I’ll be the first to admit that I was full-tilt crazy after it all went down. But who isn’t when something that significant happens? When one day someone is there and the next day they aren’t? When it seems like everything you had with that person means nothing at all?
Take it from me, it can make you crazy.
Whenever your brain has something to think about, it will think about it. And a breakup gives you plenty to think about. It revolves mostly around the age-old question – what went wrong? And sometimes, you don’t get a definitive answer. It just went wrong, and that’s it. Not much you can do.
But then comes that fun part called “moving on.” I know we all love that. Trying to go at least one day without thinking about them, without checking up on their social media, without being…well, not over it. Maybe you want to get back together, or maybe you’re just angry or sad. But whatever it is, it ain’t easy to just “get over it.” Whether the relationship lasted two years or two months, it hurts. Because something that was there isn’t there anymore.
I honestly don’t think there’s such thing as a clean break. I think it just hurts – and it’s supposed to hurt. That’s what makes us human. But the key is not to let the hurt consume you. I’ll admit, I let the hurt consume me (not just in breakup situations, but in other “heartbreak” type situations, if you know what I mean.) I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to talk about it so bad that I did some really stupid things. Things that I regret. Don’t let pain do that to you. Honestly, it’s not worth it in the end.
Then of course, comes the Taylor-Swift-ex-rage phase. Where you brush it off and pretend you never had three emotional breakdowns in the last week, where you put on your best red lipstick and pumps and devil-may-care attitude. Everything becomes his fault. He was the jerk. He let it end. He’s probably a sorry sap right now.
I honestly think that fault is usually on both sides. A lot of times it’s communication, or lack of time spent together, or difference of opinion, or all of the above. Whatever happened, one or both parties decided that it wasn’t worth it anymore. Sometimes it’s no one’s fault other than you weren’t compatible. Playing the blame game usually doesn’t make things go any better. It just causes more anger and resentment. And I don’t think you want that after all you shared together.
It’s really easy to compare post-breakup. Who’s moved on faster? Who’s finally happy again? Am I doing better or is he? It almost becomes a competition. Well, if I’m doing all these things and accomplishing all this, they must be failing at everything. They’ve got to be, because they let me go.
It’s certainly okay to be mad. Just don’t get bitter. After I was sad, I got so mad. The anger was almost all-consuming. It leaked into other parts of my life. My days were spent swimming through negativity and cynicism. Honestly, I’m not over that hump yet. I’m mad at everything that happened. I’m mad at the situation we found ourselves in at the time of the breakup.
But don’t let the anger become bitterness. Because that’s a lot harder to heal than a little bit of righteous anger. Bitterness puts layers on your heart, like concrete that hardens over time. It makes it a lot harder for healthy relationships to happen in the future.
So, is there such thing as a “gracious breakup?”
Probably not. Simply because the nature of a breakup is, well…breaking. And breaking isn’t a fun thing. Like, ever.
But is there such thing as moving on graciously after a breakup?
Of course there is. A good first step is not being too hard on yourself. Of course you hurt, whether you were broken up with or the one who did the breaking up. You can hurt. Because something’s broken. Broken things hurt.
A good second step is letting yourself feel everything that comes along with the breakup. Hurt, sadness, pain, anger. It’s not healthy to keep that inside. Let it out. Vent it to someone. Journal. Throw darts. Do what you have to do. Even if you feel like you aren’t “getting over” it, that will come with time. There’s no set time limit for getting over someone. But it will happen eventually.
Finally, move on graciously. It won’t be a magical switch-flip, though. Healing something broken takes a long time. You’ll have setbacks. It’s all in how you handle it. If you’re feeling sad, don’t text or call them (guilty party here.) Talk to a loved one instead. If you’re feeling mad, don’t broadcast it all over (also guilty.) Write it down and rip it up, or go for a long run and listen to angry music. Getting through it is what will help you get over it.
And friends, I know it’s not easy. But I do know that whatever is waiting for you on the other side of that pain is good. I think I’ve finally found my Good on the other side of the pain, and it was definitely worth it. So be patient with yourself. Keep waking up in the morning. Keep telling yourself that someday all of this won’t matter. Keep going knowing that you are worth far more than one breakup or misstep.
And that alone is worth knowing.