Navigating My 21st Century Breakup

I got dumped on a crowded bus at 5 a.m. in the middle of winter. I wish I could say I saw it coming, and I guess I should have known. He was going through a pre-college rough patch, and I was finally gaining the self-confidence I had lacked throughout our relationship; it was a perfect storm. 

The actual breakup lasted about an hour, and checked all of the “breakup” boxes. Crying? Check. Pleading? Check. Begging? Unfortunately, check. I left him to go cry with my friends even though I could tell he was heartbroken. But in that moment, I didn’t care. We were over. Or so I thought. 

We broke up in February of  2018, but talked almost every day (and hung out, went to dinner, so on and so forth) for the year and a half that followed. 

He was one of my best friends. I told him everything during our relationship, it only seemed fitting that it continue, and social media made it easy. It began with our streak, we both decided (and thought we were mature enough) to keep it. The streak turned into chats, he would ask about my day, I would ask about his, and so on. We were friends on snapchat, instagram, and facebook, so I could see what he was up to and vice-versa. He was a comforting presence, and someone to talk to when things went wrong. 

But it wasn’t all good and friendly. We rarely fought during our relationship, but the kinda-sorta relationship was nothing but arguments. One of us would try to move on and upset the other, causing that person to try and get revenge by posting something demeaning, rude, or to cause jealousy. I remember a particular fight on his 18th birthday where we screamed derogatory names at each other over facetime because he was at a party I wanted to go to. It was toxic, and it had to end. 

We had periods where we were on and off, our winter breaks overlapped and we began to hang out more, it felt like it had at the beginning. He sent flirty snaps and I saved pictures of him. There were periods where we didn’t talk as much, like when we both initially got to college, but he was always there, ready to talk.  

So, naturally, when I saw on social media that he had gotten into a relationship with a girl from school, I was heartbroken. I didn’t know what to think. I felt betrayed, I felt I deserved to know, but did I really? We weren’t together, right? 

I finally blocked him on almost everything in July of this year, and I’ll be honest, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I felt like I was losing a piece of myself and that I wouldn’t be able to get it back. I had been with him for my entire adult life, I didn’t know how to get through a day without telling him about it. 

Social media gives teens a way to connect at all times. It’s like a constant web connecting us to each other, allowing us to watch each other's location, story, and timeline. It can complicate friendships and drain your self esteem. Social media isn’t solely responsible for the way things ended. I can only speak for myself, and I know my own lingering feelings played a large role in our “kinda sorta” breakup. 

If you were to ask me what I’ve learned from my experience, I’m not sure what I would tell you. Would I go through it with someone again? Absolutely not. Am I glad it happened? Again, probably not. Do I think it made me a better person? Absolutely. My experience taught me my value, it taught me to put my foot down and to ask for what I deserve, and it taught me that I shouldn’t let another person decide how I view myself. I don’t blame him for the way things happened, because he was an important person to me for a long time, and we were just kids. I will always want the best for him, though I’m glad that I feel I don’t need him anymore. I’m happy with the person I’ve become, and I couldn’t thank him enough for his role in my journey. 

 

Tagged: