This is not a love story. It’s simply a story about the messiness of life, the uncertain path that lies ahead, and the things we learn about ourselves along the way. This is how I moved on.
It all began on September 29, 2006. I was on my very first date with She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named. I still remember the excitement, the anxiety, and the promise of that very night. Up until then, I had been a skeptic. I never believed in love, I hated romantic comedies, and I especially loathed all those cheesy love songs that came up on the radio every once in a while. But after that night, all those songs started to make sense. I started to enjoy rom-coms. And I started to believe. Amazing isn’t it? The things that can happen in one night. Even more staggering are the things that can happen over the course of a relationship. Some say I was delusional for sticking with her for that long. But hey, I was in love. After all, aren’t we all at some point?
We were nearing our four-year anniversary when our little fantasy was about to come to an end. That same year I was slated to leave Maui for my first semester of college, which meant trying our hand at a long distance relationship. We assured one another that it would only be temporary as She had planned to move in the following semester, where we’d live in an apartment together. Our future looked ever so bright and promising, but it was a lie. I called to commemorate our special day, but She did not answer. I thought nothing of it. In actuality, She was on a date with Him. Of course, She did not tell me right away. I didn’t even know until Winter Break, months after. Prior til then, we maintained our relationship as best as we could over the phone with the hopes of being reunited soon. And when Winter finally arrived, reality came clearer into view.
A few of my friends came forward with the news. They told me that She and Him had been getting intimate for weeks and that it all started soon after I left for college. Imagine me then, looking like such a fool in front of my friends. I thought everything was fine between us. But as it turns out, she had pulled a veil over my head, making me believe so blindly that we were still together, still in love. I remember oh so vividly the shock of the moment, the pain and the rage. I was furious with her, the world, even God. Soon, there was no one left for me to blame except for myself. Out of desperation, I raced to her house and pleaded her to take me back. I don’t know why I did. She was the one who cheated on me, yet I was the one on the ground begging for her love. I guess four years wasn’t something I could let go so easily. I faced her one last time, only to be put out of my misery when She finally admitted the truth. And I was devastated. I had just arrived home a few weeks ago hoping to rekindle our relationship. Instead, she tore me apart and left me all alone to face a grim future. This is where the story ends and where my recovery process begins.
I allowed myself a few days to clear my head. Then, once my mind was rid of all the recent drama I changed my facebook status, burned all of her letters and pictures, and vowed to never ever speak, hear, contact, or see her ever again. Life was still hard, but it was easier to breathe. After a break-up, it’s definitely beneficial to give yourself that time off. No doubt it has been a long and hectic road, so you owe it to yourself to take a break from all of it. And be sure to take as long as you need. Face it, you’ve just gone through something so severe and sudden, so really embrace your time off. And from there, you’ll be able to see things clearly.
Afterwards, I surrounded myself with family and friends. They made the days go by faster and easier to get through. I wasn’t able to stand on my own, so I sought their help to get back on my feet. It felt good to laugh and smile again. Within a few weeks, I had forgotten all about the break-up. It is absolutely crucial to surround yourself with good company. Alone and isolated, you’re allowing yourself to lose control and sink into depression, which will pave the way for doing something that you will regret. With family and friends, you are always smiling. After a break-up, they will make it their job to keep you happy all the time. And whatever they want to do, just go with it. The more time you spend with them, the less time you’ll spend pondering you and your ex’s fondest memories together. Your family and friends are very supportive and will always be there for you. Trust me.
Following a very adventurous few weeks with my friends, I took some time to myself again. This was where I evaluated my relationship with my ex and the reasons for which we broke up. What hurt the most was that she never admitted to doing anything wrong. Even though she confessed to cheating on me, she never apologized for it. In fact, she made me feel guilty about it claiming I had pushed her into someone else’s arms. There is no resolution in a situation like that. So what did I do? I accepted it. Why? Because sometimes it’s best to leave things be, even if it’s laying broken in front of you. Yes, closure is important. But the next best thing is to accept the terms that brought your relationship to an end. Just clean up the mess, regardless if it’s your fault or not. I accepted that our relationship ended all due in large part to the fact that she was unfaithful. More importantly, I accepted my own faults in the relationship. Now, this part of the process may be the most difficult. You’ll see what you’ve done wrong. Then, you’ll realize that maybe things could work out if she ever gives you another chance. That’s when you’re gonna want to get back with her. When that happens, try to remind yourself of the bad times, the arguments, the fights, the sheer heartbreak. It will hurt, as it always does, but you need that pain in order to let go. Remind yourself why the two of you broke up, why you can never be. Like I said, it will hurt. But the sooner you come to terms with it, the sooner you can forget about it all and move forward.
The next step for me was moving on. Once Winter Break was over, I headed back to college for Spring Semester. From there I focused all my attention on school. I admit, it was awkward being in the midst of things and having no one by my side anymore. But soon enough, I rediscovered the joys of being single, the limitless potential of being free. You will too. See it as an opportunity to get your life back on your own terms. For me, it just felt great to focus on my work again and to take control of my career as a writer. As a result I was able to complete a collection of short stories and finish an outline for a book that I am currently writing. Had I not taken these steps to better myself, I wouldn’t have all of these tremendous accomplishments behind me. Instead, I’d be stuck at home going nowhere, reflecting on a relationship that was never worth it in the end. The reason why I’m not there is because I chose to move forward. I agree that moving on from a break-up is very difficult. But I’ve found that focusing on your career is a great way to look past your ex and the break-up. It’s a great opportunity for you to seize control of your life and to do something for you. Find some sort of inspiration and really use it to fuel your desire to succeed in the world. Eventually, you’ll be glad that you broke up with your ex.
I’m here writing this now because I don’t want anyone else to endure the pain that I’ve experienced because of this break-up. I’ve gone through one of the darkest stages of my life. You don’t have to follow the same path as I did because there are steps laid out for you to better yourself. The most important aspect of recovering from a break-up is time. No one heals instantly. To help ease this time just remember that breaking up with someone isn’t the end of the world and it certainly isn’t the end for you.