You guys know this story well enough from me: breaking up sucks. I never much thought about how much it would hurt while I was in my relationship with X, but now I know. It is even worse when you’re still in love with the person and you realize you need to break up. It’s not always because you’re not in love anymore, you know?
A dear friend of mine is on the verge of sparking her relationship again with her ex (for the ninetieth time), and though many can see how perfectly wrong he is for her, I also understand where her mind is right now. I’ve been there. I considered getting back with X, remember back to some of my May posts? For some reason though I saw the errors of my thinking before I acted, thought better of why we broke up to begin with, and decided to look towards my future as a strong individual rather than depend on someone else for my happiness. I moved on. Now I am the most independent I have ever been, I love my life entirely, and I am surrounded by fantastic people who tell me my worth daily. It amazes me to look back and reminisce on the love I’ve lost and the loves I’ve gained…
It started with me dating the perfect guy. He was kind, sweet, funny, and charming — essentially everything I could have wanted in a guy. Let’s not forget to mention he was my best friend and my most loyal confident going on four years. We meshed so well.
The first couple of years we were constantly laughing, cuddling, watching fast car movies together, and making Pinterest dinners together. We had a total blast. His imperfections were endearing to me and I was completely and utterly in love.
I spent a lot of my free time from schoolwork planning our future together, both in my head and out in the open. I mused at wedding plans and where we might live post-graduation. I thought about the future more than I lived in the present. I played the love-smitten girl well.
It wasn’t until we became engaged that I began to see our relationship in an entirely different light. Have you heard that expression that women marry a man thinking he will change and men marry a woman hoping she won’t? In retrospect, I think this is where my mind was. I found myself trying harder and harder to connect with X. I started to become weary. I started to be cynical. I kept thinking that it was just a hiccup in our relationship due to “wedding stress.”
Until one day, it hit me: this was not just a hiccup. X and I were different. We wanted different things in life, we believed in different aspects of how life should be. As this revelation overcame me, I knew is my heart that we had always been different. The faults in him I once found endearing now ate at me. The way he allowed his mother to treat me, his constant pressure to move the wedding date later, his decision of no longer wanting children, his lack of interest in applying himself at school or work, his obsession with pornography… these had created a distance between us, a chasm that was widening at an alarmingly rapid rate.
I was exhausted from reaching over the gap with no bridge to help. I was no longer growing in this relationship, and neither was he. I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore, I thought.
That thought made my heart sick. Here I was with a beautiful ring on my finger telling the whole world how happily in love I am with more wedding Pins than should be allowed, and I knew I couldn’t move forward.
X was still, even with all his faults, my best friend. I cared deeply about him. I has a lot of feelings and thoughts that didn’t seem to make any sense to me: Maybe we can get through this. Maybe he will change. I can’t live without him in my life. I think this is because the hardest part about breaking up with someone you love is convincing yourself that you need to do it in the first place. I knew in my heart this decision was for the best, but I couldn’t face the looming levels of pain if I actually went ahead with this knowledge.
Our break up is not one of which I am proud. It involved two years worth of pent-up anger and, though it should have only concerned X and myself, involved far more people than conceivable.
In the aftermath, I felt like a criminal. I lost my closest companion, my Good Morning and Good Night texts, all my crazy inside jokes. I lost four years of my life. I was intensely lonely and distraught. A song on the radio, his favorite drink being ordered by your bar neighbor, or a simple note hidden away in a book suddenly brought back all those memories of the good times.
I felt crippling doubt as well. For months following, I would have the urge to text X about my day, to share a happy moment or ask for advice on a tough subject. It was like reliving the break up over and over again. There were weeks I couldn’t eat, months I couldn’t sleep.
And then… I realized that the way I felt was totally normal. Sometimes the right decision is the most difficult. I couldn’t fix my feelings, but I had already fixed what I could by ending my broken relationship. I know now that it was the best decision for myself, and I have to hope he’ll be as happy and understanding of what our time together meant someday as well.
Breaking up with someone you love is terrible, and it’s scary. It is necessary, however, to be able to move onto a happier stage in your life. I want everyone, especially my friend, to know this: it is easy to think you’re the only one going through a rough break up when you’re heartbroken, but you are not alone! So let your heart mourn, but have faith that better things are right around the corner.