Lockdown boredom: A text from an ex

Lockdown boredom. A one-way relationship. An unnecessary battle. Lessons learned from a loveless situation.

You’ll never convince him to love you. Just like you could never convince your mother and father of your worth. You chased their validation and still do, to varying degrees, today. But they never loved or prized you in the way that should have, and now this pain is being played out time and time again in your intimate relationships. You chase love. It eludes you. You repeat the cycle. You allow your bonds to keep you in bondage to painful people. Even though you’ve had years of therapy and you know he’s only calling because of lockdown boredom. You feel a tug of war when he sends you a random invitation to come round, in fact, it’s a first. It’s so rare to hear from him. You’re curious and we all know what curiosity did to the cat.

So, an unnecessarily battle ensues. Your personal harmony is disrupted (by you – empaths can be their worst enemy at times) and you come to a crossroads. To stay on your smooth harmonious path with you doing you, exploring your dreams and living a relatively peaceful life. Or do you opt for the drama route with red flags blowing, sirens blazing, the ‘DON’T CROSS THE LINE’ barriers descending. It looks like a hazardous, toxic terrain down there, you stare at both paths. The decision is all yours.


You make a choice to test it, you bear left and flick your toe over the hazard line to see if it will be miraculously different this time. You still feel a massive pull towards him. Six years on (with far more offs than ons), you defy your past hurts, rejections and disrespects. Once again, you indulge in the inevitable pointlessness of it all. You say yes to his invitation and feel an air of excitement about what will come. Even though you know the results will be the same, six years has taught you that much.

You say yes to the random invite and yes to the unsettledness this person brings. In preparation for your date, you undertake the necessary grooming; you never know how things may pan out, you hope for ecstasy – God you have a vivid imagination. You navigate your way to the postcode. I mean, getting a postcode was a victory, a first in fact. After all, for the past 6 years of being more off than on, he’s been cagey about where he lives. Now, you have a postcode and a slight air of validation flutters up your body. He must trust me, you convince yourself. He sees your worth. I mean, I must be special if he invites me to his house. Maybe this time will be different. Bless your empathic optimistic soul, you really do have a gift, but be careful that gift could be a curse in this situation. Empaths, we must ask ourselves, am I being my best friend?

Happily, you accept the crumbs of validation, even though you blatantly know if it weren’t for lockdown boredom his name wouldn’t be on your phone. You indulge and give it another try, secretly hoping for different results. At least this time you’ve been invited to his house – well you hope it is, you never were sure where he lived or with who. Like a lamb to the slaughter, you skip along. With so many unanswered questions, you know, if you want the night to run smoothly you better quell your desire for answers. Push that mute button. Smile and nod. Keep it all above board. Be nice and don’t annoy him with your curious mind. You’ve been warned. Let’s keep it superficially fine.

If experience teaches wisdom, then this one-way, self-sacrificing love experience should make you an expert. It’s a childhood longing for acceptance and validation and as a psychotherapist, pattern repetition is always of great intrigue for me. I rate experience highly, experience is the best teacher. So, if you find yourself selling yourself short or trying again when you’re 99% sure the same ol’ familiar loveless pattern will occur. Lockdown boredom! Well, my thoughts on the matter are as follows; you flicked your toe over the hazard line to have an experience. That’s it, it’s just an experience. Try not to judge the encounter as good or bad – it’s an experience and experience teaches wisdom. Your regression could just be an important opportunity to observe your progress, to witness your reactions, your urges, your pulls, your emotional ties and give you helpful insights about what no longer serves you and what you truly desire in the next season of your life. Notice what you notice. Make good notes, voice note can be helpful. Document your experience and start to discern the hidden meaning in your adverse situation. This is just one of the many ways that we make Pain Purposeful.

The fact of the matter is, you know so much. You know your self sabotaging. You know you’re selling yourself short. In fact, you know the relationship doesn’t work for you. Nor is it in keeping with the direction your life is taking. It’s not 50:50. It’s on his terms, he sets the tone and the pace. In spite of your optimism and your hope that it may be different, you know it won’t be. You know you have to stay grounded in reality even though you’re making a conscious choice to put yourself in harm’s way. However, all is not lost. Indulge yourself in the experience from an observers view – this is the only value I can ascertain. This is an opportunity to gauge important life lessons. If experience makes us feel alive then adversity is a jolt to the system. Let that pain re-shape your brain. Let it push you to reject what doesn’t serve you. Let it ascend you to the next level of a higher experience. Believe it or not, you’re levelling up here so take good notes!

In fact, if you’re choosing to indulge in a fruitless situation when you know the outcome will be unfavourable, then at any given time you can decide to opt-out. Life is a series of choices. Let’s try not to judge our choices as good nor bad, let’s just see them in the purest sense as choices. Now, the real issue is choices have consequences. Those consequences shape your reality, so if you don’t like your reality, you can easily change it. Change is always available, however, your fear-based lower self will resist change and try to get you back into familiar patterns, as life is predictable that way. Nevertheless, just make different decisions to create an alternative reality. It’s as simple as that, but us humans often make it hard.

What makes it so hard to change? In a nutshell, our subconscious programming. The first 0-7 years of our lives when our brains were sponges and we took in all types of conflicting messages from our environment and our parents/caregivers. If the message we received was that we weren’t good enough or lovable then this program becomes our blueprint and plays out in our adult lives. If those blueprints are left unchecked, our low self worth will adversely impact all areas of our lives, including education, work, career and my specialist interest area, intimate relationships.

What to do about it? The victory comes, when we begin to recognise our subconscious programming. When we start to make investments in our wellbeing through coaching, therapy and online programs such as the Pain into Purpose course we start to make small tiny consistent changes to our lifestyle. That’s exactly what I have done with my life and the tricky situations I have found myself in. I have made my pain purposeful in order to inspire others and by virtue of that, I have benefitted in many ways. As such, it’s my encouragement to you – find the life lessons in adverse situations, so you can become the observer of yourself and start to make tiny consistent changes to move your life in a new direction! Don’t let Lockdown Boredom take over!



If you have any comments about lockdown boredom or anything else discussed here, leave a comment below. If you’d like to work with me, please schedule a free 15-minute call.

Keeley Taverner is a well-respected psychotherapist, author and coach. If you have been inspired by this article or would like to interview Keeley for your publications, please do get in touch.