Break ups suck. No matter how right it is for you to call it quits on a relationship, you’re always going to question whether it’s definitely 100% the right decision to make. Breakups can leave you feeling worthless. Confused. Judging your own judgement of others. Judging yourself. They can leave you discussing your feelings with a stranger in the back of an Uber pool (sorry to the nice random drunk blonde girl from a few weeks back) and they can leave you sitting on your friends front door step trying to hold back the tears whilst you wait for them to come back from work because you don’t want to be by yourself (sorry Zoe & Juli, for putting that on you guys last month). So if you hadn’t already guessed from my cryptic tweets more recently (“you can’t spell disappointment without men” – a personal fave of mine) several weeks ago, I went through the emotional fuckery of a break up.
Breakups are weird, too. They do stupid things to your head. It’s as though, no matter the reason for it (did he cheat? Did you cheat? Did he accidentally kill your cat? Did he snore too loudly?) a montage of your best moments plays on repeat in your head to some very fitting music (Coldplay Fix You is always a depressingly appropriate backing track) You forget all of the bad stuff that got you both to that place where you decide to call it quits, remind yourself of all of the good times and sit there sobbing whilst scrolling through breakup and single girl memes on sassy Instagram accounts trying make yourself feel better. Oh, the Saturday mornings in bed, the incredible sex, the birthday cards with beautiful words crammed like two weeks worth of holiday clothes in a RyanAir carry on suitcase on to the small square pages – and well, his abs!
But you also forget that there will be more lazy Saturday mornings with others, more incredible sex with others, more beautiful messages from others, and most certainly more amazing abs if this fitness and wellness trend keep going strong and you keep your standards high (I can’t remember the last time I kissed a guy who didn’t have a 6 pack, just saying.)
Everyone asks you “what happened? You were so in love!” – and of course, yes, I totally was. And it was great – while it lasted. Being in love can be so amazing. But I was always told that relationships that start up quickly are the ones that burn out just as fast – maybe the feelings die a lot quicker? Maybe the feelings aren’t even real? But of course, when you only see certain friends every few months, it’s easy for them to miss the moment things start to go downhill. And people only see what you put out on the internet. They only see the #couplegoals photos – and if you needed further proof that what we see on social media is edited highlights, then this is certainly it. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if those words are all lies? What if behind all of the filtered smiles you’re simply clinging on to something that isn’t even there anymore?
Then, something great post-breakup happens: you begin to see the light. The truth is, I saw the light before it even ended. Towards the last few weeks of my last relationship, it was so stressful I began to yearn being alone more. Doing my own thing. Being totally independent. And I think he probably sensed that. I’m 25 – I want to be going out having fun, with impromptu drinks in the evening and I want to dance all night long – all without answering to, annoying or disappointing anyone, making them feel that they’re second best to my lifestyle or making them feel that because I don’t want to go to bed at 9pm every night, that we are clearly not on the ‘same path’. And the guilt! I don’t want to feel guilty every time I make a choice for myself rather than them.
If someone gives you a good enough reason to keep coming back, then take it. Go back to them every night and tell them how much you love them. But at this age, if it’s not good enough, if it doesn’t make you happy, and doesn’t make you grow as a person, then is it really worth it? Earlier this week I wrote about not settling for a simple life, and if you’re on a similar wavelength, you also need someone who will embrace and support your wildest dreams and endeavours – or you can do it all by yourself.
A relationship is about compromise and making it work for two people. If your lifestyle changes, and they can’t keep up, then you are clearly not right for each other. When a relationship can only work to one persons rules and dictation, then it’s no fun. You shouldn’t have to censor yourself and bend your life to fit that of someone else’s, especially when they would never do that for you. Relationships are about flexibility, and working together. Find someone who builds you up, and appreciates everything you do for them.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing. And it will come and press mute on that Coldplay montage that’s been playing on repeat for the first few emotionally messy days in your mind, and replace it with Beyonce’s Irreplaceable or Best Thing I Never Had, or Hailee Steinfeld’s I Love Me as the soundtrack to memories of all of the times he made you feel like you questioned your worth and integrity as a person, and replace all of them with fun new memories of being out all night, trying that hobby you always wanted to but never had time, and holidays with your friends. You’ll feel free and wonder why you ever felt sad in the first place. Right now, I’m the happiest I have been in months, with so many exciting things happening and changing that wouldn’t have done had I not moved on. No, I never saw myself as one of them “everything happens for a reason” kind of people – but I’m definitely beginning to believe in it now.
Some people grow. Some people change. It’s life. Yes, breakups suck. And they’re hard. You will shed tears, you will probably send some texts you regret before blocking them on every social media outlet possible, but you will get stronger and you’ll learn so much about others and most importantly, about yourself. So if you’re going through a breakup now: trust me, you will be okay. Things get better – and much more quickly than you might expect. The montages in your head are bullshit. And don’t listen to Coldplay Fix You ever again.