So you’ve just ended a relationship. I’m sorry. That’s the first thing I want to tell you. I’m so sorry that this happened, I’m sorry that something you thought was working wasn’t, or if you already knew it wasn’t then I wish for you that it was. It doesn’t matter what stage in the “post-break up” mourning you are; whether it’s still raw and painful to the touch, or you’re months down the line.
There are just some things that the people around you might not be telling you. Your friends might be getting sick of repeating the same worn out sentiments every time you pass a coffee shop with a lot of memories, or an advert comes on the TV that you used to laugh at together. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love you, or that they don’t care anymore. They just feel like they’re no longer helpful, and to be honest they probably don’t know what else to say. We’ve all been there.
So no matter if this is a best friend breakup or the end of an epic romance, no more “girl power” bullsh*t or clichéd “there are plenty of fish in the sea”. Whether you’re a girl or guy, the dumper or the dump-ee, I need to tell you some home truths, friend to friend.
There isn’t a set time period that you’re allowed to feel crappy for. People have come up with all sorts of methods, algorithms etc. dictating how long it is acceptable for you to take before you “get over” your relationship. Wrong. You should not allow somebody else to invalidate your feelings. So it’s taken longer than half the length of the relationship before you feel like you can go near your ex’s street. That is fine. And you are not being stupid for still feeling sad. Something that you had some level of emotional investment in has ended, and nobody can tell you that you don’t have the right to feel that loss.
It doesn’t matter how “serious” it was. It doesn’t matter whether you had been in a committed relationship for years, or whether it was somebody that you’ve been “seeing” exclusively or non-exclusively. Chances are that this person has been a significant part of your day, the kind of person that you notice if you’ve not heard from them yet this morning. People can often be dismissive of your feelings if you weren’t nearly engaged to the ex, or if they don’t consider it to have been “that serious anyway”. The thing is, nobody except you knows how you felt about that person, and how intimate you were. Okay so maybe you didn’t have a set of PJs and a toothbrush at their house, but that doesn’t mean that the conversations you had were somehow less important, or that you have any less right to be sad that you’ve lost that connection with another person.
The people you think you know can disappoint you. This refers to the ex, the ex-friends, and the people around you. People break up for all sorts of reasons, and it’s not always a clean break. Those jagged edges can be hurtful, and suddenly the person you thought you know can turn into the worst version of themselves. It’s important to remember that while being an asshole after a breakup isn’t excusable, it’s coming from a place of vulnerability. No matter who initiated it, there are no survivors in a break up.
It will be okay. Deep down, you probably know this already, but things get better every day. It’s okay if it seems like you’re polarizing, if one day you’re dancing on the tables toasting your new found liberty and the next you don’t want to talk to anybody. People might feel a little lost and not know what space you’ll be in today, but know that whatever you’re feeling at that time is okay. And whether you feel like putting on a brave face when you do talk to people, or open up and tell the people close to you how you’re feeling – that’s fine too. The way to get through a break-up is to find a way that works for you. You’re not petty if you block and delete their Facebook, and you’re sure as hell not petty if you don’t want to be friends right away. But if you try burying your head in the sand, it will take a while longer to move past it.
When you break up with somebody, it’s easy to forget why amongst the sadness and be tempted to go back there. Maybe I’ve made a mistake… You probably haven’t. Just hang in there; nobody who makes you feel bad more often than they make you happy is worth wasting time on, remember that. But Her Campus is here to hold your hand; we’ll get through this mess.
Photo credit: pinterest.com, lovesagame.net, victimtocharm,com