More likely than not, I understand how you feel. He broke you. Perhaps you weren’t in love, but he stole a piece of your heart, leaving you a bit more cynical than before. He liked you. He wanted you. He might’ve even loved you.
But he didn’t choose you.
He didn’t choose you because he started seeing her before you; because you were moving; because it was bad timing; because of a lot of bullshit excuses you can’t even begin to fathom.
Unfortunately, the feeling of not being chosen doesn’t go away so easily. Day after day, you will feel empty. Your heart: hollow. Night after night, you will have tears running down your cheeks. Your mind will race, trying to find an answer for why he chose her instead of you. Was she prettier? Smarter? Funnier? Skinnier? Blonder, perhaps? You will be a complete mess and the more you look for an answer or reason for why he chose her, the less you will find. No reason will make you feel better; no answer will satisfy you.
Creating distance between the two of you would make it easier to forget him. But, unfortunately, you can’t seem to let go of him just yet. You will see him all the time. If not in person, then in your mind. You will analyze every meaningless double tap on Instagram; every “like” on Facebook. You will answer every message; every Snapchat.
Anything to hold on to what was.
When you go out, you will be forced to see him with her. Forced to see him kiss her. Forced to see his hand placed on the small of her back. And despite the pain it will cause you, you will refuse to look away. You will refuse to end your friendship with him. You will pretend it doesn’t bother you and you will appear calm and collected. You will be mature about the whole situation and, as time passes, you will force yourself into believing you are actually over him. You will read the endless amount of articles online that tell you “how to get over the one who will never love you back” and “how to forget about the one who didn’t choose you.”
They will tell you that you will be okay as long as you follow these ten simple steps. And, naively, you will follow them. You will try to do all of the following:
1. Delete him off all social media. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter.
2. Cut off communication with him. Let his messages go unanswered.
3. Realize that you are better off without him.
4. Stop cyber stalking the girl he chose instead of you.
5. Do yoga. Eat healthy. “Work on yourself.”
6. Buy a book. Read. Don’t let your thoughts drown you.
7. Say “yes” to every opportunity.
8. Enjoy being single. Flirt. Date.
9. Focus on your future.
You will follow these steps and, after you do, you will realize that none of them work. But you’ll still have hope. You’ll hope he realizes he made a mistake; that he made the wrong choice. But he won’t. In fact, he won’t even second-guess it.
So instead, every night, take a shot before you go out. Begin to numb the pain. When you enter the bar say hi to him casually, but don’t linger around too long. Order yourself a drink and go talk to your friends. Don’t let yourself cry—not right now.
When he seeks you out amongst the crowd to talk to you, casually sip your beer and engage your other friends in the conversation. When your eyes start to water and he asks you what’s wrong, tell him that everything is okay—even though you feel like the world is falling apart.
When he pulls you away, grabs your hand, and tells you he hates seeing you this way, smile and say you are fine. When he insists that you talk to him, tell him to go back to his friends—you can handle this on your own. When he walks away and goes back to her, take a deep breath and hold in those tears. Find a friend to talk to and don’t look back at him. When the tears become too much to hold in, order an uber—it’s time to go home.
When he tries to stop you from leaving, insist that you need to go, but that you will see him tomorrow. When he kisses you on the cheek, brush him off and say your goodbyes. When you are in the Uber, let it out. Cry. Sob. Try not to think about him. Try not to think about him with her. Try not to think about how he chose her over you.
Think about it anyway. Cry some more—a lot more.
You are allowed to feel broken. When you are finally in your bed, mascara running down your cheeks, promise yourself you will never fall in love again. Promise yourself that feeling as low as humanly possible—as low as you do now—is not worth it. Promise yourself that tomorrow you won’t care when you see him with her. Tell yourself time will heal all. Believe it and, slowly, you will start to doze off.
Contrary to your belief, time will pass and, soon enough, he will be a mere memory. Your heart will stop aching and your life will gain meaning again. You will choose you and that will be enough. You will be enough.