Breakups. It’s like you managed to tune out the heart break all around you until it punches you in the gut. Suddenly you turn on the radio and every song from Taylor Swift (obviously) to Fetty Wap (maybe not) remind you of your failed relationship. James Bay may be telling you to let it go but you still find yourself staring at old pictures, hesitating to throw out that birthday card they gave you a year ago, or mail back that sweater that has been collecting dust in your closet. So pour yourself a glass of lemonade and lets talk for a minute.
Although the heartbreak you experience in your relationship is individual and feels unique, heartbreak is one of the most universal emotional experiences we as humans go through. Whether it is your first broken heart, a breaking you didn’t expect, or a mutual decision to break things off, something is broken and needs to be mended. We wouldn’t have beautiful art, poetry, music and even laughable internet memes without love and loss (and shitty exes). Having the people around you tell you about their heartbreak may feel comforting or eye-opening to you, but there is nothing like a good ole‘ broken heart when it is the one sitting in your own chest. Walt Disney may have told us that, “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all” and little did he know how well such a saying would resonate for a single lady (or man) staring at the ashes of his/her once flaming love. In the end, a better and stronger version of yourself is the rewarding product of the pain that you realize is temporary.
The sad reality is that the majority of people who have had one or more relationships will have faced the heartbreak of being cheated on. Having a partner be unfaithful to you can be one of the roughest emotional roller coasters of the relationship timeline. Shock and denial of course is first, being unable to accept that the person you trusted could be capable of hurting you this way. And anyone who has been cheated on knows that anger comes quickly after. Although basking in anger can feel satisfying in one twisted way or another, when you hold on to the anger that ties you to that ex and that experience you never truly let go of the past. An emotional release is necessary, mourning the loss of the presence you were used to having in your life and moving forward with your future without them. Feeling sad, eating your feelings, or having a hard time stomaching food, binge watching romantic comedies, crying over old photos, or reminiscing, are all normal reactions to your loss. In the end it isn’t good to stuff your feelings but those pictures, texts, cards and tears eventually need to go. Moving on means moving forward. Finally, you will look back on yourself and realize you accepted your experience and how it pushed you forward. You will see your worth and realize that once a cheater… just not worth your time.
The Internet Creeping
Today’s digital world is a dangerous one in the realm of relationships and social media. Maybe you were ecstatic the day you both decided to make things “Facebook official”, or posting your first couple Instagram picture #inlove, and then becoming their best friend on Snapchat (cue the heart emojis). However, with the joys of sharing your relationship through the good times, comes the struggle of breaking off online connections with its ending. You don’t need to see your exes trip to Cancun, or status updates about their favourite new Netflix series, and you certainly don’t need to see the selfies they’ve been liking left and right when you’re trying to move on. You know yourself and if you know that you will be losing sleep with twitching eyes by the dim light of your phone until 2 am checking up on your exes online moves, then its time you hit those block and delete buttons and stare at @chrishemsworth’s page until you’re dreaming of better guys and better days.
We know the hurt. We know the pain. Breakups can be rough, but one of the best products of emerging from such an emotional experience is learning to love again, and no I don’t mean on Tinder. I mean the person that has truly stuck with you through thick and thin, the person you can always rely on: yourself. Experiencing the failure of a romantic relationship, especially with an unfaithful partner, can really take a hit to your once strong and stable confidence. Being single can reunite you with parts of yourself you haven’t seen in a very long time. Spoiling yourself with gifts, taking care of your body (after binge eating mini-eggs and Miss Vickies in your grief stage of course), and glo’ing up in general are small steps that can make you go from feeling level 1 (undesirable) to level 100 (Beyonce). After physical and daily lifestyle improvements your single self will begin patting you on the back for the strength you have had to move forward. And yeah, then maybe you can get Tinder.
The Happily Ever After
It is a wonderful feeling to share your life experiences with someone. It is great to wake up to a good morning text, have a designated pet name, and be cuddled during Netflix and Chill sessions. Being in love is great. But love is all around you. Being single lets you appreciate the family and friends who have been there for you through your struggles and celebrated your success. It is a wonderful feeling to make life experiences and decisions for yourself. It is great to wake up to a good morning text from your friend telling you the funny shit you did at the bar last night. Your pet name turns from Bae to Bey as you emulate the queen’s anthems of independence. And let me tell you there is no better person to binge watch tv with than your girls and a little wine (your ex could never sit through an episode of The Bachelor anyways). Once you see your worth and potential you can truly say “I’m over it” and in the end you will always have your true love with you at all times. Learn to love and care for that person who you will spend the rest of your life with till death do you part. I wish you two a lifetime of happiness.