Nicole Paulhus
July 10, 2013 8:00 am

A series of recent events have caused me realize just how much I hate goodbyes: the official cancellation of Happy Endings, twenty minutes spent hugging people I will see in a week and a tearful goodbye to a close friend who is moving across the country. Goodbyes are awful. They’re unpleasant and painful and I wish we all could just be together, baking cakes made out of rainbows and smiles for eternity. Yet, that wish doesn’t seem to be coming true any time soon, so here are ten reasons why goodbyes make me nervous.

1. Awkward Lingering

You know when you’re hanging out with someone and it’s definitely time to leave, but neither of you want to be rude, so you just linger there trying to come up with an excuse to leave? I hate that. I always feel like a jerk when I say, “Oh, I should be going,” but don’t have a real reason why I should be going. It’s time to go! Why can’t that just be enough?

2. If I’m Ready To Go, I’m Ready To Go

Sometimes I just want to leave a party without hugging fifty people. I usually try to vanish unnoticed, but I always get caught. That one hoverer sees me reaching for the door and it all goes to hell. I end up spending twenty minutes saying goodbyes. I’m going to see you guys next week, there’s no need for all the formality.

3. Not Knowing If It’s Really Goodbye

I’m saying goodbye to someone who is moving on Saturday, but I have tentative plans to hang with him on Wednesday. So I’m about 70/30 that this goodbye is actually goodbye and it makes me nervous that I might be wasting all of my emotions on this goodbye and will have to do it all over in two days. I only have so many emotions, I can’t waste them on two tearful goodbyes to the same person. While we’re talking tears…

4. What If Your Last Memory Is of Me Ugly Crying?

I dehydrated myself during my last week of college I cried so hard and so much. It was bad. I actually left mascara stains on one of my guy friends’ polos. It pains me to know that there are people out there whose last memory of me is a makeup-smeared ugly crying mess.

5. Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

One of the hardest parts of long-term goodbyes is the shoulda, woulda, coulda. All the things you talked about doing and never did. Now this person is moving away and you’re probably never going to get the chance to road trip to that waterfall or marathon all the Harry Potter movies together. It bums me out and makes me question my yolo.

6. When Will I See You Again?

I really hate the open-endedness of some goodbyes. I feel much better knowing our separation has an end date. When I say goodbye to someone and have no idea when I will see them again, I start to question if I will see them again and then I get really nervous that I may never see them again. Then I get “See You Again” stuck in my head.

7. Saying Farewell to Fictional Friends

I sobbed when all of the Friends put their keys on the counter and went to Central Perk for the last time. I cried for the entirety of a flight while reading the last Traveling Pants book. I get too attached to fictional characters and it makes me nervous that I have no control over our relationship. They may disappear from my life at any moment. It’s roof stoof. (RIP, Happy Endings)

8. Saying Goodbye To People I Never Want To See Again

While this might seem like a joyous occasion, it still makes me squeamish. I struggle to find a balance between not inviting future communication with people I never want to see again and being polite enough that things aren’t weird if our paths cross down the line. If only there were a nice way to say, “I don’t ever want to talk to you again, but if I run into you at a bar let’s be cool about it.”

9. Knowing That My Friendship Just Got That Much Harder

It doesn’t matter if I’m saying goodbye to a coworker who is leaving for a new job or a bff moving to Korea, all I am thinking about is how our friendship just got harder. I can’t rely on seeing my co-worker friend at work five days a week anymore, so I will need to start making an effort to schedule seeing him. I won’t even be in the same time-zone as my Korea-bound friend, so I will need to dedicate myself to email and Skype dates. It’s stressful to realize how much effort will be required to maintain friendships which were founded on simplicity.

10. Knowing That We Might Drift Apart

One of the hardest parts of adulthood has been the realization that some friendships aren’t meant to last forever. Sometimes, despite your best effort and intentions, friends drift apart. It makes me sad to say goodbye to someone and know that there might be a time when they won’t be in my life anymore. I think Charlie Brown said it best, “Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.” Good grief, am I right?

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