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Sex + Relationships

My Boyfriend Left Me for a Miss America Contestant…Here’s How I Stayed Confident Despite That

You know the story…boy meets girl, boy has an ex who competes in beauty pageants, but the new girl has nothing to worry about because he is totally over that ex… until that ex happens to win Miss Iowa. 

So, my boyfriend suddenly lands himself the title of ex-boyfriend as he leaves me in order to “make sense of their past relationship,” and to “better understand what his feelings for her really are.” Meanwhile, I find myself feeling like I’m starring in some kind of awful teen movie. Except that I’m the one playing the nerdy girl in glasses who gets dumped for the cheerleader…or a beauty queen in this case.  

Now, I understand this story could have some very un-feminist undertones to it, but believe that is unintentional. I am a huge proponent of women supporting other women, fighting the patriarial system and not each other, etc. However- did I feel insanely jealous and irrationally furious at this girl I’d never met before? Absolutely. Plus she just happens to be a petite blonde… I mean, how much more stereotypical can this story get? However, it is worth stating that this piece is not a revenge piece. This article is meant to be a window into how I dealt with the aftermath of this unique situation I found myself in. Having your boyfriend admit he might have feelings for his ex is a blow to any girl’s self esteem regardless of whether or not that ex is going to be in the Miss America Pageant. And that situation can sadly be a common situation 20-something-year-old women deal with in relationships. Below, I have listed some ways that have helped me bounce back and not stay curled up under the covers wearing baggy sweatpants for all eternity. 

So first, I was shocked. Then heartbroken. Then pissed. Then heartbroken again. The cycle of grief is not a linear one. This is especially true of breakups that are messy, or ones that involve other people. I had the unfortunate luck of having to start my 10 hour work day about an hour after my boyfriend broke things off. As a result, I had to take a couple of crying breaks in my car. If my coworkers asked, I would blame my puffy eyes and runny nose on seasonal allergies. Thank God for Mississippi pollen, am I right? In summary though, try to deal with your emotions as they come. Pushing them off just means that off your feelings will bubble over at inconvenient times, like during a campus tour to high schoolers.   

Do not, and I repeat DO NOT, look up pictures of her. You will already be automatically comparing yourself to her and adding social media to that is a perfect recipe for tears and day drinking. 

Hang out with friends that remind you of how beautiful and appreciated you are. Even if you can’t get out of bed to socialize, invite your besties over to come help cheer you up. These are the people who know your worth and will build you up with so many compliments that you can’t help but smile through the tears. Sidenote, you should ask them to bring along chocolate. 

Finally, healing is a process. Self-esteem is a dynamic thing, and how much of it you have at a given time is subject to change. However, the one thing that does not change is your inherent beauty, individuality, and right to be loved by someone who does not question their devotion to you. Hold onto anger while it serves you, but do not hold onto it forever. And remember the tried and true cures to a heartbreak: a bomb-ass breakup playlist, long showers, kissing someone new, and lost of dance parties with your closest friends.

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