It’s no secret that the post-breakup period is worse than the bad relationship and the breakup combined, especially if you’re the dumpee. Things may have been good-but-not-good-enough in the relationship, they may have been horrible, and the break-up could have been mutual or extremely one-sided and nasty. Any way you cut that cake, the hardest part is getting back up on that horse and pulling your life back together. This person was likely one of, if not the only, your best friends, and having to deal with that person being completely gone is hard.
What makes it worse is that complete and utter fixation on your ex-lover. What is he doing? Who is he hanging out with? He hasn’t posted on Twitter in hours – what can this mean?
I’m going to be real with you here. I just got out of a serious, long-term on-and-off relationship that was seriously unhealthy and seriously bad for me. Come to think of it, the on-and-off bit probably should have been a tip-off. And we were thinking about getting married – things were for real. Every sorority candlelighting people thought it was me (thank god it wasn’t). And then, a short two months ago, he wrote me an email (yes) telling me that he still loved me but he didn’t think I was The One. He said some other quite nasty things too, but for our intents and purposes, that’s basically all you need to know. We’re probably going to be discussing him at some length in various posts, so we’ll just call him Mr. Big – yes, that carries all the connotations you think. Our relationship basically was that of Carrie and Big.
As horrible and douche-baggy as that was, I was still horribly crushed. I called my friends and cried for hours, having no idea what could possibly have happened. And as far as I still know, it was nothing I particularly did or said. He really did just feel that way.
Well, unfortunately for me, Big and I go to the same small, private college (think 2,500 people, maybe), and when we registered for classes in the spring, we chose to take Astronomy together for our final gen ed. So not only do I see him frequently because of the one-square-mile campus, we have a two-hour class together every Tuesday and Thursday.
So school started about a week ago, and I’ve seen him almost every day. I’m not going to lie, it’s been really hard (although he did get fat this summer, so that helps). I’ve turned into this bitter, jaded person who despises him and says nasty things about him in a not-so-nasty way so it doesn’t really seem like it.
And he has no idea. The only people I tell these things to are my closest friends, aka his sworn enemies (he’s always hated them, another red flag), so there’s no way they’re running around gabbing to everyone. So he doesn’t know how angry I still am, two months later.
So why am I stressing myself out over this?
I can’t march up to Big and tell him how I feel. The last time I spoke to him, when we were ritually trading back property, I told him I never wanted to talk to him again and that I didn’t want to be friends with him (something he apparently still aspired to). A little word vomit-y, but I don’t regret it. I did mean it. So he knows that, but he doesn’t know all the other things I think.
And you know what? He probably never will, unless he magically figures them out on his own (doubtful). So there’s really no reason for me to be plotting his unhappiness in ridiculous, unlikely ways – isn’t that a sign of a crazy person? I have no reason to spread tiny little nasty truths about him (not rumors because they are true, but that doesn’t make it ok), and let them infect the small-campus gossip ring. Sure, it might make me feel better, but in the end, gossipers don’t actually win (unless it lands you a Bravo TV show, in which case you are rich with no friends).
I’ve taken the must-do steps to rekindle all of my old friendships, make new ones, get involved on campus, find ways to occupy my time. My friends and I have even (secretly, oops!) been setting each other up on “dates” just to meet more people and have fun this year. And I have no positive feelings toward The Ex anymore – lots of negs, but no positive. Essentially, I am having a great time and I love my life insofar as it doesn’t pertain to him.
So why am I still stressing about Big’s happiness?
I’m not going to pretend I don’t know, because I totally do.
- He hurt me. He hurt me badly. It’s actually quite similar to (now) the second-worst breakup in my life, except magnified about a million times. If you think that I’m 21 and can’t possibly have experienced too painful of a breakup – well, you’d be wrong. It still hurts that he would say things like he did to me, and be ok with that.
- He still has friends. Of course I don’t want him to have any friends. I mean, I “won” most of the mutual friends – without any asking or making anyone choose. He’s just that much of a jerk, that they really don’t hang out with him anymore. So he’s made new friends, although I’m going to be honest here – he goes through friends pretty quickly, so I’m not sure how long it’ll last. Anyway, bitterness aside.
And the real reason I’m stressing:
- I know that he is happy. Maybe he isn’t happy 24/7, but he is happy right now. He has an obsessive, addictive personality, so he’s found something new to latch onto and get involved in, and I know he’s happy. He writes it on his Facebook, he Tweets about it, I hear it from mutual friends. Ugh.
But how can he possibly be happy while I am so desperately angry and unhappy and stressed because of him?
Because. That. Is. Life.
Every day I tell myself that and I kick myself for being upset. I have a great life. I have the best friends I could ask for, male and female. I’m going on a date next weekend, and I have no qualms about what Big will think about that (unless it makes him unhappy, in which case I will be…happy? Yeah, probably that will be the opposite of true if I go on that party line).
So I guess it really is just a matter of time. I am not going out of my way to see him nor am I going out of my way not to see him. I respect “his” major involvements on campus and steer clear of those. I’ve told my closest friends how I feel, and they’re supporting me through this (they hated him).
It must be just a matter of keeping on keeping on. I’ve been through many a breakup in the past, and somehow I got to where I am today, still alive and kicking. The only solution must be to try to shake off this burden of stress and unhappiness, and focus on making myself a better person so that I can meet the man of my dreams. That’s every girl’s wish, right?
PS Carrie, you should’ve stuck with Aidan. Big is nothing but trouble.