Breaking Up With Your Nonexistent Relationship

Flickr / Georgie Pauwels
Flickr / Georgie Pauwels

It’s hard to get over something that never really was. You can wallow in your bed, you can throw yourself into work, you can drink too much and go out with your friends, but if someone asks you what’s wrong, you feel like you can’t say you’re going through a break up. You need to be in a relationship for someone to break up with you, and you weren’t in a relationship.

Whether you casually dated, had a friends-with-benefits situation, or were in that weird sort of “together” nonsense, there was never a real title to be taken away. No boyfriend, no girlfriend, no relationship. But even without a title, this was the only person you flirted with, the only person you slept with, the only person you talked to all the time. Until one day you didn’t.

Maybe it was starting to get too serious for them. Maybe there was someone else. Maybe they just stopped talking to you. Whatever happened, you had something, and now you don’t.

You start to question everything about your non-existent relationship. It takes heavy convincing to believe that you didn’t make it all up. You couldn’t have made it all up, could you? You were there.

You have the hand you held. You felt it. You have the lips you kissed. You remember them and the way they moved with yours. If you never feel them again you can still conjure up what they did feel like, and you’ll compare them to all of your future kisses. You have fingers tracing invisible patterns on your legs, your arms. You have heartbeats in your ear, hair in your hands.

You have the words you spoke, drowsy and a little drunk in the dark. The words you shared. The happy, sweet things you said. You have the way they looked at you that one night. You remember that one perfectly, because you had never been looked at like that before, and you haven’t since. You have the secrets admitted. You have the lies told. You have the big moments you both couldn’t ignore. You have the little moments they probably didn’t notice. It was real, you were there, it happened.

But all of your proof is in your head, memories no one else can see. You don’t have anything tangible, because they never gave you anything to hold but themselves. You don’t have any messages, because you deleted them to stop yourself from reading them over and over. You don’t even have any pictures of just the two of you, because you never wanted to ask for one, and risk coming off as clingy.

The break-up might seem invisible, but that doesn’t make the pain any less real. You weren’t in a relationship, but you were in something. It’s okay to let yourself feel the heartbreak over that something that never quite was. TC mark

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