Relationships begin in all kinds of ways, but there are only two possible ways they can end: in marriage or breaking up. Unfortunately for many, breaking up is the typical ending. Regardless of whether the relationship lasted a week or five years, rejection hurts, and there’s no denying that.
Recently I was given the typical “let’s take a break” spiel, but it was followed with the not so typical, “don’t worry, this isn’t permanent, we’re going to work through this I promise.” Well, wouldn’t you know, he continued spewing these same lines for a week, and then one day when I went to surprise him — thinking that seeing me would put everything in perspective – I found a girly wine and a receipt for breakfast for two in his room. There was no explanation given, except that nothing happened. And I convinced myself he was telling the truth. Then the biggest surprise of all: without ever being formally broken up with, I find out from none other than Facebook that he’s already in a relationship with another girl — a girl he had claimed was only his friend.
This isn’t intended to be some sob story about how my heart was torn into a million pieces. Instead, I want it to serve as proof that though things happen that will tear you apart, you can and will keep going, and you will be all the better for it. So what have I learned?
1. You are worth more than you know.
I’m willing to venture a guess that at one point or another in your relationships you’ve felt like you weren’t good enough — that there was always something you could could improve upon. Maybe you weren’t pretty enough or smart enough or skinny enough. But know that you ARE enough. I promise you, the best person you could ever try to be is yourself, because that person is pretty awesome.
2. You aren’t crazy; trust your instincts.
There were so many times that I was told I was crazy or overly sensitive or too jealous. What’s funny is that if I listened to my instincts instead of brushing them off, I wouldn’t be in this mess. I justified his actions because the things that went wrong happened so infrequently that I didn’t think it mattered all that much. But do not ignore the red flags! They are little glimpses into the guy you are really dating.
3. You are allowed to freak out. In fact, I encourage it.
So you feel like throwing yourself on the floor, sobbing into the carpet in a fetal position? Go for it. Been there, done that. You can’t just skip that step. You need to feel it all in order to grasp the finality of it.
4. Insulting him will not make you feel any better.
I’m sure you feel like he’s the biggest asshole, and that the new girl he’s hooking up with is a total bitch right? She cannot rock a middle part, and someone really needs to clue her into the power of a straightener. But while thoughts like this might temporarily stop the pain, it wont help you out in the long run. The bottom line is she still has the guy you want right? WRONG. Do you want someone in your life who has the capacity to break your heart? No, you don’t. He is her problem now, and you don’t have anxiety over his every action anymore. You’ll realize this in time.
5. The best revenge is moving on.
I wish I took the news of his new girlfriend with dignity, but in true desperate fashion, I freaked out. I lost it. And now I’m sure he thinks he has this huge hold over me, which really bothered me for awhile. But then I thought, does it really matter what he thinks of me? I’m doing okay. The most shocking thing my roommate said to me was “I’ve never seen you happier.” I was so caught off guard by this because I had just gotten dumped by my boyfriend of two years, but it was true. I wasn’t this uptight, worried, anxious girl anymore. I was now carefree, and that gave me so much strength. Realize that in moving on, he loses any and all power over you.
6. Nothing you could have done would have changed this.
I spent countless hours — days, even — replaying every moment we ever had, trying to wonder what had done that made him act this way. When the truth is that I never could have stopped this. He wasn’t the guy I thought he was, and I didn’t even know him at all. I blamed myself for a very long time, thinking I was crazy, but I’m beginning to see that I’m not the crazy one; he is.
7. You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.
You will get over this. Your heart might break into a million little pieces, but you can put them back together YOURSELF. You don’t need a guy to give value to your life; you give yourself value. It seems scary to face the world without his good morning text being the first thing you see or his kiss reassuring you in times of need, but I promise you can do it. You are strong.
8. Times like this will open your eyes to the people you do have in your life who care for you.
I’m sure at one point or another there were friends or family you neglected because of your relationship, but once it’s over, the outpouring of love you will receive is truly amazing. Friends you haven’t talked to or seen in months will send you a small text just reminding you that they’re thinking of you and probably following that up with “I’m going to kick his ass if I ever see him.” Don’t forget you never really are alone; you’ll always have your amazing support system behind you to catch you when you fall.
9. This might not be your happily ever after, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have one.
Even if you thought he was the one, — that you’d have him forever — it’s time to face the fact that a future with him is no longer your future. Your future is now what you make of it. So do you want to lie in bed all day and cry? Or would you rather get up and get started on your dreams? Make something of your life; don’t let this ruin it. He might have strongly impacted your past, but he doesn’t have to impact your future too.
It’s hard to think about moving on right now — I know that — but it will happen. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but one day you will wake up, and he won’t be the first thing on your mind anymore. You’ll go through entire days without thinking of him. Then it’ll be months and, before you know it, the moments you thought you’d never forget will be a distant memory. I still find myself drifting off in thoughts about him, but I stop myself. That’s the beautiful thing about the mind; you decide what you think, and you decide what happens in your future. Make the most of your life; you won’t live forever.