The breakup: survival guide to heartbreak


We all chase that feeling- that euphoric high when you meet someone who you think could be your soul mate. It doesn’t happen to all of us and with my history of men, I never thought it would happen to me. But it did. I met someone who finally got me. Someone I could talk to for hours on end and not get bored. Someone who I thought about first thing in the morning and the last thing on my mind at night. Someone who my friends referred to as a ‘tingly boy’ as they watched me gush constantly. It’s sickening and I’ve never felt like this before. I had fallen in love with him and that scared me.

But as my luck would have it, it wasn’t meant to be. Here I was, on the other side of the world, 11 623 km away when he decided that it was the perfect timing to break up with me. It was my first day in Los Angeles on a 2 and a half week trip and I was already feeling overwhelmed and exhausted from being awake for over 24 hours. What was meant to be a cute little phone chat to help me relax turned into a very awkward and painful one when he told me that he didn’t think it was going to work. His excuse was valid but the timing felt off.

So there I was in the side streets of LA crying, trying to figure of what actually happened because I was lost and blindsided. I wanted to give up, go home and lay in bed for the next two weeks but I couldn’t. I was lying in my hostel silently crying, trying to make sense of it all. And do you know how hard it is to silently cry in a room full of people unnoticed? VERY difficult. For the next couple of days I was putting on a brave face when I went out in public, faking a smile and trying to live in the moment but as soon as I was alone in the shower or lying in bed I broke down. I was so confused and upset because I didn’t just lose my boyfriend but I felt like I lost a best friend. It was radio silence from him and I quickly figured out he wasn’t going to have much contact with me from now on.

But where do I go from here? I still think about him every day and I go to message or snapchat him something before remembering I can’t. Break ups are so strange and, because this was my first proper relationship, I had never actually been on the receiving end of one. I’ve always been the friend who gives the advice but when the roles are reversed, and I try taking my own advice, that’s where things get interesting. I question if I am going to find that connection again. Am I going to feel that same way ever again? I’ve never met someone who could make me instantly happy or calm and it was a nice change from my normally crazy schedule.


Having the break up happen while I was overseas was a blessing and a curse. I’m a severe over thinker so I’m glad I wasn’t at home crying in my bed and not moving for days but then, on the other hand, I was in another country alone for half the time and embarrassingly crying on planes as well as in hotel and hostel rooms. I had so many amazing distractions and experiences to try keep him off my mind and I was very lucky to have some amazing friends in America who helped me do this. From dancing in carparks of diners to hysterically laughing about god knows what in Ubers I started feeling like me again.

You always hear about there being one person who is more invested in the relationship and someone who is more sentimental about it when it ends and I can proudly say that person was me. I lived, I loved and I lost. I’m so grateful that I got to feel the way that he made me feel and I got to fall in love because I doubted if I ever would. And, yes, maybe it was short lived but it was a perfect moment in time that I will never forget. We apparently weren’t meant to end up together for the long haul. He may be able to quickly move on and not think about me every day but I don’t think there is anything wrong with not being able to do that. People always look down on those who struggle with a break up and still hold onto memories and moments but I think we forget of the beautiful humanisation of it all. We are lucky we get to experience these emotions and moments- to treat them like nothing would be cruel.

My ex is not an asshole, I don’t hate him. We sadly just didn't work out because of distance and timing. That’s what makes it slightly harder because I don’t have a valid reason to hate him, except maybe for his poor choice of timing in breaking up with me, but in the end it makes me a stronger person and I have yet again learned and adapted from the situation.

I’m not sure if I will feel the exact way he made me feel again or how long it’s going to take for me to be open to dating again. I’ve always had a giant guard up when it comes to guys and I’ve always cut it off before it got close to being official because of my picky nature. I don't want to date someone if I don’t see a long-term relationship evolving from it or if I don’t think I could fall in love and this was the first time all of those things felt right. I just want to know that I’m going to be okay and that it’s okay for me to move on. But for now, I'm just going to chase that green light, I want it.

Written by Thomas Bleach

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