things out to people and, and allow people to understand and have this, this awareness and this introspection. Cause it really is how we set ourselves free.

Yeah. oh, a hundred percent. And I think that’s leads into the next question really well is, you know, what, what have been some of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned through heartbreak? And I think we’ve also just talked about a lot of it, but one of the things that I’ve learned through heartbreak is that I’ve, I’m, I’m never going to know a hundred percent what the other person is thinking.

I’m never going to know whether this relationship lasts forever, or if it’s going to end tomorrow, I’m never going to know all of those answers. And the more I date people and get to know people the more at ease, I guess I am with that. And the more I can release this feeling of need, because I’ve done the work on myself and I continue to do the work on myself.

It’s like not needing another person to be any specific thing for me, but to just love them for who they are and just be appreciative of the fact that they are sharing this part of their life with me. And so heartbreak really taught me that it’s like, I don’t have that control as much as we want to control the relationships like Mike Lee were talking about,

like you, like, I still love, Love you. You can be with, this is fine. I’ll do all these things that Sage like, Like it’s, it’s two people like, man, like we don’t have their consciousness, we don’t have their life experience. We don’t have all the stuff that’s going on in their brains. And just like,

we only know our perspective. And so heartbreak has really helped me kind of see that upfront and close and really personal. And like it was shitty and it hurt and it sucked, but it’s kind of like, you know, when you have to go through something and like fail at it a bunch of times until you can just be like, oh yeah,

well I do this all the time and yeah, maybe I fail, but like it gets easier and it gets better. And I feel like that’s what I’ve kind of experienced with relationships that it’s like, fuck, this really sucked, but I can like pull back a little bit and go, okay. Yeah. Let’s process the stuff. Let’s go through the crying.

Let’s do all the things which I also didn’t use to do. And like, be like, okay, well, I’m that I got to share this time with this person. I’m grateful that I’ve learned these lessons. I’m, you know, I’m happy that that was there. And without heartbreak, I never would have gone through those experiences and those journeys to learn that it’s just like,

I can only truly, really do me and I can’t do anything else for anybody else other than show up as my authentic self. And the more I can do that, the more I allow them to show up as their authentic selves. And regardless if we’re going to be together for our, the rest of our living life or if it’s just going to be a year or two,

I, you know, ha it’s allowed me to stop future tripping on that and just to engage with the relationship and enjoy it for what it is. So that was kind of one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned over time with heartbreak is that, you know, it’s enjoy the moment for what it is and don’t hold on to what you want it to be at the end,

because none of us really truly know what that adventure is going to look like and that, you know, embrace all of it for what it is. So I’m interested to hear what you guys have to say. So what about you, Michael? All right. Well, I would say I have four, but I want to start with the kind of,

at least important for me to the most important, at least from my experience. So one would be that there’s always someone else out there. If there’s anything I’ve learned, you know, when, when the break, when I’m in the breakup, when it’s happening, the fought that really gets me in a, in a spiral is that’s it? There’s no one else.

He’s the only one. And that creates so much desperation, anxiety and stress and sadness. Like he’s the one, like, you know, I couldn’t stress enough how much I told everyone about that. No, but he’s the one, like I decided on him, I was going to marry him. We had a whole plan. Like it was him,

him, him, him, him, and that creates such a necessary brief. Whereas we used at Callan makes a lot more sense. Celebrate it for what it was. But yes, there’s more so remember I was saying how in the two breakups, there was a profound shift in me. And the first one, it was, it was, he was the only one.

There’s no one else out there for me that was sort of the predominant feeling I had or belief system I had the last time we broke up, I was like, this is just the beginning for me in a way that was like, again, still sad, like, okay. I thought he was the one. Clearly that’s not the case. Like I didn’t argue against him.

I was like, all right, well this, this is clearly not meant to be. And then, you know, realizing, okay, well this was not the path I thought there’s that con control. Like I thought, I, I thought I could see the future. I thought I knew what the future’s going to hold. Apparently I was wrong.

Universe wins again. Michael doesn’t seems to be a trend. And so I was like, okay, well then there’s something else out there for me. Like, there’s, there’s clearly someone else or something else. Like it’s not meant to be. So, you know, the lesson there is, there is even not necessarily someone else, but there is something else out there for you,

whatever that is. So if you’re going through a breakup right now and you have that belief, like this is sad because he’s the only one, or he’s the best wonder, no, one’s gonna love me. Like you did or whatever. I’m never going to have that again. You know, that is such an, an unhelpful thought to think it’s you could celebrate it for what it was great.

You’re you’re right. Probably no one will be just like that, but that’s not where you’re going. Right. And that’s, that’s been one of the key lessons. The second one is that every, every breakup I’ve had is, gets me closer to knowing what I want. So the contrast. Okay. So this one didn’t work because of ABCD. Okay,

cool. Next one. Now, you know, now I know now I know better. Okay. Now I know that I want this, this, this, because that, that guy taught me all these wonderful things and so on and so forth. So the contrast gives rise to the clarity, to borrow from Abraham, you know, not, not having something or if it doesn’t meet your needs in one way,

then you can look for that in another way with the next one. So that’s the second thing. The third thing is that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. And this applies to everyone out there. We are all probably stronger than we give ourselves credit for. And there’s nothing like a heartbreak where you’re on the receiving end of it, to prove that to you,

you know, I’ve been on the, I’ve been on the end of heartbreaks or breakups where I’m the one breaking up with them and it’s still hard. It is just as hard in a different way. But when someone breaks up with you, it, for me, at least it felt so powerless. And I didn’t know what to do. I had,

I just, I didn’t have anything within myself. I did not see that it was already there. What I learned through that breakup was that, oh, I do have it within myself. I just needed to take the time to discover it. And then the fourth and most important thing is how to love myself. And that kind of goes off the heels of that one.

You know, with that, with that heartbreak up, I learned, I mean, my, my ex I will give him credit for this until the day I die him breaking up with me is what taught me. This will put me on this path that I’m on today because it was that event that got me to look to the mirror and said to myself,

okay, Michael, this shit is not going to work. This is not the rest of my life. We need to figure this out. We need to really get serious about your life here. What, what do you want? How do you, how do you want to live? And that’s when I started finding self-help books. So that’s when I started getting into spirituality.

And then that led into personal development. All of a sudden I was on this path and this journey that I would have never been on, had an up and for him. So I’ve learned how to heal. I’ve learned how to heal myself and through that, now I can help others on their healing journey, which is what we all do as coach.

It’s not necessarily healing, but, but development. Right? So yeah, those are, those are the things that I think have been the most for the biggest lessons on my own journey. How about you, Matt? Thanks for sharing guys. Yeah. I fully resonate with everything you guys said. And it’s interesting how all of ours are a little different,

which is nice for the listener and viewer to kind of pick up on a bunch of different things. I have three that I wrote down. The first one is that I was attracting what I needed, not what I wanted. And I think that’s an indication that the universe is trying to heal you because you’re trying to heal yourself, right? So we get what we need in order to heal.

And I think for me, I had an undervalued self, you know, growing up, experiencing abandonment, growing up gay, like just, I had low self worth. Let’s call it what it is. And I didn’t love myself. I didn’t know how to receive love from another because I didn’t love myself. And that’s what I kept meeting to attract.

So I was attracting guys who were probably similar to me actually. And they would come in and they really wanted to love me and I wouldn’t allow them to, but then if I would open up, they would pull back. So I was experiencing what I experienced with my father, this fearful avoidant, push pull kind of dance. And it was just every time it happened to me,

it was just stimulating my abandonment wound. And it was allowing it was wanting me to go and be with it. So yeah, lots of stuff around worthiness has come up in all my relationships, which is really fascinating. The second one is when somebody shows you who they are, believe them, because people are constantly showing you who they are and what we’re doing and what our ego does actually,

is it projects what we want them to be on to them. And we’re living, we’re trying to turn them into who we want them to be. I did that so many times in all my relationships. And then I’m like three months and I’m like wondering, I’m like, why is this person not like what? You know, who I thought they were well,

because I was just projecting my love fantasy onto them. And they, they weren’t taking it on. They’re like, fuck, this guy wants me to be what right. And so through that learning, I learned, I learned that everybody has shadows. You can never really fully 100% trust anybody. Okay. And that might be my trust issues coming up.

But I really believe that because people, you know, as soon as everybody has shadows, and as soon as you stimulate someone shadow self, how they show up is going to be a hell of a lot different than they did when you were, when they were in their light body energy. Right. So I just think it’s always, always have a secure home base.

That’s so important because it’s like when somebody fucks off or when somebody doesn’t show up the way you want them to, you need to be able to return home. And I think, you know, in this new course, we’re creating on relationships where we’re literally teaching how to have a strong relationship with yourself. So you can have a strong relationship with others.

You can’t have one without the other. And I want to preface that by saying that you don’t need to be perfect either to be in a relationship because the universe is going to give you what you need to, right. So we can be unholy right. And go into a relationship and we can learn how be whole by, by showing up in a relationship,

not feeling whole. So that was one of the things. And the last one was, don’t stay in a relationship because you don’t think you can do better. I did that so much. I, again, it all stemmed from low self worth. So I would choose a guy and he wouldn’t be a good fit for me. And I would just stay in it because I didn’t think that I could do better.

And, and by better, I don’t mean like I’m not qualifying people. I’m just saying better for me. Right. A better fit for me and my values and my, my lifestyle, the what I, what I want. And, and as soon as I started to make those choices of getting out of relationships, that weren’t a good fit for me.

It allowed me to kind of develop a worthiness, right. Because if I was choosing people and being with them, because I had low self worth, well, as soon as you end those relationships and try and find somebody that’s a better fit than it, it usually brought me a greater sense of worthiness. So, Yeah. Nice. You actually kind of said two things that fit perfectly into what I’m going to say next in regards to like looking back,

what, what are you grateful for about the past, your past dating experiences? And one thing that you said was like, you know, don’t project onto people, like who you think they are and like make up these like, love stories about them. Cause that’s definitely what I did with my first ex, because he was like the sweetest, kindest,

nicest person that when I was getting to know him, I’m like, perfect. That’ll be great. Cause like, he’s never going to hurt me because he’s so lovely. Like he couldn’t even hurt a fly type stuff so that when he literally ripped my heart out and broke my heart and broke up with me, I was like, but this is why I chose you.

This is why I picked you so that this wouldn’t happen. And so that’s also why it was such a shock that it was just like, oh God. So yeah, like you can’t, everybody’s got their stuff. Like everybody has their stuff. And it’s so true. What you said, we do have to like, you know, like come back to ourselves and build ourselves up enough that we can,

you know, not completely crumbled to part like to bitch when something like that does happen, if, and when it does happen. And then the other part of that is like that you said is like, yeah, we don’t need to be complete human beings because I think that it’s part of being human, that we’re constantly learning about that. And we’re constantly learning what that is.

And it’s not one of these like straight line journeys. It’s one of these like, you know, up plateau, dip up plateau dip, and it’s like a constant up and down balance. And part of that is allowing other people to come in to show you those things, to be the mirrors for you, so that you can love yourself deeper in different ways.

I know that my first ex you know, what I’m grateful about for that dating experiences that he did teach me how to love myself in so many different ways that I didn’t think I was lovable because I had these issues from my dad. But then I also had all these loving things from my mom trying to break the cycle of all that kind of shit.

So it was like these mixed messages. But when I was with my first ex, he really allowed me to love with those weird parts about myself. And like, he didn’t have any, like, you know, the weird course that I would think about or that I’d go crazy about. He was like laughing. He’s like, you’re crazy. Like nobody else is thinking like that.

And it kind of allowed me to drop those like walls that I had of like, oh, nobody else thinks this is a big deal or nobody like, you know, and he really allowed me to kind of like, love those weird parts of myself and to show me that it’s okay to love those weird quirky parts of myself. So I’m really grateful for that relationship because it did open that up for me in order to like,

allow myself to love myself deeper because this other person was loving me. I was like, it almost gave me permission to love myself on a deeper level because somebody else was doing that. So I’m really grateful for that, that relationship. And in my second relationship, I’m really grateful for having, like, it was a very different relationship is going to sound weird.

It wasn’t a very sexual relationship. Like we did fool around and stuff, but like, for the most part, it was a very like, like mined relationship. Like we just loved to talk to each other and like have that. And so I was grateful for that because it kind of reminded me that like, there’s more to a relationship than just the sexual aspects.

Like it does need to be a better balance than it was that’s for sure. But it kind of reminded me that it’s like, oh yeah, like you can have all of this like good juicy stuff and like, talk about these amazing deep concepts and still have like some sort of a sexual, like thing. Like it doesn’t have to just be sexual or just be romantic.

It can be that balance. And it kind of took me further into that understanding of like, I want to have somebody who is like my best friend. They’re not my best friend, because I think you definitely need to have those people in your life to have those different experiences. But like your partner, the person with you should be one of your best friends,

because like, you’re going to hang out with them all the time. Like, is that not what a best friend is? And then the sex and the sexual stuff is all extra, like good stuff too. Like it all needs to be well-rounded in there. So looking back, those were probably some of the biggest things that I’m grateful for in my dating relationships.

What about you guys? What about you, Michael? Well, I mean, kind of what I said earlier, which is, you know, putting me, putting me on the path to where I am now. Right? Like, like you said, learning that self-love, I wouldn’t have been here, had an open for that, that moment. Like I can drop a pin exactly on the place and time where I just said,

okay, that’s it, this has got to change in my life, took a different trajectory. So granted, he didn’t know he was doing that, of course, but I think, well for that, I think each, each of my partners long-term, or even the guys that I’ve just dated, even if it wasn’t anything like a relationship, they’ve all taught me something,

right. They’ve all developed contributed in some way to, to where I am now in, in how I, how I love how I attach even sexually. Right. To some extent they all taught me a little something, something. So I think that’s, it’s it’s I used to take things for granted and that’s what I think they think the question is,

what are you grateful about? I think one thing is I used to take things for granted. And now with my current partner, I am very much grateful every day and every moment, because if there’s anything I’ve learned, I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. And so every day that we are together, even the days that I’m not too happy with them are,

I’m still grateful for him. I’m still grateful for, for us. And so that’s been, that’s been very nice to have that sense of enjoy it for what it is in the moment, because who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. I would also say we talked a little bit about friendships and my best friend was initially my boyfriend. And we were together for,

I think, three years, three or four years. One of those, no, I don’t remember. It’s a long time ago, but we were together for a long time. And we had that instance where we did have a clean cut initially. And then he was way he went away and, you know, we were just physically apart. And then when he came back,

we’re like, Hey, do you want to hang out? Like, you know, you’re, you’re the kind of person like you were saying, tell him like, he was my best friend and my boyfriend, but I didn’t want to lose the best friend part. So we would still end up going to movies and doing stuff together and he’d come visit me in Toronto.

And you know, out of that became a friendship that has lasted 20 years now. Right? So there is something to say about, in some cases, this is not always the case, but in some cases we’ve been able to maintain a friendship. And in my case with Sean, it’s been because of our relationship, which is really weird to think about.

Now, in fact, we’re here in Puerto Vallarta and he’s here with his partner and I’m with my partner now where we’re here with our separate partners and it’s just, you know, it, it’s, it’s a great, it’s, it’s really nice to have to have that. So I’m very grateful for that. And then everything I’ve learned about myself, which we’ve kind of alluded to a bit,

right? Like I’ve learned so much about myself, you don’t, Matt talked about attachment styles. I didn’t even know what that show was until I was in a relationship. And I learned, oh shit, I’m very much anxiously attached to this guy over here. And how can I move towards, you know, a more secure attachment and what are the things I need to do?

So, you know, each relationship has, has that has taught me something. And I think it’s been very helpful in getting to know me, right? Like the course that we’re building is all about that. And I think it’s super important that you get to know yourself, not that you have to reach some kind of level of like destination where, okay,

now I can go into a relationship, but I think it, all of our are mirrors as we’ve talked about. And in that relating with another, you know, I know what work I need to do. I’m like, oh shit, you just triggered something really deep for me. So now I gotta, I gotta look at that. Right. So I think those are,

those are the most, I’d say the most important lessons are the things I’m most grateful for. So question, you know, the last question kind of goes into this. I’m, I’m very grateful for the learning and I’ve just been very lucky as I think back to all these guys, I’ve just been very lucky. They’re all, they’re all great guys in the runway.

I, you know, I love them today from a distance and I will always thank them for, for being part of my life, a part of my journey. I think there’s so many great memories there and I’m very fortunate. So yeah. I’m thankful for all of them. How about you, man? Yeah, I think I’ll second. The last point,

because I think I that’s so true for me too, is just being really grateful for all five of my relationships, because they’ve taught me what I want and they’ve taught me what I don’t want. So now I’m very, very clear about what it is that I need from a partner. And I’m just, I couldn’t be more grateful because I do think that the next relationship is going to be a keeper because I won’t settle for anything less.

Right. I’m very content being single. So I’m not going to get into a relationship just for the sake of getting into one. I want to make sure that there’s a lot of alignment and I’m going to take it quite slow. This next one. I just know that that’s going to be a necessary for me. One thing that stood out when I kind of was,

you know, taking a trip down memory lane is great sex. I had great sex with all my partners. I’ve never been, I’ve never dated a guy that I haven’t had amazing sex with. So I have a lot of really beautiful sexual memories that I can tap into and explore. Cause I I’ve really enjoyed that. I think love making for me is just something that’s so beautiful and I am demisexual so like when I am really connected to somebody and I have great sex,

it’s like soul kind of sex, you know, so that’s very meaningful to me. The next one was they showed me what needed healing. I’m again, so grateful for that because every relationship of how it has been well and not just intimate, all relationships are, they’ve been mirrors to my own shadows and to the things that I’ve needed to integrate. So,

so much gratitude for each of my partners for, for triggering the shit out of me because you’ve helped me grow. So thank you. I learned how to love myself, like big in such a big way by, by feeling unloved. I learned how to love myself and by saying a feeling that’s my perception, but does not mean that they didn’t love me.

That’s just how I needed to perceive it in order to grow. So again, thank you for that. A lot of fun and playful experiences. I, I’m not, I’m, I’m quite serious and people know me as more serious and I’m always talking about spirituality and psychology, but I have a very fun and playful nature. And, but I only bring him out when I feel super trusting and safe with people.

And I’m usually with my partners, I get to that point. And so just feeling like I can just fully let go and like be playful and silly and goofy and you know, singing in front of them and doing all of the crazy things that I do. Cause I’m definitely a crazy Gemini. I know Michael can probably relate to that. We have a very crazy side.

So being able to share that with somebody has been really important. And then the last thing is I’ve become an exceptional communicator and there’s a style of communication that I needed and it was vulnerable communication because I needed to learn how to talk about my fears and my insecurities because I, in my personal opinion, a relationship can not thrive unless you’re, you’re owning those parts and you’re practicing radical honesty and transparency.

And I had such a low self worth that even the thought of telling them about my fears and insecurities, I was like, no way, like I’m not going to bring that stuff up because then they’re going to see me for how I feel. And I didn’t want that. And I think through each relationship, I learned how to start to communicate these things.

And it’s through communicating my fears and my knee and my insecurities that I learned what my needs were too. And then once I learned what my needs were, I could start communicating those to, then I could get my needs met, which again is something that was very foreign to me. So I feel like now I’m at a really beautiful place where it’s like,

I’m prioritizing, prioritizing my needs. And I feel worthy to have my needs met. And it just feels really, really nice to be at this place. So yeah, I love that. I don’t know if you guys, I also love that we’re all in like different parts of like, you know, those journeys and like we’ve watched each other go through different parts of this journey.

And so this is a really interesting, really interesting topic, really good topic to cover it. And I hope that everybody out there listening has gotten a lot out of today’s episode. Anybody got any last minute things they want to add into it before we finish up here. I’m Good. Nice. All right. Well, if you’ve enjoyed this episode of gaming going deeper,

please consider subscribing to whatever podcasting platform you listened to. If you listen on apple iTunes, give us a five star. Oh, and also Spotify added star ratings. So it gives five stars over there as well. Leave a comment. We love to read them. You can also do that over on our YouTube page. So if you’re watching this on YouTube hit that subscribe button and that little bell,

we release new episodes. Every Thursday, it will notify you and give us thumbs up, leave us comments. We love reading those at the beginning of each and every episode. And like I said before, and like we’ve talked about, we do have a new relationship course coming out. So if you’re curious about that, go gay men going deeper.com and you can join us in the membership,

get familiar with how everything rolls before we released the course in there for you. Or you can just join our email list and we’ll be letting everybody know when that course comes out. So I’m looking forward to seeing you all in there, have the best day ever peace love rainbows, and we will catch you next time, everybody.

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