Breaking Up Like A Grown-Up


As he left I knew I would be okay, probably soon, but I cried anyway because I also knew I would miss him.

I’ve had breakups end in yelling, denial and possible infidelities. I’ve been ignored and fucked over and have cried over someone never contacting me like they said they would. I have watched my phone like a buzzard flying over a carcass, gotten drunk to numb an absence.

But a grown-up breakup (a split based entirely off rationality, reasonableness, one that resulted not in drunken chaos or my life is over! proclamations but a sadness and an awareness said sadness would soon dissipate) is new to me.

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I’m in that part of my life where everything is up in the air. You know the phase. Early 20-something less than two months from graduating from college, a creative writing degree nearly under my belt, plans to move somewhere far away to pursue my dreams, plans of international travel. Everything is transient: my career, my life, my relationships. Early twenties is a time of being entirely unsure of what the future holds.

Yet despite knowing this, when a cute guy with dimples in his smile and a knack at making you laugh shows up, you ignore the truth that in a few months you will most likely be gone.

But like a shadow you can’t shake, rationality is what splits you up. Despite your feelings for each other a problem has risen: seriousness has taken over the relationship and it has reached the point where if you don’t end it now you will both fall too hard and find yourselves in a hot mess when someone leaves.

I wasn’t sure how to handle a grown-up break up. For a moment I wished I was a teenager again; that I could justify a ridiculous set of overemotional feelings, that I could freak out and be excused by ravaging teenage hormones. The immorality teenage heartache provides seemed a nice way to memorialize something special.

But I didn’t act like a teenager, because I’m not one. Instead, I cried a little, had a few beers with friends, knew I was going to be okay and realized that growing up and the practicality that accompanies it is a double-edged sword: the two things that while having the benefit of keeping you sane, also force you to make decisions that are no fun at all. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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