The Success & Failure of Break-Ups

What if there are people in your life right now, who are not living on the same timeline as you?

You know them, smell them, interact with them, email them, have brunch with them, maybe they even end up in your bed.

Even so, consider they may not be living in the same dimension as you.

In a multi-dimensional Universe, where time is not linear, space is more textured and 4D (or 5D) than we realize, I think we are often drawn to people who are riding the same vibration as we are, just not on the same timeline.

These people feel so familiar. They pretty much were you, just 3 years ago. Or you feel like you might turn into them in 5 years time, however exciting or revolting that prospect may be.

This is a relationship in which you feel both connected and disconnected. You are magnetically attracted to this person, and also perpetually annoyed by them. You are deeply in love, but at the same time something is always off. You are cat-claw emotionally attached but also kind of…ambivalent?

Sometimes we have intensely, passionate, short-lived loverships, because there is a small window of time during which our vibrations and timelines intersect.

See exhibit A:


artwork by me. 

We experience these periods of intersection with an un-nameable, otherworldly, harmony. We look into someone’s eyes and we understand them. We get their pain, their strengths, their potential. In return we feel known and felt by them, to our core, our aura, our bones. We don’t have to speak to be heard. We feel safe without knowing why. We offer our trust without needing them to earn it.

When vibration and timeline align, you feel close to a beloved as if they have lived in your own skin. You find yourself googling “past-life connection” and obsessively analyzing each other’s birth data through all the astrology compatibility websites. After about a month of dating, your weekly horoscope mentions something in passing about “soul-mates” and that’s it, you’re ready to co-sign on a commitment ceremony and already on the phone with U-Haul.

By the time month three rolls around, you’ve broken up. And it takes a minute (when a minute sometimes equals months or years) to get rid of that hollow feeling in your body.

In my 20s I spent most of my time rolling through love and break-ups of this sort. Short lived jolts of electricity passing through my system. I spent those years trying really, really hard to make those relationships work!…hanging on for much longer than they were alive.

Now in my 30s, I know how to recognize pretty instantly a relationship that is on a the same vibration, but a different timeline.

I’ll know without hesitation, Yep – I’m attracted to them and nope- don’t want to date them. Or, Yep – we were totally fam in a past life and nope, I don’t want to be friends now. At one point their familiarity would have been irresistible.

Now, familiarity without alignment is no longer attractive to me. It’s a little boring, even.

Maybe because now I understand that having feelings for someone is not the same as being dating compatible. That someone may love you, and that love still may not translate into an ability to be your friend, family, or ally, in the way that you need. Now I do not equate angst with passion. Or fighting with loyalty. Or suffering with growth, change and liberation. Or disappearing with love.

Maybe now I realize that this SUPER RARE SOUL-MATE FEELING OMG may always be special – I may always offer it my gratitude and acknowledgement – but I don’t any longer assume that it is my only chance at love.

After about the 6th or 7th time you say to yourself after a break-up – Nobody Will Ever Love Me Like This Again!!!™ – you kinda have to stop yourself like, waaait a minute. I sense a pattern here…

Sometimes we can travel down the same road with a beloved for years, and then shift into different timelines without even realizing it.

Something major happens in one or both people’s lives. A death, a trauma, an underground internal earthquake. A tectonic break that launches you into two completely different worlds. You still eat together, live together, work together, make plans together. But now you’re in two different movies. With two different character arcs and two separate hero-shero-queero journeys.

There’s a mess of time during which you’re still trying to understand each other. Still trying to communicate. Trying to get back on the same page, at the very least to achieve some kind of closure, but you’re not even in the same book anymore.


Sometimes I meet people and they instantly infuriate me. They remind me of me. But a version of me that I’ve grown out of. Or that I don’t want to grow into.

To be on the same vibration but on a different timeline means that you’re learning similar lessons, you’re struggling with similar demons, but you’re making radically different choices.

Something in the both of you looks at the other and thinks – If I made the choice you are making right now, I might actually die.

And maybe you would. That’s why you closed that door.

So we can either spend all our time trying to stop someone from making a choice we ourselves don’t have to make. Struggling fruitlessly to keep someone from dying on a different timeline that we can’t even reach.

Or, we can just keep living our lives.

What does it even mean for a relationship to “work out”? Where’s the line that denotes a success or failure? What are we trying to prove, and to whom?

Maybe…that mass historical and current violence, genocide, torture, and displacement couldn’t tear us apart? That we’re worthy of love amidst a culture that says our bodies and minds are either useless, exploits, or commodities? That witch burning and rape culture couldn’t destroy our spirit or ability to be close? That we deserve some peace and quiet after a riot? That we need pleasure, comfort and stability after losing our homes? That we want water after the fire? Joy after the war? That we can be remembered, not lost…uplifted, not erased…and not discarded, but chosen.

Well. I mean. Yeah.

Maybe it sounds too simple for most, but I take this mantra with me now: Don’t stay for longer than it makes you happy.

No relationship is going to be perfect all the time, but the problems should be challenging you to grow in positive ways, not bringing out the worst in you every time. Conflict should turn into opportunities to grow closer to yourself and each other, not keep you in perpetual fight or flight mode.

There’s no magic formula, and these answers are not linear lines to tread.

But I commit to not stay longer than it is making me happy. If the relationship makes me feel stuck. If it’s hurting me beyond repair. If my heart isn’t in it. If I want different things than I’m getting. if I don’t like who they are when they’re with me. If I don’t like who I am when I’m with them.

Well, then I’m done.

And it’s not a failure.

A break-up is never a failure. Not if you learned something. Not if you were touched and moved by the experience. Not If it gave you comfort or connection for a time being.

Or, if the pain taught you something about what you need.

If someone gave you their time and kept you company.

If you offered your care and energy – regardless if it was reciprocated or appreciated – you gave it, and that is a gift to yourself and the world.

If you felt pleasure at any point.

If you laughed together.

If you hurt someone, hurt yourself, and learned from it.

If you didn’t expect yourself to be perfect but were willing to be open to an experience.

If you were surprised.

If you felt alive.

If you felt numb.

If it opened your floodgates.

If you felt any goddamn feeling.

If you expressed your voice, body, mind, or heart.

And it was received.

Or if it wasn’t, and you were challenged to receive yourself.

If you were lost, longing or found.

If they saw something in you, and helped you bring language to it.

If you did your best.

If you didn’t – and that taught you something about moving with desire instead of obligation.

If you said no and learned to set boundaries.

If you said yes and learned to take a risk.

If you changed your mind and were honest about it.

If you hid the truth and learned something about what you need to build trust with yourself and others.

If you were yourself, every step of the way, no matter how painful or rewarding that practise is.

If you changed, at all, and can still find a way to thank yourself today.

Nowadays, I don’t commit to unspoken contracts I didn’t sign. I don’t commit to – we stay together no matter what, even if we make each other miserable. 

But I won’t call any relationship, or experience, a failure. That doesn’t hurt anyone as much as it hurts myself. And I’m not interested in hurting myself unnecessarily anymore.

That’s what I call, a success.

2 thoughts on “The Success & Failure of Break-Ups

  1. Shaunga,

    This. Is. So good. And fully relatable (to me, anyway). You have real gifts and so much to offer. This piece reminded me of a little music column I wrote a couple of years ago on “falling in love”. I have learned so much more even since then, as we do. Feel free to have a boo if you like (pages 32-35)

    Keep’em coming. I look forward to your posts every time.


    On Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 5:00 PM, Shaunga Tagore wrote:

    > shaunga tagore posted: “What if there are people in your life right now, > who are not living on the same timeline as you? You know them, smell them, > interact with them, email them, have brunch with them, maybe they even end > up in your bed. Even so, consider they may not be livi” >

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts and encouragement!! I’m looking forward to checking out the article you linked here. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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