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Why I’m Thankful for My First Heartbreak

Let me preface this by saying that this was my first relationship. Our breakup was never as dramatic as in the movies, he hadn’t cheated, he didn’t do it so he could see other girls, he was honest and kind and just doing what he had to. I could never hate him or resent him, because he’d done everything right. Despite all this, I was still a mess—I hadn’t seen it coming at all. I thought I was falling in love, but he thought we were drifting apart.

As I write this, It’s been fourteen nights since it happened. And here’s the shocking thing: I feel good. About myself, about my life, and even, in a funny way, about our breakup.

I’d been happy with my life before he entered it. I didn’t think I wanted a relationship. When he entered my life, I loved it even more. It was almost a high, one that I could no longer have when he broke it off.

There’s still moments when I miss him, times I wake up and wish he’d hold my hand and kiss my cheek like he always used to. I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to be sad in these moments, because if I ignore the sadness, it’ll keep building until I have no choice but to feel it all at once. These memories are never going to go away, but they’re not going to stop me from making new memories—with my friends, my family, my future partners, and myself.

He was a huge part of my life, and it’s impossible to ignore that. I can’t change the way he feels or what he wants, but I can choose how I react to it. I can be angry and bitter, I can keep asking why, I can cry and swear I’ll never find a guy like him. Instead, I can choose to appreciate the memories, to appreciate the person, and to realize that life happens, and that my life will keep moving forward, just like I will.    

As a woman of not even twenty, I know there’s going to be much more heartbreak in my heart, and it’s going to be worse then this was, and that’s ok. I’m grateful to my ex because he showed me how incredible it feels to be so connected with someone, but I’m grateful that we broke up because it showed me how incredible it feels to realize that I don’t need someone else to be satisfied with my life. It feels good to know that no matter how much something hurts, you will heal.

During the first few days after the break-up, I made a joke to my friend, saying I felt like an addict going through withdrawal. I’d forgotten that once the drugs are out of your system for long enough, you realize that you don’t need them, you just thought you did.

Third year student at Western University, double majoring in Sociology and Media, Information, and Technoculture...which means I can talk about Marx for two hours, but would prefer to discuss TV shows for four.
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