You feel like you’re dying. You feel like you will never be okay again. Your heart was just ripped out of your chest; you can literally feel the hole where it used to be. You think that your only happiness has just been stolen from you, and that you’ll never get it back. You feel like you never mattered. You feel empty, you feel sad, you feel perpetually alone.
And then one day you don’t anymore. And it’s that simple.
One day, you are going to wake up and forget that you were ever sad. Your breakup is going to feel like a distant memory, and you will laugh about how you thought you were never going to survive. My first breakup was three years ago this month, and I genuinely believed that I was never going to leave my bed. I will never forget my friends finding me in my bedroom, surrounded by tissues, sobbing so much that sound wasn’t even coming out anymore. They made me get up, forced me to go to Cheesecake Factory (those assholes – who wants to go out to eat when they feel like a shell of a human?) and watched me cry the whole time while I poked my fork around my pasta, not touching a single bite. I am literally laughing out loud as I write this because of how ridiculous I was.
But I’m not ashamed of that day – because that day, I thought I was dying. I woke up the next day and still thought I was dying. And maybe even the day after that I thought I was dying, too, but then I woke up and I felt alive again. I cracked a smile. Maybe I even laughed. I was doing fine, and soon you will be, too.
Right now, there are a million things going through your brain. Is he okay? Is he happy, even? What did he tell his friends, his parents? How long until everyone knows we broke up? How long until I can talk to someone new? Does he think about me? Should I still be thinking about him?
The best advice I can give you is to take it one day at a time, and to focus on yourself. Boys generally react to these things differently than girls do. Obviously, they’re gonna go out with their friends as soon as you end things. Boys have some weird misconception that cheap beer is going to solve all of their problems. Of course he’ll pretend everything is fine. Maybe he’s even convincing himself he really feels that way, but on his own time, he will deal with the breakup, just like you are right now. Don’t waste your time comparing your coping mechanisms to his, because they will never match up. Don’t worry about him. Don’t think about what he’s doing. You aren’t with him anymore. Worry about you.
Yeah sure, I know what you’re thinking: easier said than done. And you’re not wrong. Naturally, you’re tempted to keep tabs on him. The first thing you want to do when you pick up your phone is stalk his social media, maybe even send him a text. Don’t do it. It’ll feel like the hardest thing in the world right now, but don’t do it. I’m speaking from experience here, girls, being involved with someone who you know you aren’t meant to be with is so emotionally draining. My ex and I both knew that we were not meant to be together, but we still couldn’t let go because we were too afraid to see what was really out there for us. In the end, after a painful two years of stringing each other along, so much more hurt was caused on both ends than was ever necessary. I beg you, don’t go back to him – you know he isn’t the one for you.
You may be asking yourself, okay, now what, then? First of all, stop listening to Where I Stood by Missy Higgins and throw away the tissues. Get up. Get dressed. Was there something that you wanted to do that you thought he may have thought was boring? Weird? Not cool? Now’s your time to do that. Spend more time with your friends. Talk to someone new, someone who appreciates you, someone who is interested in the things you have to say – if you feel like you’re ready to. You are on your own now, and you can do whatever you want. Don’t worry about what other people may think of you. The only opinion that matters is your own, because you are the one that is going to live with your decisions. No one else lives your life. Once you stop caring about what everyone else thinks of you, your life truly begins.
Moving forward, it is okay to feel whatever you are feeling. Some days you’ll be sad about it, even though you may never want the relationship back, and that’s completely normal. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t still have moments where I feel sad about that breakup my sophomore year of college, despite all of the things I’ve (very publicly – lol) said about my ex.
I know that this one has been all over the place, but there are no rules to this. I didn’t plan out this article. I didn’t type a draft. Maybe I shed a tear, I’m not too shy to admit it. I sat down, I started typing, and this is where I ended up. Similar to the way your (possibly broken) heart works – without rhyme or reason, and rarely ever in an organized manner. If you take away anything from reading this, let it be this one point: you are not okay right now, but you will be. That is the most simple, vague (and, right now, seemingly unrealistic) advice to ever read, but I swear that it’s true.
And quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today, and then someday is yesterday… and this is your life…
Your past relationship does not define you. You are your own person without it, and it may take some time to find out who exactly that person is, but you’ll get there. Just don’t let your friends force you to go to Cheesecake.
As always, thanks for reading!