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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Denison chapter.

After my 5 month situationship ended with the boy standing in my room saying he, “did not think this was going anywhere,” I bawled my eyes out to my mother over the phone. After it felt like I had cried out every tear that could ever be produced in my body, I continued to put my mother through the ringer, dissecting every part of the relationship – the signs I could have missed, the things he could have been thinking, what I could have done differently. After probably an hour of this, I finally let my mom talk, and she said, “welcome to the club.” And then it hit me: I had officially, and non purposefully, joined the club of those who have experienced extreme heartbreak. I suddenly had the feeling that I aged five years. It almost felt like a physical change, like getting wrinkles or your hair graying. I have seen the movies and shows with brutal breakups, have heard friends talk about past heartbreaks, I have Taylor Swift’s All Too Well (the 10 minute version of course) memorized; I never could have properly imagined what I would feel when I found myself in this situation for the first time. I could have never predicted that it would be that boy, in my dorm room, on a Thursday night in March of my freshman year of college, where my heart would be broken for the very first time. 

I suddenly understood so many things. I realized that all the advice and I had heard about breakups applied. I immediately understood every woman’s action post-breakup that was considered hysterical or impulsive. I could suddenly empathize with what the women who became “the crazy ex girlfriends” were feeling. Now weeks later, I understand that your girlfriends will get you through it all, and that those relationships are the strongest and most important ones in your life aside from familial ones. I realized that all the cliches about breakups are true and that anyone who says Taylor Swift’s songs are too simple or too much about boys, has never been broken up with.

I think one of the hardest things about my breakup was the feeling of a loss of sense of self. Not only did I lose a best friend, and experienced grief like someone has died; I felt forced to reexamine myself, both physically and mentally. I found myself asking, “What did I do wrong? What am I missing? How am I not enough? What’s wrong with me? Why couldn’t I make him stay?” 

When someone you care about, one who also cared about you, decides that something changed, of course you would think there was something wrong with you. But I have learned that this is a battle that one must fight after a breakup. To continue to see yourself as someone who is lovable, worthy, and deserving of love. That if you were yourself and were a good person, then there was nothing wrong with you. And that you have to have faith in yourself.

I learned to stop expecting the cry where I finally felt clean from the heartbreak and memories, or the perfect “ick” that would get rid of any love I still had for him. I had to accept that I used to be a part of something with another person and was excited and ready to see it continue. I had to forgive myself for having an ache after the space I created for him in my heart suddenly became empty. I had to be gentle with myself, recognizing that this was a type of pain I had never experienced to this degree, and be kind to myself for feeling weak because of it. I have had to lean on my mom and my friends, and throw myself into things that make me content. And most of all, I have had to accept the fact that when you love someone, and it ends, the love does not disappear, and that you have to move on even though you still carry the weight of that love. I have to trust that time will ease the pain, and that the sadness and anger will fade, leaving me with the gift of being able to hold onto all the golden memories I have. Of the pure and intense happiness that I was lucky enough to feel and the passion and beauty that I got to experience with another person.

Meg McGahan

Denison '26

Meg McGahan is a freshman at Denison University, and is from Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently studying Biology, Anthropology, and Studio Art. In her free time she loves to draw, paint, read and bake. She also loves listening to music and hanging out with friends and has a dog named Clifford!