Now. I’m not one to air my dirty laundry in public. That’s not about to change, but… you can kinda guess for yourself from the title of this post what’s happened in my life recently. Break-ups are never easy, whatever side of the action you’re on, and the last few weeks have been no exception for me; but we’ve all been there, right? Group hug, girls.
You will cry.
You will cry a lot, just a heads up. Whether you’re someone who wears their heart on their sleeve or rocks a resting deadpan all the live long day, it will hit you at some point that bae is no longer bae. This special person who meant so much to you is no longer there for you in that way. Everything in your life, from your favourite song, favourite films, that shitty restaurant you went to on a date one time, reminds you of them. Maybe they completely disappear, or maybe they try the We can still be friends! tact — the fact is, it hurts like a battleaxe to the ribcage, and not even an ugly-crying sesh will fix it.
You will seriously consider burning their stuff.
Because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? That’s what happens in all the films! It doesn’t matter that the smell of his aftershave has long since left the fibres of that hoodie you stole from all the mornings you’ve tried to drown your hangover in its depths, and it doesn’t matter that you wear those earrings his mum gave you all the time because they’re super pretty, because you know what’ll give you closure? FIRE!
You will wait for him to call…
Because this is just an argument. Just a spat. You have them all the time. He’s not seriously breaking up with you, he’ll ring you soon, it’s been five days but he’ll ring you soon. It’s not that big a deal.
But you will be disappointed.
You will don your Fuck It face.
You will convince yourself that going out and being independent and single and free is the way to get over it, whatever form that may take. Maybe it’s slipping into your hottest outfit and contouring like you’ve never contoured before for a night out with your best bitches and drinking a lot of wine and then a lot of gin and making sure Snapchat sees how hot you are and how much fun you’re having — that was me. And yes, it may sound petty and bitter, but it’s been bloody good for me!
You will cry more.
You thought you weren’t sad anymore? HA! They just changed their profile picture, bitch, what do you think of that?!
You will start seeing couples everywhere.
Literally everywhere. What is this, the plague? How come they deserve happiness and I don’t? Pfft. Bet they’re not even that in love anyway. Get your PDAs out of my face, it’s disgusting and not adorable at all.
*whispers* You will probably think this about your loved-up friends for a little while despite feeling immediately guilty about it every time you see them (which probably won’t be very often — it’s normal to close off a bit, don’t worry, they’ll understand).
You will probably download Tinder.
Or Bumble. Or Plenty of Fish. And, after the initial ego boost, you will promptly delete it after matching with someone you know but didn’t recognise/getting tired of corny chat-up lines/being assaulted by a sensual selfie. You know the ones I’m on about.
In all honesty, you’re not ready to meet someone new anyway. And that’s okay!
You will give yourself a break and take some time.
You will throw yourself into a hobby as a distraction: exercise, art, music (Chaka Khan, amirite), writing, reading, cooking, colour therapy, stamp collecting, ship-in-a-bottle building — you name it, anything will do. You’ll throw yourself into your job, you’ll spend more time with your family and friends and on your own, and even with that nagging little voice in your head wondering what he’s up to and if he’s thinking about you, you’ll enjoy yourself. You’ll want to stay in bed and do nothing but think about how sad you are and why he doesn’t love you anymore, but you won’t because you can’t; the world hasn’t stopped turning and life goes on. And it is good.
Things will change.
You’ve crossed loads off your TBR list, you’ve written ten chapters of that novel you’ve been thinking about penning for years, you’ve managed to run 5k without seeing stars from exhaustion, you’ve baked an edible cake for the first time ever. You have something to show for that distraction you took up, and now you do it because you enjoy it. Your effort at work has paid off, you’ve had new experiences and made new memories that you otherwise wouldn’t have done.
Your perspective will develop.
And I say ‘develop’ because some things will change but others won’t. You may have declared that you never loved him anyway because you were angry, but no — you loved him once and you’re cool with that. It might not have been perfect one hundred percent of the time, but there was a reason why you were together, and you shared a lot of important stuff. There’s no reason to erase a very valid part of your life because it ended.
But you’ll start to see why it ended, and you’ll start to understand that that’s a good thing. You will finally be able to acknowledge all the things you weren’t happy with (be honest with yourself, they were there), and you’ll learn what you want next time around, if and when you decide you’re ready to meet someone new.
You’ll notice that every break-up step played some part in the pay-off. All the ugly-crying and bitterness and browsing through motivational feminist Pinterest quotes was all just part of the journey, and you’ll be doing something unremarkable one day, like driving along in the car with your friends singing, or having dinner with your family, and you’ll have a little oh moment where you realise you haven’t checked their Facebook profile in a while. In fact, you can’t remember the last time it even occurred to you to check their Facebook profile. And even now you’ve remembered, you have no desire to check.
And it’ll be a little moment of Hmm! I’m actually okay. Whaddya know?