When you start dating someone truly fantastic, a weird thing happens. Your heart swells and you become acutely aware of how happy and excited and nervous you are all the time. You have this fullness that you never really knew you were lacking, but you like it.
When you go through a break up with someone in a truly gut-wrenching fashion, a weird thing happens. That swollen heart can shatter into a hundred thousand different pieces and those shards of your broken heart travel through your body and begin poking at your vital organs, reminding you that you are not whole. You are broken. And it sucks.
It takes time to heal from a breakup. Time for those pieces of your heart to find their way back into your chest and for you to move on, perhaps a little different than before, but undeniably whole again.
Sometimes however, when people end a committed relationship with a significant other, they enter into a committed relationship with the breakup.
The beginning of relationship is filled with infatuation. You rationalize staying up until 3am talking on the phone with that person, despite having to wake up at 7:00 because it just feels so good to hear their voice.
After the relationship ends, you suddenly become infatuated with your own sadness. You rationalize staying up all night stalking Facebook and Instagram with unabashed chutzpah, despite the fact that it makes you feel awful to see that your previously significant other has moved on or are feeling anything remotely resembling happiness or even just contentment because in a weird way, it makes you feel good to feel so bad.
You’re virtually hitting yourself in the face and then telling everyone you ran into a doorknob.
It becomes hard to move on with moving on.
You become so committed to the breakup, that it’s almost as if you are dating your own breakup. You spend all of your time talking or thinking about it that it’s only a matter of time before the two of you get monogrammed towels.
The two of you spend your evenings together, wallowing in self-pity. You see your friends and family and random Facebook strangers with happy relationships and successful careers and your breakup tells you to not be happy for them because that’s not you. And other potential suitors may come around, but your breakup will immediately (and maybe even rudely) point out all of their flaws and immediately write them off.
Sometimes your breakup will even act as a compass for all those terrible people you meet at last call. The Coyote Uglies of the world. Breakups tend to attract regrettable hookups, leaving you with that tangible emptiness only this time accompanied by a possible burning sensation.
Most nights though, you go home with your breakup and stay up until the wee hours of the morning at a pity-party for one, picking apart the filtered lives of your so-called friends on Facebook and Instagram. A vicious cycle that is sure to repeat itself the following night.
It’s a toxic relationship that becomes a self-deprecating mindset and it can be hard to let go. It’s natural to be sad after a relationship ends, but eventually you have to appreciate it for what it was and move on.
Just like dating a terrible person that tells you you’re not good enough and despite your friends and family and Reddit telling you to get out, you just can’t because in your mind, it’s worse to be alone.
So you enter into a casual fling with your breakup because it feels good to feel bad. It feels good to lie on the floor of your bedroom, blaring Damien Rice, and crying into a $4.00 bottle of wine.
There is a time and a place for that and it’s good to honor your mourning period, but eventually, you have to break up with your breakup. You need to stop drawing it out or stringing it along and just cut it off altogether.
Because despite the way you feel on the inside, you are not the first person to have your heart violently mutilated and you certainly won’t be the last.
Don’t let your breakup define you, but even more so, don’t let your breakup define your future relationships. Because despite what those hardened, broken pieces of your heart are telling you, you are a wonderful person and there are wonderful people out there.
So it’s time to cut it off. Your relationship ended. You spent some time being sad. Now it’s time to break up with your breakup and move on. It may have been nice blowing off work to binge-watch Gilmore Girls and drink at noon, but it’s time to dust off your boots, let it go, and move on.
If anyone or anything is making you feel awful, it’s not worth your time. Break up with your breakup and enter into a relationship where you love yourself. Go for a run, volunteer for a charity, call your mom, get coffee with an old friend or a mentor, read a new book. Treat yourself! You are lovely. You are worthy. You may not feel like it right now, but you will be whole again. Don’t let a breakup tell you anything different.