When you picture breakups, what do you see? A girl sitting on a couch watching Dirty Dancing and eating a tub of ice cream? A guy putting his fist through a wall? Take a step back and picture a boy and a girl sitting on a dorm room bed holding hands. Smelling each other, kissing each other, a picture frame turned down on a desk and the look of the end on their faces. She turns to leave, he asks her to stay.
Take another step back and picture two teenagers sitting in a car outside of an Einstein Bagels. Both are crying, they sit there for an hour or two before the boy suddenly jumps out of the car and starts to run home. She drives home through blurry eyes and tries to throw away every memory her mom tells her she’ll eventually want to keep. These are the two world-shattering, heart-wrenching breakups I’ve experienced so far. Going through heartbreak, especially the first one, is so hard it makes you want to never take that chance again. But what you’d be missing out on is everything you learn through all the hurt, about yourself and about the world.
Being the Dumper isn’t always easier.
What stands out the most from the tidal wave of emotions I felt after my first break up is the anger and the hate. I hated him so much for how he hurt me and for leaving me, for how he treated me after how much love I had given him. But the one thing I didn’t consider was how hard it must have been for him to break up with me. He saw why we needed to be on our own again even before I did. If he hadn’t have ended it, I never would have had the courage to. I didn’t realize this until my second serious relationship ended, when I knew before he did that it could no longer go on the way it was. Ending it, and hurting him, was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Sometimes things don’t make sense for a very long time
After that first break up, I always wondered why. I used to think it was me, I used to think it was all my fault (a very common thing especially if you don’t see it coming) and it took me a long time to realize that it was neither of us. Sometimes people just stop working, some relationships have an expiration date for a reason. It took me until the end of my second relationship to realize this, and then the first one also began to make sense. Sometimes people are just too different.
You can’t just move on to someone new immediately
Even if you were the one making the choice, the Dumper so to speak, there is still a lot of healing to be done after a relationship full of love ends. Falling out of love is gradual, it isn’t one of those things that happen in an instant. Distracting yourself with someone new, and avoiding feelings of mourning and sadness that come naturally after breakups, can be emotionally damaging to everyone involved. In other words, learn how to carry your own baggage before sharing it with someone else.
Getting dumped can, and should, be a wakeup call to focus on yourself
Relationships, especially when you’re young, tend to leave little time for self-reflection and personal development. We’re at that age where we’re still impressionable and figuring out who we are and a lot of that growth can be done between relationships. All the time that I’ve spent alone and single has been crucial to my growth as a person and to my success in future relationships. I wouldn’t trade that for anything else, not even a new guy. The stretch of loneliness after breakups can feel like an eternity, but try to embrace it the best you can.