I don’t think anything could have ever prepared me for this, even though I could feel things had shifted dramatically. Although it hurt, the best part of breaking up, is realizing that there is someone out there who will appreciate you more. So to all you heartbroken, beaten down bastards out there- there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I promise, looking back, you’ll wonder why you ever even thought that it was the end of the world.
Things fell apart. I never hurt her, and never stopped thinking about all the things that I could do to give her a better life. Sure, even I knew things were falling apart right before my eyes, but I chose to believe that ‘it would get better,’ rather than admit we had lost our spark a long time ago. Reading the words “I just can’t see this working out” still stung. It’s as if the whole world just froze, but I kept spinning. You don’t know how to feel, or what to say- the person that you hoped would be there through thick and thin gives up, so easily. The person you thought would want to try doesn’t care about you or what could be; they’ve moved on to someone else and left you with heartbreak and shock, uncaringly.
Maybe it hurts more to some, and less to others. But I doubt anyone could deny that their heart hasn’t ached once in their lifetime, even slightly, over someone. You reflect on all the things you looked forward to, and realize it’ll never come to be. You remember every single moment you shared, and wonder where those kids went. What happened to the dreams and happiness they used to thrive on?
I can’t say I handled it well, initially. I was upset! It was hard to accept because I was stuck in the past; of the dreams and hopes we had shared long ago, before we realized we had grown apart. Knowing this didn’t change the fact that my heart was ripped open, and nothing could stop the hurt. I understood, sure. But how could I act like I was alright when I was broken? Do you know that feeling? It sucks.
I’ve just never been so disappointed in someone else. Nothing in my being, even when I was upset, could forget, or forgive, how she acted towards the end. Nothing could make me forgive her, even now, knowing she had given up on us for someone else. She was a different person, and someone looking back now, that I could never believe that I loved or trusted.
So, what is the best part of breaking up?
We let emotions, and other people, dictate our lives too frequently. It’s easy when you love them, but do you ever stop to think and realize how much you might let the person you love hurt you? All because you love them? I told her it was alright, but it wasn’t. I wasn’t. Why do we think it’s alright to be abused by someone we consider our soulmate? Abuse isn’t just physical, it’s emotional. It’s mind games and lies.
We pretend, and act, like we’re alright, but we never take a moment to breathe. To consider what we want, how things are changing- how a future you saw two years ago, is not the future you are living in now. Maybe it’s because society has taught us that caring about ourselves is selfish, or that love is our key to happiness. We often forget to acknowledge how we feel now, and instead let the past dictate where we go. We let fear hold us down, because the unknown becomes something of negativity rather than possibility, because change becomes taboo and we get comfortable in our delusion.
The best part of breaking up is knowing you were strong enough to love someone and lose them. We all cope with pain in different ways- but tell me, what’s a remedy for heartache? Time? This isn’t a hangover that will be over in a day. We have to writhe in our sadness, rolling into the unpleasant tides of reality. You have to face that hurdle head on, and it hurts. You can’t accept that you lost something, someone. You know it, but it’s hard to believe. It’s not an unpleasant dream, or a nightmare, but the cold hard truth. It’s a truth that you ironically need to face to be happy.
The best part of breaking up is it makes you realize what you need to be happy. When someone doesn’t love you anymore, what’s the point of being hung up on them? Exhausting more energy, love, and emotion into a person who has cut you from their heart, is useless. You can’t keep trying to revive something that died a long time ago. You can try, but it’ll never work. You’ll just feel worse as you continue to stare at what was killed. I can’t say that it’ll be easy to get up and leave the ruin behind, but doing so is the only way that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
When things come to an end, we can’t help but mourn over what we’ve lost. But in the process, we begin to rebuild ourselves with this newfound emptiness. We realize that someone we loved is with us no longer- and we ultimately accept that things will never be the same. Saying goodbye to someone who isn’t dead might be arguably more difficult- because we know they’re out there, breathing the same air you used to breathe together. Have you ever heard Floorplan by Tegan and Sara? “I want your lungs to stop working without me.” The person you believed was your other half is no longer lying beside you at night, or making sure you arrive home safely from work. But you know they’re out there, sending those messages to someone else.
The best part about breaking up is finding yourself. When you’re with someone you love, you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about yourself. A lot of what you do is influenced by your desire to make them happy. We learn to be selfless lovers, who by virtue, must place others before ourselves; but we really need a balance. Now you have the time to consider what you want. Do you want to go back to school? Did you want to travel? Were you not ready to move in together because your life needs to be sorted first? There are a lot of different things you find out about yourself after a break up, because you reflect on what you had, and realize what you actually want. Now you have time to go back to school, now you have time to go out and have fun- it’s not so much a loss, but an experience. A lesson that you had to learn through finding yourself completely heartbroken. But that lesson will heal, and it’ll make you realize this was the best thing that could’ve ever happened to you.
We learn that love is the key to being happy- but being happy starts with loving yourself. You don’t have to be extremely confident to do this, but you need to be aware of what you deserve, and what you need in your life. You need to explore the unknown we are taught to fear, and look at it as an adventure that is necessary into growing into the strong individuals we aim to be.
The best part about breaking up, is finding out who your real friends are. As high school as it comes off, it’s true. The people who are there for you every step of the way, are the people that you should never take for granted. Keeping your raw feelings to yourself, your hurt, your pain- holding that all in will kill you. Having someone, anyone, to talk to is essential in the healing process, because you gain a new perspective on the issue. Talking to strangers who are connected through the same fate as you allows two hearts to heal at once, unbiased by who we are or what our lives have become. You share the same pain, you understand the hurt, and you hear their stories. It becomes more about how you felt than finding yourself suddenly alone and upset. What becomes important is what you took away from the experience, why it was good in the end, what signs you had missed so you’ll know for next time, when your heart is ready to love another. It stops being about having loved someone, about losing them, but about how to learn and grow with their memory tucked somewhere in the past.
We cross paths with people all the time; and sometimes we fall in and out of each other’s lives. The people you grew up with may be strangers now, but their impact remains. We remember who we used to be, but shouldn’t hold onto it too long. Let the sweet nostalgia remind you of what you had, and let it teach you to never take the future for granted. Maybe you never had, and never will, but you realize how easily it is to go through people in search for that friend, that lover- that person who you can connect with in some way to make life an enjoyable adventure. Friends are just as important as lovers, but they are as equally hard to come by; at the least the truest ones.
The best thing about breaking up, is healing. The healing process sucks. It’s like waking up from a night where you drank too much; each motion is dizzying, nauseating. You want to lie in your self inflicted torture for hours, staring at the ceiling above. Wondering why you did this to yourself, as you hazily grab your coat to smoke a cigarette outside. Now you’re staring at a sunrise, the purple hues cascading into pink. The stars are fading, but the lights continue to softly blink in the distance, growing dimmer with each passing second. The world isn’t so dark anymore, and the cool morning air fills your lungs with the sting of toxic smoke. Your eyes may be bloodshot, your liver struggling. Your friends may have faced a similar fate. You feel disheveled and numb, but sitting on that fire escape, listening to the sincere quiet of the world this morning, you know it’s another day.
Healing over a break up is no different. Maybe the torturous emotions of a break up are not self inflicted, but recovering from a heartbreak is like a hangover. You can’t just forget about it, because the pain lingers. The headaches, the stale taste of alcohol on your tongue. Your body is hurting and you feel vulnerable, but you know in another day you’ll be back on your feet. A heartbreak will take longer, and although your liver won’t be struggling, your heart will be. The dull ache of a knife, dull but tearing at your heart, will keep you awake in agony for days to come. But each day you’ll face that same sunrise and realize- the world isn’t ending. If you don’t put the coat on, you’ll never see- but healing is understanding that the past is behind us and all we can do is work through the hurt as we slowly start to fall into ourselves again.
The best part about breaking up, is reflecting. Reflecting on your relationship can be painful, especially when the wounds are still fresh. But you start to remember all the things you forgot- the things you need to move on. Suddenly, your nostalgic memories are not solely cotton candy clouds and rainbows. You remember all the times you were hurt, all the things you didn’t like- all the times you felt helpless and alone, even when you were together. You start to remember how little you had in common; you initially mourn because you think, ‘how will I ever find someone so incredible again?’ But you forget that this ‘incredible’ person didn’t have much in common with you at the start. That this ‘incredible person’ broke your heart. That this ‘incredible’ person has hurt you without apologizing in the past. And in this moment, you realize how you don’t want to ever find someone like them again- you want someone better. You want a new type of incredible.
You don’t need someone to replace them, because memories shouldn’t be replaced. The great memories have a place in your heart, tucked away deep in your mind. You store your adventures in a safe place to laugh at from time to time. But this person who was once a part of your daily routine, has become a ghost. What you need is to make room in your heart for the next big thing- and look at your future loves, and losses, as equally significant. Maybe in the future you’ll break a few hearts, and have yours broken a few more times. Possibly, some of them may be on great terms- you’ll still be friends and carry on. If the memories of past loves were never great- if they’re clouded by abuse and pain, those memories will still haunt you. But you can’t let them define every new experience. People are hard to trust, and love is difficult. But allowing yourself to distance yourself from your past, from your freshly ended relationship, allows you to build your heart up with room for someone more deserving.
The best part about breaking up, is finding someone new. It may take awhile before you feel like yourself, and the last thing your heart, or mind for that matter, will want, is to get into another relationship anytime soon- who wants to go through that pain again? But finding someone new doesn’t have to be a romantic endeavor. Now you’re the only one you have to look out for- and finding great new people is the best place to start. Enjoy the in-between! Like so many other things in life- things just happen for a reason. Paths cross all the time, and someone you may have never known existed in this universe becomes someone you’re drinking with on a Wednesday night. Waiting around for the next big milestone isn’t how you’re supposed to live, and you’ve learned first hand that a future planned can change in any instant. Make new friends, step out of your comfort zone- now is the time to realize what you had is gone and the only way to move forward is to experience all the things you’ve been missing out on, or gave up on, for someone else.
I crossed paths with a stranger, about a week after my breakup. We spent the night running around town, bar hopping and sharing stories. There were so many moments where I found myself smiling simply because of her being there with me- knowing she enjoyed my presence, sharing pieces of herself with me over beers and shots. Our night ended with a hazy series of kisses, as the pixels of night softened our focus in the front seat of her car. The soft haze of dilated eyes focused on mine, the warm blanket of closeness draped over us both. A pair of soft lips that met mine, the soft touch of finger tips cupping my jaw as we went our separate ways.
It made me realize just how dead my relationship was, how distant we had grown, and how the happiness I felt in abundance this night, was rarely ever felt over the months prior to our breakup. I’m not calling it love; it wasn’t. Was an unexpected rebound a great decision? Even though nothing much came of it, I can still say yes. It was a window into the fact that there is so much more beyond the reality you’ve been boxed into. After a series of adventures, she disappeared too. But I never expected her to stay, or for things to last. But at that point in time, it was meant to be that our paths crossed, and I have no regrets.
The best part about breaking up, is realizing that you’re completely capable of embracing the unknown- the unknown you’ve learned to fear. You don’t have to know what tomorrow will bring to find fulfillment in your life. Maybe it helps, but plans fall through. You stop seeing yourself through the eyes of another, and realize you should have never given up those pieces of yourself along the way. Why would you chip pieces of yourself away for someone else? Why did I ever do that? You embrace walking into a bar completely alone, you gain a newfound sense of independence that might scare you (hell, it scares me) and you get out there. You learn to laugh and smile with strangers, with people you can call friends. You start piecing yourself back together along the way, and realize all the mistakes you’ve made in the past, so you never become that shell of yourself in the future. You embrace this unknown in-between, because you’re untethered, floating through space and time. You have the chance to start off fresh, to sort yourself, and your life out. To make room in it for new experiences and future loves.
I’d love to say that your heart will never be broken, or that you will never break someone’s heart, but I can’t promise that. The final best part about a relationship ending, is knowing that someone was honest enough to tell you how they feel. Staying in delusion, living in the dreams of a past life, or happily cruising through a relationship while someone else feels obligated to stay with you because they fear inflicting this pain on you, is no way to live. You both walk away knowing you deserve a better fit, a person you can click with again who will love all the things the other didn’t. You’ll walk away knowing you don’t need to be with someone to be happy- but that someday you hope to share this feeling with another. That someday you’ll be ready to love again, accepting all the risks and heartache that may lurk in the future. Worrying about it is useless.
The best advice I can give is to not fear the future. You may feel that things will never last forever, or that you can’t stop having your heart broken over and over again. You might fear over all the things you’ll miss out on experiencing with someone you’ve loved dearly. But that is all the past- and you need to realize that in order to continue healing. You also need to realize you do not need love, or anyone else for that matter, to be happy. Society tells us that love is the ultimate goal; every movie you see, all those songs you hear; they all focus on love, heartbreak, or a ‘happily ever after.’ You’re conditioned to believe you need someone else to be happy, but unless you are happy with yourself, you will never feel complete. Sure, loving someone is great; but you don’t need it.
You’re still living, still breathing.
So the best part of breaking up is learning, it’s growing, it’s surrounding yourself with better people, and finding yourself in the in-between.