How I'm Learning to Heal From Heartbreak

I used to love telling our “story of us” over and over again to anyone who was willing to listen. It was the perfect high school sweetheart romance. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl doesn’t like boy, boy kisses girl, girl likes boy, boy and girl live happily ever after…or not. After nearly 2 years of dating and 3 years of friendship, my relationship with James* had already withstood a lot, and I was ready for the challenge of being 958 miles apart at our respective colleges. I had imagined the care packages sent back and forth, the dates over FaceTime, and the perfect moments reuniting during the holidays hundreds of times. I was prepared for the pain that would come with being so far away from each other, but I was beyond confident that he was ~the one~ and I saw college as an opportunity for us to grow as individuals and make our relationship stronger.

Let me tell you, I was DEAD WRONG. Within the first week of college James and I got into a fight that grew like wildfire. On my end, my friends were comforting me and telling me what a horrible person he was, and I’m sure his friends were saying similar things to him about me miles and miles away. Looking back, it’s pretty funny considering my friends know nothing about him and his friends know nothing about me, yet everyone involved was creating an image of the enemy that was very far from the truth. The most bizarre moment of all was when I received a particularly nasty text message from a mutual friend of ours from high school. That was my breaking point. I couldn’t believe these people that I had cared so deeply about had the ability to say such cruel things to me without any sense of remorse.

During high school and the ever-changing relationship statuses that come with it, I would often hear my friends talk about their exes, saying things like “I didn’t even know who he/she really was” and I always found these kinds of statements completely ridiculous. I mean, if you grow close enough to someone to date them, you clearly know them pretty well. James knew me better than anyone else and I, too, knew every dimension of him. I had seen every quirk and every flaw, but I learned to love them all. However, our sudden argument showed me a side of James that I never could have imagined. I didn’t think my sweet, sensitive guy was capable of spewing out such malicious and degrading words, even behind the screen of an iPhone. To this day it bothers me that I could be so oblivious to this aspect of his personality. Granted, I’m sure his insults were mainly fueled by anger in the moment, but it still hurt just the same.

Throughout the following week, I tried to reach out to James several times, but was always answered with something along the lines of “lol what do you want?” He was constantly trying to use my own personal weaknesses to make me more upset, and I was shocked that he refused to reconcile despite my best efforts. Eventually, with the persistent urging of my friends, I finally gave up and stopped trying to contact him.

To be completely honest, I was surprised by how well I was moving on after cutting off communication with James. I was meeting new people, doing well in school, and having an amazing time in college overall. Through distraction and some self-reflection (exhibit A: this article) I have been able to live my life without feeling debilitated by my first breakup, but I still have a lot of healing to do, and I can’t say I’m 10000000% “over it.” I still find myself hoping that one day I’ll see a text or call from James pop up on my phone so we can finally get the closure that we both deserve. In the meantime, I wish him nothing but the best and I hope he’s doing well. I have no idea what the future has in store for me, whether it involves James or not, but for now the single life is not one I can complain about.

*name has been changed for privacy reasons