Single Girls Guide 14 Erin Foster

Some would say that the life of a single girl means constantly having to recover from break-ups. You would think that if you have been through something enough times, then they get easier, but that’s just not the case. Each one seems to hit you from a different angle or find a weak spot you didn’t know to protect. Each time the pain feels new, even though we know it isn’t. It’s like how they say that your body forgets the pain of child birth so that you’ll do it again. Well, it’s the same for love. If we remembered how bad the end can be, would we take the chance one more time?

I had a break up that was so bad when I was 21, I thought for sure I would set scientific records by being the first person who actually died from a broken heart. I literally couldn’t remember how to walk. I forgot what day of the week it was. I didn’t know how to be hungry or how to laugh. Everything made me cry. Everything felt dead. I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t his girlfriend. It’s all I wanted to talk about. I couldn’t tell you enough times how much he really had loved me. He said he could never love again. He said I was perfect. But now that he left it must mean that I’m flawed and imperfect. Even though he had lied and deceived me, since I was the one left behind I assumed I was missing out on something I wanted. I would never love again. I would never smile again. I would never sleep again. No day would ever be better than the worst day. No one else in the world had ever experience the kind of unhappiness and abandonment I was feeling. It was so REAL.

Cut to today and I honestly don’t even remember loving him. I don’t remember what I liked about him. I don’t remember why I needed to be with him. I can’t find the place in my gut that he occupied for so long. One day a few years after our ugly break-up, he called me to apologize for how things went down and I laughed. I couldn’t believe he was still feeling guilty after so long. I told him to enjoy his life and consider me his friend. If I was still angry at him, then it would mean I still had a part of me holding on. And I wasn’t letting myself go out like that.

The recovery is so slow. Every day gets the tiniest bit easier, but it happens in such small increments that you can’t feel the progress at all. It’s Groundhog Day in your head. You wake up and open your eyes and then remember the weight of your heartache. From that moment forward you wish for that first ten seconds back, where you didn’t remember.

What you don’t realize is that it IS getting better. There is no explanation for why it does, other than that we are able to survive through it. We are built for it. Our mind plays tricks on us because the grief fogs our logic. We can only remember the best things in the person we miss. We can’t forget the way they made us laugh and the feeling of falling asleep on their chest. We don’t remember their bad attitude whenever they had to hang out with our friends or the way they couldn’t ever correctly decide between “their”, “they’re” or “there”.

The important thing to understand is that you can’t trust how you feel until a few months have passed. It’s a straight up detox and it’s horrible. But it is a passing phase and no matter who you are or who this so called perfect specimen is that you’re missing, everything is going to be fine. That’s the thing we don’t get. You can’t die from this. You get a few months of feeling sorry for yourself, absolutely. Live it up. Put the sweats on, refuse to eat, cry to your family, force your friends to look at his Facebook, stalk every girl who knows his name… Get it all out. Because after ninety days, it’s over. Physically he’s out of your system and you have to emotionally catch up. Now, if you were married or had kids, I can give you more time. But after the shock of the whole ordeal has died down, it’s time to focus on everything you hated in the relationship. You weren’t nearly as happy as you think you were. You complained about stuff. You went to bed angry. You envied other relationships that had elements yours didn’t. It’s time to realize you can do better. Maybe he’s the best for someone else but anyone who could walk away from you should be with someone else anyway.

Create the story you want to be real and then make it happen. It’s not that he isn’t calling you, it’s that YOU aren’t calling him. It’s not that he can do better, it’s that YOU can. Who knows what he’s up to and who cares? This is the only life you’re gonna get and you certainly don’t have time to waste on shoulda coulda wouldas. There is nothing you’re going through that someone else hasn’t been through and come out on the other side with a smile. Rejection is divine protection. Find the purpose in your struggle. It’s happening for a reason, and a really good one I’m sure. You’re going to be better for it one day. You’re more interesting for having cried these tears and screamed these screams. I got your back.

Image via punjabigraphics.com

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  1. This one is amazing! I recently went through a break up, and while we didn’t date for very long, the feelings were serious. I’ve been grappling with my rollarcoaster emotions, but your entry made so much sense on every level. Thanks Erin – you are a star!

  2. Hmm… I find this article, specifically the last paragraph near verbatim to a post I wrote and shared with you?

    http://taterthoughts.tumblr.com/post/9026293506/everything-i-like-is-either-illegal-immoral

  3. i think im going to print this out and read it everyday. i’ve had such a bad week. i had a bad car accident, and the guy had the nerve to dump me on the same day. i’ve been such a mess, i’ve been in bed for days just sulking and crying over this guy who is just a big asshole, and doesn’t deserve my tears to begin with. But reading this made me feel so much better, I feel a lot better.

  4. Thank you for helping me realize that I’m not alone and life goes on <3

  5. LOVE!!! Oh hey, my 90 days just passed… feelin prettyyy pretttyy pretty good! :)

  6. I really love this blog! So many good topics! 10 months ago my ex and I broke up and I felt exactly as you described, but I’ve noticed the last couple of months I can’t remember anymore what it felt like to be with him…it’s so refreshing to be done with the crying, the not eating, the not sleeping….

    P.S. If you love this blog you should check out “Sleeping with Stilettos”…Awesome!
    http://sleepingwithstilettos.blogspot.com/

    I’ve been following it for a while and I love it!

  7. Either you stalk my life or EVERYONE goes through the same things. All of your blogs are amazing & I can relate 100% to everything you talk about. It’s amazing & so comforting to know that I’m not the only one who thinks these crazy thoughts. Haha. Thanks so much for your blogs, HONESTLY, they are comforting in every way(:

  8. Love as you never was hurt.

  9. Oh lordy, It’s safe to say i’m in phase one of a break-up. But what’s probably the worst is that, i can’t really call it a break-up, because i t never was official. (Even though we behaved like it!) What’s even more annoying was that he was a good friend pre casual “whatever.”
    But this was great to read, because i’m feeling all of the stuff you mentioned. I’m gonna have to read this a few times, before it really really sinks in.

    Thanks :)

  10. i am two weeks post break up and i really needed to hear all this. it feels like the pain will never end. i just want to forget about him and go back to being the girl i was before i met him, but i can’t forget. it was my first relationship. how do you trust someone again? why do people do that? i don’t understand. i wish it all had never happened.

  11. I think our 20′s are made for horrible break ups. It’s nice to be reminded that I wasn’t the only one who was consumed by the break up.

  12. great article, time heals everything is eternal no tusa …

  13. Girl, it’s like you went inside my brain and put it on paper (…or screen…)! Everything from how you stop caring about the dude with time, remembering only the good times at first, and the realization that if he walked out, he’s a moron. This is my new favorite post on the site. Keep on truckin!

  14. Oh how I needed this today! I am currently going through a really tough breakup and feeling a little lost. Thanks for getting me back on track!

  15. I cannot express how good it feels to read this right now, I have been broken up with my ex for about a week and for days and literally all the way up until the point of reading this I have had completely uncontrollable crying fits, in public places, at work, everywhere and it has been the most difficult thing to go through. Nothing can make me feel better but it puts my mind at ease at least for a minute to read something that describes me to a T, thank you.

  16. Another thing I really needed to hear right now.
    It’s like you know exactly what I’m going through, it’s extremely comforting.
    Thank you.

  17. ”Maybe he’s the best for someone else but anyone who could walk away from you should be with someone else anyway. ” this is how I feel about every breakup! I got dumped last week (the day after my birthday (he was out of town for a furneral, and didn’t even call :( )) it hadn’t gotten serious yet, but we had been close friends for a year. Things were going great when he left, and then silence. No responses to text or phone calls. Then a single text saying he sent me an email (yes, that’s right a text to tell me I have a breakup email waiting for me in my in box (terd)). Apparently he is too sexually attracted to me to want to get to know me (double terd). Yeah, so he defiantly isn’t my ONE. What sucked the most is that it still hurt. I %100 know it wasn’t me but him, and it STILL stung. :( Dating can really suck.

  18. I really liked this piece. I’m actually posting a link to it. I honestly must say that I’ve been through break-ups where I get completely down and out about it and I always felt like I was the only one who ever felt that hurt about it. My friends never understood and neither did my family and that would make it even WORSE because I’d think I was a complete freak for caring that much. It feels good to not be the only one who felt that.

    • You’re definitely not the only one feeling like that. The good news is that the awful feelings of the world being a horrible place or that you are never going to heal end up being no more than that: feelings. Post-break up life DOES get better with time, perspective and little help from your friends and family. A big hug for you!

  19. “…or the way they couldn’t ever correctly decide between “their”, “they’re” or “there”.” Love it.

  20. I can’t wait till I can see how I’m more interesting I am after the marathon crying for the past two days. I figure I’m already making steps in the healing direction by allowing my friends to openly be mad at him when I am still unable to be. Oh but it’s coming! This rocked my world today, kinda funny how you’re single girl guides have been on par with what’s been going on. Makes me anxious for the next one!

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