Set Yourself Free Post-Breakup

I thought that we would get married, him and I. The boy that ripped my heart apart one and a half years ago, to be exact. Now, I realize that nothing will ever be set in stone, emotions nor plans, but I am forever thankful for the lessons I have learned along with the heart break.


Just like any nasty breakup, the circumstances were next to awful, the pain was beyond comprehensible, and I never thought that I’d find someone as wonderful as the man whom had fallen out of love with me. I won’t go into the details of why we broke up, because in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Though we all end things for different reasons, it’s never an experience you would want to wish on anyone.


But along with this heartbreak, I managed to blossom from some of the darkest moments of my life, and learn what it’s truly like to have to fall in love with yourself. Because if you don’t, the world will forever feel dark and bleak, like someone sucked the air out of your lungs and shut you into an empty room. I’ve learned more in a year and a half than I ever expected, acquired knowledge that I want to share with other girls that feel like this ending of something beautiful is the ending of everything else along with it.


1. You’re never truly alone, but you may be lonelier than usual.

It’s strange, how we suddenly have to come to terms with who is actually there beside you in your darkest times, and who was there only for when you were doing well. When I went to call someone, anyone, about how I felt, about how empty everything suddenly seemed to be, I realized that throughout my relationship, I’d pushed more people away than I should ever have. I’d become so dependent on my boyfriend and his love, his friend group, and his life, that I’d slowly let mine melt away until there was only remnants of what I’d started out with initially. At first, this was one of the harder truths to really have to take in, because how does one get through difficult times without a shoulder to cry on? I was terrified, confused at how I’d let this happen and ultimately just really sad. But the strangest thing happened a week after our breakup. I was sitting in Starbucks, trying so hard not to burst into obnoxious sobs, when a friend I hadn’t seen in years came up behind me, asking if I were alright. At first I hesitated to say anything, but I opened up to her, and the funny thing was, she listened. People are not as cruel as the world wants you to think they are. Everyone goes through tough times and experience pain, so deep down, people want others to be happy in the efforts of them having to go through the same thing. At that point, I began to reach out to others I thought wouldn’t care, and they welcomed me with open arms and words of comfort.


2. This will be the best time in life to make a change within yourself.

Losing something constant is one of the craziest feelings, like losing your right hand overnight and suddenly not being able to brush your teeth in the morning. It’s shocking, confusing, overwhelming, and downright frustrating. You wonder why you have to be the one to go through this, why you have to suffer when you only wanted things to be right and if any of it was ever even worth it. It was, trust me. Whatever you learned in that relationship, no matter how long it was, you will carry with you for quite some time. I learned that I alienated myself more often than I thought, and so I clung onto people with more stable lives than me to pull myself through. Now, I do what I want and am as independent as I damn well please. I take myself out to eat at least once a week, join clubs that make me happy on my own, take time out of my day to talk to friends and spend time with them—things that people who own and love their life try to do on a day to day basis. It’s hard stuff, harder than I ever imagined, but it will be worth it in the long run.


3. Boys are weird, men are weirder.

Now, don’t take this as a bash to men, because it’s not. Girls are weird too, trust me, I’m a weirdo as well.



But now that I’ve gone back out into the world of dating, and really made an effort to find my Prince Charming all over again, I’ve come to recognize one very important detail: Men will be men. Not in the whole sense of the Gillette commercial, where egocentric males who allow their sons to beat up other boys think it’s just a “guy’s thing”, but the fact that in the end, we will never be able to read the male mind. When you think things are going right, and then they suddenly take a sharp left, that isn’t always your doing. Guys are in a strange part of their lives where they’re trying to figure out what sort of “man” they want to be, which puts a strange pressure on relationships. One second you think they want marriage, the next they want strippers, and two days later they’re talking about kids. It’s a rollercoaster of testosterone. If things don’t work out, try not to take it to heart so much, because in the end, you’re way better off working on yourself then hanging out with a guy that doesn’t understand why navy and black should never be worn together. You’ll meet the guy of your dreams at some point in your life, this just may not be the time and place.


4. Talk to a lady that’s been there, done that.

When I broke up with my boyfriend, good lord, did my mother get an earful. Like, a consistent steady stream of tears and anger. Sadly, not all of us have the luxury to go to our mothers for one reason or another, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to someone else! Go to your aunt! Grandmother! Professor! Advisor! Boss! Bartender! Salon lady! Almost every older woman in the world has gone through what you’re going through, and it’s nice to hear that even if things haven’t worked out for them yet, they still survived and are doing alright. Girl power is one of the strongest forces on Earth, thanks to Mother Nature, and dishing out the dirty with another lady will make you feel 100 times better.


Girl, I know things are tough right now—I truly couldn’t express how awful things can look—but it will get better. It may sound cliche, but I’ve never been happier than at this stage in my life. I would have never have gotten the chance to get to know the darkest parts of myself, or be able to make new friends through putting myself out there if things had gone the way I thought they were going to go. In the end, forgive them for hurting you and live your life. Because in the words of the great Gloria Gaynor, “I will survive, oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive. I’ve got all my life to live, and I’ve got all my love to give, and I’ll survive, I will survive.”



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